A Review of the Marketing Service
I've spent a lot of time at your website and I think your paintings are perfect for our stores. I especially like your piece entitled Wildflowers in Taos. We work hand in hand with the largest stores in the country, plus thousands of small to medium sized specialty businesses stretched across the U.S. If you want the opportunity to sell your artwork through major retailers plus the other 17825 art galleries, 51005 gift stores, 6088 craft stores, 2990 craft galleries, and over 24000 mail-order catalogs … check us out at http://www.vendorpro.com
My Vendor Pro Experience.
Perhaps like me, you have received an email similar to the one above. On behalf of http://www.is61.com, I decided to try their services. Isaiah House Ministry's new publishing house was in need of some marketing and the budget was small. The promises the company made were outstanding:
To supply retailer's stores they'll buy products from you in massive quantities. Some stores routinely spend millions of dollars on each product. Landing just 1 account is guaranteed to boost your profits. Can you imagine what 10, 100, or even 1000 new accounts will do for you business? Imagine all the fun you'll have. Best of all, once your books sell in their stores like you know they can, sit back and watch the repeat orders roll in.
There's definitely a larger market for your books. The key is getting your books seen by the right people: the people who are responsible for making the purchasing decisions for their stores. Thousands of key buyers have come to us and asked for our help in locating products for their stores. We search the globe for products we think are ideal for them. Once your books are posted on our site they are instantly showcased to our network of stores and emailed to shops requesting products just like yours. You'll reach more stores than you'll ever have the time to reach on your own.
In fact, you'll receive responses during the year you are registered with us or we'll refund your registration fee 100%. So there's no risk. It's no wonder we've quickly become the nations leading wholesale marketplace. In just 3 years we've revolutionized the industry.
To register your business it costs $340USD per year. There are no commissions or royalties on sales. This allows you to post as many books as you want, as often as you want, throughout the time you are registered with us. Every one of your books will have its own page that we create for you based on the questions you answer. You can even upload images. It's a cinch to do and takes just a few minutes.
We were hoping that Vendor Pro would actually do marketing for us. They promised to put out newsletters with our new releases to their retailers. We thought if the service just paid for itself it would be worth it. One good sale could really help.
However, as far as we could tell, after taking our money and then announcing our company, products, or service somewhere [If they did – we never received notification or evidence of any publication or marketing work done on our behalf], that is the last we heard from them. It turns out that they never reviewed our books before telling us how wonderful and timely our books would be. The letter is a form letter and a misrepresentation of any actual marketing analysis. There was none done. We sell books on religion, stores buy books on religion – that is the sum of their expertise for our products. There was no serious look to see if our actual subject matters would fit any niche or target market. What makes the misrepresentation appear to be sincere is that they grab a title of some product or work from your site and fill it in the blank of their form letter. I realized shortly after joining the service that we might be in trouble when other sites I manage started getting the exact same form letter, customized for the products they sell.
After a year of being listed with Vendor Pro, we got only one call… an offer to sell us tape duplicating machines. So in September, I started initiating my request for a refund. My hope was that in the last 2 months we had left, they would do a push to try and sell our materials. We were guaranteed a refund after a year of no results. We not only did not receive any sales of our products during that time, we received no inquiries from any retailer the entire time we were listed. So, I started the refund process in November of 2004, but we did not get a refund until the end of April 2005, and that refund only came after threatening the company with legal action several times. We were first required to send our entire database of email received for the past year to be examined for potential sales from the site. We then waited and had to ask and request five or six times over 3 months to even find out if our refund was being considered, authorized, in process, whatever. We heard nothing back until we started to contact our lawyers and sent VendorPro copies of our emails to the lawyers. You do not want to have to go to that length for $340 dollars, but it is the principle of the thing. We were finally credited our money, but we were made to feel like a collection agency in the meantime.
That is our experience. Needless to say, we were not pleased with the performance, responsiveness, honestly and forthrightness of the company. It may work for some people and some companies, but it approaches the level of spam and scam or bait and switch in our experience. I realize you don't get something for nothing, but the tools they offer to market the products are shallow. We wondered how they could make money without commissions. We would have been happier to pay commissions if they were actually able to do what they promised. As it is, caveat emptor. And don't believe their sales promise that your products are the best thing since processed cheese. You'll be processed for sure, but you'll end up feeling like Velveeta after being squeezed from the tube.