A lot of people ask me about buying directly from the source because they don’t want to pay the markup to a jobber. Unless you have substantial buying power and have the ability to move merchandise even when it sucks, most of the time, you are better off buying from a jobber.
One thing to realize– it’s hard to unseat an established relationships. Manufacturers come to like (or depend on) the jobber they are working with. It’s hard to come and step in and get them to give that up just because you want merchandise.
Remember it’s a two way relationship, that jobber is providing the manufacturer with a way to move merchandise they are stuck with AND cash flow that helps improve their bottom line. So, many times, that jobber is actually helping a company out, getting them out of a crunch, dealing with a tremendous cancelled order that leaves the manufacturer in a bind and so on.
So, these jobbers have the money to take what they have when they have it. Many times, they won’t decline to take a good deal.
When you’re pockets aren’t deep, you can’t take everything a company may have to sell, so they will start calling other people next time and deal with someone that can.
Another thing most people don’t realize is that a jobber absorbs bad merchandise. They pull those damaged items out and throw them away. If it’s an entirely bad load, they flip it to someone who can handle it and you never see it. They may get a load of irregulars where every piece is damaged, but they take it to keep the relationship– they want that pristine merchandise when it’s available. Can YOU do that?
So these are things to think about when you want to cut out the middleman. Many times, that middleman provides a valuable service in exchange for their markup. You can’t always be a price shopper. Getting a good price is important, but don’t be penny wise and pound foolish.