Sharp Practice?

I am a little cross!

It happens; I have a lot on my plate right now – am trying to complete my Masters’ dissertation by this weekend, organise milk – we are still looking for goat milk farmers – and generally catch up as I am very behind with answering people’s e-mails and getting things done: apologies all round.  However….

I have just looked at a remittance advice from one of our large customers to see that they have knocked off £177 from their payment termed samples which I knew nothing about.

There’s nothing wrong with giving samples to our established customers to give to their potential new customers, I’m all for that, but £177?  And without asking?  That is more than some of their orders.

They have also faxed through a notification, the first of which I have ever seen, knocking another £116 referenced ‘samples’.  We cannot afford to do this and it seems fairly excessive.

Again, I must emphasis that I don’t mind giving out free samples to good customers as this is the best way, getting people to try it, to buy it, so in principle, fine,  but £293 is an awful lot of money for free samples and more, quite honestly, than we can afford.

Can I do anything about this, other than e-mail (I have) the buyer concerned?  Should I be afraid of their power over us?  Probably yes, but this is not a good message to give out to us little artisan cheese makers.  £293 hurts.

Time will tell if this results in a marked increase in sales…..

What do you think?

Comments 4

  1. Do not bother to call them but write a letter giving a breakdown of the costs involved in your man hours in sending, preparing etc these samples and give them an alternative cost and tell them that if they do not concur, you will take it up with other cheese manufacturers to see if they are doing sharp practice!

    1. Post

      HI Sally, unfortunately, it is not that straight forward. They already had the cheese as part of their orders and chose to give that much away as samples. We are expected to pay, presumably for the privilege of them getting us extra customers. I wouldn’t mind if it resulted in a sharp increase in sales, and maybe it will, we will have to see, but it seems a lot of money for samples.

      We don’t mind giving away free samples to encourage trials, tasters and testers, it’s the best way to get new business, to let people to try the cheese, but this is a lot of money and far more than we would ever normally give away.

      Hope you are both well, speak soon, Iona

  2. Hi Iona,
    Long time since we spoke. Hope you are fine.
    With customers like this i give them a budget of say x amount of cheese which they can use over the year. We send them a credit for the ammount and do not accept any bills for samples. This ammount is always discussed in the annual meetings we have with customers. Maby this will work?
    Kind regards,
    Marja Bastiaansen

    1. Post

      HI Marja

      Hey, good to hear from you! Yes, I think that this is a good thing to do and in hindsight, I should have done this. Perhaps this is what I should suggest to them, but in all honesty, we have very few customers asking for free samples anyway and all of those who have have understood that we cannot afford to give that much away, so this seems to be taking advantage somewhat.

      How the devil are you and how is business?

      With best wishes


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