Top 5 Tips for Buying Wholesale
Most florists purchase their fresh flowers and hard goods from a wholesaler, rather than directly through a distributor. In certain big cities, there are a lot of choices for florists, but in others small cities, the options are limited. Either way, keeping a good relationship with your wholesalers is essential to getting good service and earning karma for when needing a favor down the line.
Floral Tab has come up with our list of tips for smooth wholesale ordering:
1) For ordering hard goods (vases, containers, balloons, funeral forms) give as much time as possible if you know you have a wedding, funeral, or event coming up. Wholesalers usually do not carry every item in stock, especially event glass and speciality colored glass. Oftentimes that glass needs to be ordered a week in advance to ensure prompt delivery.
2) If the option is available, try to spread your business around to multiple wholesalers. One, it helps another small business like yourself, and two, it develops a familiarity with how all your local wholesalers operate. If one supplier is out of certain goods, you can easily order from another without going through the sign-up process of inputting credit card information and getting an account set up. You will have already done this prior to this moment.
3) For those wholesalers that give credit, florists should be sure to pay as soon as possible, ESPECIALLY when it comes to large orders. Prompt payment is the #1 way to get secure a good relationship with a wholesaler.
4) Take advantage of wholesalers that have websites, (for example HERE and HERE) in which to place orders. This method is beneficial to both parties because it cuts down time on the phone and allows you the florist a more convenient way to shop.
5) Know the cut-off time for placing orders. Orders placed late at night can sometimes be missed when the delivery trucks leave in the morning.
In the first paragraph we mentioned earning karma to cash in favors down the line. This is absolutely crucial in the floral business. For example, during the Valentine’s Day preparations when florists feel the apocalypse coming and their world is utter anarchy, it really helps to have a wholesaler who will make an extra trip to your shop to deliver 2 cases of 4042 vases or 3 bunches of roses. If you’ve been a difficult customer for your wholesaler you may find it tough to get special treatment during crucial times.
Florists and wholesalers are on the same team. They both want to succeed by providing the highest quality arrangements and service to their customers. To do this, they must have an excellent working relationship and an adherence to solid business practices.
- Joe Arrigo