A Tale of Two Trade Programs

08/10/2017
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Scoring great products is essential to any interior designer, and with trade programs through Houzz and Steelyard, finding them has never been easier. If you aren’t familiar with these two resources, here’s what you need to know.

Houzz

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The Program: Launched in June, Houzz’s trade program lets professionals save in several ways. Designers buying products directly on Houzz.com can receive substantial discounts. Also, for those that recommend products to clients through Idea Books, they’ll receive 10 percent of the purchase as a credit to their accounts on the site. Finally, designers who don’t recommend products can give out referral codes to clients. When used on the site, clients get 5 percent off their purchase, and designers receive a 5 percent rebate to be used on Houzz.com.

“No matter how you work with clients,” Liza Hausman, Vice President of Industry Marketing for Houzz, says, “we have a way for you to be more profitable with your business.”

The Discount: Designers can expect between 5 and 55 percent off, depending on the manufacturer, although some offer even larger discounts. Progress Lighting plans to offer up to 76 percent off to the trade.

The Little Known Fact: Designers can score a 3 percent Houzz credit on products from manufacturers not participating in the trade program, which is great for those who like to buy off the beaten path.

The Best Feature: Houzz’s account management team works efficiently as the go-between to help designers work with manufacturers on all aspects of product purchasing, whether the designer or the client handles it.

The Most Popular Products: Furniture, bath products and lighting, according to Hausman. “If they do need to do a return, we have the support for that,” she adds.

Steelyard

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The Program: An industry staple, Steelyard connects residential and commercial designers with lighting, furniture and decor manufacturers. The site doesn’t sell products, but it allows designers to search company catalogs and directly connect with those manufacturers. Designers can build relationships with well-known manufacturers as well as small, niche manufacturers, all of which are vetted so they can be certain that the company will work with them.

“It doesn’t matter what kind of project you’re doing,” Jane Dagmi, Editorial Director at Steelyard, says. “You can get a really good idea and basis on Steelyard.”

The Discount: Designer net or trade pricing. “Many of the designers who use Steelyard already have accounts with brands on Steelyard, and they come to our site to get inspired by the depth and diversity we offer,” Dagmi says.

The Little Known Fact: Designers can keep organized using Steelyard’s folders, which allow them to save products and manufacturers where they can access them later. There’s no limit to the number of folders, so designers can create one for each project.

The Best Feature: Want to start building relationships with manufacturers? Steelyard provides contacts for manufacturer’s representatives, so even if you can’t make it to markets, you can still foster connections with your favorite brands. Steelyard’s messaging system keeps all contacts between designers and manufacturers in one place.

The Most Popular Brands: Noir, Theodore Alexander and Sunpan. Oly Studio launched on Steelyard in July.

The Industry Voices blog captures the thoughts, insights and challenges of the lighting and home decor industry from those who know it best. We want to hear from showroom managers, interior designers, trend forecasters, manufacturers and other professionals who have a unique take on the industry.

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