Saturday, June 10, 2006

DESIGNERS! POST YOUR BEEF!

Attention Fellow Fashion Designers!
AS OF JUNE 11TH, 2006 WE ARE STARTING A REVOLUTIONARY GROUND-BREAKING BLOG THAT WILL SUPPLY UP-AND-COMING DESIGNERS WITH MUCH NEEDED INFORMATION ABOUT RETAILERS!
WE WELCOME AND ENCOURAGE YOU AND YOUR FELLOW DESIGNERS TO POST OBJECTIVE OPINIONS ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES WITH BOUTIQUES, BUYERS, & RETAILERS ACROSS THE U.S.
ALTHOUGH OUR BLOG IS CALLED "RETAIL BEEF"AND OUR MAIN GOAL IS TO PROMOTE AWARENESS OF THE "BAD SEEDS" IN OUR INDUSTRY AND TO ENLIGHTEN DESIGNERS THAT ARE NOT "IN THE KNOW" OF THE TRAILS & TRIBULATIONS OF BEING A DESIGNER AND WORKING IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY, WE DEFINETLY ENCOURAGE "POSITIVE" FEEDBACK ON GREAT EXPERIENCES WITH THE MANY OUTSTANDING BOUTIQUES AND TALENTED BUYERS ACROSS THE U.S.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN POSTING INFORMATION ON THIS BLOG, PLEASE KEEP YOUR USERNAME "UNIQUE" SO THAT WE CAN POST OBJECTIVE INFORMATION WITHOUT FEAR OF PERSECUTIONS FROM THOSE ANGRY RETAILERS! NOBODY HERE WANTS TO MAKE ENEMIES OR ALIENATE POTENTIAL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES...BUT WE DO WANT TO SHARE EXPERINECES, WHETHER THEY ARE POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE.

FOR ANYONE INTERESTED IN POSTING INFORMATION ON EXPERIENCES AS A DESIGNER IN THE RETAIL MARKET, PLEASE FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES:

USER NAMES:
PLEASE CREATE A USER NAME UNIQUE TO YOUR COMPANY WITH THE RETAIL BEEF PREFIX, OF COURSE...

EXAMPLE: RB101 (FIRST TWO LETTERS SHOULD ALWAYS BE "RB" AND THEN ADD YOUR OWN UNIQUE NUMBER AFTER. DO NOT USE YOUR ZIP CODE, ADDRESS, OR ANY NUMBER THAT COULD BE OBVIOUSLY POINT TO YOUR COMPANY.

WE THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR SUPPORT & INPUT! ONE DAY, A SMALL DESIGNER WHO IS EMERGING INTO THE FASHION INDUSTRY WILL BE ABLE TO USE THIS BLOG AS A RESOURCE TO PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM FINANCIAL HARDSHIPS, AND GAIN POSITIVE INFORMATION AND INFLUENCES IN THEIR CAREERS!

THANK YOU, RETAIL BEEF!!!!

322 Comments:

Blogger retailbeef said...

I think that retailbeef is an amazing idea!

11:53 PM  
Blogger rb999 said...

Jacqueline Jarrot
Los Angeles, CA
Bounced a $200 check.

11:25 PM  
Blogger rb999 said...

jennifer kaufman
beverly center
los angeles, ca
Took three months to pay invoice. Never returned phone calls regarding invoice. Repeatedly had to visit store to contact owner.

11:27 PM  
Blogger rb323 said...

showpony in echo park is great. always pay on time, and super sweet girls. A ++++

1:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DIGITAL GRAVEL owed us money for 9 months it took me 3 months of calling and leaving messages and finally a stern email threatening collections to get anyone to call me back. We have pulled our pieces from their store and they say the check is in the mail for peices owed but I will believe it when I see it.

I.AM BOUTIQUE (San Diego): wrote several hot checks and did not return/answer calls

ASTORIA CLOTHING -Miami, Our first big order, ordered 15K worth of clothes & didn't take in any of it -bounced 3 40lb boxes!!

SORELLA -San Diego, bounced check on one order ,then on another occasion finnally agreed to take merchandise ordered then bounced box never returned phone calls. New owner is no better, she took the order, tagged it, held onto it and then sent it all back. Never returned any phone calls.

SONYA BOUTIQUE- TX -agreed to take box then bounced it & never returned phone calls SUGAR-Pitts-PA, had ordered goods & never took them @time of delivery. just never returned phone calls

YOUR PRIVATE CLOSET-MD, same as above

SAFFRON - Laguna Beach, CA - ordered twice via C.O.D. and bounced both boxes.

HAPPY ENDINGS: Slimey former owner from Sorella. Not too be trusted at all.

2:29 PM  
Blogger rb800 said...

DIGITAL GRAVEL owed us money for 9 months it took me 3 months of calling and leaving messages and finally a stern email threatening collections to get anyone to call me back. We have pulled our pieces from their store and they say the check is in the mail for peices owed but I will believe it when I see it.

I.AM BOUTIQUE (San Diego): wrote several hot checks and did not return/answer calls

ASTORIA CLOTHING -Miami, Our first big order, ordered 15K worth of clothes & didn't take in any of it -bounced 3 40lb boxes!!

SORELLA -San Diego, bounced check on one order ,then on another occasion finnally agreed to take merchandise ordered then bounced box never returned phone calls. New owner is no better, she took the order, tagged it, held onto it and then sent it all back. Never returned any phone calls.

SONYA BOUTIQUE- TX -agreed to take box then bounced it & never returned phone calls SUGAR-Pitts-PA, had ordered goods & never took them @time of delivery. just never returned phone calls

YOUR PRIVATE CLOSET-MD, same as above

SAFFRON - Laguna Beach, CA - ordered twice via C.O.D. and bounced both boxes.

HAPPY ENDINGS: Slimey former owner from Sorella. Not too be trusted at all.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saffron in Laguna Beach
Ordered two lines from a road rep that visited their store. One order, a jewelry line, she bounced the COD box, the other line sent their order NET 30 and she accepted the shipment, just NEVER paid for the merchandise. Designer called the store repeatedly, was completely ignored!

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pink Pineapple in Pacific Palisades, CA
Not a very nice store to deal with, very unprofessional.

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vibe in Miami, FL
Placed order @ tradeshow, refused order when we attempted to ship them.

8:23 AM  
Anonymous rb007 said...

The Parlor
Scottsdale, AZ

Both owners should have been the stars of "Mean Girls" they come off as extremley nice, and then turn on you. They took merchandise from several designers, attempting to create a designer boutique, but instead, used us all to pay for their summer rent and renigged on all promises of promoting our lines. They lost many items from various lines and never returned calls regarding checks owed to us. Each and every line in there had a problem with those two mean girls. They are not to be trusted in any sense. They used our stuff for fashion shows without telling anyone and then tried to pull attitude on us when trying to take our stuff out of the shop.

1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THE SHOP
ST PETERSBURG, FL
We met Vickey, the owner/buyer of this store at POOL tradeshow. She placed an order with us and when we contacted her to ship she denied that she placed the order. She said that if she had wanted the order she would have paid in advance for it. We indicated that she signed our purchase order which is a legal binding contract.
First of all, when does a buyer pay for an order in advance at a tradeshow?
Secondly, we decided that we were not going to enforce our purchase order with her store, we were already having problems with her, I am sure those problems would have continued if we would have shipped our merchandise to her store.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorella's in San Diego (new Owner) is Horrible,
placed a road order, and never wanted to accept it. Ignored phone calls.

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm Taking Sorella to court next week, they have to pay for their ignoarnce.
There has to be something that designers can do to stop these idiots from being careless about other's efforts, time and money.
Anyone has a n experience with taking stores to court for orders unpaid or rejected?

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

STACKHOUSE NY,NY
ordered 2 large po's took in one & bounced check -then treated us as if we were bothering them after weeks of attempted communication, totally rude. We negotiated with them on every level & had to finnally threaten collection acy. they've been in collection for 6mos now.STAY AWAY FROM THIS STORE THEY ARE CROOKS!!
YOUR PRIVATE CLOSET, MD
they ordered,we made ,they bounced it
SUGAR,PA
they ordered,we made it, they never returnedcalls @ship time.waste of time & money
SONYA BOUTIQUE,TX
took in order,wanted to exchange for other styles we obliged,shipped then box was bounced
STRAWBERRY FIELDS,WI
faxed to cancel order just as it was ready of course,because we were too similar to another line @a much lower price point.!!!???!! How the F*ck is this our problem???? Why should we pay for thier lack of organization??!

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Astoria Clothing,MIAMI
total scumbag,stay away from Michael Amar

Sorella,san diego CA
bounced boxes 2x after lying & avioding calls -the whole cat & mouse game

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

henri bendels new york city!
even the big billion dollar retailers like to screw over designers. i flew to new york to do a three day trunk show at henri bendels in MARCH 2006. I was forced to stand on my feet for 11 hours and was treated like a slave not a creative designer with beautiful things to sell. one of the employees informed me that bendels books additional "trunk shows" on weekends where they reported low sales so that they can put extra dollars on the floor without purchasing goods. there was no promotion of my involvement in the trunk show and there were four other designers doing a "trunk show" at the same time as me.
Now four months later i still havent been paid and it seems that they have "lost" my paperwork.

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey man.great Idea....I am in NYC......and I dont know how things are over here.did sell some shirts.and never had issues tho.......the check was given to me.and cahsed right away.......but I suggest you do C.O.D.and you might not have problems.....

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A very helpful technique to weed out these stores that are careless is to require first orders pre-paid and then have them apply for credit with you and CHECK THEIR TRADE REFS or pay each and every COD with cashiers checks. This is what the big ones do. Yes, you may get a few that squirm and decide not to order, those are the ones that would not have paid anyhow, so you just saved yourself the trouble. I know it's hard to do, because we want the business, but it's not worth it if they don't pay. This board is great!!!

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone should stay away from Jaqueline Jarrot, she's been shady since day one.

12:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stay away from Work in Progress in New York. They have owed me money for 2 years now. The owner claims he doesn't have to pay because the buyer who ordered doesn't work for him anymore.

12:44 AM  
Blogger rb428 said...

Wow-this isfantastic..Thank you.
Diva Essentials in Ojai,Ca.
Bounced 2 cod checks-didn't return calls-then,finally when threatened returned call with SOB BS story and said she would return what she hadn't sold and pay for the remainder...Finally did return some but still hasn.t paid balance.
This is why we never do terms anymore and now quite doing COD-if they are a good account,and you have a good line-they will pay with their ccard.

4:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Idea ! a few stores I have retail beefs with Rolo in San Francisco, New American Casuals Portland OR,

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kitson is a total nightmare to work with. Not only can you never get in touch with anyone at the shop, but the owner thinks he is a celebrity and has the worst attitude and is horrible to deal with. He truly believes that his store is the best shop in the country and you go in there and it's like a swap meet. I once saw a torn out page from a celebrity rag literally ripped out of the magazine and scotched taped to his wall in the shop. That's classy.oHe once told me he had 1800 brands in the shop and he was too busy to have any selling information; who says that? No consistency from season to season, just buying whatever brand and cherry picking it. My Advice: Sell someone else on the street, trust me you don't want to deal with him or his huge ass ego.

10:33 AM  
Blogger rbSF said...

Rolo San Francisco Never pays ontime

New American Casuals Portland OR bounced cod 3 times blamed UPS

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred Segal Conveyor and Fred Segal Man in Santa Monica. If you have to choose a Fred Segal to deal with, then this is the one. Not only is the owner one of the most unaffected heads in the industry, but he is a plasure to work with and his staff is amazing as well. Great product, pays on time and is flexible, he knows the game.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Work in Progress NY NY-Insisted on ordering over $10000 worth of product to only pay for a quarter of it. They are currently in collections and sent the product back with out a return authorization. The nerve!!

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pink Pineapple,Pacific PalisadesCA
placed large order that they qualified for net terms thru our factor. they bounced the box, but then explained that it must have been some kind of misunderstanding?? N30?? We called repeatedly to speak with someone who of course never knows whats going on -we got no where with this.

