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 Receiving unordered merchandise from Supplier
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csun
New Pal

18 Posts

Posted - 11/20/2005 :  4:06:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit csun's Homepage Send csun a Private Message
I was wondering if any LYS owners have experienced being taken advantage of by a yarn company supplier. If so, how were you able to resolve the issue?
I have just opened a LYS which is doing very well - we have taught over 120 people how to knit in just two months! Many of these newcomers are our best customers! The only downside to all of this excitement has been the fact that one particular supplier has sent me unordered merchandise (charged to my credit card) and refuses to resolve the issue. I admit that I fell for a sales pitch from the owner of the company who called to convince me that my original order be increased 3X, and that I would receive free samples of all yarns and free copies of all of the company patterns, much special attention, etc. blah, blah, blah. I was required (as is normal) to fill out a credit application for net 30 terms, and was told that the order would be spaced out over at least a 3-month period. I then ended up with 6X my original order plus $15,000 of unordered merchandise. All of this was billed to my credit card in the same month!! When I called in shock to protest, I was told to send back whatever I want, but I requested that I at least first receive an immediate refund for the unordered merchandise. I was refused. I now have had to get an attorney involved and will likely have to file a lawsuit. This has caused me to max my line of credit after having to pay the credit card bill.
What is so shocking to me is that this is a well-known supplier that you would all recognize, and I have had absolutely no problem with any of the other companies I have dealt with. I am a well-educated businesswoman, and I could not imagine that a company would ever treat a retailer in this manner. I am hoping that someone might shed some light.

Thank you!


Csun

KS
Seriously Hooked

862 Posts

Posted - 11/20/2005 :  5:43:57 PM  Show Profile Send KS a Private Message
You should have disputed the charge with your credit card company. Once you do that you don't have to pay that amount until the dispute is resolved. If you loose, you have to pay the. No finance charges apply during the time of the dispute.

The end result may be the same, but you wouldn't have had to pay ahead. Actually, I think you can still dispute it even if you have paid if you haven't exceeded the time limit. It's usually 3 months.

KS
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csun
New Pal

18 Posts

Posted - 11/20/2005 :  6:16:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit csun's Homepage Send csun a Private Message
Actually, I did dispute the charges after I had already paid the bill. The charges had caused me to go over the maximum amount allowed on my credit card. In order to be able to use the card on the initial orders coming from other companies, I needed to pay something immediately. Keep in mind at this time, I was trying to get my store opened. Unfortunately, it took almost two weeks of sorting through that company's order to uncover the fact that much of the amount shipped and charged had not ever been ordered. Now, I am faced with having already paid the charges and seem to be at the mercy of the supplier to await a refund. I am curious as to whether or not any other store owners have been faced with this problem.
Thank you so much for your reply!

Csun
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truly violet
Permanent Resident

6398 Posts

Posted - 11/20/2005 :  6:21:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit truly violet's Homepage Send truly violet a Private Message
call the credit card company again and dispute it as well as dispute it in writing..
give them a LIST OF the unordered merchandize and tell them you refuse to pay for it as you didn't order it

( the vendor may have to eat that order as unordered merchandize I believe, is a 'gift' but I could be wrong)

vi

none of this will matter in 100 years.......
except I will finally be at my goal weight...vi
http://notashyviolet.blogspot.com/ ~now with chickens!
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GFTC
Permanent Resident

USA
6331 Posts

Posted - 11/20/2005 :  6:45:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit GFTC's Homepage Send GFTC a Private Message
If you are trying to run a business on credit cards you have to stay one step ahead of the creeps. First, create a sheet that you call "credit card authorization" which has your store name, a space for a description of the goods being charged, the date, the $$ amount, the purchase order # and the invoice #. Then have a space for your signature. Tell them they must call when ready to ship and give you the info at which time you can fax them the authorization. Make sure to send a letter, certified if necessary, when you put your card # on file stating that no charges are to be made without your signature on this form. If they balk, tell them that you are not in the store every second and this is the only way you can authorize your employees to sign for the delivery as they have to know what is in the boxes they are accepting. Always make sure your purchase order # matches what you are signing for when your delivery arrives.

Give your regular UPS man a generous cash gift for Christmas. You may have to examine paperwork before signing for a box and you have to make it worthwhile for him to give you the extra time when you need it. Don't accept any deliveries if you don't have an idea of what's in the box.

