As an interior designer, you know that trade discounts can be a game-changer when it comes to managing your budget and delivering the best possible results to your clients. However, navigating the world of trade discounts can be overwhelming, especially if you’re just starting out in the industry.
When I ran my home decor business, we had hundreds of interior designers as trade clients. If you have a home decor or furniture brand, head over here to learn why to create your trade programs, and how to do it to attract interior designers!
In this article, I’ll show you everything you need to know about how to get interior design trade discounts, and how to set up trade accounts and access trade discounts as an interior designer.
- what is a trade discount and why do you need them
- how to qualify for trade discounts
- how to set up your trade accounts
- how you can connect with vendors to get the best trade discounts
- Trade discounts are offered by vendors to professionals in the interior design industry, providing savings of 20% to 50% on purchases.
- Trade discounts help interior designers manage budgets, increase profit margins, and stay competitive in the market.
- To qualify for trade discounts, interior designers need to set up trade accounts with vendors, typically requiring proof of business and sometimes a minimum order amount.
- Trade accounts provide access to exclusive discounts, personalized service, and the opportunity to build relationships with vendors.
- Interior designers can find trade products at multiline showrooms, furniture wholesalers, and online suppliers, and connect with trade vendors through trade shows, trade organizations, and trade account applications.
Understanding Trade Discounts
First, it’s important to understand that trade discounts are offered by vendors to professionals in the industry, such as interior designers and architects. These discounts can vary depending on the vendor but can often save you anywhere from 20% to 50% on your purchases.
In addition to the monetary savings, trade accounts also offer benefits such as personalized service, access to exclusive products, and the ability to build relationships with vendors that can be valuable for your business in the long run.
What are Trade Discounts?
Trade discounts are a common practice in the interior design industry. They are a way for vendors to incentivize interior designers to purchase their products. The discount varies by vendor but can range from 20% to 50% off the retail price.
Why are Trade Discounts Important for Interior Designers?
Trade discounts are important for interior designers because they allow you to purchase items at a lower cost, which will increase your profit margins. This is especially important when you are working on larger projects where the cost of materials can quickly add up.
Additionally, trade discounts can help you stay competitive in the market by allowing you to offer lower prices to your clients, in case you want to share the discounts with your clients.
If you share the trade discounts, make sure you have other parts of your interior design pricing strategy and model that cover the discount.
How to Qualify for Trade Discounts?
To qualify for trade discounts, you most often need to set up a trade account with the vendor. This typically requires providing proof of your business, such as a tax identification number or business license. Some vendors may also require a minimum order amount to qualify for the discount.
Can you qualify if you are a beginner?
Yes, but the best approach is to apply for a trade discount account when you have a project and you are planning to make a purchase. This way, you are showing the vendor that you are serious about purchasing, which will increase your chances of getting discounts.
Keep in mind – vendors expect repeat business
Just because you are in the industry and working on one project, doesn’t often qualify for a great discount. Vendors expect you to bring repeat business, and when you are a beginner with not many projects under your belt, it can be hard to establish these accounts.
Understanding trade discounts is essential for interior designers looking to save money on materials and stay competitive in the market. By setting up a trade account and meeting the vendor’s requirements, you can qualify for discounts that can increase your profit margins.
Establishing Trade Accounts
As an interior designer, establishing trade accounts with vendors can be a great way to access exclusive discounts and streamline the purchasing process. In this section, we will cover what trade accounts are, how to apply for them, and what information is required to set them up.
How Do Trade Accounts Work?
Trade accounts are specialized accounts that vendors offer to businesses and professionals in the interior design industry. These accounts provide access to exclusive discounts and other benefits that are not available to the general public. By establishing trade accounts, interior designers can save money on purchases and simplify the ordering process, as well as get access to news, priority support, and many times – invitations to showroom events and other fun gatherings.
How to Apply for Trade Accounts?
To apply for trade accounts, you will need to contact the vendor’s sales team and fill out a sales inquiry form or application. This form will typically ask for information about your business, such as your vendor ID number, terms of sale, credit account, bank account, payment preferences, and more.
What Information is Required for Trade Accounts?
When setting up trade accounts, vendors will typically require a range of information about your business. This may include your payment terms, your returns policy, and any proof of business documentation, such as your resale certificate, sales tax identification number, federal tax identification number, VAT number, or resale number.
To ensure that your trade account application is processed quickly and efficiently, it is important to have all the necessary information on hand. By providing complete and accurate information, you can help ensure that your trade accounts are established quickly and easily.
Overall, establishing trade accounts as an interior designer can be a great way to access exclusive discounts and simplify the purchasing process.
What If You Don’t Get Accepted?
It happens that you don’t fully qualify for a trade account, but luckily there are many things you can do to get approved later on.
Become An Affiliate / Ambassador First
Many vendors offer affiliate and ambassador programs for interior design industry influencers. You can apply to become one too! The discount is not as great as for trade accounts, but you can get a small discount, or a kickback, and work your way to becoming a trade client.
You Can Become a Fan First
Every brand regardless of the size and industry wants publicity. If you can unselfishly promote a brand on your social media channels, or maybe create a blog post that features the vendor’s products, doing that could increase your chances of becoming a trade client. Remember to email the article to their team!
