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By isarabunny On 03/10/04  

hi everyone
recently i sold some wholesale items to a shop in another city. I sent the items with an invoice at the end of january and later gave a call to make sure the owner had received the package. Well, I waited for about a month, no check. then i called early last week to ask if she had sent the payment. (i thought maybe it got lost in the mail) but she said she hadn't and was going to sent it at the end of the week. i haven't seen it yet. should i start worrying now? help...


By funkyutopia On 03/10/04  

that is really bad business! i mean, if the business owner 'forgot' or lost your contact info or some act of god stopped her from paying you, okay. but i'm sure on your products there must be some sort of way to contact you. but you made a deal and you made good on your half. she has had over 40 days to come up with the money and send it your way. do you have something in writing with her? did she state that there was a problem with your products when you spoke to her? i'm guessing there was no problem since you didn't mention that.

after 7 business days from the last time you spoke to her and still have not rec'd her check, i would call her again and tell her that you still have not received your payment and demand either payment or she return your product. but in the most professional manner you can, explain to her that this is not the correct way to do business. depending on how far away the shop is from you, you may even want to pay her a visit in person to discuss the situation.

i've not had this happen to me so maybe there are other ladies out there with better advice. i just think that if too much time passes, she may get more and more reluctant to pay because she won't suffer any consequences. bad, bad business!!

By garnish On 03/11/04  

Don't be shy about being a pest. This is the downside of wholesale. Call again, send a new invoice, indicate that it's past due, and just be professional but persistant. Call daily if it gets to that. She'll pay just to get you off her backDocument your contact history. Some retailers are so tight that 90 days past due isn't uncommon. One of the reasons, shipping cod is good. I highly recommend that for all really small businesses, we can't handle non-payers. As you do more wholesale, you may need an occassional collection agency.

By bammie On 03/11/04  

ugh! I don't do consignment but I feel for you. I agreed to supply apparel for an online magazine in exchange for them featuring them in their photo shoot and putting up an advert for my business. They didn't end up using the tops, but they won't return them. I've gone back and forth looking for a suitable outcome for both parties with nothing.

I thought this was a sound deal in asking for a contract and noticing that other businesses I recognized were dealing with this magazine, but it still went south and I'm upset with myself for not contacting those businesses first to see how their experience went. I'm chalking it up to a lesson learned!

sorry to go off topic and not offer any advice, but I hope you're able to get it resolved!

By CraftyChicaAZ On 03/11/04  

I had this happen over the years now and then, as well as every other trick in the book. Keep calling, first once a week, then twice a week and then every other day. I once had to file a small claims complaint for non payment. I've had owners write me checks that bounced and then send back half of the merch that they couldn't pay for. Over all 98% of the buyers are excellent and professional, but htere is always that 2% to watch your back on.

Keep giving polite calls, that usually does the trick! Good luck!!

By ursonate On 03/11/04  

If it becomes worth it to you, don't be afraid to hire a collection agency. Document everything well. Small claims, if necessary.

By shop gal On 03/12/04  

this part of business is a real bummer, especially when you have to do it yourself (maybe someday you'll have an accounts receivable department that gets to make the awkward phone calls for you).
as a retail manager i get phone calls on occasion from vendors , "asking/reminding/etc." us of a past due invoice. i take down the information, ask them to fax the invoice to the store and then i pass it on to the owner.
as a small business owner, i have been in your shoes. i chose to not phone, but instead fax the invoice with PAST DUE stamped accross it. i had to do this 3 times before finally receiving payment. attached to the third notice i sent along a note stating that i hoped she was pleased with the product and i reiterated my "terms" of payment.
good luck.
p.s. the amount of my invoice was small, only $100, so i didn't sweat it too much, it was more the principle of it. they had the product, they needed to pay for it. i made sure to note on my file for that company what had occured, so if they re-ordered i would have a heads up. if it happened again i might reconsider selling to them or have them pay in advance or COD.

