Retailer Bill of Rights

Retailers are on the front lines of retail. They display product from manufacturers and are often a customer's first impression of that item. The retailer houses the item, presents it, and even educates the consumer about the item.

Sadly, there are some practices by manufacturers that bely this work performed by their retailers. Manufacturers have a responsiblity--as do retailes--to do their part to help everyone in the supply chain succeed. Along these lines, we've found these principles below to help retailers succeed.



1. When a retailer asks that an item will be drop shipped, the manufacturers will charge a percentage of the item being shipped and not charge a flat rate.

Purpose: this helps the retailer drop ship small orders. If a flat fee exists, it can't afford to pay, for example, a flat $10 drop ship fee on a $20 retail item.

2. When a retailer asks that an item will be drop shipped, the manufacturers will not require a minimum order. Charging a minimum order is meant to make an order worth shipping. A drop ship order is often small and can't possiblly be the same order type as a wholesale order that goes to a retail store.  The manufacturer should waive the minimum order and instead charge a percentage of the drop ship order. The higher the order amount, the higher the fee, and therefore the greater the likelihood that the retailer will have an order shipped to its store rather than to the customer. With this model, manufacturers 'lose' money on smaller orders, but make it up on larger orders. It truly is more fair and stops the anxiety that retailers have over small orders and losing money. 

3. Manufacturers agree to offer the same terms to both small brick and mortar stores as other stores. This includes the ability to be stocking or non-stocking.  Often, a manufacturer will require a brick and mortar to stock items and display then while an online-only entity will not be required to stock product. Both should be treated equally.  To require online-only entities to not stock places them at a great advantage by freeing up money, real estate, and resources that can used to poach an indie store's online business. As such, we get online stores stealing physical store's business. We can see this in the marketplace with 100s of indie and even department stores closing.