How to Request Product Samples from Suppliers

product-samples

After talking with suppliers and establishing a communication stream with them, you are excited to see this product in your store and think it will be a huge hit with your customers. Before you order the products, make sure you request a product sample because what you see in pictures and videos may not be what you get in real life. The last thing you want is a product that is poorly made. Your customers will know this as well when they touch it or use it for the first time. This week we will talk about the importance of product samples. Here we go!


Asking for The Sample

At this point you have found the product, did your benchmarking research, and contacted the supplier. They are more than willing to help you out, but first you need to get a sample of the product. The benefit of a sample is that you can test the product out yourself. You can see how it feels in your hand and how it functions. This gives you an impression on how the product is manufactured and what the real thing would be like.


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Most suppliers will be more than happy to send you a sample if you ask for one. It’s better to be safe than sorry later and you will be glad you did. The last thing you want to do is to agree on how many totes you want to order and invest a lot of time and money only to get a product sample that doesn’t meet your expectations. Hint: We’ll be talking more about this next week.


You Like the Sample, Now What Do You Do With It?

The sample is good. You told the supplier you like it, but what do you do with it afterwards? Well, if it’s that good you might as well show it off, right? There’s many things you can do with it. Take quality images of the product for your online store or store collateral if you think it looks convincing enough to be the real thing.

You could also have the sample act as a demo so your customers visiting your physical location can try it out. This is a good way to build anticipation for the product launch in your store, and can get people excited about it. When the product is in your store, you can use the sample as a tester to show your customers the features it offers.


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The Most Important Thing: Final Agreement

This part comes before you publicize the product and get the product in your store. Make sure you have a detailed outline on what you are getting that is clear for both you and the supplier. Sometimes you may not speak the same language or are not in the same country or city. A piece of documentation can go a long way to clear up any communication barriers that can arise when trying to attain a new product in your store. The final agreement is not limited to a formal documentation and can be done through email or verbal agreement.



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The Final Agreement should include:

  • Product specifics
  • Pricing for both wholesale and retail
  • Payment terms
  • Shipping
  • Delivery times


Verdict

Getting samples is like test driving a car. You get to see what the product is actually like in terms of quality and functionality before you commit. If you like the sample you can let the supplier know so you can start negotiation on stock and pricing and other details that can go into your final agreement. Having that final agreement will help you overcome and reduce communication barriers and misunderstandings. You can use the product sample as a tester to showcase in your store or take images of it for your website afterwards. Just make sure this is okay with the supplier.

And remember, being thorough with the products you select and their quality will help make your store more successful. Your customers know good quality products when they see them, and if they’re good they will be more likely to buy them.

Kelly Faria

Kelly Faria is curator and retail specialist IPPINKA. When she's not doing that she's off doing something else that's creative. With a background in Industrial and Graphic design, she's usually sketching or making things. Her other passion is helping people that comes from her years in the retail and service industry.

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