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zebraclub in Seattle. Total mess and stores are garbage. There are so many other great shops in Seattle, sell them instead. They think they are a major department store and want all kinds of discounts, extended terms, they want to return everything after the season is over that hasn't sold. After Bailee left they put this idiot chick in place who has no idea how to buy or what she is doing. They cancelled multiple orders from us for 4 shops and from several other vendors as well we found out. They sent out a form letter to all the vendors wanting to cancel goods. How horrible is that? They claim they wanted to start over when the orders were placed literally 6 months before and the goods were already produced. All told it ended up costing us over 15 K. I will never sell them anything I rep ever again.

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's Go La Jolla. Not only can you NEVER get in touch with anyone at the shops, but ask yourself when the last time was that you were in there. Everyone thinks it's THE store to sell in La Jolla when the stores are so jammed packed with merchandise, you can't even move in there. I have seen hand written sale signs written with a black sharpie. Rounders with no glass tops with denim stacked on top of them. It looks awful. I once cancelled a previous appt. while down in San Diego b/c the owner saw me working one of my active accounts at Fashion Valley. She then asked if I could work her shop manger in La Jolla the next day. I cancelled my previous appt. and stayed overnight to work her. I started heading toward the shop the next morning, called the manger no one would take my call, they said they had no idea who I was and gave me the Spanish inquisition. They said they had no appt. with me. Then...this last Pool, the owner showed up at another line that I rep booth's and wanted to write the line, (I secretly was waiting for this moment)I explained how bad her communication was and what my prior expereince was and told her I wasn't comfortable opening her unless she could guarentee communication, she was shocked and offended and couldn't believe what she heard. I was happy to tell her and happy that I saved myself the future trouble. I don't need her order, or her bullshit.

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crazy Mary's in Sacramento. Her name is so fitting since: SHE'S CRAZY. Not only can you never get in touch with her, while she is supposed to be an active account and has orders on the books... but then when you do get her on the phone she blames the communication issues on her employees and says that she never got months worths of messages and should fire her employees. Pays late, is never there and is a mess.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's Go
La Jolla, CA

Placed an order w/ me @ Pool in February. Came back and told me she would like to cancel the order. Called Brenda when we got back to see if our line was still of any interest. She said she was VERY interested but that Caren was getting married and she'd have to get back to me mid June. Have left several messages and e-mails and have heard no response!

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott from Kuhlmans in Seattle has amazing taste, the shop always looks great. Super Easy to work with, the employess rock and are very cool. Pays on time and represents the lines he has in the shop. We love him.

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Digital Gravel is horrible. We had to cancel a huge Spring order for them that was already produced b/c they owed us money from Holiday 2005. Good Luck getting paid from them if you have orders with them.

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brenda from Let's go is a mess...Good Luck getting in touch with her. How is it that you own a store and are NEVER available? Some of these buyers think they are celebrities, or Movie Stars with the attitudes that they have. Brenda is one of these buyers. It makes me want to go Dude...you buy clothes for a living okay. You pick out tee shirts for christs sake. You buy jenas, no one gives a shit. It's clothes were talking about here people, not the cure for cancer. You're not the Queen of England, or the President, you're a freaking buyer. Get over yourself. I won't work with these idiot ego maniacs. You weed through them the longer you're in the game.

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Retail Beef rocks! I love that I can get on here and share these stories so that other companies can heed these warnings.

4:02 PM  
Blogger rb1000 said...

Excursions in the midwest cancelled their order 1 day before shipping. she was a total b++++
and completely lied about having faxed the cancellation, and then sent a BOGUS fax!!

this is an amazing idea btw.

4:08 PM  
Blogger rb1000 said...

Cog and Pearl in Brooklyn
is AWESOME!!!
they have consistently ordered and always pay on time and are very very nice.

4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pixie and ivy...... hot checks and it's not just me. i have two checks in collections on them.
thanks to whoever put this blog together.

5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trinity Clothing Co. in Westlake Village bounced a COD check for an order (which they kept) and the items are even up for sale on their website. They are fully aware of the bounced check and their neglect to make payment, yet they are impossible to get a hold of and basicly stole the merchandise.

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can we please talk about the insane passive aggressive idiot who has no idea about retail: Albert from Dress and Jacks in San Francisco? His wife owns the business and he claimed when he started buying that he was doing it temporarily. He is the worst. Not only do they never get approved for terms b/c the are extremly slow payers, but they are impossible to get in touch with. Finally when you do talk to Sara his assistant buyer (who he never lets write anything anyway) She just explains that she hasn't checked the messages in days and that Albert will have to get back to you. Nothing but a three ring circus and the run around. He flipped out on me once when I told him I was cancelling his orders and allocating them to someone else b/c he owed us money. I have seen his crazy side, and it anit pretty. Won't be selling him anything anytime soon.

6:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ikon in Sacaremento

This is another one: how do you have a business and not return phone calls and continually ignore e-mails?? Espically if you have orders with us. I don't get it. How do these shops run they're business like this? Finally after two seasaon of chasing them (with a line I picked up and they were selling Ikon) I went to my sales manager and said screw this. I am sick of chasing and trying to babysit these morons. Cancel they're orders...and we did just that.

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kate daniels in long beach, california, expects to return things she has had for months, do not give her terms,she will simply hold your money until you agree to take back items she could not sell.

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

does anyone have any info on institute in soho, new york?

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RETAIL BEEF: GREAT SERVICE TO STRUGGLING SMALL PEOPLE. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One suggestion: can you list posts latest at the top? just easier to catch the latest. Thanks!

10:15 PM  
Blogger TSHIRTSRUS said...

THANK YOU ! Thank you! THANK YOU! YOU GUYS ARE THE BOMB DIGGITY FOR COMING UP WITH THIS BRILLIANT CONCEPT! I have 7 years of history , will try to share all of it.......
But first to respond to the anonymous blog re: Institut in Soho, they seem cool, but are so shady , as are many retailers in that area. They demanded a discount from one of my very fabulous designer friends (just before receiving the order) of handmade belts and bags, when he refused they knocked him off 100%. BAD BAD BAD

11:39 PM  
Blogger TSHIRTSRUS said...

Has anyone sold to GLEE? 3 locations in MA and Conn.
Just wondering if anyone has anything good to say about her?

12:03 AM  
Blogger TSHIRTSRUS said...

Has anyone sold to GLEE? 3 locations in MA and Conn.
Just wondering if anyone has anything good to say about her?

12:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TAKE THEM ALL TO SMALL CLAIMS COURT FOR BOUNCING CHECKS AND BOUNCING BOXES. IF YOU HAVE A SIGNED PO, YOU HAVE AN EXCELLENT CHANCE OF WINNING YOUR CASE IN SMALL CLAIMS COURT. A SHERIFF WILL GO INTO THEIR STORE IF YOU WIN, AND LITERALLY SEIZE MONEY RIGHT OUT OF THE CASH REGISTER IN FRONT OF RETAIL SHOPPERS TO THE HUMILIATION OF THE LOSER RETAILER.

12:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TAKE THEM ALL TO SMALL CLAIMS COURT FOR BOUNCING CHECKS AND BOUNCING BOXES. IF YOU HAVE A SIGNED PO, YOU HAVE AN EXCELLENT CHANCE OF WINNING YOUR CASE IN SMALL CLAIMS COURT. A SHERIFF WILL GO INTO THEIR STORE IF YOU WIN, AND LITERALLY SEIZE MONEY RIGHT OUT OF THE CASH REGISTER IN FRONT OF RETAIL SHOPPERS TO THE HUMILIATION OF THE LOSER RETAILER.

12:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

do not work with institut. they have no credit and a horrible reputation. you will never get paid.

6:18 AM  
Anonymous rb310 said...

love it!

is there any way to search posts by store or city?

if i read a post from a deesigner that has a beef with a store i'm dealing with is there any way to get in touch with them? strength in numbers

6:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CAPRETTO SHOES in Scarsdale New York is going out of business. Owner Gary Geller is a total crook. Owes some people upward of 100,000 dollars. Trying to close quietly and then reopen. I have a small invoice open with him. He told me was not going to pay it. Up for collection with a tough lawyer now.

7:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone had any issues with Inago in LA? We have done business with them in the past and it seems as though some shady business is recently occurring. No one returns calls or email regarding payment and were wondering if anyone else was having same problems.

7:27 AM  
Anonymous LovethisLife said...

Here's the 'disclaimer' on our new linesheets...

*DISCLAIMER...
Despite what a good portion of the fashion industry (and press) believes itself to be...neither LovethisLife (nor our reps) consider our apparel offerings to share the global importance of cancer-curing or brain-mapping technologies. Bad manners, pretentious behavior and/or dishonorable business practices flung in our direction will only result in the cessation of a relationship as well as the cancellation of any outstanding orders.
Money is not worth the grief. We hope you understand.

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

glee is a great account. they are nice, write big orders & pay on time...

9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is the best idea in the world! i am an artist and a retailer. these comments really made me think about how we behave!!! i would've told you that we are A+ but now i can see how some things must irritate reps, esp. not returning calls when we really don't need merchandise. but we DO try and pay bills asap. not even waiting for the net30.

here are just a couple of tips from a retail perspective...
if you are a small biz, be sure and get paid by credit card. DO NOT DO TERMS for anyone. You cannot afford to get stiffed by someone-- it will drive you crazy and waste your creative energy. Plus I agree with everyone who says that a solid biz will have the money for a small opening order. again, skip the sob stories. don't sell to people who won't get it that you are a small company without a huge bankroll!

next, be sure and put EVERYTHING in writing. And get it signed, especially if you are making to order. buy a faz machine-- forget email for most crazy retailers. they can't get to it. save yourself a whole lot of aggravation in advance by getting an order SIGNED FOR up front. sure there will still be jackasses who will jerk you around, but i believe you can head off the majority.

finally, tust your gut. when you are at POOL or anywhere else showing your stuff, remember what your mama told you... nice folks are nice folks, mean folks are rats. People show their true colors -- if someone approaches you and acts like a jerk, trust your instincts! if they don't treat your samples with respect, tell them to move on. believe me, you think that your are lucky when someone shows interest in your designs or products. But that is just the beginning-- to make the whole process work FOR YOU, you must be certain that this potential buyer is a good biz partner-- take the time right off the bat to evaluate the potential for a hassle-free working relationship. Don't be shy-- you've got the stuff the buyer needs to make money at hos or her retail place. If you kiss a** just to make a sale, you might never get paid. There is no worse feeling in the world than remembering that someone was a total jerk when you met them and behaved consistently badly all the time you were getting your fabulous stuff ready for their precious little retail operation!!!

Be gutsy-- make great stuff, show it to your friends for feedback, go to POOL or wherever, watch people at the show and learn, baby, learn. The creeps will reveal themselves and so will the great ones.

And truly finally... remember that even the big fish like Anthropologie and Barneys and Bendels are all run by individual buyers. They might want a big order but if they aren't going to pay you promptly you can end up broke. Your book could be called HOW I WORKED MYSELF TO DEATH FOR FAME AND GLORY BUT WATCHED SOMEONE ELSE GET ALL THE CREDIT ND ALL THE MONEY.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, someonw grew a set and finally did this. Awesome. Whoever you are- hats off that you found the time and energy as most of us have to spend our time dealing with the asses included herein. Nice going and thanks.

That said:

Brenda from Tres Jolie in LA is a wicked bitch. She calls and literally harasses you as well as threatens to sue you for fraud if you charge her for shipping. Any Lucky/Instyle editors who read this- can you please stop rewarding this TRULY AWFUL human being by giving her press? The reason WHY she has "new" designers is because working with her once is enough and noone goes back for seconds. STAY AWAY EVERYONE. I don't care how new you are- you can do sooooo much better.

Chroma in Miami. Wow, another crazy one. Her trust fund has run out and now she's just running from everyone she's burned. I never got the 5+ grand she owed me but I hear she still rocks all my designs personally. Bonnie is soul less.

