It is important for any business to ‘buy wisely’, keeping costs down keeps
profits up. To be able to buy wisely the following tasks should be
Research. Find as
many suppliers of the item you want as you can.
Get quotes. Make all
suppliers quote not only on price, but also on terms and conditions – make
them compete with each other.
writing. If possible get all quotations in writing or by email. If you get
quotes over the telephone, get them to also write, fax or email them to
you. This will avoid any misunderstandings later.
Analyse quotes by
putting them in a spreadsheet model, it may be that the cheapest is not
the best deal overall. But this operation will put you in a better
bargaining position by being able to go to the one you prefer on service
and getting them to at least match if not better the cheapest found.
Place the order.
Whether you email, fax or post, it is usually always better to place an
order in writing, even if you telephone through an order also confirm that
you are sending a written confirmation. This will then form your contract
with the supplier and avoid any misunderstandings later.
Other things to watch out for when buying include:
Don’t go to the
first company on the list
Don’t be sucked in
by offers - they may not be as good as they look
Don’t be panicked
into buying right now take time to make the decision
Negotiate or barter
a good price with good terms.
It doesn’t matter what the business is buying whether it be a pen, camera or
even an aeroplane keeping in mind the items listed here, will make you a
better buyer and save money for the business in the long run, as well of
course as increasing profits.
Another good tip especially for start-up businesses, but could also be good
practice for established businesses, particularly when buying online, is to
buy on credit card. Some credit card companies do offer credit cards to
businesses, there is usually an annual fee, but beyond this the cards
operate exactly the same way as personal cards. It is also possible to have
credit cards issued to staff members, all card holders will share the same
credit limit, but it does allow staff members to incur agreed expenses.
Using this method of payment not only gives an additional record for
accounting purposes, but also offers some protection if the goods are not
the Cost of Getting Your Photographs,
Balancing the budget for new equipment to training
Buying on eBay
and Multiple Bids
Nikon DSLR's Price comparisons across suppliers