Tutorial: How to Submit a Rating


  • Register your company on the Better BuyingTM ratings site
  • Anonymously rate each of your buyers on the seven key categories of purchasing practices
  • After you have submitting your ratings, you will be able to view the score earned by the buyer.

Why should I rate my buyers?

As a supplier, improved buyer purchasing practices can benefit you by:

  • Helping you to meet your social and environment goals while still earning reasonable profits
  • Improving your workforce and facility utilization (via mutually beneficial costing)
  • Improving your workforce stability (via more predictable and consistent workflow)
  • Reducing unexpected finance charges in the procurement and settlement process
  • Improving product quality products (as buyers better understand the supply-demand cycle)

Why Better BuyingTM?

According to an independent external evaluation of the Better BuyingTM system, Better BuyingTM is the most effective tool for communicating problems with purchasing practices, because supplier anonymity is maintained. Our rating platform helps buyers understand how their purchasing practices impact suppliers, while suppliers, in turn, can use the ratings to determine potential future customers to work with and to leverage more favorable contracts with existing customers that support improved factory working conditions.

Do I have to complete all the questions?

Yes. Questions on all purchasing practice categories must be answered in order to complete a rating. The system automatically saves a rating you have started so you can complete it later if that is more convenient.

Where can I find the questions I’m going to be answering?

Once you begin rating, you will be asked questions on issues such as the timing of forecast and order placements, variance between orders reserved and actual orders booked, percent of tech packs delivered accurately and on time, and percent of the time and action calendar deadlines that were met.

The full set of questions can be found here.

How is my data, and feedback, kept safe?

At no time is the identity of the supplier or the supplier-submitted data made available to buyers or the public. Your anonymity is always protected, and your commercial relationships will be always be protected when you use of the ratings platform.

The rating a specific supplier gives to a buyer is only visible to the supplier submitting the rating and select Better BuyingTM staff.
Raw data is never released and multiple supplier ratings are averaged so that buyers cannot identify which specific suppliers rated them.

Only buyers who have five or more ratings will receive a Better BuyingTM rating and related reports that draw on aggregated data.

The few staff members with access to the Better BuyingTM website and rating platform have signed confidentiality agreements that prevent sharing supplier data.

Better BuyingTM servers are managed by the Fair Factories Clearinghouse and hosted in a SunGard SSAE16 data center which are managed 24/7 and configured for high availability and maximum redundancy using a combination of RAID1 and RAID5 configuration. Servers are behind redundant firewalls which have very strict rules about allowing only selected connections into the servers. Servers have 24/7 threat monitoring which allows us to be notified and respond to a threat before it affects our servers. As a result, the ratings platform and the data contained in it are highly secure. More detailed information about our Better BuyingTM Privacy and Data Protection Policy are provided to suppliers when they register on the Better BuyingTM platform.

In the wake of recent news concerning Apache log4j, an open source software that allows attackers to target vulnerable systems, please  be reassured that it is perfectly safe to rate your buyers, and that none of our data collection platforms are affected. Both our proprietary ratings platform and Alchemer, where we collect data throughout the year, are not exposed to this vulnerability, and are safe to gather confidential data from suppliers globally about their buyer’s purchasing practices.

How will I be invited to rate, and what level of support is there when I’m starting out?

Buyer companies are increasingly interested in learning from suppliers about how purchasing practices could be improved to better support sustainable partnerships. So you may receive a direct invitation directly from a buyer company who wants you to use the ratings platform. We will then follow up with you to support your registration and participation.

Buying companies that subscribe with Better BuyingTM and invite their suppliers to participate receive reports detailing their companies’ performance against the industry benchmark, suppliers’ constructive ideas for improvements, and our support as they begin the change process.

All ratings for a retailer or brand are aggregated into a scorecard, which is made available directly to the retailer or brand and to suppliers that submitted ratings that were used in the scorecard. Retailers and brands that receive scorecards are encouraged to share those with investors, civil society, and other stakeholders so that progress over time can be supported and acknowledged.

My buyer hasn’t invited me to rate them. Can I still rate them on the platform?

Yes, you can still rate a buyer, even if they haven’t invited you to do so.

How long does it take?

Although actual time will vary for each buyer rated, it will likely take around 30 minutes to complete all the questions for each company. To maximize efficiency, we allow up to four users per supplier company, including the supplier administrator, to access the rating site and input information.

Can I rate my buyers at any time?

We run ratings cycles every year. Please sign up on our email list at the bottom of this page to receive notifications.

Do I have to complete the rating in one go?

No. We provide a macro-enabled offline Excel module which contains all the survey questions and which can be downloaded from the online rating platform.

Can I invite my colleagues to work on the rating too?

Yes. You can forward the downloaded Excel form to relevant departments in your company (although all responses must be entered into one copy of the spreadsheet.) Once the offline Excel module is completed, the designated Supplier Admin can upload and submit it on the online platform.

How are retailers and brands rated?

Retailers or brands are rated on seven separate categories of purchasing practices that have been previously identified as critical to suppliers. Those who receive five or more ratings during each cycle are given an overall score grading their purchasing practice performance; these ratings are given to the retailer or brand.

Do I have to pay?

No. There is no fee for suppliers to rate their buyer companies on the Better BuyingTM ratings platform. How is Better BuyingTM Funded?
Through grants, donations, and corporate sponsorship from brand and retailer subscribers who invite their suppliers to submit ratings.

How is the data analyzed, and presented?

At the end of each ratings cycle, all the ratings for a single buyer are aggregated, turned into an overall score that averages all supplier ratings of a specific buyer, made available to the buyers and suppliers submitting the ratings.

A star rating system is based on objective and data-driven questions encompassing all seven categories of purchasing practices and then weighted to produce an overall score.

Ratings are updated annually. The result: suppliers and buyers can get up-to-date information about a buyer’s purchasing practices and how they are improving over time.

Supplier Testimonials

“We are used to being rated and ranked by our customers. But having the opportunity for our teams to rate and give feedback on our customers’ performance creates an amazing two-way dialogue that motivates our teams and drives us to want to work more with this customer, because we know they want to hear our feedback, and we have a lot to share.”

“The platform is great. It’s very straightforward, very easy to use. It’s very anonymous and also gives you an avenue with which to give your detailed responses or ideas and concerns to the customer without risking any loss of business.”

“Better BuyingTM provides a two-way healthy communication channel and interaction between buyer and suppliers, aimed at having a best supplier community.”

“Participation in the ratings cycle helps us have an overall understanding on what [a] buyer will consider for all the categories.”

“It’s a really good initiative taken by our buyer in collaboration with you to help them improve and improvise their purchasing practices in a sound manner.”

“It is good that you address compliance, labor, environment, energy, carbon emissions.”

“Thank you and your team for your efforts in fostering healthier purchasing practices across industries.”