Discover and Leverage the World of Purchasing Agents on Ivy
So many of our fabulous designers have yet to uncover one of our greatest resources, the Discover Network. Ivy’s Discover Network (accessed by clicking the “Discover” icon in the navigation panel) is a great way to connect with professionals like bookkeepers, 3D renderers, and purchasing agents, which in turn can help you increase your revenues and take your design business to the top. Learn all about how you can leverage the world of purchasing agents in this article.
Starting with the basics, what are purchasing agents?
Purchasing agents are people or companies that offer to buy goods or property on behalf of another party. In the design business, purchasing agents can serve as a useful tool for designers because they have built long-term relationships with vendors which allows them to offer designers various products for extremely competitive prices.
How can a designer open an account with a trade vendor?
Opening an account with a trade vendor is not exactly the easiest task. Trade vendors have their own rules for how they like to do business. Often times they will only work with designers that have a brick and mortar location or a showroom. Why? It’s simple, they want their goods shown on their floor, and want their products to be bought in bulk. In addition, they will usually ask for a large stocking order like a minimum opening order of $25,000 (or more) or require yearly minimums, which can be nearly impossible and frustrating for small firms or independent designers. However, there are many designers out there that don’t have the capability to commit to those terms, which is exactly where purchasing agents come in.
What do purchasing agents have to do with it?
Purchasing agents are able to work with designers who are not able to get trade accounts. They get good pricing because they established business relationships with many vendors, giving Ivy designers access to accounts they may have never had access to before.
How to connect with Ivy’s purchasing agents
Purchasing agents on Ivy have accounts with many vendors and will sell to Ivy designers through their accounts. Here’s what you need to do to start connecting with purchasing agents on Ivy.
- Click on the “Discover” section on Ivy
- Find any professionals you are searching for (purchasing agents, bookkeepers who work with QuickBooks, 3D rendering, etc)
- Search for a vendor you are looking to work with
Once you’ve searched for a vendor, a list of purchasing agents will appear. You can always see the different lines Ivy purchasing agents carry by clicking on their profiles. Easily contact any of the purchasing agents by clicking on the “Contact” button and send out a quote.
Quick tip! When getting started, send out multiple quotes and find out which purchasing agents have the best prices for you.
What does a designer have to do to work with a purchasing agent?
Once a designer chooses a purchasing agent he/she can contact them through the discovery link.
Recommended practice: Send as much information as possible about the product! Add information on the item number, fabric grade, the finish, a photo, a link to the vendor’s website, literally all the information you can send. That way the purchasing agent can quickly find the information/pricing and send out a proposal.
Placing an order with a purchasing agent is really easy. All you have to do is send a purchase order with the item details and pay your agent online via Ivy.
Frequently asked questions
What happens if an item is damaged upon delivery?
Unfortunately, damages can happen often. Purchasing agents will do everything in their power to get your items replaced. However, vendors will often try to fix the product rather than replace it.
What can you do if an item is damaged upon delivery?
- Photos, photos, photos! Take lots of photos from every angle.
- If it appears that the packing has been compromised it needs to be inspected right then and there.
- Always keep the original packaging. If the item is not returned in the original package you will not be able to file a claim with the agent or the vendor.
- If you ship to a receiving warehouse, make sure to develop a great working relationship with your receiver and ask them to inspect your package immediately upon delivery and take photos if needed.
How does the tracking work?
As soon as people place an order they want to be able to instantly track it. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t happen that way. Tracking varies according to the vendor. Some vendors will ship out the next day while other vendors can ship the product after a month. While not all vendors send tracking information, purchasing agents will keep designers in the loop by forwarding them the shipping emails they do receive. Designers can always call the purchasing agent to ask tracking related questions.
Do you have to have a receiver to purchase through a purchasing agent?
This depends on the vendor and product. If you order furniture, yes you should have a receiver. It’s always best to send products through a receiver before sending directly to a client. You want someone to inspect the items before they reach the client’s house.
The purchasing agents on Ivy are an incredible resource for designers. By leveraging this resource, both designers and purchase agents empower each other to strengthen, grow, and enhance their businesses.
Ivy is the # 1 business management software for designers. To learn more about Ivy, schedule a demo with an Ivy Guru who can show you how designers use Ivy to streamline their workflow and make more time for what they love, design.