A short business vent....before I implode!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DDD, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Business is terrible where we live. Our business last month is one third of what it was a year ago. That's scarey! Last week I got a big order which was awesome. I ordered the parts from our favorite Distributor in Illinois......we've been warehouse distributors for them since l979. The parts came in promptly and as soon as they were here the customer came to the store, picked them up and payed by credit card. Yeah!

    Today I got the invoice for those parts and the prices (our cost) was almost 50% more than what we sold them for to the customer. I called the company assuming they had new software or something and they told me casually "oh, our prices have really gone up lately". WTH! There were no notices of price increase. OMG! My big sale has turned into a big debt. I'm so angry. I'm aghast. I'm sick. Vent DDD
  2. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Omg, that is awful. A similar thing happened to H recently. He gave a quote to a customer and then not even a month later, when he went to get the contract signed, he discovered, quite by accident, that the prices had jumped by 30% since he quoted the job. He had called to get a price on something else for the same job and the person casually asked him, "Big price jump huh?" H would never had known and would have given those people the same price had that guy never said anything. There is one lumber place that sends him updates every time there is a price increase, but this one was a different place than he normally uses.

    Is there no way you could go to the client/customer and try to recoup some of that loss?
  3. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    DDD, that is terrible ! I keep saying everything is raising in price but salaries are remaining the same. It is becoming impossible for some to stay afloat... Tough times ...
  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    In our business we ALWAYS call for pricing and availability on parts that we sell to or install for customers. 60% increases happen all of the time. It's probably no wonder those folks came in and bought right away with their credit card. You had the best price... :(
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    H&R that's exactly the same scenario. No...we just have to eat the loss. The customer's have to assume that everything is honky dorry. It ain't! lol

    Thanks for soothing my spent nerves guys. My BiPolar (BP) is probably back to normal now but I sure hate to tell husband later. It won't be a happy camper night at the house. Ugh! DDD
  6. keista

    keista New Member

    Oh, my heart sank for you! That just vacuums all over the place!

    Hard lessons learned. Check the prices when you give the quote. by the way do these distributors guarantee a price to you once it's quoted for X number of days?
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Trouble is - even if you DO check prices before you quote... we've had situations where the seller indicated "retail" on the quote (common in our industry - margins are known) but gave us the "wholesale" number... so we sold at our usual discount from retail... and would have had to take a major loss except that it was THEIR employee's error (they tried to say that our guy "assumed" what the number was... but the word "retail" was on the quote...) - still didn't make any $$ on it, but...

    Its a tough world out there.
  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    We've always had price sheets....until the last year or so. Now some of the mfg's send price sheets as an attachment to emails. This particular (once favorite...ugh) mfg has so many parts that they no longer print sheets and no small business is going to dowload 100 pages even if they did. Prices usually "inch" up. This was hike up to the top of the mountain. I'll quit the vent now, lol. DDD
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Ughhh!!! I don't blame you for being appalled. I think I'd be shopping prices with other mfgs from now on. They should treat repeat business better than that- not that they didn't need to raise prices, but a courteous notice to their regular buyers explaining it and calling it to your attention could have gone a long way.
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    OMG! OUCH! What a way to find out their prices have gone up.

    It sure would've been nice had they notified regular buyers of such changes. I'd have to complain that they didn't, and remind them that if they hurt you guys (and others like you), they're hurting themselves.
  11. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    That really hoovers DDD! A cost increase like that they certainly should have said something. Do you have any recent quote from them you could combine with the lack of notice to bring that down? A contract or something maybe?
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    We have referred to that parts book as "our bible" when training employees for years. Now, of course, we don't have any employees but it is still the first book I grab when I need reference. Another whine...sorry. You can't just change suppliers that easily. Your financial strength is what allows you to be a distributor for any company and we sure as heck are not "strong" now. Double whine. It will be a difficult obstacle to overcome. You have to put thousands of dollars up front and have a strong sales history etc. I'll figure it out somehow but it's kinda like being a professional member of one team and then shopping for another. Evidently that corporation has been sold and the new people are making big time changes. What a year this has been. Yes, I do know that others are having business problems too but right now I am in whine mode. Sorry 'bout that. I haven't even told husband about it yet. I just don't have the heart tonight. I'm going into Scarlet O'Hara mode, lol. Thanks for commiserating. DDD
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Red flag.
    Even if you're not going to switch suppliers right now, you should probably be doing your research as to who you "would" switch to... these guys may not be around, and you need somewhere to jump.
  14. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    After thirty plus years I do know all the other distributors. What I don't know, lol, is how many grand they require for an initial order. Believe me...I will know soon. You're right as rain. Research is the agenda this week. Bummer. DDD
  15. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    We always give them a "pending PO". That way they have to honor the quote they gave us.

  16. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Think of it more like being a free agent. ;)
  17. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    That's an understatment, Witz! I would love to be a free agent....especially if I can set up "free", lol. DDD