OUCH! - Current Supplier - Remove Your Inventory

Hi there,

Tough day and a new challenge for us today. :dizzy_face:

We’ve placed several orders with one of our suppliers, in fact, we have a large order enroute to us currently.

Today they contacted us and said that our account has been flagged for selling on Amazon, which is against their distribution policy. They went on to say that they don’t allow anyone to sell on Amazon, and they demanded that we pull all inventory. They said that if we have any more issues, our account with them will be terminated.

  1. When we signed up we were provided with a MAP policy, but no distribution policy (we checked very thoroughly).

  2. We know they currently have other people selling on Amazon, so this may be like a “we don’t want anymore sellers” type of situation.

We haven’t responded yet, because it appears to be a pivotal point in the relationship and we could really use some guidance.

Any tips on overcoming this objection?

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@MBahe That is definitely a challenging dilemma!

On one hand you don’t want to lose this brand and on the other hand you don’t want the inventory to just sit. My advice would be to first try and understand why the brand doesn’t want to sell on Amazon. This could one of those situations that Trent has always talked about when brands are tired of working with bad Amazon sellers.

You might also want to show them how much in sales they would lose if they stop selling on Amazon and maybe talk about some value adds that you provide.

If nothing works, then you can possibly ask them to provide a one time exception to sell through the inventory. This way you don’t take a loss and can maintain a relationship for the future.

Please let me know how it turns out. I would be very interested to hear your progress.

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Thanks for the suggestions Ibrahim.

Currently we’re just sort of compiling a cheat sheet of the possible responses that we might encounter so that we’re no knocked off guard by something they say.

If nothing else, we plan on asking them to allow us to sell the inventory we have, and we’ll have to find some other way to get rid of the inventory that’s on its way to our facility (either return or sell by other means).

I’ll keep you posted.

@MBahe I would apologize and say you didn’t see any documentation saying you couldn’t sell on Amazon. I think @Ibrahim_Bagasrawala is right and you should try to set up a phone call to understand why they don’t want you as an Amazon seller. It may be your best chance to get above board and present your value adds.

I’m imagining it will be difficult to move the product you ordered without Amazon. If the conversation doesn’t go how you’d like, you may ask if you can return the product.

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I am not telling you what to do, but if I was in your situation…I would ask my self “Do I sell on Walmart at present ? If not, as a back up - I might need to sign up and set up an account. Quietly I might move some current inventory to Walmart and start selling to get a foot in the door, also setting up an alternate selling platform like Ebay and / or GrooveKart / Facebook - just as a worst case impasse back up .” But that’s more my decision making style, you do what you feel is right.

By all means create a value added evaluation of their product page, product reviews, how they market their products - all to show them added value as far as sales go. Is there a way to research the inventory being shipped to you and see if UPS or Fedex either one has a budding sales platform you could use ?

What does this company LIKE about 3rd party sellers, and NOT like about 3rd party sellers ? Research online this companies goals and mission and mission statement, and the directions their philanthropy goes, consider using it as a template for your adding value campaign . Treat this company and situation like writing a grant request, find out what really makes them tick and not only appeal to that but position your value adding selling methods and treatment of the inventory to flow toward those lines.

Do they have any schools or orphanages or institutions or causes they as a company espouse or contribute to ? Design a strategy to create value and SOP’s to detail and reproduce that, and benefit XYZ% those places they espouse or contribute to - IF and only IF so doing does not compromise your own companies mission. Consider getting reviews and receipts from said places to use copies of in your value added proposition positioning efforts.

Ask for higher pay grade tutoring on this project and when the dust settles - make it a SOP. ( to sell copies of & keep and refine for further use.)

You do have a contract with them when they agreed to sell inventory to you ? Check with an online sale specializing attorney, it seems like once you purchase inventory it becomes yours to do with as you wish. In all your future purchase contracts stipulate that you reserve the right as a company to choose appropriate selling platforms.

This is an Online Sales Specializing Attorney Rosenbaum Famularo PC CJ@amazonsellerslawyer.com

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