If you are just beginning to sell umbrellas at your retail business, finding an umbrella supplier that is trustworthy in its dealing and produces high quality products may sound like a cinch. After all, umbrellas are fairly straightforward, right?
It is not quite that simple. There are several different types of umbrellas, and some designs and materials are sturdier than others. Plus, quality often dictates the price point at which you can reasonably expect customers to purchase them.
Additionally, it is critical to ensure that any contractual agreement you sign with a supplier is favorable and fair to your company, and covers all of your areas of concern.
Characteristics of Quality
Regardless of your target market and the socioeconomic factors, you do not want to develop a reputation for stocking shoddy umbrellas that malfunction or break easily. This is especially true in urban areas where people walk a great deal and areas that experience heavy or frequent rainfall.
In general, a well-made umbrella exhibits the following traits:
- The canopy segments should be firmly affixed to the ribs.
- The umbrella should open and close easily.
- The handle should be comfortable to grasp.
It is critical to research the background and history of any umbrella supplier before committing to an arrangement with them. Online reviews are a great place to start and are relatively easy to find. If you have personal connections to other business owners who have purchased umbrellas for their inventory, you should talk to them about their experience and recommendations.
When soliciting information, it is helpful to focus on certain topics including:
- The terms of the agreement the supplier proposed.
- Whether or not the supplier was responsive to questions and concerns.
- The quality of the umbrellas.
- How long it took the umbrellas to arrive after placing an order.
While you never want to sacrifice quality, you do need to be cognizant of how the prices and fees each supplier charges would affect your budget. Also, you should always take into account your own individual needs. If your storefront is small, purchasing 100 umbrellas at once is not necessarily a wise choice. However, if you run a larger retail business that can handle higher expenditures, you may want to stock enough umbrellas to meet times when the demand becomes heavy.
Selecting an umbrella supplier is a task that should be executed after careful research. Entering into the relationship prepared will help make the partnership beneficial for your business.