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How To Negotiate With Professional Skin Care Vendors

By: Jay A. Shorr
Posted: January 2, 2013, from the January 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Before you even begin to negotiate with your skin care vendors, determine what it is you want to negotiate. Because the goal is to build a long-lasting relationship with your suppliers, pick and choose battles in order to have more ammunition for future negotiations.

Every time a purchase is made from a vendor, you are buying a product, such as supplies or equipment, for a certain price that may or may not include tax; shipping and handling; return fees; replacement products for defective and returned merchandise; and current and future incentives.

The following details should be negotiated early in the relationship:

Samples. One of the best ways to determine if you want to carry a product is to ask the vendors for samples for your clients and employees. There are ways the supplier can provide trial sizes to break down into smaller samples for your clients. This helps you promote the product and identify the level of client satisfaction in the product.

Financing. The best type of financing is internally with the vendor directly. It is best if the vendor allows you to have an extended financing policy, such as 60–90 days, and then allows you to pay via credit card, thereby allowing an additional 30–45 days to actually pay the balance in full. If an extended financing policy is not available, see if there is a discount, usually 2–10%, if the order is paid within 10 days of the invoice. This can save a sum of money throughout time as the balances add up.