These days, anyone can sell online and make significant profits. During the budding years of e-commerce, online selling was dominated by large retail corporations with the resources to sell (and ship) far and wide. But new technologies and platforms (think Etsy and Shopify) are giving independent e-tailers the resources, tools and momentum they need to push their bigger counterparts out of the way.

Farley Nachemin, chief merchandising officer of The Company Store Group, Hanover Direct, sheds some light on why it’s worthwhile to cultivate good vendor relationships. Nachemin most recently was president of Hanover’s Domestications catalog. He recently spoke with Alicia Orr Suman, contributing editor. Catalog Success: Why are vendor relations so important? Nachemin: Along with paper and postage, merchandise is a major expense for a cataloger. You can achieve price opportunities, flexibility and other benefits from good vendor relations. For private-label merchandise, vendor relationships are vital for ensuring that you get the quality and good service you expect. CS: Why is flexibility crucial? Nachemin: It

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