dollar store suppliers, opening a dollar store, dollarstore

Written by admin on April 13th, 2011

Opening a dollar store can be a real learning experience. Even if you’ve worked in other parts of the retail industry you will not be prepared for the huge volume of products that go out the door of your store every month.  Because of the high volume, locating the right dollar store suppliers and then managing the order process are critical steps to take.  Your dollarstore customers will only wait so long for replenishment orders of the consumable products they routinely buy to arrive.  Having a handle on second-source suppliers will be a critical part of the formula for your success.  In this article I provide 6 tips to help you manage your suppliers and the entire merchandise buying process.

Tip #1 – Use well-established companies with excellent reputations when first opening a dollar store.  Many store owners make the mistake of assuming that just because companies claim to be a well-established dollar store suppliers they can be trusted.  Check references before placing your first orders.  Be sure there are no unfounded complaints. Be sure you aren’t dealing with a company that will take your money and run.

Tip #2 – Ask questions throughout the process.  This is your chance to learn exactly how the entire buying and receiving process works.  Asking questions now may save you from big problems with future orders.  Asking questions will allow you to learn the unique process your supplier uses.  It will also allow you to learn the general practices followed by most dollar store suppliers.

Tip #3 – Don’t assume everything is okay.  When opening a dollar store leave nothing to chance.  Verify your order throughout the process.  Know when it will be pulled and palletized for shipment.  Then verify that happened.  Know when the freight hauler will be picking your order up for shipment.  Then track the order as it moves toward your store.  Know the day, and even an approximate time when the order will arrive at your dollarstore.

Tip #4 – Make sure you receive an advanced copy of the items pulled and shipped.  New dollarstore owners find they are entering a very high volume business.  Your suppliers will routinely run out of items you have ordered.  By knowing what was actually pulled and shipped you can begin looking for another source to provide those products.

Tip #5 – Never allow dollar store suppliers to backorder products they cannot ship.  You cannot afford to lose the sales associated with backorders that run weeks or even months.  Customers are waiting for the items to arrive.  Order the item from someone else rather than allowing a back order to be hanging over you into the future.

Tip #6 – Always have backup dollar store suppliers for higher volume consumable products.  Immediately after opening a dollar store one of the most important steps you need to take is to locate backup suppliers for your hot, high volume merchandise.  Your dollarstore shoppers come into your store expecting to find the items they need and want everytime they enter.  You will often need to order the items from another supplier immediately to satisfy the demand.

To your dollarstore success!

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