Has anyone succesfully supplied any of the major US or Canadian DIY chains on a direct basis from the UK ?
If so, how did you get around the need for this telephone 1-800 customer service requirement that they seem to need ?
Trying to do this direct without traditional local support/agent/distributor etc in order to keep the margins healthy.
Makes we wonder how Chinese Manufacturers are getting around this issue ?, as i guess they must be working on a direct basis also.
Appreciate any guidance that anyone can offer on this
I’ve got some experience with both USA and Canadian DIY market – specifically Canadian Tire & Home Depot and I will be glad to try and help.
The simple answer is that you will have to deal direct since there will be little or no room for a distributors margin. The USA retailers drive a hard bargain and expect a serious return on each square foot of shelf space. The upside is that they can move massive volumes.
In relation to the telephone issue, the cheapest option for you is VONAGE. For a small cost – I think its still only about £10 per month you can have a USA number which automatically diverts to a UK number. If you then need that number to answered by a human outside UK office hours, you can get a telephone answering service such as ALLDAYPA to do this for you on a pay as you go basis. Your nominated staff will get detailed email correspondence relating to any customer service issue which can then be dealt with in the usual way.
Best of luck Ben Wyatt – Founder and CEO www.technical-translations.co.uk