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Educational Consumer Tips

Office Supplies

Author: Rachel Gelb
Category: Retail

Ordering office supplies and don’t know where to start?  Use these tips as a guide when ordering office supplies for your business.

Tips for Purchasing Office Supplies:

Do Your Research.  If buying office supplies is a new process for you and your business, start by asking other similar sized businesses about their order size, shopping list, and supplier. Try to ask a business that serves a different geographical area then your business. Many owners won’t mind sharing this information. Find out how many supplies their office normally goes through in month and if they are satisfied with their supplier.

Make a List.  It’s best to start off with a detailed list. The list should include all essential items, as well as, specific details for the items such as, paper size, paper weight, and printer model. A list will allow you to easily fill your shopping cart with the necessities without getting distracted.

Buy Supplies in Bulk.  In order to save money, it’s best to purchase your office supplies in bulk. Buying in bulk allows you to save on shipping costs and get better deals. Many suppliers offer discounts when businesses buy in larger quantities, especially during seasonal periods of high-volume such as, back to school. When buying in bulk, remain cautious so you’re not left with a large excess of supplies you will not use.

Go Green.  Find out if the supplier offers eco-friendly office supply products. Often suppliers will sell a similar product that is equal in quality but has lower environmental impacts or is made from recycled materials. Eco-friendly supplies are important to consider because many businesses go through office supplies quickly, but these products may initially have a higher price.

Make a Schedule.  In order to ensure that you will always have enough supplies on hand it ‘s best to keep track of orders and monthly supplies usage. Keeping track of this information will allow you to make a schedule and determine an average order amount. A schedule will remind you when to re-order supplies so you will never have an issue of running out of paper or ink and having to wait for the next shipment to arrive.

Establish an Account.  Once you have found a supplier you feel comfortable with, talk about setting up a business account. Establishing an account with your supplier will allow you to order whenever you are running low and receive a monthly bill for the supplies. An account can also give you access to wholesale pricing, bulk discounts, and credit terms.

About the Author: Rachel Gelb is Communications and Marketing Manager for BBB serving Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont. Find Rachel on Google +.

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