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Suppliers don't want to refund for missing/damage

     
10:36 pm on May 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I have about 20 different suppliers and some are a real pain regarding refunds for missing or damaged items. One is flat-out refusing to refund us for either even though we email them a photo of each and every damaged item every time. Has anyone else run into this? We've been doing business with these companies for many years.
12:51 am on May 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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We've been doing business with these companies for many years.

"Fool me twice ..." ?

Why should they bother to improve their behavior if you're going to continue doing business with them regardless?
5:05 am on May 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Do a chargeback if payment was by credit card or dispute through Paypal (but make sure you select product not received as the complaint)
2:35 pm on May 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Surely that would be the end of my relationship with the supplier....

We're talking about very small amounts of money. It's the principle.
3:04 pm on May 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Ignore it then.

Why complain then if your answer is you have no complaints... The principle only matter if you are going to take a stand!
3:09 pm on May 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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As a rebuttal if you are a valuable returning customer the supplier would love to have more revenue... In reverse you would reward great suppliers and they are a dime a dozen.
7:40 am on May 27, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Some manufactures and suppliers are too dumb to understand stuff like that. Even though it's terrible for business, they just don't care. If that's the case, there's not much you can do about it. Either live with or don't... Those are the choices. There's one company I've done business with for years... spent tens of thousands... and they made me take a photo of a two dollar item that was broke. I'm not even kidding. When I laughed and asked if he was serious, he said... "Yes, we have to see what's wrong with it". People a petty fools. What can you do? Not much.
7:59 am on May 27, 2015 (gmt 0)

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it depends on what the terms of the supply are.

for instance generally speaking if i buy direct from a manufacturer, at a true wholesale rate, then there is an agreed level of 'wasteage' .... maybe 5% (could be much less or more depending on the product), so in other words in this case i would expect 1 in 20 items to be seconds or damaged.

however if i'm buying smaller quantities, or paying a higher price or buying from a third party, then i expect each item to be perfect (because the seconds are their liability and built into the price).

as my business has progressed over the years i've got better at coming to an agreement with a supplier in advance, it's much harder to come to an agreement retrospectively.
4:33 pm on May 27, 2015 (gmt 0)

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for instance generally speaking if i buy direct from a manufacturer, at a true wholesale rate, then there is an agreed level of 'wasteage' .... maybe 5%

And they expect you to put up with this without agreeing to it beforehand?
5:18 pm on May 27, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm sure you've tried working with them to improve the service, but, yes, if they are unwilling to deal with missing items, then that's not good - it's sloppy service.
Damaged goods could be down to the delivery company, and may be an insurance claim. Unless, of course, you can prove it was because it was badly packed in the first place.
5:53 pm on May 27, 2015 (gmt 0)

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>>And they expect you to put up with this without agreeing to it beforehand?

no that would always be agreed in advance ... sorry i wasn't clear. - this is generally when i've dealt with manufacturers directly and negotiated a specific deal on a line of goods, usually custom made to my specifications, i'd also say that 5% is probably a high wasteage rate for most people but i trade in products which tend to have unavoidable faults which manifest in manufacturing.

if it isn't agreed in advance, like basically buying at the suppliers list price, then i would expect a refund/exchange on damaged items.

sounds to me like with these suppliers of yours, you need to build this into your prices or look for new suppliers. personally i don't like 'big' suppliers, i like to build relationships with smaller players - where i'm important to them ... this suits my niche and my business model, obviously it doesn't suit a lot of businesses.
7:00 pm on May 27, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It's actually just one supplier and they are small. To be honest (and I know this will ruffle feathers and I apologize in advance) I do believe I'm running into a Midwestern frugality issue.
8:28 am on May 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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In my neck of the woods it's your responsibility to inspect things during delivery.

If something is damage you refuse it back. If the driver is difficult, which is fairly common, you write on the slip how they would not wait and "pending inspection" or something of the sort. That way a file can be made, either by you or hopefully the supplier if they are professional. If it happens too often it's often a sign that the supplier is using you to get paid double for items by either not packing correctly or shipping goods that are already damaged (they get paid by you for the original order and also by the freight company for the damaged one).

I had a shipment that was worth several thousand dollars show up damaged three times, and sent back each time. The supplier was getting the photo's and everything needed to file claims, but I finally pulled it after the third time suspecting they were pocketing three entire shipments profit. I also considered speaking with them about splitting the profits on paid damaged claims for our trouble but did not have the courage to follow through.

