The reason for my email today is, i am trying to get some samples from a supplier and one minute they tell me that they can, but then the tell me its going to cost A amount of dollars – which is not too bad, however if i was going to pay then i would like the benefits of picking my own colours… They said i couldn’t do this as they were giving me samples. I seem to find it hard to understand what they want and also find it hard to get across what i want because of the language barrier. I have tried this with a large number of different suppliers on there and i run into the same problems. Also, i am wondering if you could tell me what it means when they say 5 pcs. does this mean 5 ready made #####? the company i was trying to go with was #####.

Is there any advice you can give me, as i love the pictures on their sites however i want to test them myself before i commit to large quantities.


Tessa Says –

I very much understand how frustrating it is having to go back and forth while emailing suppliers, not really being sure if they understand what you mean. Most of the problem lies in the language barrier. I often tell people to keep your questions as short as possible, and each question on a separate line (dot points). 

With the 5 pieces, you will have to get the supplier to clarify this for you, as each supplier works differently and I am unfortunately unsure what your supplier might be referring to. Stick to your request for samples (even if you have to pay a small fee) as this is the most vital point in learning about your suppliers. Not only do you get to see the quality, but you also get to see how long they take to ship items to you and how they package their items. This is just as important as the quality for the future running of your business. If you want a set colour, then explain to the supplier that the samples are not just about testing the quality, but the colour quality as well meaning it is important for them to send you the colours you will be ordering in future if they match your requirements.

Nathans Says –

All product negotiations are give and take, and samples are no different. Suppliers often keep overruns and items from cancelled orders to use as samples, which means that they might only have certain colours available for samples at that time. They want to do everything they can to get rid of those particular in stock items, so they will try very hard to do so. You on the other hand want to not only test their service and quality, but also try to get an initial test range from them. Ideally, you want to get samples from a few different suppliers to start with anyway, so it may be that between them all you can get the colours you’re looking for. If not, keep telling them that you need to see particular colours to check if they are suitable for your particular customers (or to check colour quality as Tess mentioned). The 5pcs could mean that they want you to get 5pcs per design, or a total of 5pcs for the sample pack, you’ll need to ask them for clarification.

P.S Please note that the #### is where we have removed the product/name for our readers protection. 

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