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Ask The Experts
Ask The Experts

ICAN/ATEX: What are the pros and cons of becoming a distributor?

August 30, 2013
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Many cleaning professionals visit the International Custodial Advisers Network (ICAN) Ask the Experts page for insight and, every business day, we deliver advice to better help you perform your job.

Friady’s Question:ICANATEX Logo

One of my customers asked me to supply them with hand soap dispensers and paper towel dispensers.

It made me think about selling products to my customers and maybe other janitorial businesses.

How can I get started in selling janitorial products and finding suppliers and manufacturers?

Friday’s Answer:

If you decide to become a supplier, you can partner with a large paper supply distributor or janitorial master distributor.

Both will drop ship case lots to your customers and bill you at wholesale. You will need to inquire in your city for either one of these vendors.

Low profit margins and high delivery costs hinder many contractors from doing it themselves.

Some contractors prefer maintaining good relations with their suppliers by not competing with them.

Three suggestions:
1. Inform your customer that they must purchase by the case or at least qualify for the minimum.
2. Ensure prompt payments ... Gary Clipperton, president of National Pro Clean Corporation

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