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What is the best way to verify that a sales rep and/or agency is legitimate?

I have been interviewing a sale rep agency and they appear to be a really good fit for us. But they do not have an online presence and the references they gave us have a limited online presence. This has made us a little leery with how legitimate they are. Any suggestions or thoughts? We want to send samples of our jewelry but that can get quite expensive if not returned. Thank You!

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Ask for customer (retailer) references and search the web for the businesses' phone numbers yourself, to make sure the businesses are legitimate. I would have no issues giving a potential vendor 3-5 customers with whom I've done business for a long term. As an independent rep, those relationships ARE the capital I have to offer a vendor. More and more agencies and reps are getting a larger presence online, but there are still some "old school road warriors" out there who just never saw the need. I'm affiliated with an agency that does have a website; but for my direct lines I use social media only, and do not have a website.

I should also add... please inform reps of your sample policies BEFORE sending them out, i.e. whether they must send them back after a certain period, limits on how many samples you'll send, whether reps need to pay anything for samples, etc. I'm in the habit of donating most of my samples to my retailers for door prize/open house drawings/charity events they host, or just as tokens of thanks. Until recently I never had vendors ask for samples back. Unless you tell me in advance that it's your property and you'll want it back at some point, I'll assume they are mine to do with as I wish after their road life is done.

Thank you Marsha,
We had gotten references from the vendors that they rep but will also try from the retailers that they supply. We appreciate your advise it is very helpful and nice to get the reps perspective.

Cynthia Woo

Deni Designs by Bali Jewelry LLC DBA : Deni Jewelry

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