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5 Tips for Getting Better Quotes from Suppliers

Getting quotes from suppliers can be a tedious task - it often feels like there are more valuable ways to spend your time than negotiating with what seems like an endless list of suppliers.

But working with suppliers is a necessary part of business, so it’s important to know how to best approach the task. Knowing how to get the best quotes from your partners can not only make the whole process much easier, but it can also boost the profitability of your business.

So here are 5 ways that you can get a better quote from your suppliers.

1. Get multiple quotes

It may sound obvious, but never go with the first quote you get. It pays to spend the additional time speaking to more than one company. Shop around and get quotes from multiple suppliers – ideally 2 or 3. Not only will this help you gauge whether a price is excessively high (or unbelievably low), but it will also give you greater bargaining power.

Don’t be afraid to let suppliers know what your other quotes are, either. If they know they’re competing for your business, they may be inclined to offer you a better deal.

2. Ask for a discount

Sometimes the key to getting a better quote can be as easy as asking for one. After all, you’ll never know if you don’t try.

Simply asking for a discount for no apparent reason isn’t likely to get you very far, however. Instead, try asking for a new customer discount or money off for buying in bulk. Some suppliers will also offer a discount for paying by cash rather than card, or for paying on time or earlier. Similarly, you may be able to secure a cheaper quote by offering to pay a larger deposit up front.

It’s important not to ask for discounts every single time you approach a supplier, as this will damage your relationship with them. Suppliers are often open to giving discounts to people who need them – but they won’t offer a discount if they feel they’re being taken advantage of.

3. Talk volume

If you’re likely to use a supplier again in the future, tell them. Many will offer better prices to customers they know will keep coming back. Give them an indication of the kinds of volumes you purchased last year to pique their interest. Even if you don’t get a discount on your first purchase, you may get money off subsequent ones.

When talking about repeat business, however, it’s important to avoid exclusivity. While some suppliers will offer you a better price if you commit to buying only from them, this takes away your future bargaining power because they no longer need to compete for your business.

4. Think beyond price

When it comes to negotiating, price isn’t the only thing to consider. If a supplier won’t budge on cost, try negotiating other benefits instead, such as an extended warranty or a smaller deposit.

Remember also that the cheapest option isn’t always the best. Sometimes a supplier will stick with a higher price because they know that their product is of higher quality.

5. Look at finance options

If you need to buy large or expensive pieces of equipment, it might be worth asking your supplier if there are finance options available.

Leasing equipment, for example, can help spread payments over a long period of time and save you from expensive up front payments. If you’d rather buy equipment or products outright, then ask if you can pay in instalments instead.

Key takeaways

  • Always shop around for multiple quotes

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount

  • Remember that price isn’t the only important factor - consider other benefits

  • For large purchases, ask about available finance options
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Sharon Price

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