Distributor - does anyone have one?

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10 years 8 months ago #28985 by eelcat
We are having a great deal of difficulty with the distribution firm for our preserves etc. It is run by a group of three, the oldest of which has had 12 years experience in the retail world. We have a contract with them that agrees that they will make payments to us on the last day of the month for sales during that month. Then we received an email from them stating that they would now pay us on the 23rd of the month following supply. Our own terms of trade state 20th of month following so the 23rd is not too much of an issue, though the rest of us manage our cash flows and pay our bills on time. Now, however we have received another email from them to say that they will only pay us when they get paid. If that is earlier than one would expected under normal trade agreement this is fine, (in a perfectly transparent and honest world) but we don't feel that having this change (and it feels pretty dodgy to us) thrust upon us with no change to the contract is something that we are comfortable with. We are concerned that in today's climate, we could end up waiting for payment, where we have no power. When I checked this out with them, they told me that since I check everything and make corrections to things that they send out, I am too difficult to deal with and that maybe we should just end it (presuambly the now void contract) there. Given my mood at the moment after having to deal with neighbours who get up my nose and their lawyers who go one step further, I felt inclined to say fine by me or words to that effect. However, even though their sales are miniscule at present, tomorrow they may sell more, so to do so would have been quite silly. My question is this. Does anyone out there in LSB land have any experience on either side of the ledger with distributors? What are normal expectations with respect to payments? We were happy with the change to 23rd of month following, however I suspect from what they have said, others of their clients not so used to selling are not happy with this time lag. To us, it is just part of the problem of not running an entirely cash business. We live accordingly. Anyway, I'd be very interested to hear of other people's experiences in this area.

1 Border collie, 1 Huntaway, 2 Lhasa Apsos, Suffolk and arapawa ewe crosses, an Arapawa ram,an East Friesian ewe , 5 cats, 42 ducks , 1 rooster and 30 hens, 5 geese, 12 goats, 2 donkeys, 2 house cows, one heifer calf, one bull calf, 3 rabbits and lots and lots and lots of fruit trees...

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10 years 8 months ago #394970 by stephclark
ahh no, i dont have experience with distributors.. but freaking heck ( or similar [;)]) .. what an attitude! basically to change agreements/contracts without discussion, then to tell you to go elsewhere because you questioned it!!?? WHAT?!

dont know about ditributors, but in any business terms of trade, there is a payment date .. not ' you get paid when i get paid'..

good luck with that one.. probably easier said than done, but go elsewhere...

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10 years 8 months ago #394989 by Organix
Times are tough. This won't be an isolated example of passing the (owed) buck in the current business climate :(

Harm Less Solutions.co.nz
NZ & AU distributor of Eco Wood Treatment stains and Bambu Dru bamboo fabrics and clothing

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10 years 8 months ago #394992 by Hawkspur
They are effectively telling you that they wish for a longer period of free credit, with you having no control over the length of the period, and no way of knowing how long it is without them telling you.
What interest rate would they be charged for this credit elsewhere?
Have a look at this article .

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10 years 8 months ago #395002 by kaybe
It sounds like they might be hoping this ploy will make you take your business elsewhere, as they seem to feel that it is not cost-effective for them to handle your business due to you being (quite rightly!) someone who expects the job to be done right.

Tomorrow is the day I will stop procrastinating.

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10 years 8 months ago #395006 by eelcat

Hawkspur;389623 wrote: They are effectively telling you that they wish for a longer period of free credit, with you having no control over the length of the period, and no way of knowing how long it is without them telling you.
What interest rate would they be charged for this credit elsewhere?
Have a look at this article .

Exactly our point to them (or at least the point we were trying to make to them). Free credit with no power on our side. We ourselves charge 2.5% compounding per month on overdue amounts plus costs etc. We have had one overdue account in 3 years and that particular person owed most of Martinborough money and was replaced in his job immediately after we took him to court (and won). They, our distributors, have had two that they have had to fight to get the money from in 4 months, and each of these got to 60 days+. Our confidence is not very high. Whilst an amended contract is no absolute guarantee that the money will be paid, it would seem to give a little more leverage in the payment pressure. Why should we have to suffer because thir cash flow is not able to take the ups and downs and pay bills when due?

1 Border collie, 1 Huntaway, 2 Lhasa Apsos, Suffolk and arapawa ewe crosses, an Arapawa ram,an East Friesian ewe , 5 cats, 42 ducks , 1 rooster and 30 hens, 5 geese, 12 goats, 2 donkeys, 2 house cows, one heifer calf, one bull calf, 3 rabbits and lots and lots and lots of fruit trees...

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10 years 8 months ago #395015 by Simkin
eelcat - reading what you wrote my inclination would be to call it quits. They don't seem to want to have your business anymore, you're not happy with how they treat you and for you the business they generate for you is 'miniscule' - where is the basis for a good business relationship?

How can you expect from someone who is not keen on working on your behalf to keep your business buzzing? Being a distributor is tough and the products they distribute need to sell well, otherwise they only create overheads for them.

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10 years 8 months ago #395024 by eelcat
I was told earlier that to have noted to them that there were two incorrect apostrophes in bullet point 1, and a spelling mistake in point 2 of a document that was to go to a potential exporter was just being silly! Yes we would liek to call it quits, just need to find another before we leap, unless all distributors are the same.

1 Border collie, 1 Huntaway, 2 Lhasa Apsos, Suffolk and arapawa ewe crosses, an Arapawa ram,an East Friesian ewe , 5 cats, 42 ducks , 1 rooster and 30 hens, 5 geese, 12 goats, 2 donkeys, 2 house cows, one heifer calf, one bull calf, 3 rabbits and lots and lots and lots of fruit trees...

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10 years 8 months ago #395197 by max2
I have two businesses running from home, and both with ''accounts'' get paid the weekend following they hit my desk. My best way of staying on top of our debts and we get paid last....

At my work, the 20th of the next month has long gone. If you are a once off creditor, you get it pretty much straight away as long as you supply banking details, if you are a standard larger supplier, then its before the end of month.

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