My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.

Pass the Buck

Did you know distributors can help you save cash?
Magazine Contributor
Writer and Author, Specializing in Business and Finance
2 min read

This story appears in the March 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Each year, Jean Boylan, 49, and her sister, Jacqueline Killian, 44, produce a catalog of products from their Beyond the Blackboard stores, where they sell teaching supplies. Best of all: Their distributors pay for most of it.

"We share the cost of the printing, but [distributors] work with manufacturers for us to obtain co-op dollars to offset that cost, too," says Boylan.

Distributors--wholesale operations that resell products to retailers--can help smaller operators in a variety of ways, says Edward Sundberg of The Burruano Group, a Naples, Florida, business consulting firm. He advises retailers to ask their distributors for:

  • Planning assistance: Some wholesalers will offer you personnel to merchandise products and ensure your inventory is up-to-date.
  • Price promotions: "Distributors may cut prices down to cost to move inventory, especially if they have new inventory coming in," Sundberg says. It's also possible to negotiate price breaks if you have a particular promo in mind.
  • Marketing support: While distributors supply everything from displays to ad designs, Sundberg says "free dollars are hard to come by these days." Still, distributors have an inside track on co-op dollars from the manufacturer--and may have a few bucks up their own sleeves.

Gwen Moran is co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Business Plans.

More from Entrepreneur

Michael Peggs expertise in SEO, PPC and paid social advertising can help you step up your marketing and advertising game.
In as little as seven months, the Entrepreneur Authors program will turn your ideas and expertise into a professionally presented book.
Create your business plan in half the time with twice the impact using Entrepreneur's BIZ PLANNING PLUS powered by LivePlan. Try risk free for 60 days.

Latest on Entrepreneur