Even if your store is not on computer, when you write an order, no matter how small, use purchase order numbers, not "today's date" or "yarn show," so that if they ship unordered goods, and you do have to go legal, you will have a much better paper trail for backup. When you write an order, always mark it "NO SUBSTITUTIONS."

In addition, you should change your card # at least once a year and then only give it to current vendors.


GFTC of NYC
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mokey
Permanent Resident

15375 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2005 :  02:45:04 AM  Show Profile Send mokey a Private Message
Yes, you can still dispute the charges on your credit card.

First, what do your contracts with the supplier state? You need to read those again and see exactly what they are allowed to do.

Regarding changing CC#, that is a sure way to set off red flags with the credit bureaux!

"An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Martin Luther King Jr.
www.femiknits.blog-city.com
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Shalee
Permanent Resident

USA
2046 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2005 :  03:29:12 AM  Show Profile  Visit Shalee's Homepage Send Shalee a Private Message
There is ONE yarn company that does this repeatedly. That particular yarn company is quickly losing customers. Did you ship all the "unauthorized extra's" back? You should. Submit that list to your credit card company. All of you that own/operate yarn stores should form a group to warn each other about these sort of practices.

Sharon in NW PA
I always wanted my own library but I didn't realize it would be all knitting books!
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KL
Permanent Resident

6041 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2005 :  05:50:48 AM  Show Profile Send KL a Private Message
We tell all that we do not want any unauthorized charges on our credit cards- we would actually prefer paying by check. The suppliers hate it but, we do it just for this reason. If they have to sit on the box for a few days till the check gets there, too bad.
An attorney is the only way out of this.

Four LYS's [us being one] have organized a consortium that is turning out really great. We meet once a month, to review problems such as discuss what works and what doesn't, analyze the market,solve problems, establish a united front, etc.,etc. One of the goals is show a bigger force to unreputable vendors that 4 pencils are mightier than 1. We have the support of some of our biggest suppliers. Something to think about. KL
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KL
Permanent Resident

6041 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2005 :  05:53:59 AM  Show Profile Send KL a Private Message
Forgot to say, box up disputed mdse and hold till attorney resolves. This would further prove that you didn't want. If you sell it, it will have to be proven that you did indeed not want it in the first place. Tough, I know to sit on 15,000 for an undetermined amount of time, but, I think you have to do it. JMO, KL
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GFTC
Permanent Resident

USA
6331 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2005 :  06:36:51 AM  Show Profile  Visit GFTC's Homepage Send GFTC a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by mokey
Regarding changing CC#, that is a sure way to set off red flags with the credit bureaux!


Why do you say this? I've voluntarily changed card number on Visa and American Express with no subsequent problem. On one, I had used the card over a period of a year for a lot of online and phone shopping and I decided that my card # was in too many places around the country and security-wise I was not comfortable with that. Visa actually thought it was a good idea. With American Express, I explained that my card was on file with stores that I no longer shopped so, again, for security I wanted a new #. They also were happy to comply.

Closing an account is another story. Maybe that's what you thought I meant. I am saying keep the same account, just get a new account number.

If you lose your cards and have to replace them it doesn't negatively affect your credit rating although you are issued a new card with a new number. I know people who lose their cards and their cell phones the same way they lose gloves and umbrellas.


GFTC of NYC
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KL
Permanent Resident

6041 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2005 :  07:09:36 AM  Show Profile Send KL a Private Message
DH, who has an obnoxiously high line of credit has had to change the cc #'s several times with no adverse results to scores. A couple of times, it was done by the company after unauthorized purchases, and maybe once by him. The cc companies just keep uping his line of credit. His score has never gone down. KL
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jaymeKnits
Permanent Resident

USA
1350 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2005 :  07:55:56 AM  Show Profile  Send jaymeKnits a Yahoo! Message Send jaymeKnits a Private Message
I work for a trade organization and I have a few tips for LYS' helping each other out (we deal with this a lot). Be very careful when talking to owners/managers of nearby competing stores. It can me construed as price fixing which is illegal. Talking with non-competing stores about anything is fine. since you can't price fix. Online (like here) is a great way of doing it. If you so meet with other local stores. Keep careful records of what you discuss and never mention pricing of objects except on VERY general terms. Just my 2 cents.

