Trouble Placing Orders

Hello All,

Was hoping to get some feedback. Me and my wife are starting an on-line retail(golf) store. We have the business certificate etc. but are finding out that many companies are saying we must have a “brick and mortar” location. This has been VERY discouraging. We own a house and will be putting our business sign out from since we live on a very busy road but I don’t think this qualifies. Does anyone have any feedback? Thanks VERY much.

I think that you should find out the true reason, why your customers (or you are talking about suppliers?) prefer a trader with brick&mortar shop:

  • Is it because they have not enough trust to online retailers
  • Is it because they want to go to store and check equipment before buy (for customers)
  • Something else

Depends on the answers you can decide what to do.

When you say “many companies” are saying you need a store, are you meaning the suppliers for the product you are wanting to sell?

If so, then there really isn’t a whole lot you can do about that as every company has the right to limit who they sell their product to. I am guessing that they are trying to limit the selling of their items at wholesale prices to someone that may just be looking for a way to get equipment at a cheap price. If you work out of your home, who says you are going to be buying a lot of their product? You don’t have as high of an investment as a brick-and-morter store does so you the legitimacy is harder to determine.

The requirement to have a physical shop is becoming more popular as there is so much saturation online with just web-only shops selling products that a distributor may want to have more control over their product.

I’d talk to them about it and see if there is a minimum order that perhaps could allow you to sell out of your house (thus showing a commitment)? Aside from that, you may just need to determine if the business is worth it to open a shop or find a different type of business that doesn’t require a brick-and-mortar location.

Your post is vague so it’s a bit harder to understand. Can you clarify

  1. what is a business ‘certificate’? did you form an entity or are you operating as sole proprietor?

  2. what companies are saying that you need a physical location? what is the context? who are these companies?

  3. in most residential areas, it’s not allowed to put a sign in front of your house due to zoning restrictions (but this varies widely). however, most areas allow you to run a home business a long as you don’t increase traffic, put up a sign, etc. so, your home business could be a physical location, but some distributors want to see a ‘retail location’ which is either a store open to the public or a warehouse, etc.