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Trade involves the transfer of goods and services from one person to entity or another, in exchange for money. Economists refer trade as a system of exchange of one commodity between two different nations. Although, before the trade concept in earlier days people followed the concept of gift economy. Gift economy involves trading commodities without money. Bu as we moved ahead with time, and introduction of money happened the gift economy was then replaced by trade economy, as money came between as the medium of exchange against a commodity. The trade between two traders is called bilateral trade and between more than one trader is known as multilateral trade.

While trading of commodities includes a well descriptive reference, we call it trade reference. The trade reference has a whole history of the exchange of commodities between the customers and suppliers. It is basically a report detailing the payment between the customer and its supplier, dealer, or vendor. Trade reference can be provided verbally in the form of a trade reference letter or by reporting trade history to commercial credit reporting agencies such as Dun & Bradstreet.

A trade reference letter

Generally, trade references are creditors and suppliers in the industry, as opposed to utilities. The preferred format of trade reference letter writing can be hybrid, that is it can do both online, offline or even verbal. The only need is that it should be highly professional, and inculcate sound readability. A reference letter is direct and in word-to-word format. Moreover, usage of proficient vocabulary is a must when writing the letter. This article is written in reference to letting the reader know what is a trade reference letter and how you can make it appealing to the reader or reviewer.

Mentioned below is the format of a trade reference letter, the steps you need to follow while writing a trade reference:

What to include in your letter?

write a trade reference letter

A reference letter can be sent via post or email. Make sure you keep the tone of the letter professional and format it well accordingly. Make use of standard business format letter when writing the trade reference. The tip which you can consider is keeping the appearance of your recommendation professional in order to create the best impression.

A reference letter should begin with an appropriate salutation, and end with a professional          close, it must include the following:

  • The date
  • Writer’s contact information (name, title, company, address, contact)
  • Recipient’s contact information (name, title, company, address, contact)
  • Professional salutation
  • The letter body (including few paragraphs, on why you are providing recommendation)
  • Professional closing
  • Signature

In the printed format the writer’s contact information is provided at the top, and in an email, it is mentioned below. Recipient’s contact information can be omitted in email letters.

How to commence your letter?

In a traditional ‘snail mail’ letter, the beginning must be made with writing your contact number and also mentioning the recipients to whom the recommendation is being sent. Moving ahead, an email includes ‘reference’ or ‘recommendation’ in the subject line in addition to the company’s or person’s name. This will ensure that the recipient understands the context of the mail by just looking at it, and then open it for review.

Body of the letter

write trade reference letters

Start the body of the letter by mentioning how you know the individual or the company you are recommending. If you have used their products repeatedly and have an ongoing relationship with them mention that too. Write ahead, and mention how pleased you are to use their product and jot down the qualities of it, elaborate a little bit on how and why you liked their product. Show how pleased you are with their work or service towards you. Elaborate and clarify these points.

Letter closing

Include your contact information in the final paragraph of the letter or in your email signature, so that it gets easy for the recipient to follow up in case of any query or any further information they seek for. End the letter with professional closing and signature. In a printed letter leave a space for your signature and mention your name below it. In an email add a closing ten type your name.

Take reference or sample letters

How to write a trade reference letter

To perfectly and professionally design your reference letter take help of the already existing letters online for sample. In this way, you will get an idea of how to set a tone for your letter, also you can refer to professional vocabulary online, to improve the language of your letter so that it sounds appealing and creates an impression of you in the first go itself. For example, take a reference letter recommending the service provider by a company or an individual.

However, the format of the trade reference letter includes a few steps, but are very crucial, the        sequence must be followed and there must be no chance of any skipping. Tips may include, if writing the letter manually use letter head pads, with specified columns for day and date. Generally, the trade letter does not exceed more than two pages and if three or more pages are required, consider preparing a separate attachment to the letter. Also, Label the pages when writing multiple number of pages. And, if sending via an email mentioning the recipient in the subject itself, as often the emails are not opened, mentioning the slightest detail will catch the attention of the reviewer.


The significance of writing the trade letter is to connect well the service provider and the service recipient. The primary objective of it is to make sure good public relations prevails, and goodwill of the business is maintained. Every trade industry carries out this process, as it is one of the essentials of trade and good trade relations. You can make a significant impact through your letter on the reader, by examining the sample works and making the points you would like to mention in your recommendation. With highly considerate writing and absolute vocabulary it is simple to build a reference letter that sounds astounding.