Counselor Top 40 distributor iPROMOTEu (asi/232119) is introducing an individual order financing program, set to launch by Labor Day, that is open to any industry distributor regardless of size. Distributors using the service, called iPROMOTEu Express, will be charged a flat fee of 15% of the invoice amount to the customer, excluding freight and taxes. A distributor may use the service an unlimited number of times.
"This service is meant to give distributors the confidence to go chase bigger orders," Ross Silverstein, president of iPROMOTEu, told Counselor. "This also has tremendous support from suppliers and it fills a void in the marketplace."
Distributors using the service will not be required to use iPROMOTEu preferred vendors and Silverstein says there will be complete confidentiality regarding end-buyer information. In most cases, distributors will receive confirmation regarding their request for financing before the end of the next business day. As part of the Express service, iPROMOTEu will also pay vendor invoices and prepare and send customer invoices.
While the program targets non-affiliates of iPROMOTEu, company affiliates will receive better pricing and terms, Silverstein said. "Affiliates receive a whole host of other services and benefits," he said. "There are lower fees, extended customer payment terms, access to and control of order entry and management systems, and all sorts of sales and marketing tools."
Smaller distributors in the market are closely monitoring the launch of the new financing program. "I think it's a great service and would be widely used by many. I don't see any red flags," said Ashley Keys, promotional product specialist at Ultra Marketing (asi/348051), noting, though, that her firm already provides her strong financing support.
Adds Jeff Schmitt of Cedric Spring and Associates (asi/332750): "It's not a bad marketing move by iPROMOTEu, but I think it will only be used by a small number of distributors."
While the service will be formally rolled out by September, iPROMOTEu is prepared to field requests and answer questions now in anticipation of a late-year rush. "We want to be ready for the fourth quarter," Silverstein said.