Skip to main content


10 Crucial Questions to Ask Your Distributor Before Onboarding

Oct 25, 2023

Choosing the right distributor for your products is a pivotal decision for your business. Finding a reliable partner to store and ship your goods efficiently is essential. To ensure a successful partnership, here are ten questions you should ask before onboarding with a distributor:

  1. Where Are You Located?
  • Understanding the distributor’s physical location can provide insights into their proximity to your customer base and shipping efficiency.
  1. What Is Your Processing and Shipping Time?
  • In the world of e-commerce, fast shipping is crucial. Ask about their processing times and shipping options to meet your customers’ expectations.
  1. How Do You Handle Returns & Exchanges?
  • Clear return and exchange policies are vital. Make sure the distributor has a well-defined process for handling these situations.
  1. Who Handles Customer Service?
  • Know who will be interacting with your customers. Effective communication is key to a successful partnership.
  1. What Is the Payment Schedule?
  • Discuss payment terms and schedules to ensure they align with your financial needs and expectations.
  1. How Much Is Charged for Storage?
  • Understand the costs associated with storing your products, as this can significantly impact your bottom line.
  1. How Much Do You Charge for Receiving and Sorting My Items?
  • Clarify any fees related to receiving, inspecting, and sorting your products upon arrival at the distribution center.
  1. How Do You Handle Late Payments?
  • It’s important to know the distributor’s policy on late payments and any associated penalties.
  1. Does Your Software Integrate with My Web Platform (If Not Shopify)?
  • If you use a specific e-commerce platform other than Shopify, inquire about software compatibility to streamline the order fulfillment process.
  1. What Is Your Monthly Shipping Capacity?
    • Understanding the distributor’s shipping capacity is crucial, especially if your business experiences fluctuations in order volume.

Choosing the right distributor is a critical decision that can impact your brand’s reputation and customer satisfaction. Asking these ten questions will help you make an informed choice and set the foundation for a successful partnership with your distributor.