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General Retail Business Issues/Trade Show Wholesaler Process Question


Hi James;
Our company is an importer of home décor and giftware.  We have exhibited at trade shows for 15 years.  These are B2B shows where retail buyers place orders for products to be shipped at a later date.

A problem we have is wasted time on the part of the store buyer that places orders, but never takes their order.  They do not want to provide their credit card number at the show, and request "call for credit card" information.  We call these customers many times - most of which do not return calls.  Out of 250 orders placed at a trade show, 50 of these orders are never shipped due to lack of response from customer / difficulty getting payment info.  The ratio of these customers increases every year.  It appears on average 30 - 40 customer orders are never shipped.
Our trade shows receive many orders and we spend a great amount of time with each customer - 1 to 2 hours.
Please suggest a way that we can diminish this.  We attach a note to each order we receive asking that customers call us with payment info if they want their order shipped asap.

We sell to many mom and pop style retailers and offering terms to every customer is not an option.

Thank you in advance.

Retailers will take advantage of you as long as you allow it. Simply have a policy of no order without CC information provided, period. And if you are spending time with a retailer that you have no history with limit that time to no more than 30 minutes unless they begin writing an order. You are getting way too many "tire kickers" and they will take advantage of you if you allow it. There are maybe on in a hundred small retailers who will give you an order without providing CC details and then give it later. Do not waste your time.

General Retail Business Issues

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James E. Dion


Most questions about trends in specialty retail, how customers are changing both in the US and Europe. Demographics for all countries as they relate to retail trends and issues. Store Operations, Buying and Merchandising.


Over 40 years in the retail industry, store level, store manager, buyer, merchandise manager, Vice President.

BS Psychology, MS Psychology, PhD(abd) Industrial Psychology Illinois Institute of Technology

Past/Present Clients
Microsoft, Harley-Davidson, Ritz-Carlton, Hummer, Williams-Sonoma, Ace Hardware, Coleman Spas, Aldo, Intel, Dell, Safeway, New Balance, IBM, Kodak, Bata International, Nortel Networks, Honey Baked Ham Co., Man Alive, Highsmith
B.S Chicago State University M.S. Chicago State University PhD (abd) Illinois Institute of Technology

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