By NeesyPea On 03/12/04  

What happens if you do all the things above and the consigner still doesn't respond? I've been in a frustrating battle with a shop in Mass. (I'm in California) I sent nine items to this shop in August of last year. The owner of the shop told me a couple of items sold in October and that she was sending out a check. She hasn't paid me. I emailed to ask about it she said that sheíd look into it because her records show that a check was sent out. I then asked her to send my items back and once she figures out the check payment to send it to me later. She agreed to that. This "agreement" was back in November. Every time I e-mail her she states "the items will be in the mail soon" And when I call she's never there and she doesn't return my calls! I even sent her a certified letter in the mail stating I was very unhappy with her business practices and that I would never treat my customers like she is treating me. It didn't seem to work. I'm more hurt that mad. I'm at my wits end.
Can you take some one to small claims if youíre not in the same state?

By plainmabel On 03/12/04  

I don't have an answer b/c I have yet to begin offering my work to other shops, but NeesyPea do you think you could let me know what shop in Mass is doing this to you (you can email if you don't want to post it)? I'm in Mass and was going to start looking at shops in-state (so I can visit time to time, etc) and I definitely don't want to look at this one! Heck, if the shop's nearby to me I can go over there and give her the beat down! :) (If you're not comfortable sharing that info, it's totally cool.)

By NeesyPea On 03/12/04  

PlainMabel, Iíll e-mail you privately on the shop. I know Iím not the only Glitterati that has some items consigned in this same shop. Maybe you can do some secret spy work for me to see if this shop is legit ;)

If anyone else wants to know what the shop is, email me (itís it my profile)

By isarabunny On 03/15/04  

hi ladies

I finally got a check on saturday. I think the problem might be that the owner was disorganized. But I've decided to only do wholesale with payment up front.

To reply to Neesypea's post:
I've also had problems with the store in Mass. It's run by a college student and her younger sister. They're quite disorganized. But calling them usually does the trick.

By plainmabel On 03/15/04  

isarabunny, I went there to be a spy this weekend! I'll email you directly to let you know what I found. :)

By hightide On 03/15/04  

NeesyPea, I'm sorry to hear you are still having problems with That Shop In Mass. I've been emailing and sending letters to no avail.

Would it be ethical to "out" this problem shop on Glitter?

By plainmabel On 03/15/04  

After talking to several of you who have had this problem with the MA shop and spying on them myself I have a kooky idea...
Why don't all of you who are having problems decide on a day and approximate time to call them and complain? It may really freak them out if they have complaint calls from several different consigners all in one day. Maybe?

By SublimeStitcher On 03/16/04  

I had a problem with a shop like this once. Typically I only accept payment for wholesale purchases upfront...just like any sale. But one shop really wanted the stuff quick and said "if you would go ahead and ship them, I'll just pop a check in the mail today..."

Over a month went by, I emailed several times, and finally called her at the store. I was super cheerful on the phone: "Hi! Just thought I'd call so we could settle payment for your order. I can take a credit card number..." It's not the most fun thing to do, but what she was doing to me sucked.

My method is to kill them with kindness. "Hi! You owe me money! You're ready to pay now, aren't you?" Then, I think twice about doing business with them. Fortunately, I haven't had to with this particular shop.

My wholesale terms: payment upfront. No COD. No consignment. Period. Ta da! Remember, you're the boss, you set the rules.

By NeesyPea On 03/17/04  

Believe me I've been killing this gal with so much kindness, she should be dead decomposed and reincarnated by now!
But anyway Hightide I don't think we should out this shop here on Glitter, but like I said above if anyone is curious you can e-mail me privately.
I did receive an e-mail from her last week, the gal said my items were sent out last Thursday by standard ground mail. Even though I repeatedly asked her to send them to me with at least a tracking number. ANd Plainmabel did confirm that she didn't see any of my bags at the shop when she went to look around. I havenít received a package as of yet. If the bags get lost in the mail I donít know what Iím going to do :(

By hightide On 03/18/04  

Neesy, you know, I finally got a reply out of her, and she said she was surprised none of my merch had sold, but I got the same report - none of my merch visible on a walk-through. Says she'll be sending my merch back, fingers crossed.

By NeesyPea On 03/19/04  

I finally got my bags back today and a check! So Hightide, maybe you will get yours soon too :)

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