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Thread: Discontinuing Lines

  1. #1
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    Discontinuing Lines

    Does anybody have any horror stories dealing with reps? Or trying to get rid of a line and them not wanting to take it? Currently in that situation but they want me to switch it out for another one of their lines.

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    I think everyone has a story like that. We had 2 companies who discontinued their lines, they gave us $ back to keep the frames, which practically paid for it. They were still under warranty for another year, so we kept them on the board. Another company just up and left the US with no contact and no warning and we were stuck with their stuff. Only thing I can think of is to 1) use as trade in for another company. Some companies will "buy board space" and will offer 40% off their stuff and will take whatever frames you want to give them, so I give them old discontinued stuff. 2) have a clearance sale and reduce price with no warranty on frames. No one wants discontinued stock but sometimes it happens. You just have to try to do the best with it that you can.

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    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    I don't think many companies will take back a whole line of merch without you paying for the privilege.

    I've returned whole lines (maybe a dozen or two frames) but I've bought the same and even more in exchange for the favor, i.e. I return 12 and buy 24-36 of another line.

  4. #4
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    Another thing to remember is that most of these reps do not have a choice if the line is gone. They can't take a line back and refund you. That is why, you need to make sure you have good reps. I really don't deal with bad reps unless I have to (forced my management). They will warn you if a line is going to be phased out so you can sell down. Or if they can, they'll comp you or discount some new product to make up for the loss. A good rep will always try to help you out. And... if they are a good rep, I always try to help them out too. For instance, some work with companies that make them do a certain number of in person sales calls per time period. If I need some frames, I'll email the rep instead of just ordering online. It might seem like a small thing to do, but it can help them out and I find that it comes back around to me when I need some help.

  5. #5
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    Don't bite on their shenanigans to persuade you into buying even more of their frames. If they won't take them back tell them to have a nice day and move on. Frames eventually sell, it's not like you are stuck with them.
    What mervinek says is quite common.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    I don't think many companies will take back a whole line of merch without you paying for the privilege.

    I've returned whole lines (maybe a dozen or two frames) but I've bought the same and even more in exchange for the favor, i.e. I return 12 and buy 24-36 of another line.
    This would be my experience as well.

    I guess I don't understand the original question. Is iD saying they are trying to return an entire frame line for a refund? Because if that's the case, it sounds like the store is the nightmare not the rep.

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    Wow. I was just thinking about this topic. I'm kind of in charge of my optical now and I am considering dropping an entire manufacturer and bringing in Morel or something a little nicer, but I don't really know how to deal with that. I would like to avoid any awkwardness and just send an email stating we don't need anymore rep visits and sell off the stock to a new rep as a buyback for credit.
    Krystle

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwill212 View Post
    This would be my experience as well.

    I guess I don't understand the original question. Is iD saying they are trying to return an entire frame line for a refund? Because if that's the case, it sounds like the store is the nightmare not the rep.
    You are assuming alot. Just so you know the line that I want to return is collecting dust and hasn't been selling. I do carry other lines from the same manufacture that do well. I'm just giving up on this line. A credit on the account would be what I would want. I even looked at the other lines they carry and none were appealing. The manufacture wants 40% of our board which is crazy to me. Nobody should dictate how much percentage of a board we carry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iD View Post
    You are assuming alot. Just so you know the line that I want to return is collecting dust and hasn't been selling. I do carry other lines from the same manufacture that do well. I'm just giving up on this line. A credit on the account would be what I would want. I even looked at the other lines they carry and none were appealing. The manufacture wants 40% of our board which is crazy to me. Nobody should dictate how much percentage of a board we carry.
    I don't think I assumed anything. I even went out of my way to say I don't understand the question. I guess we are just working in dramatically different parts of the optical world. I buy frames and they are mine. If my rep wants to extend me a favor of returning product that I purchased it will usually be at a 3:1 ratio of new to returned frames.

    I would also never deal with any company, in anyway, that dictated which frames I buy and how much of my inventory is their product. You are correct, no one should dictate how much percentage of a board you carry, but yet here you are buying frames from them. Can't have it both ways.

    Does your rep dictate what frames are on your board? Do they control "their" board space putting in whatever frames they think will sell? If so, then your request seems reasonable. But that entire situation would seem out to lunch from my point of view.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwill212 View Post
    I don't think I assumed anything. I even went out of my way to say I don't understand the question. I guess we are just working in dramatically different parts of the optical world. I buy frames and they are mine. If my rep wants to extend me a favor of returning product that I purchased it will usually be at a 3:1 ratio of new to returned frames.

    I would also never deal with any company, in anyway, that dictated which frames I buy and how much of my inventory is their product. You are correct, no one should dictate how much percentage of a board you carry, but yet here you are buying frames from them. Can't have it both ways.

    Does your rep dictate what frames are on your board? Do they control "their" board space putting in whatever frames they think will sell? If so, then your request seems reasonable. But that entire situation would seem out to lunch from my point of view.
    I inherited the board as I just took over the optical side of it. So if I had my say then I wouldn't have agreed to such terms. I didn't pick any of these and I'm trying to clear house. I'm learning that it's not as easy as I would like.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by iD View Post
    You are assuming alot. Just so you know the line that I want to return is collecting dust and hasn't been selling. I do carry other lines from the same manufacture that do well. I'm just giving up on this line. A credit on the account would be what I would want. I even looked at the other lines they carry and none were appealing. The manufacture wants 40% of our board which is crazy to me. Nobody should dictate how much percentage of a board we carry.
    Oh, Marchon.