That said- for all of the bad experiences in over 10 years, the great ones far outshine them.

Elke from Dress is great (sorry to whoever posted about Albert)
Tara from ClayPot couldn't be sweeter.
You'd be lucky to work with CarrieLynn at Castor & Pollux
and, of course, Twist is a dream.

Good luck everyone and thanks again Beefy Blogger!

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A new company has sprung up out of LA- MINX. The partner of Palmetto who left has created it. Marcia is, by far, one of the best, sweetest and honest of people I've met in the industry. She is awesome.

11:10 AM  
Blogger roadrep said...

I Am Boutique, San Diego
Wrote large order and refused delivery. Doesn't answer phone or return messages.

Saffron, Laguna Beach
Pulled account because she is too difficult to deal with...too many good accounts in Laguna.

12:54 PM  
Blogger Kathleen Fasanella said...

Hi
I run a site providing advice and tutorials to designers at
http://www.fashion-incubator.com

I'd love to interview some of you for my blog. Anyone, please feel free to contact me. My email address is over in the left side bar under Admin. There's lots of topics of interest including tutorials and what not. Also a forum. Actually, it'd be great to include this as a topic.

As far as some of what was said, some of these problems are preventable. I'm telling you, as someone working in the manufacturing side for over 25 years, get paid before you ship. Once you have a relationship, you can extend terms.

I only sell books (I wrote a book on how to produce a line). Amazon always pays net 30. I stopped selling to B&N and Borders because they're very slow pay (borders actually had the nerve to send me a store credit instead of money). International Fashion Publications in LA is an excellent customer. They always pay in less than 30 days. I'd encourage you all to buy books from them if you needed some.

About department stores, these are not such a great deal anymore. For most of them, you'll need a factor if you expect to get paid in less than 6 months. Any decent rep would tell you as much. A factor will cost 20%. Considering you have to pay a rep at least 10%, that only leaves 20 for you (assuming you're keystoning your total costs). If you're small, you can't afford to factor. Avoid department stores while you're small.

2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is fantastic! There is an additional need for Retail Consultants who are left waiting for payment from the "Usual Suspects". These people tend to follow the same bad behavioral patterns with us all.

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mingle in San Francisco is Great
Mimi the owner communicates well stays on top of her own re-orders awesome to work with

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovethislife and it's disclaimer

That rocks, I think as a united front of reps, that should be our creed! It is really so true.

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Imelda's in Portland OR.

Great people to deal with, exteremly organized, knows the game and are no bullshit kind of people. Consistantly writes and pays on time.

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Sorry to everyone who has sold Great American Casuals In Portland, Oregon.

Had you know that this was the owner from the old store Pokerface...you would have never sold him. He is literally banned from the showroom and when he walks in no will help him or even address him for that matter. He has screwed over so many pepople in thius industry for paying MONTHS sometimes YEARS later. Did I mention that he is completly cracked out and crazy as hell? I have stories that would make you're head spin.

7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

don't you just LOVE when stores try to get an RA "because it isn't moving, our customer doesn't want it"
Well you should quit talking and pay attention to who your customers are!
Why don't you get on the same page as them and read a few magazine's and see what's going on ahead of time before you purchase 100 pair of bootcuts! When I WARNED YOU!!!!

7:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this website is amazing...
it is about time there is a way to let eachother know about the slime out there...
too many designers have been screwed over and us showrooms and designers should communicate so word is out there and they cant pull this shit with no consequences

7:35 PM  
Blogger anonymous said...

GRETA of Beverly HIlls is a game playing thief! She asked me to do a 3 day trunk show in her store, like an idiot, I did it. When I delivered 78 pieces to her, she said she only wanted to keep 3 of them. She didn't even keep the personals that she ordered. She stopped her check w/out telling me and stuck me w/ a $25K order!

9:03 PM  
Anonymous steven shein said...

if you are a small company/designer and you dont want to learn the hard way like i did. just follow one rule that my dad has always told me:

no one gets any credit.

granted there are a few exceptions to this rule, by following it, you will ensure that you minimize your headaches and cash flow problems

this means stores should prepay with a credit card. i know it sounds strange but if people are legit they have credit cards and most likely want to use them to pay anyway. this has to be a prepay b/c you dont want to make the stuff, get it ready, get a declined charge (that you have to pay), and then be standing there with your stuff in hands.

so prepay is the way. the next shows im doing i will be demanding this. there is nothing wrong with not shipping to a shady group. it may look good at the show when you're doing your totals but it will look shitty at the end of the year when you're looking at your losses.

also, never get excited about anything until the money's in the bank and doesn't bounce out.
collecting on bounced checks is a serious nightmare

you guys know the deal. so watch out for the rats and LOOK OUT FOR NUMBER ONE. this is YOUR HUSTLE, SO DONT GET HUSTLED.

anyway i hope the following lists of stores can help you get by without get ripped off

among others, the following stores have given me a hard time

north american casuals WA
dolce IN
aros FL
barkley hope CA
deetour NV
get with it TX
legs diamond TX
room & board ID
rolo CA

among others, the following have been good to me

kitson CA
fred segal CA
ron herman CA
lalaplan int'l CA
80spurple.com CA
raw clothing CA
riley james CA
leo FL
regencies NV
dali boutique CA
blackbird WA
tophills CA
silverstar HI

11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be sure to never do an order with ANTHROPOLOGIE if you're a small business! They cancel huge orders because it says they can in their 155 page contract and they decide to do that three months after placing the order. Production was fully completed before they cancelled the massive order and we lost major money!

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dale michelle in bev hills is full of shit-

Sydney Michelle is the absolute worst, rudest, and all around awful store to do business with. There is not one nice person at that store and they return with out authorization and disputes charges-

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is such a fantastic idea! I always want to be cautious with new buyers, but it's hard to tell without knowing their previous history.
Anyway, these are the bad and the stories I've experienced:

SewJeannie - Santa Monica, CA - It took about 6 months to send payment on a very small order. If they can't pay a small charge, how are they on the big sales?

Lola Y Maria Soho, NYC - nice person, but is never responsive to emails and calls. Still trying to get product back after 1 year.

The good....
Soho Betty in Montreal, Canada.
She is so responsive and quick to pay. Pays through paypal mainly, but you get payment within 30 days always. Not sure if they closed down as I've been trying to get in contact with them to start working with them again (I've taken a season hiatus). If Soho Betty reads this, PLEASE come back!!!

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Khakis in New City New York
They take cod's AND STOP THE CHECK!
they sell whatever they can then. and don't contact you back to pay or send the goods back. there complete theives.

5:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dolce moda
Institut in NY
La Femme Couture
Flirt- new store in Delaware
Beverly Feldman NYC
Are all terrilbe accounts with zero credibility and
no legitmate operation.

5:52 AM  
Blogger rb1980 said...

I think that this blog is amazing. It is very helpful, especially for me when I am looking to find anyone to take my clothing. But I do have one store also that no one should ever deal with...

Beloved Boutique
They were formerly in MD but then moved to Washington, DC without any prior notification. Unfortunately it was worst for me because I live in another state and could not get there the see them in person. They did not return phone calls (claimed to always be busy), did not return emails, I even IM them on AOL a few times and still got the same BS. Whenever I called to speak with the owner, Amy, she was never there or was busy. I began utilizing the fax machine, but that didn't work either. It took them 5 months to pay for merchandise and to finally close out my account and send back my items at my request. And even now, some items seemed to have been sold in their store and they did not pay me for them. Always claiming that the check would be processed the next day. Then their phone number was disconnected. What a mess, but I will just chalk it up to experience.

But they did teach me one thing...I never accept orders without a deposit (usually 1/2 of retail price) especailly since a lot of my pieces are individually made by me, and I will not start production until I receive the deposit. This weeds out any of those that aren't too serious about buying. And I require the rest of the payment (including shipping costs) to be paid before I ship the garment. At least if they decide that they don't want the item, I'm not at a complete loss because I already have half of it from the deposit. Then I can just turn around and sell it for the full value to someone else.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Fred Segal in Santa Monica, The Hollywood Trading Company Store has the best style, taste and communication skills. They REALLY really support the lines the carry and TRULY believe in it. You can just tell by the style of the people who work there. They also pay when they say they will...
Getting into the store is another thing, they are extremely good at editing the store, so they never seem to over do it with product.

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i can't stand it when stores claim when something doesn't fit right! ESPECIALLY when there are proven customers on a large scale that are selling out of it.
i think it's a pretty lame excuse that can really mess with a person's head.
i think store owner's need to know how certain clothes like stretch denim or a new style top are supposed to fit.
c'mon this isn't the early 90's!
get a clue! just because you own a store doesn't mean you have style or understand how things are supposed to fit.
style and fashion are two totally different things.

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Suggest start THE BEEF LIST, one that shows the names of the store, locations, and numbers of complaints. Any store that gets Beef-listed will know it's not a good thing and have to come out and make its case to get de-listed. And then Beef of the Week (BOW), Beef of the Month (BOM), and, finally, Beef of the Year (BOY?) Awards..

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jennifer Kaufman at the Beverly Center Mall in Los Angeles is a joke. Get paid up front, because she pays "Net Never"

5:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anyone who is asking for deposits,,when do you ask for it? at the show? do you ask for a check right there or have them pay you prior to cutting?

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jack from Hollywood Stars in west hackensack , NY burned me for $435.00 dollars with a bounced check, Then i found out he closed the account. They never returned my calls and kept my merchandise.

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To answer your question about deposits...ask for it when they place the order or within a few days of placing the order. But definitely get it before you begin cutting or patternmaking. I personally don't do any work until I receive a deposit.

11:50 AM  
Blogger TSHIRTSRUS said...

Hope you're all having a fabulous weekend!!!!!
Has anyone seen any of their pieces directly knocked off at Banana Republic? If yes, have you pursued it legally or otherwise? Would like to get some feedback on this, it just happened to me (jewelry), but I have seen other designers knocked off there too, and of course at Express and Victoria's Secret. Another recent dilemma I've encountered is other jewelry designers blatantly knocking me off, the worst part of that is my accounts have ordered from them and no longer buy from me, I won't sell to an account that does this. Some of these have been really big accounts. It's offensive , but not worse than the unoriginal "designer " who can't create original designs. Of course we all get inspired by eachother and trends in fashion, etc...... but there is a huge difference between designing and making stuff to sell. What would/have you done in this situation? I'm not trying to sue anyone , but have considered confronting them, as my pieces have been around , in press and in stores , for years before they were knocked off by these "designers".

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone shipped to Manoush is Paris? They ordered from me and no one is returning my emails.

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding French stores, first of all they NEVER do email. Secondly, remember if you do international (anywhere), ALWAYS do pro forma (i.e. prepaid) and 50% deposit before production. 9 out of 10 stores will agree - it's a norm already. If any store says no, they are either new to the business or just shady people. Hope this helps.

7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tips on my Paris order. I have to say, 100% of my Japanese orders have been a great experience, and I've shipped about 20 Japanese stores. Great communication, they all pay. But the French, who knows--it's already taking forever. I'll keep you posted! Thanks.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

before i got into fashion and starting my own line, i was also told to ask for money up front for a deposit.
SORRY didn't work in my experience.
Aside from the twisted looks I got in response, there is no way to get Neiman's, Saks, Intermix, Nordstroms, Ron Herman, Fred Segal to give you 50% upfront.
Not happening.They will just order from someone else.
Call me a sucker but I really need these stores to maintain my image.
Yet, all total about 400k in money owed. I feel like I am drowning as they just keep re-ordering things.

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NYPULL NYC

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NYPULL NYC

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dungarees (Studio City) buyer is a psycho and likes to send everything back. Complains that "this is not what i ordered"... she needs to invest in a digital camera!

Trinity (Westlake Village) doesn't pay & doesn't answer phone.

Rachael (Irvine) likes to take road appointments waste your time and never turn in her notes.

Skyla (Westwood) complains about everything before putting it on the floor. makes bad buys (won't listen to educated sales people) and likes to RA or cancel everything. don't waste your time!

7:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Renee's in Everett, WA
OMG this was a never ending headache for me. A couple of years ago, Renee came into my booth and ordered $800+ in merchandise, handed me a credit sheet and started to walk off. I don't generally do net terms (after a slew of bad experiences), but she said I could either do net30 or she would walk. At this time, I needed the money BADLY so I agreed - against better judgment. She paid within 45 days, but her next order, she only paid half of what was due! I tried for months to get her to pay with no success and kind of gave up. A year later, a new business partner came on board and after explaining the situation, he said screw that and tried calling and sending letters (which came back refused and unopened). He got her on the phone, finally, and threatened to contact the BBB and a collections agency and she literally laughed and him and said she didn't care and hung up. We gave up because we were just too slammed to invest the time. I still wish we'd have pursued that.

The Charmed Peacock in Greenville, NC
This is just laughable. Nicole breezed through my booth at the Atlanta Gift Show and several months later contacted us to find out our terms before placing an order (though our terms are clearly outlined in the catalog she received and still had in hand). She seemed excited, and asked us to call her in a week after she'd had time to get the order together. So we call. And call. And call. And then her uncle supposedly died and we had to call back in another week. And we call again. And finally she sends this ludicrous email stating that she will agree to place $5k in orders a year if we give her exclusivity within a 40 mile radius of her town, free shipping for life, net30 to be charged to a credit card on the 30th day...blah blah blah blah blah I was stunned. So I wrote back and tried to renegotiate her terms, politely but firmly declining many of her ridiculous requests but being generous enough that she should have still been happy. I should have just blown it off to begin with. And we never heard from her again. We tried calling several times, the last time being told that she was adopting a Russian(?!?) baby and didn't have time to place new orders. WTF?!

I agree with the earlier comments about these buyers thinking that they're rock stars, or celebrities! Seriously people, what the hell is wrong with some of you retail buyers out there? You're running a business. Put on your big girl/boy pants and grow up!

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dane 115, Soho, NYC. Stay away.

8:48 PM  
Blogger Lellie33 said...

Rich Hippie in Dallas, TX.

Tried to return a shirt that had a) been bought by a customer b) worn by the customer and c)faded when the customer washed it. I did not allow the return (it was 2 motnhs after delivery,too). So they cancelled all orders going forward. Boooo!

12:06 PM  
Blogger rb331 said...

What retailers have to remember when it comes to there attitudes is that our clothes make your store not your store makes our clothes. Wholesale / Designers - stop catering to these doors. As soon as this happens than it is even once again.

3:23 PM  
Blogger rb331 said...

What retailers have to remember is that our clothes make your store not the other way around so stop with the attitudes and unprofessionalism. We are all in this together!

3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The worst is Michelle from Inge's in Dallas. She ordered several thousnad dollars from me, then returned 3/4 of it because she deemed it "too sexy" for her customers. How is that my fault!!!!!!!!!! You choose it at market. I was really screwed by her, and later on I found out that she preys on young designers. I was warned too late. I was told by other reps that she is banned from many showrooms. I was young and dumb and excited by the big order. So beware of Inge's in Dallas!

9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pixie and Ivy, Houston. Don't be fooled by whatever she says she was. Stay away.

11:34 PM  
Blogger rb1897 said...

Gorosito
Gonnet
Argentina

I also think that it is a very good idea! Gorosito

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NEVER ship COD/check.. people will be able to stop payment on a check before you even receive it.. I also have had experience where they flipped the check over before they gave it to the UPS guy and wrote "please hold for 30 days" on the back.. my bank was flabbergasted at the audacity.
I have taken credit cards only since that experience 15 years ago.

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the 'disclaimer' on our new linesheets...

*DISCLAIMER...
Despite what a good portion of the fashion industry (and press) believes itself to be...neither LovethisLife (nor our reps) consider our apparel offerings to share the global importance of cancer-curing or brain-mapping technologies. Bad manners, pretentious behavior and/or dishonorable business practices flung in our direction will only result in the cessation of a relationship as well as the cancellation of any outstanding orders.
Money is not worth the grief. We hope you understand.



No offense, but I'm a buyer, always pre pay or pay on time, and if I saw this on a line sheet, I would not do business with you. It is, quite simply, horrendously unprofessional to have the negativity upfront.

9:25 AM  
Blogger freddie said...

This site is great. I wanted to do something like this when I first started getting boutiques that don't pay.

One of my first Bull Shit customer that pretends to be all Karma and stuff has owed several invoices and have not paid because of a long list of reasons why she does not have the money but Hello! she is opening another store on Beverly Hills - I am talking about Tres Jolie. Very sweet but I think she likes to play victim - things are always happening to her and she does not know why but very sweet. Will keep you on the phone "chatting" but will not pay. End of story. Maybe I was an easy prey.

There are many, but thank god, my business was doing over One Million plus in our second year of business and I was able to weather all these low life boutiques.

Jacqueline Jarrot is a joke. She is this busty, mascara all the way to China, totally out there character with her "entourage". They will pay if you hound them enough.

Jennifer Kaufman - I thought it was so great that she bought from us - they mistake themselves for celebrities - and never paid her invoice. We moved on rather than focus on deadbeat-bad karma shop girls.

We have a ton of great customers but we also have a short list of do not ships.

My thing is this : trust your instincts - do not give credit unless you can afford to write it off, get credit cards upfront and do not ship if it is declined. Rather have the merchandise in hand than be out of it.

Can we make a list of the stores
so that it is easy to refer to without going through all the blog?
Sometimes, we just want to reference who are the deadbeats quickly.

5:29 PM  
Blogger Gigi said...

Wow, what nightmares! Have any of you ever considered picketing in front of these boutiques?

7:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

where boutique in fayetteville doesn't pay and the owner named ben is a complete bitch. DO NOT TAKE ANY ORDERS FROM HIM.

8:18 AM  
Anonymous King Ferdinand said...

No beefs today. Just listen to me once.
Retailers are fair weather friends, foul weather enemies.
When times and sales are good, it's all their doing.When times are tough, sales are slow, it's your's, the weathers fault. George bush, whoever is around to have blame placed upon.
It is tough to retail. There are risks. I have seen so many designers get screwed by retailers, it would m ake a great book .
Never give credit to anyone without checking at least 5 refereces they can provide to you.
Understand.This needs to be done. When you check on 5 references, you should be satisfied they are credit worthy. ANyone not able to provide 5 references, CCOD.
Certified cheque on delivery.

8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Accomplice-Dallas TX...Comes to the shows writes orders with you, complains how the last season never was delivered to her store(only beacuse she never returned my phone calls)then says that contact will change orders for the next three season's and now I can not get ahold of her at all...had to cancel all orders going forwardf with her. What is the deal with that?

9:47 AM  
Anonymous King Ferdinand said...

Hey, That Gigi looks like a real foxx. I'd "picket" boutiques with her anyday!
As I was saying, did any of you like my idea of CCOD and providing 5 solid references ?
It should become the new standard in this business. We should make buying from independant retailers a "real badge of honour" and likewise, you have to be a solid corporate citizen to be a retailer. No terms, don't open.Get it ?
Almost like shaming someone if they buy at Walmart or any of those other jerk "majors", you are considered higher class or tasteful if you purchase from an independant. And the independant has to be solid too, hence the 5 solid references.
I love the companies that specify COD. I love their arrogance. I mean, even if you are a solid retailer, " Sorry Jacqueline, we only accept plastic or certified cheques ". God, I love it. This was how it was 35 years ago. A bounced cheque resulted in a visit from the police.Seriously. Ask any retired copper.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TWIST -Scottsdale AZ
orderd huge, we prepared on time-after sveral calls, at time of shipping they asked for a 30day extension. Because they're new store wasn't ready-Come the 30 day due date Nicollette(mgr) DENIES there ever requesting the ext. & refuses order. We called the owner & of course she doesn't have any recollection of the situation & passes all responsibiliity onto this mgr.
waste of time & money.

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have also had problems with Renees in Everett, WA. She writes tiny orders and they wants to cancel, complain, ect. Not worth the trouble.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know anything about Get With It in Houston?

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an newish designer, and after being screwed a few times have started to do Credit cards only. However, many people at market say to "call them" for the credit card number.

Is there a risk in getting the number over the phone, and not having a signed receipt with the credit card number by the client?

Do I need to total the order at market, and have them sign the credit card slip there? How do you guys deal with credt cards?

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read the comment the the buyer wrote regarding lovethislife and they're disclaimer on the linesheets. I think that as a buyer if you wouldn't write they're line from the jump based on this, then they don't need youre business. It is called a sense of humor and a bit of understanding that we are in the game together. The whole reason why I love being independent is that if you are an asshole, I don't need your order and I can sell someone else on your street. I think to say that the disclaimer is "horrendously unprofessional" is retarded. Get a sense of humor.

PS..I in no way work for that brand, I am just putting in my two cents. If I did represent them and you said that to me, then no love loss, I would sell your neighbor.

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally I believe that someone who claims to be in the business calling someone's opinion retarded is "horrendously unprofessional."

That having been said, I am a store owner & an indie designer and a disclaimer like that would certainly make me think twice. If you want to be taken seriously by stores you need to act professional...a rude note like that on a line sheet would make me wonder how professional the designer really is.

I have been burned by unprofessional designers in my store just as many times as I have been burned by unprofessional stores as a designer. There is a way to protect yourself as a designer and still be professional. I have all buyers sign not only their order but my "terms" sheet as well...this has protected me when I needed it (it even held up when I had to take a store to court last year).

3:45 PM  
Anonymous King Ferdinand said...

I was thinking about that last comment.It makes sense to maintain a sense of humour pertaining to this site, although it is not at all funny when a small designer gets STIFFED by a retailer.
Some may view this site as a last ditch attempt to prevent some of the nonsense that retailers subject designers to.
Kind of like, "if you stiff me, I will post you ".
I mean the mere threat of finding my name on a list like this site provides, is frightening.

I say spread the word about this site as quickly as the "blogosphere" allows. Maybe these flaky retailers might think twice at market before placing an "order" with unsuspecting victims.
Power to the People!

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

question ? I am recruiting sales reps and one rep I have contacted that has come highly reccomended wants monthly advances on commision, does anybody have experience with this sort of situation ? reccomendations

12:57 PM  
Anonymous bag lady said...

What a coincidence I was just turned on to this blog, and yesterday "Where" in Arkansas
bounced their check for $700. Someone else mentioned that Ben is and little bitch or something to that effect. That's putting it nicely.
Honestly, I'm sort of mad at myself about this one because against my better judgement I let him do COD hold 30. (in my own defense, I did ship to him a while back without incident) When I called to get shipping auth., the PO appeared to read COD but was unclear, and he said they only do hold 30. I tried to get him to do C/C but he was like, "well I'll just cancel it then". So what am I supposed to do with this order that was made for your store??
This is the thing that stores seem to not realize. Designers large and small base production for a given delivery on what is ordered. There isn't like a giant warehouse full of every color combo and size of everything on the linesheet that we just keep stocked year round and pull from at the buyers whim. I need to keep cashflow going, we cut what is ordered and not much more. In this case I should have just said "fine" cancel it because it was belts that I can always sell later. I had a weird feeling about this and should have trusted it.
Not to mention when I called him yesterday he insisted he would have to call back because his lunch was going to get cold. Of course he hasn't called back.
I will say this, no matter what, I have never been stiffed, I always get the money one way or another. I know there are cirmcumstances where stores seem to just disappear off the face of the earth and are too far away for you to walk on an confront them, so there's not much you can do. I just have to advise anyone especially those just starting out, don't ever let a store, especially one that's in your area, jerk you around. Call and call and call and just be a pain in the ass, take them to small claims court, put them in collections but never EVER just let it go. They owe you money, you are totally justified bugging them for it. All of this continues because stores get away with it, and sometimes even put designers out of business.

1:47 PM  
Anonymous bag lady said...