Do you know why it's done this way? Because they have no way of knowing if you damaged it after delivery, if someone kicked it over in your warehouse, or other act of God.
3:24 pm on May 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Do you know why it's done this way?

With >95% of my suppliers (all but 1) it's not done that way and it's not a problem. So I'm sure I understand, you're suggesting we unpack a dozen large packages a day in front of the delivery guy and inspect each item in each package for damage before we let him go?
7:29 am on May 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

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>>In my neck of the woods it's your responsibility to inspect things during delivery.

that's absurd! how can you inspect a pallet full of goods while making the delivery guy wait ... good luck with doing that.
4:50 pm on May 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

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that's absurd! how can you inspect a pallet full of goods while making the delivery guy wait ... good luck with doing that.

When they hand you the paperwork you say:

"The disclaimer here says I'm receiving shipment in good condition. Sir, i would like to inspect this shipment before i agree to accept delivery according to the instructions."

Do you know how to open a crate?
2:04 pm on May 30, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Some of us live in the real world.
9:44 am on June 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Some of us live in the real world.

Learn to stand up for yourself. Grow a spine. That's money wasted which could make or break some businesses over time.

If it's still not your cup of tea hire a heavy metal type to deal with delivery guys who enjoys inspection and interacting with that type of personnel.
11:42 am on June 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Just unpacking and inspecting our deliveries takes about an hour per day. If I make a deliveryman stand by for an hour then he gets home to his family an hour later that night. That bothers some people and (apparently) not others. Grow a spine? Grow a heart.
4:09 pm on June 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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In my experience it is pretty easy to spot a box that could contain damaged goods. Big hole from a forklift missing the pallet, water damage, crushed and so forth. I always inspected the outside and if there was no damage it really isn't the shippers fault. If there is outside damage then yes I would inspect the damaged packages.

if there is no outside damage the damage occurred because either the packer packed damaged goods, or the package wasn't packed right and the damage occurred.

Either way is isn't the shippers fault and he can't wait for each undamaged box to be opened and inspected. That is out of the question. If there is outside damage the driver is more than willing to help discover the damage.

My 2 cents
4:54 am on June 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Let the delivery guy go home family then. Fair enough.

But please stop complaining about your damages. Your suppliers have families too, and they don't want to hear your sob story and can't afford to just replace damaged items each time.
10:51 pm on June 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Learn to stand up for yourself. Grow a spine. That's money wasted which could make or break some businesses over time.

But please stop complaining about your damages. Your suppliers have families too, and they don't want to hear your sob story and can't afford to just replace damaged items each time.

Clearly you have contradicted yourself.
2:59 pm on June 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Clearly you have contradicted yourself.

Yes, but that's not the question.
You need to decide what your going to do one way or the other. Either accept the losses your given because it's to much work or the delivery guy needs to get home, or do things by the book.

What have you decided to do? Can you provide a clear course of action in the future?

Your making the decision to complain about things and/or sulk without acting. One thing I can't stand is a complainer.
9:39 am on June 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Your making the decision to complain about things and/or sulk without acting. One thing I can't stand is a complainer.


This is a discussion. If you don't want to discuss this topic then why are you here?
11:07 am on June 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I ran into a similar issue a few years back with a particular manufacturer who would reject all claims for faulty items.

After considering removing those items from sale, I decided to keep them on sale but cover the cost of replacements myself.

The way I did it was to calculate the failure rate against the total cost. So, if I bought 100 items at $1000, you may think I have paid $10 per item. However if 10 of those items were damaged or faulty, I had actually paid $1000 for 90 products... a cost price of $11.11 each. As I didn't know if they were faulty until a customer tried to use the product, I also added on the percentage of historical failures of postage costs to send a replacement. So if it cost $3 postage to replace and a 10% failure rate is expected, then another $0.30 is added. That brings the cost to $11.41 each for customers to get a guaranteed fault free product using the figures above.

That $11.41 is the cost price I based the selling price on.
11:27 am on June 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Nice idea PCInk.

It reminds me i'm just returning an item which is faulty, and already replaced once previous as the original was faulty. I suspect the "faulty price" is built in to the sales price as it does seem a "cheap" product. This time i'm after a refund, and that puts an entirely different complexion to it.
 

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