You Can Apply Again
Remember, just because you didn’t get approved the first time you applied, you can still apply again after some time! You can also ask for a small discount for a specific project to prove that you are serious about becoming a B2B client. That is usually a great way to start a relationship.
Sourcing Trade Products
Sourcing trade products is an important part of being an interior designer. By knowing where to find trade products, how to source them, and how to connect with trade vendors, you can create beautiful designs while staying within your budget.
So, where can you find trade products, how to source them, and how to connect with trade vendors?
Where to Find Trade Products?
There are several places where you can find trade products, including:
- Multiline Showrooms: Multiline showrooms are a great place to find a variety of trade products, including furniture, decor, and lighting. These showrooms typically represent multiple manufacturers and offer a wide range of products.
- Furniture Wholesalers: Furniture wholesalers specialize in selling furniture at a discounted price to trade professionals. They often have a large selection of furniture and can offer competitive pricing.
- Online Suppliers: There are several online suppliers that offer trade discounts to interior designers. These suppliers often have a large selection of products and can offer competitive pricing.
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How to Connect with Trade Vendors?
Connecting with trade vendors is essential to getting access to trade discounts. Here are some tips for connecting with trade vendors:
- Attend Trade Shows: Attend trade shows to meet with vendors and see their products in person. Trade shows are a great way to connect with multiple vendors in one place.
- Join Trade Organizations or Buying Clubs: Joining trade organizations, such as IDS, can give you access to exclusive trade discounts and connect you with vendors.
- Apply for Trade Accounts: Apply for trade accounts with vendors to get access to trade discounts. Most vendors have an application process that requires proof of your trade credentials.
Maximizing Trade Discounts
As an interior designer, maximizing trade discounts is crucial to increase your profit margin and revenue stream. Let’s discuss how to negotiate, maximize, and manage trade discounts for your design projects.
How to Negotiate Trade Discounts?
Negotiating trade discounts can be challenging, but it is an essential skill for any interior designer. Here are a few tips to help you negotiate better trade discounts:
- Research: Before negotiating, research the suggested retail price (SRP) of the products you want to purchase. This will give you an idea of the markup and profit margin of the manufacturer or vendor. Knowing this information will help you negotiate a better discount.
- Build relationships: Building relationships with vendors and manufacturers can help you negotiate better trade discounts. Attend industry events, and trade shows, and connect with them on social media.
- Be professional: Always be professional and courteous when negotiating. Do not make unreasonable demands or be aggressive. Instead, present your case and negotiate in a respectful manner.
- Show proof: Vendors want you to show proof that you can and will buy their products. Share the projects you’re currently working on or have in your pipeline!
How to Maximize Trade Discounts?
Maximizing trade discounts can help you increase your profit margin and revenue stream. Here are a few ways to maximize trade discounts:
- Bundle products: Bundling products can help you maximize trade discounts. Purchase multiple products from the same vendor or manufacturer to negotiate a better discount.
- Purchase in bulk: Purchasing in bulk can help you negotiate better trade discounts. If you have a large project, consider purchasing all the products at once to maximize your discount.
How to Manage Trade Discounts for a Design Project?
Managing trade discounts for a design project can be challenging, but it is essential to stay within your budget and profit margin. Here are a few tips to help you manage trade discounts:
- Create a budget: Create a budget for your design project and allocate funds for each product. This will help you stay within your budget and avoid overspending.
- Keep track of discounts: Keep track of all the discounts you negotiate for each product. This will help you stay organized and ensure you receive the correct discount.
- Calculate commission: Calculate your commission based on the discount you negotiate. This will help you ensure you are making a profit on each product.
- Use relevant procurement tools: You want to use a project management tool to manage your purchases.
- Keep in touch with vendors: Ask them to send you regular information about their products to keep your business on top of their minds.
- Tag your vendors on social media: Again, vendors love publicity, and one of the major reasons they create trade and ambassador programs for interior industry professionals is to get more publicity when the designers get publicity. So, when you share your projects online, tag your vendors!
Get Interior Design Trade Discounts & Increase Your Profitability
Obtaining trade discounts as an interior designer can be a great way to save money and increase profit margins on projects. By establishing trade accounts with vendors and suppliers, you can access exclusive discounts and pricing that are not available to the general public.
To get started, it is important to gather all the necessary documentation, such as a professional license or certification, an employer identification number, and a resale license. Once you have these documents, you can begin applying for trade accounts with various vendors and suppliers.
When applying for trade accounts, be sure to provide accurate and detailed information about your business, including your areas of expertise and the types of projects you typically work on. This will help vendors and suppliers determine whether you are a good fit for their trade program and what level of discount you are eligible for.
Once you have established trade accounts with vendors and suppliers, it is important to maintain good relationships with them. This can involve staying up-to-date on their latest products and offerings, communicating clearly and professionally, and paying your bills on time.
Overall, while obtaining trade discounts as an interior designer can require some effort and documentation, the benefits can be well worth it. By taking the time to establish trade accounts and maintain good relationships with vendors and suppliers, you can save money, increase profit margins, and provide your clients with high-quality products and services.