In response to the Henri Bendel post, (as long as I'm on a roll) I had exactly the same experience with them when I did a Trunk Show almost exactly a year ago.
One thing I would add for any West Coast designers who may be imagining that Bendels is the Ron Herman of NYC, think again. They are now owned by Limited Brands which owns, Limited, Victorias Secret, Express, Bath and Body Works etc. Bendels is definitely not what it once was. There just really isn't anything special about it anymore. They are just branding the hell out of the name to sell cheap crap like candles and ugly cashmere sweaters that your grandma would wear. I couldn't believe how corporate and nazi-sh they were especially about the dress code, (no flip flops, no bare shoulders, I'm from L.A. are you kidding?) They where ready to throw out my assistant because she showed up an a white tank top (with a bra and really nice dress slacks). She had to throw this t-shirt on over it that looked terrible, meanwhile all the salesgirls boobs where hanging out all over the place. They totally treat you like crap, not even a name tag to distinguish you from the salespeople, I can't tell you how many people I directed to the restroom while I was there. Horrible experience, soooo not worth it.
They also took a long time to pay, I had to hound them (it was about net 60) and then a few months ago I got a bill from them for a bag that was supposedly returned after 45 days, yeah like I'm going to pay you back for that. PLEASE!!

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nikki rose boutique, the owner nichole is a phone dodging, order writing, order cancelling (after cancellation period) dodgy person. She eventually called me back after writing the order, she said she could not pay and then was given a break and agreed to pay. she then refused to pay again and told me to speak to her attorney. if she had been polite and asked for help or for the order to be cut down or the date pushed no problem, this is one to avoid, avoid, avoid!

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

never deal with pulse showroom, and careful of larry, bit of a temper, fancies himself as a gangsta! lol!

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding TSHIRTSRUS comment about copy-cats...

First of all suck it up because it is just part of the industry and you can't do a thing about it. Unfortunately copyright laws don't cover most aspects of fashion design. They obviously can't directly re-print or use any of your original artwork, but beyond that it's pretty much a free for all. It's lame, but it's part of the price you pay to be in any product design driven industry.

On the bright side, as an independent designer, you have the ability to come up with new ideas and execute them faster that corporate fat cats, so use that to your advantage. Just be sure to bring new ideas to the table every season. They won't be able to compete with that.

I am also a jewelry designer, and I buy from the same suppliers as Tarina Tarantino. Unfortunately that creates somewhat of an overlap with some of our designs. I'm not copying her, but since I'm smaller and don't get the press she does, some people assume that I am :( I get pretty pissed off sometimes because I'll have an idea, search high and low for the supplies, and then see almost the same design go up on her site a week before I take mine to market...Argh!!! If you are manufacturing all of your own components and another designer copies you then that's lame and you have a right to be upset. But if you are buying pre-fab parts that are available to other designers as well, then you can't expect your designs to be completely original!

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

never deal with pulse showroom, and careful of larry, bit of a temper, fancies himself as a gangsta! lol!

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a buyer and a designer, and I also think that the disclaimer for lovethislife is unprofessional. Their disclaimer itself exhibits both Bad manners and pretentious behavior! There are better ways to get your point across.

Having experienced both sides of the industry I can honestly say the axe swings both ways! Our retail store is not on this list for good reason. We make it our goal to conduct our business in the most upstanding and moral way possible. However, we have encountered plenty of designers and sales reps who could be held accountable for sins equal to those listed here for retailers!

We are constantly short shipped, mis-shipped, and or ignored simply because we are a smaller boutique. Our orders range from $500 to $4000, yet even though we always pay up front, we still get plenty of attitude and bad manners from our vendors. We constantly have to weed out the bad apples and search for alternate suppliers.

As a designer I have come across many of the same problems that you all list here. I'm from San Diego, and even though I don't sell to any of the stores listed, I have to say that just having gone in them I'm not suprised to hear the problems many of you are having with those particular boutiques. My advise would be to visit as many of your retailers, or potential retailers, as possible. If anything rubs you wrong or leaves you in doubt, move-on. As a rule a forced sale will come back to bite you in the ass 90% ofthe time, this applies to both retail and wholesale sales.

Oh yes, and take a tip from the off-price vendors in the LA fashion district - Credit Card or COD/Money Order payment up front only! No payment = No Sale.

3:42 PM  
Blogger anonymous said...

4 months past due-collections not able to collect

Spoylt by? Springdale, AK $1800
Teresa's, Winchester, MA -Cons $5500
Bella's Closet Newton, MA 4 stores $5000
Imasini, Atlanta, GA $1800
Jayne & Co. Lockport, NY $500

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dont send your things to Anthropology, they knocked us off... again. Called in jewelry, never returned it, and now there is a copy cat pair of earrings on their website. go figure!!!!!!!!

Also, I dont even know if this store exists anymore, but Texas Couture ordered $2000 worth of product from us when we first started and had no money, and NEVER paid. We tried to sue them, but being in a different state, we werent able to get any money.

6:43 AM  
Blogger pip323 said...

The Black Flamingo, Laguna Beach CA
Ordered pieces and would not pay or return them. I had to physically go to the store to get them back after months.

Beloved Boutique, Baltimore MD
Owner Amy took pieces on consignment and would pay for sold pieces or return unsold merch. Took months to get paid!!

Brit Chick, NYC
Refused to pay me. Setup 3+ meetings for me to come to the store andpick up my check b/c she refused to mail it and closed, left early, ect. I had to bother them for months to get paid.

Hung on You, Silverlake CA
Took items on consignment. Would not return my phone calls or emails about returning the merchandise. Took MONTHS to get everything back and TONS of emails/messages.

9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Starwon Fashions Boutique in Baltimore Maryland does not pay or pays with bad checks. BEWARE!

10:00 PM  
Anonymous King Ferdinand said...

Should you advance commissions to sales reps prior to shipping or getting paid ?
NEVER, NEVER, advance commissions to reps.
It is not an industry standard and anyone requesting this practice, well one word, BEWARE. Better still, BE AFRAID.
Perhaps a new blog could be started titled "BEEFS WITH RETAIL REPS". Some of these reps would have a difficult time finding work at your local McDonalds, let alone successfully represent your clothing line.
That said, one person complained that her/his designs were copied after sending to another "competitor". Common practice my friend, so I hope you all think about this aspect before casually sending off your treasures to places like Anthropology. You just enable then to complete all their product developement at YOUR cost.
Holt Renfrew in Canada is infamous for doing this. Travesty.

8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is my first time blogging on this site. But I feel the need to comment on the recent negativity regarding this site. First of all, some people have way to much time on their hands. This site is supposed to help designers from dealing with difficult stores. As an emerging designer I find this information very helpful. I am going to take everything with a grain of salt, but also be weary of the stores that are mentioned b/c people can have different experiences.
I know the girl that started this site personally and I know all of her beef with stores. She has written maybe 5 or 6 out of 115. I know her mission is a geniune one and not meant to bash stores for no reason. This is a grass roots effort and not meant to be perfect. For all you naysayers out there - get a life. This is a great thing!!!

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

King Ferdindad,

What is the industry standard with a sales rep if:

I go to a trade show in another part of the country and see a customer from the territory of the afore-mentioned rep? Do I pay him a commission on that sale (even though he is not present at the trade show and I bore all expenses?)
I agree we need a rep-beef site

10:58 AM  
Blogger rb 378 said...

Beloved in Baltimore MD was horrible to work with. They took pieces on consignment and never paid...fortunately in my case it wasn't a ton of money lost, but I have heard numerous other designers who were burned by Beloved for quite a bit of $.

On a better note the following stores have been an absolute joy to work with, always professional and have always paid on time...
The Fig Leaf - Cincinnati OH
Nonpareil - Barnesville MD
Abejas - Houston TX

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All we have to say is that we love UNSUNG (online store - www.unsungdesigners.com)! They only sell indie designers - really helpful with PR and getting our brand out there. They always pay on time and the gals over there are super helpful and nice. We love you Grace & Alishia!

8:49 PM  
Anonymous kv said...

Check this out regarding Beloved in Baltimore
http://www.citypaper.com/news/story.asp?id=11388

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dari, Studio City

They are the queens of refused shipments.... Even UPS laughs about it....

Go ahead try to ship em.

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Savvy Chics in Scottsdale, Az

Took items out of box and kept them 1600.00 worth and then bounced a 11,000 check and refused the balance of shipment with merch missing...

Bad Account

11:26 AM  
Anonymous King Ferdinand said...

Reps should be paid on what they write. Now if you have a "real" rep with a showroom or a vehicle that is capable of starting in the morning, and you happen to do a show in his/her territory, you must make sure "said" rep is at the show with you. That is why appointments are made at shows.
You should have the rep provide a list of "possibles" that may attend the show in their home territory or those that they have contacted, but have not made a sale to. Copying down directly from a state list doesn't count!
You gotta be fair with the rep, so if you write one or two while 'rep" is having lunch, or doing the afternoon shift, cut a commision. Cost of doing business, whether they wrote the paper or not.

11:28 AM  
Anonymous King Ferdinand said...

Reps should be paid on what they write. Now if you have a "real" rep with a showroom or a vehicle that is capable of starting in the morning, and you happen to do a show in his/her territory, you must make sure "said" rep is at the show with you. That is why appointments are made at shows.
You should have the rep provide a list of "possibles" that may attend the show in their home territory or those that they have contacted, but have not made a sale to. Copying down directly from a state list doesn't count!
You gotta be fair with the rep, so if you write one or two while 'rep" is having lunch, or doing the afternoon shift, cut a commision. Cost of doing business, whether they wrote the paper or not.

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although there has been those stores that we have black listed I would like to point out the stores have remained honorable and professional throughout our long time relationship:

Dali, Huntington Beach CA- These girls should win buyers of the year award. They pay on time, never ask for RA's (unless justified), listen to your advice when buying, and above all have great taste!

Krazy Marys, Sacramento CA: She maybe crazy but she has continued to support our showroom and lines throughout the years. She understands the concept of buyer/rep relationship and has never been pretentious or unreasonable.

Sirens and Sailors, Echo Park CA: Big sweetheart. Cute store. Low maitenance buyer.

Local 35 Portland OR: This guy is soooo easy to work with. Laid back, gets approved for terms with all my vendors, and deals with you professionally (does the basic things like return phone calls, follow up with orders, etc..)

Ab Fits, San Fran CA-Awesome girls. Completely on top of payment, ordering, and making appointments. True example of what an organized informed buyer should be.

Villains San Fran CA-Long time history with these people but nonetheless great to work with. Not only do they have awesome credit but they also have been super kind to us. Case in point, we were on a road trip in the area last year. Had no appt. Showed up at their door and happened to see Randy (owner) outside who has more than happy to see us regardless that we didn't have an appt.

While I'm at it here's some stores that we will never touch again:

Hollywood Trading Co/Fred Segal Santa Monica: Buyer made appt. I showed up and he pretended he didn't know who I was eventhough he spent an hour working with me at a trade show the month before.

In Style, Century City CA: Probably one of the rudest most arrogant buyers I've ever dealt with. She buys a style from my line which does well for her. She decides she wants bring a crap load more against my advise which ofcourse she doesn't sell all. Wants to return everything and insist I didn't advise her against it. Well a month later I call to follow up and she pretty much tells me off on the phone and hangs up. Nice.

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got a bone to pick with those designers that think a reps are like GOD!!!! Please try to remember we can't make miracles happen. And quit giving us that cheesy wish list of stores like Bendels, Barneys, Bergdorfs, Scoop, etc. BE REALISTIC!!!!Especially when you give us 6 peices in a collection, in the wrong fabric and late to show. And then my favorite, you pay late and complain about stores that you opened that suck. What is up with that? Stop bit*ing and pay your reps. We know which stores pay and which don't.

7:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

King Ferdinand,

What if the show is in another territory, and the rep is not there. this rep is expecting to be paid full commissions on sales that I make at this other show that are to people/stores within his "territory". I think full commission on these sales is unreasonable, considering that I will pay for all show fees and man the booth. I have heard from others that partial commission is the norm. Is this true?

