I took a call back in May from a new company offering to supply us with new Haynes Manual VW Camper Van T-shirts. Lovely guy and great to talk to.
Seeing that we already sold them, their opening line was obviously an acknowledgment of the range on our site followed by a curious offering.
According to the caller the guys who license the rights to use the Haynes Manual designs on merchandise like the T-shirts, the bags, the water bottles, the clocks, the mugs, the plates, the wallets, the hats etc etc, were tired of having a number of different manufacturers and had arrived at the conclusion that they would appoint one, sole purveyor of said wholesale items. And, of course, it was not the guys who currently supply me with all those, but the caller himself….and could he send me his catalogue and price list….because “As of January 2010 you will no longer be able to buy your current Haynes Manual items any more.”
“Oh OK, ” I replied, “well you’d better send me your info.”
Then it arrived by email and amounted to about 6 T-shirts. Don’t get me wrong, I really liked the T-shirts but given that we currently look at about 100 items, a fraction of which are T-shirts, and then make a selection, this humble offering seemed a real retail blow.
So in calling my existing suppliers I mentioned the call earlier this week, which led to a bit of a choked laugh. It’s not true, of course, but what an odd line of sell….to lie outright to your potential customers, offer them a severely reduced range of stock and think that this is a good base for a future relationship. It doesn’t fill me with confidence, it doesn’t make me think the supplies will be on time, arrive in good condition or even be legal. And it’s a real shame because I genuinely loved the designs.
If they’d called and said, “we’re doing a line of VW T-shirts, might you be interested in having a look?” and sent through the same stuff, then none of these subsequent doubts would have crossed my mind but sorry guys, it’s just not how I do business!