Office supply stores exist in every town. They have to compete with online office supply stores, so are often willing to give discounts if you have your facts about online prices.
Do You Support Your Local Office Supply Store?
We all want to support local businesses, office supply stores included, but they must be competitive on prices and service.
Who Are Your Local Office Suppliers?
Every town and city has local office suppliers, sometimes they are hard to find, though. Check the phone books and search online. One trick to finding any local service quickly is to put the telephone area code + office supplies into Google.
You will probably already know the large office supplier warehouses, but there will be small side street suppliers who specialize in a narrower range of products. Even small office supply companies often have a mail-order catalogue.
What Does Your Local Office Supply Store Stock?
Very often you will only be ordering paper or printer toner and any good office supply store will be able to get it for you. Some will give discounts if you have an account, so develop personal relationships with these smaller store owners. It is best to call in yourself rather than sending an employee, at least the first few times.
You can judge paper quality by handling it at local office suppliers and save expensive mistakes. Many will order exactly what you want all you have to do is to ask. Office suppliers have access to catalogues that you, as their customer will never have.
You can judge desk sizes better by calling in to view what is available, assembling your new office in your mind.
It is foolishness to buy office chairs without sitting in them? It is madness to buy even a $100 office chair by mail order, let alone one costing five times as much. Your local office supply store will let you and your employees try out different chairs for comfort. Different chairs suit different people, so let every employee choose whatever chair they find most comfortable. Comfortable chairs means less backache and fewer employee days off.
How Can Local Office Supply Stores Compete?
Your local office supply company can compete on price and service. They have no expensive courier costs to build into their "free delivery" prices. They have fewer stock carrying costs because they can order from stationery wholesalers as soon as you place an order.
Give your local supplier a chance to at least match the price of any Internet office supply store you would normally use.
Local businesses may be able to deliver your requirements to your door within a few minutes, saving you the costs associated with carrying stock or of sending an employee out.
Sometimes it is worth paying a small premium for better service and to develop your relationship with a local supplier.
Why Should You Buy From Local Businesses?
Local businesses employ local people, who spend money with your own business. It makes sense to keep local employment up and to boost your local town or city economy where you can.
You might be able to use your influence to help a relative or friend get a job interview.