6:34 AM  
Anonymous King Ferdinand said...

If you pay full commission to a rep and they cannot attend a show for whatever reason, why do you need a rep ? Your "rep" needs to prioritize. You did. You laid down the dollars and your time to enter this show, and they can't even grace you with their presence ?
Do the show yourself, pay a partial commission to the rep, only if they pay a follow up visit to the account etc... under the pretext of taking a satisfaction survey. Make something up.

Question? Ask the rep how many other lines he/she carries in that territory, and by not attending a show is it because they have arrangments with other brands not to carry conflicting lines?
I know many reps that carry several lines, and many clothing companies they rep aren't aware of this , nor would they tolerate.
Just a thought. When you hire a rep, you may want to stipulate that trade show attendance , especially in the home territory is mandatory.
You have to treat reps like kids sometimes.

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DC DESTINATION
DONT SELL TO THIS STORE
ITS IN WASHINGTON DC
GHETTO TRASH BITCHES WHO STIFF PEOPLE FOR $1000 invoice

ALSO DONT SELL TO:

FEDERATAS in LOS ANGELELS
AKA RUBEN MELO.
ANOTHER SCUMBAG who is going to get the rock thru the window for a $2.5k order.

CHEAP PIECES OF SHIT

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fred segal trend, bounced a box would not return calls

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kate daniels in long beach is an RA nightmare, ordered huge then wanted to return half the merchandise a month later, merchandise that did very well in other stores, apparently it had never even been put on the floor

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sharon Segal is not good a paying bills!

4:31 PM  
Anonymous lovethislife said...

Love the two 'anonymous' rants from the pretentious garmentos who dissed our Disclaimer (which has been enacted after 3 1/2 years of being stiffed by thieving retailers who dare put their signatures on orders and commit our limited hard-earned dollars to the production of goods...only to be paid with bounced checks) under "anonymous" names.

If you're going to flame us...at least have the grace and courage to back it up with a real name. We make no apologies for now being able to pick and choose who we'd like to work with (decent and grounded humans) and who we wouldn't (all those stores you probably fall over yourselves to land).

If this is unreasonable...or "pretentious" (as you put it oh-great-anonymous-blogger)...then you're exactly the type of humorless human we have no intention of ever creating income for.

Thank goodness our brand (of which only 10% consists of our apparel offerings) is not relegated to this self-important business of trend-chasing... oops...I mean..."fashion"...

David Culiner
LovethisLife

P.S....how 'bout the rest of you all coming out from under those 'anonymous' hiding places. We'd get a lot more accomplished if you were willing to put your name (and money) next to your word.

11:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only have a few boutiques that carry my designs...Right now I only have one that I consign with-Veersamae Luxe. While I haven't sold a lot of items(its fairly new), she pays on-time...she has one of the best agreements I've seen.

The rest of my shops carry my designs on a wholesale basis...I revcieved a few through POOL. I always require payment upfront! Thinking about offering credit terms for return clients who have purchased at least 3x previously...to harsh?

12:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear David from Love This Life, please know that the "Anonymous" is used to protect ourselves against retaliation from retailers. If we were to use our names...then it would just open up a can of worms in regards to retailers and whoever else causing personal vendettas, friction and arguements. This way, we can post our problems to warn other designers--and that's that. No need to get into it directly with the stores on this blog. In the long run, it's better for us. So we don't have to deal with back-and-forth retaliatory emails in public on this blog.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous King Ferdinand said...

I agree with that Culiner dude. What's the deal with putting down his firm stance. Give him credit for being gutsy enough to poke fun at these deadbeat retailers.He is not claiming all retailers are deadbeats, only some.
You "anonymous" dissenters need to look at it from his shoes.
Have you felt the pain of a "royal stiff" ?
Have you had any salt rubbed in by seeing the same retailer, year after year, keep burning people ?
C'mon, be honest with yourself. It stinks to high heaven.

We should rename this clause, the "Culiner Clause". He deserves it. He had the balls to use his real name and company and actually put it on his contracts.
I'll buy this dude a beer any day.

9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Out there...

Okay, so here is the deal. I will continue to post as anoymous b/c like most reps I cover a large territory and have been in this business for a long long time. Unfortunatly I would love to say who I am however as we all know, this industry is really quite small. Anoymous or not we speak the truth. I understand that some people on this site, say the axe swings both ways... however if you are a great agent and run your business it really dosen't. I also read the recent posts on the main page abount being "PC" and trying to post nice comments however if you aren't getting paid, there isn't anything nice about it. I cover half the country and it is alot to contend with. Dealing with majors, boutiques and specialty chains. This is business and if you can't pay your bills or if you are a nightmare to deal with, then you will be called out and reps spread the word. Trust me this site is great but it's not like I don't chat with my collegues across the country on a regular basis to let them know what my experiences are, and to see if they are going through the same as well. I think some retailers might get on this and cringe that they are posted, however some of these retailers reputations proceed them and internally as reps we have been talking about your behavior for a long time. Be it how you conduct yourself, your payment history, ect. It is what it is.


Now....on to the whole "to pay" or "not to pay" your rep about being a tradeshow nonsense. Here is how it is broken down: if you hire a independent rep, whatever is written in they're territory, they get paid on. PERIOD. If you are going to nickle and dime them, split commissions, ect. then go back to selling your line yourself. I have been a sales manager, a corporate rep and independnt. This is the way it is and the way it will always be. If you have seasoned rep, they won't let it work another way. Judge them on what they do annualy and per season..not if they give you 100% of they're time at a tradeshow. Do then meet they're goal? Exceed it? Then who cares if they spend every day at your booth? That is what support internally is for, is to give that rep all the tools they need to make the business happen. If you want someone to give you 100% of they're time on your line only, then hire a corporate rep. I won't lie, finding a great rep who can run they're showroom and give everyone the attention they need is not easy... however they are out there. If your product is good and has potential you will eventually find them.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone deal with the short-lived Kansas store called 310? That psycho Monica still owes us a lot of money and we're trying to find her.

Any information on her whereabouts would be greatly appreciated.

10:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know a while back someone asked about paying "advances" to a rep that they were thinking of hiring....

First off, a monthly showroom fee is usually tyupical when starting with a decent showroom or raod rep that will help them pay for the costs to run they're business. This is travel through the territoty, flights, hotels, gas, phone bills, ect. Monthly expenxes which may or may not include showroom rent as well. Typically an agreement will consits of a mothly "showroom" (could also be for road) fee and then the standard commission rate with this. Apparel 10%-12%, (the latter usually with European lines or lines that a rep has to launch and won't make any money until long term) shoes 5%-8%, Jewelry 15%

Now...you can also pay an "advance" as you call it, which is a draw against comission. You are really paying the rep commission, but it is just upfront. There are a million reps who take draws, and it is quite standard. I have lines that I do this with and line that I don't. Just depends on what each individual lines' contract is and where I was at my business when I picked them up, where they are at in they're
business as well...the collection I mean. The rate of showroom fee also depends on this, it is just about coming up with somethign that works for everyone if you vibe and can see long term (hopefully) with this agent.

Also....do the math. If you are thinking that you don't want to pay a showroom fee and want me to pick up youre line now let's say to sell Spring 2007, I'm not going to make any money from you until about May of next year after I book and after we ship and after you get paid. How am I supposed to procure all the orders and travel within my territory and run my business between now and then? That is what the showroom fee, as well as sometimes draw goes for. Even if I were to were to write immediates, how much really will I write? Let's say I do 50K for you between now and then for Fall 2006. I make 5,000. That is not gonna get me through until next May and through the rest of this year either..

11:31 PM  
Blogger Designer Chickie said...

What an awesome site and thank you to everyone that has opened my eyes even more than they are.

A few things from me, now a full fledged designer of my own label since 2002, trying to get out there but dealing with the every day crap that everyone else is putting up with.

1. Henri Bendel:
What a joke. I was one of those fools that attended their go-see back in 2004. The buyers I was put in front of were 2 - 18/19 year olds that were clueless. They were not buyers and I was insulted. They wanted to keep my media kit/line sheets and I refused. HB's may have had a name at one time, but now, with the poor quality they have in their stores, I'd never go there again.

2. Bergdorf's associate buyer - Shira Lauder:
Here's another piece of work. I was asked by a client who knew Ms. Lauder and told me to immediately send her some samples. So I did. 3 days later, I got my box returned (minus the pr folder). 9 samples still wrapped by me and one barely opened..almost like she stuck her finger in it to take a peek. No letter or note. So I called her and she picked up and rudely told me my designs were not "her style" and she hung up. Her style? Excuse me! I was horrified even after I did tell her that it was her friend that told me to send it to her. Now I know buyers get things all the time, but at least open up and check the samples out. Bad experience, would never deal with her again.

3. Scoop NYC "buyer" Katie Rotondo:
Must be from the same mold as Ms. L. above. Set up the delivery of samples. Didn't hear anything for 2 weeks. I finally got threw to this girl who also thinks she is a rockstar. She couldn't find the samples. Finally 20 minutes later on hold, (yes I made her look for them) She told me they were filed under another name since my tag was a poor choice in curvasive. Excuse me? The PR Kit was typed in Times New Roman. She went on to say that not only did they not look expensive enough but she wouldn't wear them. Hmm, that's strange since I have clients boasting how these items should be at Scoop. So a week and a half later, the samples arrive back....C.O.D. Word to the wise here...I'll make sure to up the wholesale price just for them... ;) OH BTW, they aren't into trend setters...they only follow them.

4. Temple Magazine:
It's just not stores people. 2 people by the name of Matthew Laman and Krystal "Laman" Calendar stole over $15,000 in samples that the written agreement stated was to either be returned or paid in full within 45 days. 8 months later, via one of their editor's, the sob story that their car was impounded then reposessed and all my items were in the car. I've filed criminal charges against them and I will get paid since there is no record of their car being impounded in NY.

Now, for those of you who have had items stolen on COD's or bounced checks etc I believe that is a federal offense and even though it seems like a lot of work, don't let it slide. Go after them.

1:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the best way to get a buyer's attention and get your stuff seen and in stores?

I have had to deal with buyers that wouldn't look at my stuff unless the actual look of the book and package were originally designed just for their holy hands -or- else they would just trash it and move on to the next victim. I find that utterly repulsive for some of us that don't have the money to waste when you just busted it on trying to get great photos done and obviously, money for your samples.

Has anyone else gone through similar situations?? How about success stories?

3:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only are smaller retailers guilty of "stiffing" designers, even some of the apparel "giants" like to mix it up, now and then.
Look at Nike for instance. They had a close relationship with a now defunct CDN based company called Incredible T-Shirt Co. that had factories in Central America and Mexico making blanks for them, and subsequently resold to Nike.

Allegedly, at the strong urging of Nike sourcing people, a Honduran factory was "strongarmed" into accepting a large Incredible order destined for our friends in Portland. The Hondurans were not happy . They heard the rumblings of financial instability, and how other factories had put the CDN company on COD terms. They were given assurances that everything would work out, and given the impression Nike would stand behind any financial shortcomings associated with the order.

Fast forward a few months, to find that the Hondurans complete and ship the order to Incredible T-Shirt and then receive a letter from a court appointed Receiver, placing them on an unsecured creditor list when Incredible T's seeks bankruptcy protection. What, no problem. Nike will honor the commitment. It's only $650,000 . Drop in the bucket, right ? They have the goods and have sold most of them right?
Wait, not so fast. Calls to Bryan up in Portland, were not being returned to those pesky Honduran factory owners.
Supposedly Nike USA knew nothing about any financial guarantees for preferred wonky suppliers, and as such, the Hondurans were told to get back in line with the others .

So at the behest of Nike, an honest, hard working Honduran factory find them selves on the very short end of the sourcing stick . Does it end there ?

I have heard a few juicy rumours that the Hondurans placed a visit to the Sourcing Guru up in Portland, and rattled his cage so much that he now travels with 2 "personal" trainers. His travel schedule had also been curtailed severely, choosing the "homeland" safety of his apartment, colleagues say.

