Buying Office Supplies and Equipment

All businesses use some form of office supplies and equipment. There are hundreds of different types; from small consumables like pens and paper to large long-term items like computers desks, furniture and filing cabinets.

Many of these items are essential to the everyday running of your business, yet many businesses still treat office supplies as an unimportant issue. Effective management of office supplies can save your business money, as well as helping to keep it running efficiently.

This article will look at some of the key information you should know when buying office supplies and equipment.

Ways to Buy Office Supplies

There are several ways to buy office supplies; from a shop, through online purchasing or through mail order.

Retails store

There are many small local stores, as well as several large nationwide chains selling office supplies. Buying your office supplies from a shop means that you can actually see what you are buying before you pay for it.
Shops will normally sell supplies at a standard price as they are aimed at smaller businesses and consumers.

Online Purchasing

Over the past few years, the number of online office supply firms has grown considerably. As well as online sales from nationwide stores, there are several large office supply companies that sell only through online (and sometimes phone) orders.

Online stores are usually cheaper than shops as the overhead costs (e.g.: store rent / employee wages) are considerably lower. If you are not sure about an item you are buying, then a good online office supplies store should have the facilities to contact them so you can ask a few questions.

When placing orders online always make sure that if you are paying by credit card that the pages where you enter your card details are secure (you will get a little closed pad lock at the bottom of your browser).

Mail Order

A number of companies allow you to buy office supplies by mail order or telephone. Some have catalogues (online and offline) that show you all of the products they sell. A few mail order services are run by existing shops, but some are based purely through mail order and telephone (sometimes also online) sales.

Mail order prices are usually cheaper than stores because of lower overhead costs; however they are not always as cheap as some online office suppliers.

Alicia D. Walker

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