Retailers Due-Diligence on Wholesalers Vital During Festive Period

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It may be nearly Christmas and the time for celebration is upon us, but retailers don’t simply down tools until March.

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The Wholesale Forums

Each year, around the second week of January, we are inundated with the number of bad experiences buyers have had with fraudulent wholesale suppliers...

The New Year is often a hotbed for retail activity, sales and stock clear-outs are common place on the high street and online. A great number of online retailers now begin their sales prior to Christmas as they have become receptive to the fact that a lot of newly cash rich consumers have money that they wish to spend.

“The trade” is really no different to the consumer market in the fact that sourcing still goes on, regardless of the time of year. The majority of buyers will have already procured their stock from wholesalers in advance of the Christmas period to cash in on the New Year spend. However, the end of the year often sees the same sort of fire sales as we see in the retail sector, with wholesalers clearing warehouses for the arrival of new lines ready for Spring and indeed Summer 2011.

With so much activity on a B2C and B2B scale, it is no wonder that this time of year spells increased security risks for retailers doing business both locally and abroad. Those unscrupulous characters and organised fraud gangs that are among us look forward to this time of year as it brings them scalps that everyday people wouldn’t normally fall into.

This Christmas is especially difficult for families on low incomes. Indeed, even those with moderate incomes have to reign in their spending. For some, this makes us desperate. It makes us take rash decisions and risks that we would at any other time of year not normally take. For about 4-6 weeks as we build up to Christmas, many of us fall outside of our normal boundaries and become more vulnerable to fraudulent activity.

So how can you keep fraud at bay this Christmas? – The solution is certainly not to avoid buying wholesale, as fraud can happen any time of the year and especially when you least expect it. It is a little more in abundance this time of year, but the solution is and always has been supplier due-diligence.

There are many ways to go about wholesale supplier due-diligence. The most common is to research your supplier using the web and other sources of free information such as wholesale forums, supplier directories and reviews or past experiences that others may have had. You should establish the facts about the supplier such as; their location, their trading history, their reputation among past buyers, whether they have a trade show presence and perhaps what trade associations they may be part of.

A prime example of a venue in the UK that retail buyers can utilise to research suppliers and request advice and support is The Wholesale Forums. Founder and Managing Director of the company behind the B2B networking community, Anthony Trollope, explains; “Each year, around the second week of January, we are inundated with the number of bad experiences buyers have had with fraudulent wholesale suppliers and how they have lost often great sums of money in the process. It’s especially hard to hear some of these stories, as Christmas is a time for celebration, yet many of our members, new and old, have horror stories that negatively impact this period.”

The b2b advisory forum, networking community and marketplace was conceived in 2004 and now in its sixth year of operation continues to help fight fraud by educating traders on how to procure stock without undue risk. In 2011 the company plans to expand its operations by focusing its efforts on reaching a wider audience, especially those operating websites and eBay or Amazon shops; “We have been growing steadily for the last couple of years, now with a fully focused and organised team, we will be offering a great many more services aimed at helping buyers of wholesale stock do so without being deceived.”

If you are a small retailer, eBayer, website owner, or an individual that resells goods part-time, be certain of the supplier you are doing business with before parting with your hard cash. Stop by The Wholesale Forums to join your peers in related discussion.

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Anthony Trollope
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