Payment upfront on initial order for sure. If they want more items in the future then you can work out terms once you know they're legit.
Def. get a signature on something and/or the scanned drivers license. Scanned credit card, maybe taking it a little too far.
Ask for an advance payment. Not necessarily the whole amount but at least the amount you have to pay your wholesaler. This is not an unreasonable demand.
But asking for a scanned drivers license? Never heard of such thing... But different countries, different customs I guess.
When the amount is higher than usual insisting on an order in writing might be appropriate, and then a written confirmation of the order from your side with your conditions of sales. Just to make sure the buyer can't say he orderd different products, or you sent the wrong size, or whatever. I guess you probably also want to include a title retention clause like this: Title to the Goods shall remain vested in the Seller and shall not pass to the Buyer until the purchase price for the Goods has been paid in full and received by the Seller.
[edited by: jecasc at 5:25 pm (utc) on May 28, 2010]
Don't take a credit card on a $6k order, have them pay in advance by wire transfer.
If they back away, it's a good sign it was a bad order in the first place.
You might check with your vendor as to whether they accept returns. They may charge a restocking fee or have other specific requirements. I'd let the buyer know that this order falls outside your normal return policy, and any returns must comply with the vendor's requirements - including the restocking fees! Maybe even get it in writing.
Please tell me they don't want it Express shipping ... and shipped right away?
|What are my safest options; so I don't get stuck with this inventory? |
You should pass on the order. You aren't a wholesaler, and they need a wholesaler; a company who has financed their large inventory through a bank, and can absorb a large return without stressing their finances.
When I worked for a wholesaler that would either have been cash up front or a long wait while we went through full credit reference checks.
I am puzzled as to why they aren't dealing direct with a wholesaler themselves, even if we assume that the order is Kosher I suspect that their credit is poor and they aren't in a position to pay in advance.
I've worked with orders that large or larger. I researched the company online to make sure it was legitimate, and that the person doing the purchasing was legitimate. I took payment by credit card after getting the card company to contact the card holder to verify that he/she authorized the transaction.
I haven't had a problem. I'll be watching this thread to see if others think those transactions were risky, though.
i'd either do the already suggested above partial advance payment or i'd look for a third party escrow service (and offer to pay all escrow fees).
you might also ask your supplier if they'll partner with you on the risk - there's reward for them here, so they might be willing to put some skin in the game as well, depending on their size relative to this order.
i always deal with 5000+ orders.
just follow these steps and you will be safe.
no matter how trustworthy they seem, absolutely don't take their credit card for payment.
i don't care what kind of proof you get from them, still doesn't mean you are absolutely protected from complications.
for an order like this you should get 30% upfront and the rest 70% right before shipping.
only accept direct bank deposit, wire transfer, or you could even offer western union, but i don't see why they would choose that option when it's the most expensive.
so basically wire transfer and bank deposit.
do not ship out until the funds have been cleared (yes even if it's a wire transfer or direct deposit)
this usually takes only 1 day, sometimes 2 days if it's international, or if they missed the cutoff time.
if they are serious buyers, they shouldn't have a problem with the 30% down and 70% before shipping.
if they start saying how are they going to trust you blah blah blah, then just move.
better be safe than sorry.
you can tell them to do multiple small transactions if they are worried about just wiring you the money.
Years ago I was approached by a legitimate business that wanted to buy $3000 worth of nutmeg. They said they were looking for a very high quality and had gotten fed up with finding nothing but crap. I spent hours looking for a good source of nutmeg and found one. I hesitated ordering it, though. Spider sense was tingling. I called the customer back and told him what I was going to get for him. He casually announced that he had decided to source it himself. Not because there was anything wrong with what I was getting. He just changed his mind. I could have been stuck with $3000 worth of nutmeg. To this day I hope that precious little jerk rots in hell. But it taught me a lesson. Don't make any transaction that you can't absorb if it goes bad and you stuck with a ton of merchandise you can't sell and no money to pay for it. And listen to your spider sense.
Also, you might want to check with your cc processor and ask them if they will put through a charge this big. Sometimes they will have a limit per transaction. The other thing is if this puts you over your limit per month for transactions. You might call them anyhow and ask them what is the best way to accept payment. Frankly, I would be suspicious of it and would wonder why, as someone else said, they are not buying directly from the wholesaler.
Thank you for all your replies...
I replied back and gave the options to either do a 30% down payment or setup an escrow account for the full payment amount.
Let us know how it works out.
Also be careful, even when they placed an order before and paid in time. Sometimes these are orders to show you they are trustworthy enough to not have to pay in advance for the big order after that.
And: check the invoice and delivery addresses. Last week I had some orders for cash on delivery with some strange cities in germany I never heard of. As it turned out these were cities in Rusia but they filled in Germany on the form. I guess they were hoping the shipping company would correct the "mistake" and ship them to Rusia.
Finally: Always trust your gut feeling and ask 1/3 or even the full amount in advance if you don't trust it. I have had quite a few customers from who I never heard again after telling them they had to pay an amount in advance.
He replied back to me and said that the price was too high for him, but I really can't go any lower or else my margins would be too thin.
Anyway, it was a good learning experience and for future requests similar to this one I will definitely keep asking for an advanced payment before accepting the order. Better safe than sorry...