6 Tips for Negotiating with Your Vendors During COVID-19

6 Tips for Negotiating with Your Vendors During COVID-19
It’s been a hard couple of weeks for everyone in retail.
We want to give our friends and clients 6 tips for negotiating with vendors during COVID-19 that will result in a mutual “win-win” for both parties.
Remember, we need each other to get through this challenging time. So once you get done reading, get started by reaching out to 5 of your vendors today!

6 Tips for Negotiating with your vendors during COVID-19:

  1. Pick up the phone and call your rep or the brand. Have a real conversation with them. Let’s not forget that we are all humans who have been isolated for the last few weeks. A phone call is better than an email check-in because you can communicate empathy through your tone of voice in a way text communication does not allow. Let’s not forget we all are humans and have feelings and emotions that are currently on edge.

  2. Openly communicate with all of your vendors. They are just as scared or worried about the state of the world as you are. Let them know your fears (and hopes) and check-in with how they are doing with this crisis too. Ask them about their families, about WFH their pets get to know them as people.

  3. Don’t cancel the order (especially over email!) This as you know, really hurts the independent brands and makers. Rather be communicative and collaborative! Know your cash flow forecast through June 30th and find a way to make the order work under the current circumstances. Canceling might seem like the easy way “out” for your cash flow issues, but this move is what will put the vendor and possibly even you out of business. 

  4. Be creative in making the order work so you don’t have to cancel it. A great option is to re-assort the order and the collections into smaller delivery groups or change the delivery dates so they make better sense for the current times. 

  5. Ignore the season of the delivery. Rather re-assort the merchandise you have in order to make sense for what is needed right now for your customers. Remember, the customer has no idea how the line sheet or look-book was merchandised. 

  6. If and only as the absolute last resort, ask your vendor for a discount on the goods. If a discount is what you have to do, then that’s still better than canceling the order altogether.

It will take some hard work and real collaboration to adjust the orders to be sure, but by working together to figure out how the merchandise can work for all, both vendor and the retailer, together we will create situations that are a “win” for us all in this challenging time.

If you need help, don't hesitate to reach out to us via email at hello@retailforthepeople.com