One of our most popular inquiries is whether we offer party favors, and the overwhelming majority of our questions and bookings pertain to our candle line. We aim to make the process as seamless and clear as possible, but we completely understand how intimidating the whole process can be. The aim of this blog post is to consider the needs and expectations of both the customer and vendor.
The first point I would recommend is to plan ahead. The more time you give yourself to plan, the more opportunities you have to shop around, and the more likely it is for you to save money. Many vendors can rush orders, but remember: time = money.
About You – The Customer
- You probably have many questions and concerns about contracts, payments, etc. This is the most important point: Do not be afraid to ask questions! Any questions, complex or simple, are important, and you, as the customer, have the right to clear, patient answers. If your questions are not being answered in a timely, patient fashion, MOVE ON!
- You should have the opportunity to sample/preview whichever item you’re interested in.
- You have a right to a clear, outlined contract which stipulates pricing, timeline, and addresses any possible defects.
- You have a right to a consultation to discuss your details and address your needs and expectations.
- You have a right to what you ordered. If a vendor cannot fulfill your original contract, he/she must let you know as soon as possible.
About the Vendor – It’s important to understand that the vendor also has rights and expectations, which should be reasonable. The main point is to come to a mutual understanding of these needs.
- The vendor has a right to charge for his/her time. Some vendors offer initial consultations for free, but follow-up consultations and/or revisions may cost extra money. They are running a business, and any time spent with you is not spent on them running their business. They should treat you with utmost courtesy at all times, and be clear about whether or not this time will be charged.
- The vendor has a right to clearly explain that he/she may offer substitutions in the circumstance that he/she cannot fulfill original plans. It’s up to the customer to decide if the substitutions are acceptable.
- The vendor has a right to request a deposit; the typical rate is 50%. Often, vendors will make very specific purchases for your customized favor order, and will need the up-front cash to make those purchases. It is also very common (and expected) for the deposit to be non-refundable, as this is one way to explain that both you and the vendor are entering into a binding contract.
A vendor may offer private labeling, which means he/she relinquishes his/her branding, but this often comes with a fee. This also means that it may relinquish the vendor from item insurance – which means, if any damages are incurred because of the item, you may be liable. Ask questions.
Questions – Prior to meeting with your vendor, it’s a good idea to come prepared with a list of questions. Here are some suggestions:
- Is there a minimum purchase amount (whether by items or dollars)?
- What is your deposit requirement?
- May I see a copy of the contract? (The vendor should offer this to you without demanding you sign right away. Feel free to take it home and mull over it.)
- Do you gift-package? If so, what can I expect the gift packaging to look like?
- Do you offer private labeling? If so, is there a fee? Does this limit your liability?
- What is the timeline? (Consider this for payments and delivery.)
- Do you offer a return and/or cancellation policy? Can you explain?
- Is there a shipping fee? Who is responsible for damages in shipment?
- What are the payment options? Are there any extra taxes/fees?
- How many revisions can I make to the plan? Are there extra consultation fees?
Hopefully this gives you some guidance and direction. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.