I, initially, began this post as “Warning, not everyone is who they say” as an outcry to a client’s recent experience with a plastic card supplier. Their experience was quite upsetting as they were led to believe that their supplier was a manufacturer but then discovered the company was not being competely honest – just when they needed them the most.
They were misled by phrases like “direct from the manufacturer” meanwhile, the company was a reseller posing as a manufacturer.
This does seem to be a trend in our industry, with small businesses misleading clients to believing that they manufacture onsite, while they actually import their products from an overseas or local manufacturer.
Purchasing directly from a manufacturer has its share of benefits. Resellers often add an extra element of service and value add to the project. There are benefits to both. And while the decision as to which is best for you is a personal choice, you need to feel comfortable that the company you work with is offering you the service you are paying for.
Here are a few tricks to finding the truth behind all the marketing:
1: ASK if your potential supplier is a reseller or manufacturer
The best way to find out if you are working with a reseller or not is to ask them. Most companies are honest enough to say that they are not the producers of the goods in question.
Perhaps you aren’t dealing with a highly scrupulous company, and you catch a hint that perhaps they aren’t being completely honest?
If they are fibbing about something clear-cut and straightforward, how do you think they are going to handle the situation if something goes wrong?
2. Pop in for a visit (or say you are going to)
There are only a small handful of local manufacturers, of which CardsPlus is the largest.
We each WANT you to come in so that we can dazzle you with our productivity, interior decorating and staff personalities.
If your supplier does not want you to come in (whether you actually choose to or not) red flags should be popping up in your mind.
Ask yourself what they might be hiding.
3. Look at their website and marketing information
Does the company claim to manufacturer onsite? Are they a large international company (hint: they import!) or do they seem smaller than they say they are? Are they vague about printing terms or do an excessive amount of “checking” whether something might be acceptable for print? These are all tell-tale signs that your supplier might be a reseller.
Through a little investigation, you can start to place where the potential supplier falls and with these hints in mind, you can avoid being misled and disappointed.