You would think a gazillion dollar company would just pay the poor "out of pocket" Honduran factory owners their money.

Last we heard, the debt remained unpaid, and "Sourcing Guru" was still hiding under his bed.

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only are smaller retailers guilty of "stiffing" designers, even some of the apparel "giants" like to mix it up, now and then.
Look at Nike for instance. They had a close relationship with a now defunct CDN based company called Incredible T-Shirt Co. that had factories in Central America and Mexico making blanks for them, and subsequently resold to Nike.

Allegedly, at the strong urging of Nike sourcing people, a Honduran factory was "strongarmed" into accepting a large Incredible order destined for our friends in Portland. The Hondurans were not happy . They heard the rumblings of financial instability, and how other factories had put the CDN company on COD terms. They were given assurances that everything would work out, and given the impression Nike would stand behind any financial shortcomings associated with the order.

Fast forward a few months, to find that the Hondurans complete and ship the order to Incredible T-Shirt and then receive a letter from a court appointed Receiver, placing them on an unsecured creditor list when Incredible T's seeks bankruptcy protection. What, no problem. Nike will honor the commitment. It's only $650,000 . Drop in the bucket, right ? They have the goods and have sold most of them right?
Wait, not so fast. Calls to Bryan up in Portland, were not being returned to those pesky Honduran factory owners.
Supposedly Nike USA knew nothing about any financial guarantees for preferred wonky suppliers, and as such, the Hondurans were told to get back in line with the others .

So at the behest of Nike, an honest, hard working Honduran factory find them selves on the very short end of the sourcing stick . Does it end there ?

I have heard a few juicy rumours that the Hondurans placed a visit to the Sourcing Guru up in Portland, and rattled his cage so much that he now travels with 2 "personal" trainers. His travel schedule had also been curtailed severely, choosing the "homeland" safety of his apartment, colleagues say.

You would think a gazillion dollar company would just pay the poor "out of pocket" Honduran factory owners their money.

Last we heard, the debt remained unpaid, and "Sourcing Guru" was still hiding under his bed.

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dane 115, NY. Wrote 3 bad checks on the same order. Two bounced, one cancelled. Balance past-due 7 months. Still unpaid. On collection by D&B now.

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get With It in Houston we placed them in collections and have yet to see any payment from this store.

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i also just had a problem with "get with it". they placed a $5000 order, were not approved by the factor and refused to give us a credit card. i think they are bad news.

6:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do stores not want to give their credit card at market? Why do they say to "call them" and they will give us their credit card number over the phone? What are the stores afraid of? Or is this just another way to screw the designer?

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel bad about the Honduran factory. Makes me not feel as bad about being stiffed for much less.

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the credit card tip don't sweat it, mostly they don't want they're credit card number sitting on a PO for some order entry person and/or whomever else out there to see. I am a rep and I wouldn't want my CC number floating around. A ton of buyers prefer to give it via the phone and that's cool. I completely get it.

6:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding Nike's "methods" of handling bad debt, especially in an instance like this, you would think the government of Honduras would get involved or something to aid this factory.
Perhaps the Honduran government know this happened and are keeping their mouths shut in fear that other American clothing companies might get "spooked" and source in another neigbouring country.
Kind of like, "wow, they took on Nike, better find a more subservient country to exploit".
I wonder if the college bookstore "movement" know what really went on with Nike and Incredible T-Shirt Co., and this very unlucky Honduran factory ?

7:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spanish brand skunkfunk is looking for LA and NY agents contact us@skunkfunk.com

websites with collections:

Spring06
http://www.skunkfunk.com/Skfk_S06/collection.php?idioma=en

Fall/winter05
http://www.skunkfunk.com/Skfk_W0506/collection.php?idioma=en

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clever Alice
Chicago, IL.
Placed in collections. Owner refuses to pay invoice and has the nerve to call to reorder!

9:26 AM  
Anonymous King Ferdinand said...

Please no Spammers! Create a separate area for labels looking for reps, but PLEASE, don't let them ruin your good idea by using it as Job board.

See Skunk Funk posting. Yuck.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yo Yo in Atlanta, GA
Has anyone else dealt with them?

I have been waiting 3 months to receive a check from my supposed sold items. In that time, I have also inquired about whether they would like new items, and what has sold. Finally, I telephoned and emailed saying, I want my items back, you are too hard to do business with and havent gotten a response.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lori Karbal - Michigan
Kept merchandise for one month and sent back without RA.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi everyone! i am the co-owner/co-designer of a successful LA based women's clothing collection. i am an avid blog reader and was very excited to find about about retail beef. i feel all your pains and struggles and joys! i love working in this industry and i'm sure you would all agree that not getting paid really takes the fun out of such and interesting and creative industry.

i just wanted to share an experience with all of the new kids...

POOL trade show is an EXCELLENT RESOURCE for new designers especially. we participated once before we had showroom representation and wrote a ton of orders... only a few didnt pan out for various reasons (the nature of the industry) but overall it was a fun and fruitful investment...when we had almost no money to spend. :) what we learned (the hard way) is since POOL is known mostly for being the small company/indie designer trade show, buyers prey on this. most of the small companies/designers there have scraped together the participation fee and are overly eager to write orders to anyone who walks in their booth. buyers know this and will take FULL ADVANTAGE of you if you dont protect yourself then and there, before they walk out of your booth. our story is that PATRICK MENDEZ FRANCE in Montreal Canada walked into our booth and wrote 2 case packs of almost every style in our collection! almost a $4000 order! he signed the PO said call him when we were ready to ship and that he'd give us his credit card. ship date comes around, he doesnt want to give us a credit card nor does he want to wire transfer us the money so against our better judgment we ship him on a "promise" that he would send us a check. oh he sent us a check alright! postdated 45 DAYS! WHAT AN A**HOLE! he took it upon himself without even communicating with us! we were not happy about this but figured, okay, if he's in a financial bind and will have the money in 45 days fine. but when it came time to deposit the check, it had been canceled! yep. so we are out A LOT of money, money that could be taking our business to the next level. the morals of this story are...

A) when participating in POOL, be on the defense for buyers that are preying.

B) always question when buyers place HUGE first orders... this is not always a good sign. dont get too excited if this happens, stay professional, suggest a sensible opening order.

C) since none of you will EVER ship international without getting paid first ;), be very upfront with these intl. buyers about taking ONLY CC or wire transfer at the time of shipping. experienced buyers will see NO problem with this and will appreciate your professionalism. if you get any attitude what-so-ever, forget the order. trust me, this is a disaster waiting to happen.

D) dont ever second guess youself when someone doesnt seem professional. a catty, rude or nervous wreck of a buyer usually will give you problems in the future. run a tight business with people you enjoy and trust.. there is plenty of business to go around, you'll get yours!

4) WE LOVE RETAIL BEEF! Some of our darlings are...

Harmony Lane, Beverly Hills.
Milk, 3rd Street L.A.
Behind The Post Office, S.F.
Stahli - Orlando, FL
Habit - Bend, OR
Rare Device - Brooklyn

All awesome, professional ladies!

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW. Thank God for Retail Beef is all I have to say. I think I've learned as much about wholesaling from reading these posts than I have from just doing business over the past year. Quite a few of the boutiques I'm interested in are listed here with negative comments and I can't even imagine the heartaches I've been saved by knowing this stuff ahead of time and being able to steer clear of them.

So thank you all!!!!

5:29 AM  
Anonymous Angus Beef said...

Wow, that is real bummer Patrick Mendez France from Montreal would do such an evil thing.I guess you are spot on about POOL being a cesspool for predators. Thanks for the tip. I will certainly spread the word not only about POOL, but about Retail beef, and how you can save yourself some anguish before accepting orders from some of these lowlifes.
Next time I'm in Montreal, I will see if this guy is still around and bid him a "beefy" day from all of his fans here.

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Glamorina said...

can someone tell me what qualifies as "bad debt"? What is the industry standard? Our reps want us to give them commisions, not only with merchandise that stores have not paid for, but we have paid commissions on bad debt.
Stupid us...
don't you think that's slimy for them to even want to be paid a few weeks after we ship. NO stores seem to pay on time.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glamorina:

I am an Independent rep. You don't pay your reps until you get paid. If anyrep asks you to pay them ahead of time, then they are shady. If they need some money and come and ask you for an advance on commissions then that is different. You should end up (if you are shipping reguarly enough) to pay them monthly the comissions once sales get up and going. Regardless the amount (be it 80.00 or 800.00) pay them as reguarly as you can. Do not pay out until you yourself have been paid. Reps rarely get paid on what has shipped and I mena RARELY do they get paid like that. It is pretty standard that they get paid after the compnay has been paid. Less returns, discounts, RA bullshit, ect.

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Bag Lady said...

If there is anyone who knows Benton's last name from Where in AR, it would be greatly appreciated. His check has now bounced twice and he's obviously got my number in his caller ID because I'm getting no answer during business hours.
I'm going to go through the legal channels of sending a certified letter requesting payment in full plus fee's within 10 days. Bouncing a check over $200 is a felony in AR and probably many other states.
It's really amazing how cavalier stores can be about bouncing checks with vendors. If they bounced a check at the grocery store or dined and dashed they would be considered scum of the earth.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read a few posts regarding "Get with it" They owe us over $500. I have tried to contact them for over 8 months. They refuse to return calls. They are very, very bad news, stay away!

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

His full name is Benton J. Cooperider -- Where in AR

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sold some merchandise to a store (4K worth). She gave me some post-dated checks. One bounced. She told me she would send me a check from another account that same day. Three weeks later and many phone calls, she always said "the check is in the mail", but it was not. We went to pick up the merchandise. She paid cash for a few pieces she had sold. The merchandise was dusty and shopworn. Since it was made to order, I consider it still her merchandise, except that I am now holding it until she pays me. I deposited one of her checks and it bounced. She was pissed, and said I am in legal problems for trying to cash a check after we picked up the merchandise. I told her it was custom merchandise and she must still pay me for it, and I will deliver it after she pays.

Who is crazy, me or her?

7:54 PM  
Anonymous King Ferdinand said...

Bounced checks, rubber checks, NSF checks, call them whatever you like, but the fact remains, they are a form of theft, if they are not replaced satisfactorily with any bank charges added.
This can be a sad story. You call the police to report such activity and if they bother at all to take a report, you know not much will result.
This is the beginning of a sad commentary on the state of law enforcement in general. God Bless our law enforcement officers. They have been thrust into a position that makes writing a bad cheque not a priority whatsoever, viewed upon as a laughable offense.
Well, it not very funny or tolerable when a bum like Benton. J.Cooperider or a store like "Get with It" in Houston screw you over and think they may get away with it.
A few things you can do to hopefully reduce this absolute criminal behaviour.
1) Ask your rep in the territory to research the state law pertaining to NSF checks. This way the rep knows you are sensitive to this criminal behaviour and will want to help you in reducing it. If reps can't or are unwilling to do this litle chore, replace them. Bad sign.
2)Culiner Clause. Take it one step further. Have a separate sheet that details your company policy on NSF checks, even leave a section blank to fill in appropriate state where order will be written and delivered to.
Company policy should include pursueing criminal prosecution in that retailer's state.
3)If you think this will offend some retailers, you are probably right, so don't ask everyone to sign it. Say it is a rule that the "Designer Co-op/Rep Association" make mandatory for new accounts. Use your judgment. Be creative. Most solid retailers will laugh along with you and cooperate as well, as these flaky, despicable "rubber check writing", jerks place a real bad stain on the industry.

Lastly, for those that doubt the pain of NSF checks, think about this.
What would your personal financial situation be like if someone walked into your bank and withdrew $4500 of your personal funds?. Or any amount for that matter?
You would be in that bank screaming so loud, even the police might need to be alerted. Get it ?

9:31 AM  
Anonymous glamorina said...

