Charge for samples?

In most cases, it seems like common sense that you should see a sample product before you place a bulk order with a new manufacturer or of a new product. But what isn’t quite as black and white is who should pay for the sample. There are a few different schools of thought out there. Here’s why we ask the customer to pay.

Helps qualify serious leads. Unfortunately, not every customer inquiring about a sample is going to use you as their manufacturer. Furthermore, not every inquiry is a genuine one; bogus inquiries still cost the manufacturer. Some will claim large volumes and actually only need the sample quantity.

Should genuine customers have to pay the consequences for those who aren’t serious? Maybe not, but it definitely helps manufacturers identify serious inquiries and cut back on unqualified leads. This may not be a great deal to large manufacturers, but to a small business , it all adds up.

Creates buy in on both sides. By having customers pay for their samples, customers have buy in. They normally have to request funds, meaning someone will likely follow up with them to ensure it was a justified expense. This helps ensure samples get tested in a timely manner and don’t sit on someone’s desk. The customer becomes more serious about a potential order and manufacturers can invest in producing the same quality product as they would for a production order.

If your company has a policy in place for the maximum it will pay for samples, discuss this with your manufacturer as they may be able to work with you on the cost. And it is extremely important that the customer and manufacturer both understand what the sample price includes: number of different products, number of samples per product, is shipping part of the cost or separate, is there an additional cost for revisions, how many revisions are included, etc. Clear communication between customer and manufacturer is imperative throughout the design and sampling phases, and in general. If everyone is on the same page, both parties are much more likely to walk away happy, and a mutually beneficial business relationship may come of it.

"What I like the most about Caliente is the consistent high quality service and the sincere desire to help meet our demands. They understand today's business world and how to keep customers happy."

Connie Byers, Karlee