Jayme
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KL
Permanent Resident

6041 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2005 :  08:01:57 AM  Show Profile Send KL a Private Message
In all the times we have met, pricing has never been an issue. It is more the day-to-day problems of running a business. We also never discuss daily sales totals- no ones business but our own- more in the general field of whether business is up or down and why.KL
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chellethinques
Permanent Resident

USA
1431 Posts

Posted - 11/22/2005 :  06:07:20 AM  Show Profile Send chellethinques a Private Message
This is very interesting! I'm learning about starting a small business (not yarn-related) and am wondering if most people start theirs with credit cards?
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KL
Permanent Resident

6041 Posts

Posted - 11/22/2005 :  06:35:43 AM  Show Profile Send KL a Private Message
It can be a way, but, not the most advisable for obvious reasons.
The knitting suppliers all prefer credit cards, and they have a tendency to keep them on record so that they can ship at their whim. And they will use the cc without informing you of it first. All of a sudden, you can go to use the business cc and find out it has been rejected due to a charge of 5,000 by some one you placed an order with six months ago and they shipped it yesterday.Do take control from this from the get-go.

Tell them COD or Business check only. don't forget with the credit cards, you are paying an exhorbitant interest rate, and cc companies
are not any more favorable to low interest rates to businees owners than to lay people.

The suppliers hate COD as they have to wait for their $ from UPS, but too bad. If more of them had done the courtesy of phoning prior to shipping, perhaps we wouldn't require payment by check and them holding shipment until reciept of said check.

Start your business with cash on hand and keep the cc's close to your chest and your control. With a dozen suppliers all vieing for your cc's, it can get out of hand fast. KL




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csun
New Pal

18 Posts

Posted - 11/22/2005 :  12:23:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit csun's Homepage Send csun a Private Message
Thank all of you so much for your help! It certainly helps to talk it out. I actually prefer using cc when the companies call to ask permission and inform me of the amount of an order that is ready to be sent. I understood when I filled out each company's credit app that a credit card is required for the first SHIPMENT, whereas once the app is approved I would receive terms. However, if a supplier calls to tell me an amount an ask what form of payment I would like, I find it easier to use the cc and write just one check per month. I never imagined that anyone would think they could ship merchandise and charge to my cc at their own discretion! (Their credit app states that they may use your cc only if they don't receive a payment within 30 days.) Much of the merchandise was never even ordered! I'm sure I have a long road ahead in resolving this one. If you ever hear of anyone else having this similiar problem, I would really appreciate hearing advice!
Thank you!

Csun
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mokey
Permanent Resident

15375 Posts

Posted - 11/22/2005 :  1:31:40 PM  Show Profile Send mokey a Private Message
I know enough suppliers(not in kitting supply though) who will ONLY take credit cards, absolutely no cheques.

"An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Martin Luther King Jr.
www.femiknits.blog-city.com
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chellethinques
Permanent Resident

USA
1431 Posts

Posted - 11/24/2005 :  07:05:21 AM  Show Profile Send chellethinques a Private Message
Interesting. We don't use ccs, ever, in our household finances, and I'm wondering what I'll do if/when I get a (very) small business going. I'd prefer cash funding, obviously, and this whole thing with suppliers sounds like a bookkeeping nightmare!
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mokey
Permanent Resident

15375 Posts

Posted - 11/24/2005 :  07:30:26 AM  Show Profile Send mokey a Private Message
It isn't a nightmare(make that it should not be!) I prefer using CC simply because you have the CC issuers acting as backup, and they offer more protection than a bank does. I know that when I have to issue a stop pay on a cheque, it is a nightmare, and they do not even guarantee it will be stopped! With the CC, all it ever takes is one card. I don't see how you can run a viable business without CC.

"An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Martin Luther King Jr.
www.femiknits.blog-city.com
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chellethinques
Permanent Resident

USA
1431 Posts

Posted - 11/24/2005 :  2:35:15 PM  Show Profile Send chellethinques a Private Message
I hadn't thought about that, Mokey. (The ability to dispute a charge vs. stop payment on a check, I mean.) Good to know! That's why I read KR - the smartness abounds!
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CrazyforEwe
Chatty Knitter

USA
159 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2005 :  7:48:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit CrazyforEwe's Homepage Send CrazyforEwe a Private Message
Tell the reps that you want terms. The more you spend, the longer your terms should be. If you're spending over $10K, you should get at least 30-60-90, and possibly 120. Also, you can ask that they stagger the shipment for you. But get it in writing on your order. If they balk at giving you terms, then just tell them that there are plenty of other suppliers who will give you terms. Often the shipping department won't have the original order and will call you for you credit card number when they're ready to ship. Refer them to the terms on your order, and don't give them the number.

Ellen

A bad day at the yarn shop is better than a great day at the office!
www.crazyforewe.com
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