Thanks for the advice on paying commissions to reps. We do ship each month, but it seems that there are ups and downs where people order more or less. I feel like no one ever pays within 2 weeks and even within 30 days. This person expects a check to be cut right away. It's totally unfair, we don't have any money for operating costs with this system of paying him each month. Also, this person, does not seem to be that aggressive in collecting money from people who are so hard to get to pay. I think they just want to keep a good face, since they sell their other lines to the same stores.
I think it's shady and had a hunch it wasn't right.
Thanks for the info.

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My advice to designers would be to place any store that has not paid you in collections.

If the non-payment is not placed in collections then it remains unreported. Thus, the store's credit history remains intact and they get away with their shady business actions.

Many of the deadbeat stores assume that because we are small we don't have the knowledge or resources to pursue collection or legal action.

Its fairly easy to put a store in collections on the D&B website: http://smallbusiness.dnb.com.

D&B is a bit expensive but its easy and you can start immediately. You may want to check with your local better business bureau as they may have worked out a deal with a collection agency for all their members.

We need to report these stores so no one extends them credit.

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Paul Lema said...

I saw the piece on the Honduran factory that supposedly got shafted by Nike and Incredible T-Shirt Co.
I can't believe they were able to get away with something like this.

Does anyone know who to contact at Nike to voice their displeasure ?

This is newsworthy in the apparel industry. David and Goliath stories are always fulfilling. I think at some point,I would like to write about this episode and see how the factory fared after such a significant loss. I could ask an organization such as Behind the Label.org to give a hand.

Getting burned is not a very nice thing at all,but getting burned by a company like Nike must really suck.
I hope the Hondurans survived this fiasco.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous GorgeousFeathers said...

Yes, my rep does the same. He is about to be canned.

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ditto on Get With It...as well as Josey's Boutique in Hewlett NY.

Going to go collect in person. Will be very unpleasant for both venues and the humans inside.

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Inge's in Dallas is terrible. She ordered several thousands in custom leather bags, then bounced the box. No explanation.

9:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i sold a twelve thousand dollar order to a store listed as "bad news" on retail beef, i let them know that i would only accept cashiers check on the order due to the bad reccomendation by several people on this blog. so far i havn't heard from them as to whether they will come up with a secure form of payment for me, but i guess it doesn't matter, small loss for a greater cause.

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Simon said...

To the company that will only accept a cashiers check for the 12 grand. Kudos to you. This blog has now proven it's invaluable worth. It appears it will have saved you many thousands of dollars in the long run. A few more of these reported incidents and perhaps these reprobate retailers will think a little harder before they line up their next victims. Full court press people. Keep the pressure on. Do not relent.
Perhaps Ms. Retailbeef will find a way to organize these reportings so when site traffic increases, navigation will be easier. Perfect time for advertisers ? . Factors, collection agencies, employment opportunities ? What have you started ? We like it. It is working.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Texas Couture is still in business in Ft. Worth and has a website of their own. Several other companies have sued and won against them, the list is long.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Texas Couture is still in business in Ft. Worth and has a website of their own. Several other companies have sued and won against them, the list is long.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous glamorina said...

could someone tell me what qualifies as "bad debt". how many months has to go by before it's considered that. we have been paying our reps on bad debt, thinking they would pay, since they were "good and large" stores.
if anyone could let me know asap, that would be great.

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

has anyone dealt with Crush in Malibu?
does this store have a rep for bouncing boxes?

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone have any bad experiences with Tobi Blatt in San Diego???

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tobi Blatt in San Diego - MAJOR EGO and probs. They will ONLY pay you if the goods sell. HIghly unorganized and I have heard several horror stories about them even from a MAJOR Jean Co. Executive simply told me STAY AWAY. Also they love to order HUGE orders then cancel after they have rec'd it.

These Buyers & Owners need lessons in Ethics & Morality. They FULLY know wayyyyyyy in advance they have NO intentions of paying you for your goods. Yes they look you in the eye thinking what a nice designer (to bend over) you get the ugly picture.

This site ROCKS - finally the word is getting out on THE NUMEROUS SCUMBAGS that love to prey on designers and passionate people who WORK their asses off so that we can pay for their 500SL Mercedes and their phony lifestyles and drugs. Oh and don't forget those enormous fake Boob jobs for store owners over 50 who think they are rock stars.

Every designer who has been ripped off on this site has PAID FOR THEM. Sorry for the reality check but that's the TRUTH.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IMASINI BOUTIQUE - Atlanta, GA
Buyer Lauren Lazarnick

Has anyone else had a bad experience or rubber cks from this Btq. I saw one other designer on this site still has 4 months past due-collections not able to collect Imasini, Atlanta, GA $1800. Just wondering if they are cons/crooks. I got the feeling as she said Oh no they could never do credit card only COD CK. Sounds like a rubber scam.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

check out this site... http://www.retaildish.com. It basically covers the same concept as this blog but is organized in a much better way. It is set up by store name and state. check it out. It is 100% free.

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cancelled my order before to Crush in Malibu, because I wanted to sell to Ron Herman in that same Plaza.
I think she has the competition with them and planet blue, so she prob will take anything at this point.
I remember her expressing her frustration that people tend to choose RH over her.

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Studio Couture / Europia 2 LTD (buyer: nino / Detroit)
-sent a COD box worth $1500. Received check, but the check was post dated 30 days. Tried cashing the check, but there were no funds available in their account. they never answer the phone, and message box was always full. Kept calling their bank to see if we can cash their check, but we were told today that they closed their bank account recently! Does anyone know this guy or any further contact info??

Cactus Blues-Japan
-This is some Japanese distribution company. Totally rude and ignored many phone calls. This Nobu guy's a jerk. In the end they screwed us over causing a huge loss.

MIELE, CA
-placed a big order, when it was ready to ship they suddenly cancelled without apology.

Paliskates, CA
-Unethical and hard to work with, they think they can screw people.

Johnny Rocco, Brooklyn
-refused to accept their order.

Atrium, NY
Karmaloop, MA
- These two take forever to get payment!!!

We also hate stores who think they can postdate checks when paying COD!!

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jennifer Kaufman
Queen bee- worked with her for four hours, two days later she cancelled the order.

Dale Michelle
Grey Belle
Sorella

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The buyer Masatori from Lombardi Sports in San Francisco is a total slacker! I miss Sophie! They waste an unbelievable amount of your time.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DON'T SHIP THESE PEOPLE.

NyPull in NYC
Blondies/Trendy corp in Phili
Paliskates in CA
Blonde Russian

Consider yourself warned!

3:48 PM  
Anonymous LovethisLife said...

FOR THE NEWCOMERS...things to consider (and I'm no expert). Just some hard-learned lessons that may benefit you. Pick and choose as you please...

FIRST - your offering needs to be bulletproof. It has to be able to sail the trend-chasing tide of the fashion world on it's own merits. You are solely responsible for its perceived value to others.

WHEN SELLING - remember that no store is obligated to buy anything from you. They really aren't. But a bulletproof offering (oiled with your endearing conviction and charming perserverence) usually remedies this in time. You're dealing with humans with moods, budget constraints, and pre-conceived shopping lists so stay patient and focused (because your offering is bulletproof...right?).

BE COOL WITH THE INEVITABLE REJECTION - why would you want to create income for humans who aren't into your gig? Don't sweat them. If you take this stuff personally, you should consider applying for the position that just opened up at your local bowling alley. It's all business down there.

BE GRATEFUL FOR EVERY SINGLE ORDER - no matter how big or small it is. Because that small order is your introduction to your new (and ultimate) audience...the customers who will be buying your offerings (at full retail) on your website.

THE WORLD IS YOUR MARKET...LITERALLY. For example, we couldn't get arrested by the Robertson Blvd. Snob Shops back in the beginning (I mistakenly thought that that stretch of stores was the gateway to apparel-branding heaven. Thankfully, I couldn't have been more wrong). Anyway...if you think about it...London, Sydney, Des Moines, Tokyo, Omaha, Paris, Johannesburg...all of them are markets for your offerings. So don't sweat the Celebrity Trend-Chaser Magazine's "It Pick" Stores Of The Week. The U.S. is only 15% of the world market. So go find your audience east, west, north and south of us. And guess what...they're money works too.

HOWEVER...DON'T SHIP - anywhere that you're not willing to drive or fly to to collect in person. Yes...showing up in person is a VERY effective collection method. Especially when there are customers in the store. Talk about good times.

JUST REMEMBER THAT THAT FIRST 'NO' ISN'T FOREVER - some of our biggest detractors/rejectors are now our best accounts. Just take note of 'how' they first rejected you. Also to be discussed later...

WHEN YOU FEEL THAT URGE TO SELL TO THE HIGHER-PROFILE STORE - remind yourself that their money is no greener than anyone else's (that is if the check even clears). Checks from Neiman's and Woolworth's deposit (and spend) the same.

SALES REPS - can be an amazing addition to your growth. Use your reps to supplement (not lead) your efforts. They don't owe you a living. You do.

APPAREL-RELATED PRESS - well...all I can say is that if you're willing to rely on them to build your brand, you're giving them the power to take it away (when they jump on another bandwagon in the following issue). Why would you do that? Think about this for a second. These are humans who are lobbing (trend-chasing) opinions and (trend-chasing) judgement from the cheap seats (they don't have the courage to design or sell for themselves). Are they really the type of people you feel a need to appease? (Folks, I'm not being mean...I'm just being truthful). But it's your call. Our apparel branch passes on this stuff because...

WORD-OF-MOUTH is the most effective/truthful/genuine form advertising that money can never buy. But it takes a lot of hard work to generate the word-of-mouth so you better be committed to your bulletproof offering (oiled by your endearing conviction and charming perserverence). However, if you're not up for the hard work, the bowling alley-option is always looming.

NEWS FLASH: THE $300 ORDER - will be a bigger pain in the ass than the $3,000 order. It just is. So roll with it.

BACK TO THE REJECTION - "how" they reject you tells a lot about that business. A graceful 'no thank you' is all that it takes. Well, you and I both know that it rarely goes down that way. When we first started three 1/2 years ago, I (embarrassingly) left samples one day at both Lisa Klein and Kitson down on Robertson. Not knowing the apparel business, I made the mistake of listening to someone who did/does. Anyway...the jet propulsion engineers at Lisa Klein claimed that they 'lost the samples' and got all bent out of shape when I had the audacity to ask for them back (they were one of a kind at the time) while across the street, the buyer at Kitson just jammed the samples (as if they were trash) back into the bag. In both cases...these are examples of inappropriate rejections by graceless and impolite humans (again...this is not being mean...it's just being truthful). No...they don't owe us an order. But you know what, a well-mannered "no thank you" would have sufficed. So...take note of how the buyers treat you BECAUSE...

YOU WILL BE JUDGED - by how you handle situations of adversity with your customers (late shipments, damaged goods etc.). So be as helpful as possible as it's during times like these that your image is created (a lesson we're working VERY hard to repair thanks to yours truly's personal ineptitude in this department). If you're not built to cater to your customers, then get someone else who enjoys talking with people to do it . It makes all the difference in the world.

OH YEAH...ON OUR ORDER SHEETS - under the line where the buyer signs for the order, we've placed a statement saying "your signature is your word - please honor it." It's fun to refer to when they're paying late. Feel free to use it.

AS WRONG AS IT IS FOR A THIEVING STORE TO STEAL FROM YOU - it's equally as wrong for you (as a creator) to do the same to another designer. Just because knocking-off is rampant in the apparel business, it still doesn't make it right. Actually, it's unacceptable. If you have any talent...you need not send your karma in that direction. So don't go there.

IN THE END - as hard as you work and as passionate as you are about your bulletproof offering (oiled by your endearing conviction and charming perserverence), don't lose sight of the Truth that the business of fashion is no more relevant than the most humble of jobs. Seriously...none of our collective offerings are a necessity to society or the greater good.

If we believe differently (as many designers, buyers, and press-humans do), then we should collectively head down to our local Bowl-arama for a slice of some minimum wage humble pie.

See ya at Project.


David
LovethisLife

3:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lovethislife - thanks for calling it like it is. more power to ya.

(i'm still new so i better stay anonymous for now)

5:35 PM  

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