How to Deal with Special Requests: Buyer Asks You to Order Something

How to Deal with Special Requests: Buyer Asks You to Order Something

Posted by Big Brand on 11th Dec 2020


Let’s start off with some stories from my personal life:

I’m almost positive I have told you guys these stories before, but in case I didn’t here we go:

When I was first selling online I had a guy who was a really good, small quantity buyer. He used to stock up on all of our listings for VS PINK sweatpants. Then one day he says he needed 200 pieces of “ONLY old school fit PINK sweats”. I told him we don’t have them in stock right now because the current price WE would have to pay to buy them is $29, which means we would have to sell them to him for $33 + shipping, which means he would have little profit because they only retail for $45. But this dude absolutely insists he wants them. So, we go forward with getting him 200 pieces. We spend $5,800 and send him an invoice for $6,600 plus shipping to Kansas which was something like $180 on the 200pc. Days pass and he still hasn’t paid. After a couple weeks he tells us he would rather have us get him tank tops because the weather is changing and "yeah, you were right, these are too expensive.... so, never mind". We ended up getting stuck with all these expensive sweatpants in one style that we never would have bought and can’t sell at that price.

This wasn't the only time I fell for this trick. It happened several times, in fact a lady at our boutique insisted that we order her Ed Hardy purses long after the tattooed-bag phase had ended. She never came back to get a single one. We again got stuck with “feather earrings” that a boutique owner insisted they needed “ASAP!!”, then decided to pass on. There’s also been thousands of VS body butters, SugarLips juniors tank tops, black “goth lipsticks” and more. I guess it’s safe to say that it took me a decade to learn. But, ever since I discovered the trick to “special orders” I have been in the clear. So here’s exactly how to do it:

STEP 1: When a customer requests that you stock something specific, give them a rough quote on how much it will cost, for example, if they want 40 tank tops in size XS only, let them know that it will cost “around $400” then specify that “it could be as low as $350 or as much as $425”. Chances are (because it’s not their money) they will immediately tell you “Sounds GREAT!!!”

STEP 2:  Tell them there is a 50% non-refundable deposit. Meaning, they will have to pay you $200 today, you will then order the merchandise and whatever the balance is, the deposit will be deducted from it. So, if the total ends up being only $370, they will only owe you $170 but if the total ends up being $410, they will owe you $110.

If the buyer doesn’t reply, then GOOD! You just saved yourself a massive headache. If the buyer does reply, then you know they’re serious. 

STEP 3: Your next step is to send them a PayPal invoice or have them sign a special order form (if they are local). PayPal is AMAZING for invoices because THE BUYER DOES NOT NEED A PAYPAL ACCOUNT TO PAY!! They can use ANY credit card, debit or even a check! PayPal is accepted by ALL of the world except for Central African Republic, Christmas Island, Equatorial Guinea, Haiti, Heard Island and Mcdonald Islands, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Lao, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Serbia and Montenegro, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, Zimbabwe. So there is really no reason your buyer can’t use it.

If the buyer is local, make sure you score some Special Order Forms off Amazon, this specific form is CARBON COPY and only $15 for a full booklet, which is phenomenal :

DO NOT LIFT A FINGER TO ORDER UNTIL THEY PAY!!! You want to make sure that your invoice clearly says “NON REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT” and states exactly what the special order is.

TIP: Even if they swear on their great grandmothers grave, baby Jesus, All Things Holy or their husbands AND child's life… DO NOT ACTIVATE YOUR “PURCHASING TRIGGER FINGER" until the payment has been POSTED.

TIP #2: Be sure to include a “Remaining Payment Due By Date”. 30, 60 or 90 days is common. Be sure to add that “merchandise will be released to buyer when final payment has cleared in full”

TIP #3: Make sure the buyer knows this quote is only valid for a day or a week, or whatever.  You don't want to end up in a situation where the buyer waits 2 months to pay, then when they do finally pay YOUR BUYING COST HAS INCREASED.  Even though the Free People bras are $8.99 for you to purchase on November 1st, the price might change to $12.99 come December 20th.  It is mandatory to demand deposit is due quickly to "lock in the price".  

STEP 4: Next, if they pay, and only IF they pay, activate you purchasing trigger finger and place the order. Make sure the merchandise is shipped TO YOU. Never ship to the buyer.  The reason for this is your buyer could claim anything; "It was short 19 pieces!", "It's ruined!" or whatever.  You would have no way of knowing if any of this is true. 

STEP 5: When the order arrives, verify that it is correct (COUNT IT!!!) and contact your buyer to let them know the order has arrived. Taking a quick cell phone pic or video of the merch doesn’t hurt.

STEP 6: Send the buyer the remaining balance invoice via PayPal, or, if you want them to pay in-store when they pickup you can also go this route.

When the buyer picks up, I strongly suggest not accepting a personal check as final payment. Checks can bounce due to insufficient funds or a closed account. But if the balance due is cheap, this is fine. Pay Pal really is best because, as a seller, you have a lot of protection. Regardless, make sure your buyer signs some kind of receipt stating they have completed their special order. Be sure to give the buyer a copy. You may think a receipt is just for a buyer but it is actually also for your protection. It shows that the transaction has been completed and that you do not owe the buyer anything else. Be sure to keep these on file. Here’s a great example of a completed order form:

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