Negotiating Terms With Your Vendors

Kirsten Hynds Business

One of the key things we train our planning clients to do is to start creating a winning relationship with their vendors. Remember, YOU as the retailer are your vendors’ customer! Many retailers feel that they do not have much power with their vendors and are not aware they can ask for more from the partnership. Just as customers support your business by shopping in your store, you support the vendor’s business by carrying their product in your store. So start the conversation!

Three Terms to Negotiate

Here is a short but definitely not complete list of terms you can request from your vendors:

  1. Net 30, 60, 90 terms – Net 30 is the most common term given to retailers but why not ask if you can get more? If you are a client in good standing with a track record of paying your bills – ask for something in return! If they are offering to ship your product before you want it, ask for longer terms to pay for it
  2. On-time delivery or right to cancel with no penalty &/or automatic discount – This term should be on every retailer’s Purchase Order forms! If you are using a buying plan and bought goods to arrive on specific dates and the vendor can’t honor those dates, you have the right to refuse the order without paying a re-stocking fee. If you will still accept the goods, an automatic discount or longer terms should be negotiated
  3. Promotional items (gift with purchase) for your customers – What customer doesn’t love getting something free with their purchase? Your vendors can help you maintain customer loyalty!

It is important to really build your relationships with your vendors. It is a partnership after all! Talk to them frequently outside of trade shows and buying season. Practice these words: “Let me…help you…by….”

Contact us to learn more ways your vendors can help you and how you can support each other!


Kirsten Hynds is a certified Winning@Retail™ consultant at CRS. Kirsten spent 10 years on the sales floor, and as a retail buyer and merchandiser, and has become an expert POS sales consultant and trainer over during her 10 years with CRS.

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