  12. #12
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    I inherited a big mess here. Opened cabinets and found thousands of dollars worth of frames where the reps just sent whatever and the optician just let them. Crazy concept to me since I always work with board allocation of my choosing. It took me a year+ to clean house. Pretty much every rep came in and I told them... exchanges only. I felt so bad! However, once we sold down it was better. Then I streamlined things. Dropped some lines. When I had a line that was down to about 10 frames, I called a manufacturer I was interested in and asked them what they could do for me. I was lucky... I was able to get free frames for the board space. So they gave us 20 free frames for 20 of my choice frames. That is a rare thing to happen but I had worked with that company before and knew the rep. Usually they will do 40% off their frames for the frames of our choice. So I picked the 10 ugliest or oldest and gave them those. They take my old frames and use them as a donation. Another thing I did was streamlined the reps. Do you have a company with multiple lines that have 1 rep? That makes it easier too. Any old sunglasses that you're stuck with? Donation! Sometimes local after prom/graduation parties are looking for donations for raffles and such. You can deduct them as a donation. Sunglass sale? Sell them off cheap... no warranty.

    It's hard with you inherit stuff that is mismanaged or messy. Sometimes it can take years to get it cleaned up. And again... there's always the weird crap like what happened with Seiko. Just sayin.

  13. #13
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    Off-topic, but I always dug Seiko.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    Oh, Marchon.
    you are half right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iD View Post
    You are assuming alot. Just so you know the line that I want to return is collecting dust and hasn't been selling. I do carry other lines from the same manufacture that do well. I'm just giving up on this line. A credit on the account would be what I would want. I even looked at the other lines they carry and none were appealing. The manufacture wants 40% of our board which is crazy to me. Nobody should dictate how much percentage of a board we carry.
    At some point we need to take responsibility for what we do. It's not always the labs fault or the frame companies fault.
    I bet you are not even showing them! Dust them off, and put them on sale! Move on!

  16. #16
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    CME is right. You have to try a new approach because of all the backstock.

    Certainly wheel and deal as much as you can with the reps (and don't continue to dig, if you're in a hole), but then it's time to temporarily get a new approach.

    You could have a frame board of close outs (really cheap, as-is, no warranty)
    You could price them just a little low and let them sell slow.
    You could give them away with purchase of lenses.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    CME is right. You have to try a new approach because of all the backstock.

    Certainly wheel and deal as much as you can with the reps (and don't continue to dig, if you're in a hole), but then it's time to temporarily get a new approach.

    You could have a frame board of close outs (really cheap, as-is, no warranty)
    You could price them just a little low and let them sell slow.
    You could give them away with purchase of lenses.
    Yes! +1

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    CME is right. You have to try a new approach because of all the backstock.

    Certainly wheel and deal as much as you can with the reps (and don't continue to dig, if you're in a hole), but then it's time to temporarily get a new approach.

    You could have a frame board of close outs (really cheap, as-is, no warranty)
    You could price them just a little low and let them sell slow.
    You could give them away with purchase of lenses.
    I lowered the price and since VSP is having a extra discount until August I'm hoping someone who wants something that's covered picks them.

  19. #19
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    Well the good news is that you have plenty of budget frames (so don't buy any of those for awhile).

    The other consideration is that they are going to go disco at some point. If you have any goodwill with the reps, at least have them return the discontinued before it gets too old.

    If the warranty is gone/they're disco/you can't order the "other" size or color/they are onesy-twosies, then you are down to the "closeout" level (minimum profit for you...probably sold at a loss).

    The way I do it:
    Full retail x 12 mo
    Return if still here
    If can't return due to change in plan, then they go 50% off x 1 yr.
    If they're still there after that, they're give-aways with lens purchase (cash/no warranty)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    Well the good news is that you have plenty of budget frames (so don't buy any of those for awhile).

    The other consideration is that they are going to go disco at some point. If you have any goodwill with the reps, at least have them return the discontinued before it gets too old.

    If the warranty is gone/they're disco/you can't order the "other" size or color/they are onesy-twosies, then you are down to the "closeout" level (minimum profit for you...probably sold at a loss).

    The way I do it:
    Full retail x 12 mo
    Return if still here
    If can't return due to change in plan, then they go 50% off x 1 yr.
    If they're still there after that, they're give-aways with lens purchase (cash/no warranty)
    Its a major overhaul I'm doing. The inventory was done regularly so there's old stuff that isn't even on the boards. I'm lowering prices on frames that are way too overpriced and that haven't been moving. I'm essentially trying to clean up. Luckily, I've known some of the reps from other offices so they have been more than fair in terms of what I want to do.

    Thanks for the tips drk.

  21. #21
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    Just remember... while it's frustrating, a major clean up can take years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mervinek View Post
    Just remember... while it's frustrating, a major clean up can take years.
    Click image for larger version. 

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