Retail buyers; be careful with your holiday and promotional giveaways purchasing.

October 7th, 2010

Retailers have used these types of products for years as marketing tools, and they run the gamut from Christmas ornaments to drinking glasses and children’s toys.

Historically these products may have come from U.S. manufacturers, but today they come from all over the world and don’t ask don’t tell is not the right way to insure product quality and safety. Typically these products are ordered in very large quantities and can be included in programs where you have to buy something  first or are just given away for free as gifts for visiting a retailer’s new location.

If you were to ask retail buyer where they bought these products,they could probably come up with an answer pretty quickly and most likely it is a marketing company. If you were to ask the same buyer where the product was sourced and what materials, compounds, additives etc. were in the product you would draw a blank stare. The additives could be anything from BPA, lead, melamine, cadmium or a variety of other potentially toxic products that we have posted on repeatedly.

This issue recently hit McDonalds where pressure was put on the company from federal regulators to recall 12 million “Shrek” themed glasses that contained cadmium which reportedly could be absorbed at hazardous levels by just touching a glass 8 times per day. McDonalds is a huge and very high quality retail company. If this can happen to them what about all of the mid tier retailers that are not as sophisticated in their purchasing techniques.

Ask your e-procurement solutions provider how they can help you with this problem without you having to ask them every time you buy something.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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