Did you know that some retail chain stores are actually starting to charge potential suppliers to meet with buyers? Ace Hardware, for instance, is charging potential suppliers $200 to join their next vendor day! This means that for $200 you can meet with representatives at Ace Hardware to showcase your product?! Wow times have changed!
And what about Menards? They are charging $500 to meet with buyers at their vendor day! Now at least Ace Hardware is giving the $200 to charity. I haven’t read anywhere that Menards is doing the same…
Either way, retailers typically do not charge for buyer meetings. But the fact that a few are starting to charge surprises me a little!
Until I get a clear answer as to why retailers are starting to charge for meetings, I will say that I personally do not recommend spending money going to these types of meetings. I say this because I know there are much more effective ways to meet with a chain store buyer!
First of all, when you go to a vendor day meeting, you will probably be pitching your product to buyers on the same day as many of your competitors. Retailers typically meet with potential vendors in 15-30 minute increments all day on vendor days.
This makes it very difficult to focus the buyer’s attention on just your product! Wouldn’t you rather meet with a buyer on a day where they solely focus on you and your product only? I would!
Anyhow, my preference is to schedule a meeting with a buyer on a day where the buyer focuses solely on my product AND I don’t have to pay to get the product reviewed. But that’s just me :-).
To Your Success,
P.S. If you would like to learn how to get a meeting with a chain store buyer (no sales experience required), check out my Retail MBA Program! It will show you how!