Back Orders, Price Limits, and Other Distributor Gripes

We asked several nail techs to share their distributor irks with us.

They can sure make your life a lot easier, but there are also times when distributors make you want to throw your hands up in the air with frustration. With that in mind, we asked several nail techs to share their distributor irks with us.

“I hate when distributors set a price limit I have to make a minimum purchase of $50 to $100 over the phone in order to get any products, and there are just some times when I don’t need that many items. I also hate paying are not cost effective at all. In fact, I’ll often pick up products from a manufacturer because it’s cheaper than paying for the shipping costs.”

Vickie England

eNailes Salon

Solana Beach, Calif.

“My distributor came into the salon one day and walked around like she wanted us to place an order, but we didn’t know what was on sale since she didn’t have any sales flyers with her. It also drives me nuts when something is on back order, because it’s usually a product that everyone likes and wants to buy.”

Brenda Lee Bollard

Bren’s Nails

Conroe, Texas

“My pet peeve with distributors is when they impose minimum order restrictions. Sometimes there will be merchandise I’d like to order, but the desired items do not come up to the minimum required. This results in either delaying my purchase or my handing over more money for merchandise I don’t really need at the time to get what I need now. My vote is to abolish minimum order restrictions.”

Kathryn Whitlock

Village Hair

Claremont, Calif.

“It makes me mad when distributors have territorial limits, and I also don’t like it when they come to the salon and call on you. They should hand out a catalog instead of showing up unannounced.”

Debi Waszut

Pinky’s Nail Salon

Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

“My only gripe is that I wish my distributor would carry a particular brand of polish I love. I have to go to the manufacturer if I want to purchase the line.”

Jo Laki

Jo’s Naughty Nails

Hamlin, Pa.

“My biggest pet peeve is back orders. I teach at a local college and my students purchased more than $3,500 worth of products and more than half are on back order. My biggest problem is when my students have graduated and gotten jobs but have no supplies. I call to see what is happening and get the same answer, ‘Oh, it’s not our fault, it’s the manufacturers.’”

Darlene Johnston

Pampered & Polished Salon

Hagersvile, Ontario, Canada

“For one thing, distributors are scarce in Wyoming, and the ones who are here won’t call on my shop (it is located on the same property where I live and have three other businesses). In fact, I usually call out of state for my products. The salespeople who have shown up have virtually no knowledge about nail products. It also irks me that some distributors are very reluctant to overstep manufacturer boundary lines.”

Sally Hayward

Nails 4 U

Pinedale, Wyo.

“Any problems I have with my distributor are due to the manufacturers not being able to fill the orders. Therefore, when I place orders, my distributor is out of stock—occasionally for long periods of time. This is especially frustrating when it is a limited edition product and distributors only get a certain allotment that is gone before they can notify all of their clients.”

Jane Bruns

Elegant Nails Etc.

Norfolk, Neb.

“The complaints I have is that in Arizona, distributors don’t offer too many specialty products for nail art; they say there’s not a big need for it here. In fact, I get a lot of my stuff from California. Also, when I order a product, I may find that the container is not completely full. I pay full price, but don’t get the whole item. Another gripe is back orders. I usually get a product when I no longer need it or sometimes I don’t get it all.”

Michelle Ramoz

Genesis Hair & Nail Salon

Glendale, Ariz.

“A pet peeve I have is when I order from a distributor who comes into the salon and then I find out after that some times are on back order. I also don’t like it when distributors come into my salon without an appointment, or when I open a shipment and find I didn’t get everything I ordered.”

Jan Studesville

Just Nails

Madison, Wis.

“They never have anything you’re looking for. You usually have to mail order it and then it takes a while for them to get it to you.”

Karen Pascoe

Paula’s Temple Hill Boutique

Harrison, Maine

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