It does not matter if you run a large business or a really small on. In all cases, a lot of money is spent on important office supplies. Many managers do not understand how the expenses associated with an office end up snowballing when improperly controlled. It is always important to monitor the inventory and make smart purchasing decisions as office supplies are needed. In order to save money when you buy office supplies and get the best deals and discounts, here are some important tips to consider.
Always Know What You Have To Buy
In most cases, the reason why too much money is spent on office supplies is that the manager does not actually know how much is needed and what is actually needed at a specific point in time. Due to this, inventory management is crucial. You have to be aware of what office supplies you have to buy and how much to actually buy.
The goal is to have a plan before you go and shop. This includes being aware of what you always run out of and what lasts much longer since it is rarely used.
Always Shop Around
There is no way to deny the fact that shopping around is highly effective at saving money when you want to buy anything, including office supplies. At the same time, you want to buy from online stores because prices are lower than at the regular stores. This is where planning also helps since buying from an online retailer means some time will pass until the office supplies will reach the brick and mortar location of the office.
Another great thing about shopping around online is that you can check the different deals and discounts that are available at various retailers. You can always buy a part of your supplies from one retailer and the rest from another one, based on what would be cheaper in your case.
Look For Bulk Discounts
Bulk discounts for office supplies allow you to save a lot more than what you initially imagine. Retailers almost always incentivize bulk buying so you can take advantage of it.
The reason why many managers do not use bulk discounts is that they believe it is worthless to buy too many supplies when they are not going to be used for a really long period of time. It is true that you might not need something like paper for months but you save money that eventually translates in a lower overall running cost for the entire business.
Obviously, you do not want to buy everything in bulk. You want to buy in bulk when you often use the items, like with paper or pens. The supplies that are sparingly used should not be bought in bulk.
Buy Generic Brands
Generic brands are really good for an office because they are cheaper and they get the job done right. In most cases, the quality differences between branded supplies and generic supplies are non-existent or at least negligible. There are even situations in which off-brands have a higher quality.
Generic purchasing is smart as you buy some really expensive items, like consumables or office furniture. As an example, generic ink cartridges usually cost around half of the amount that is charged by the name brands. Print quality is the same or the difference is not noticeable to the naked eye.
Do Not Neglect Shipping Costs
Last but not least, another very common error office managers make is not taking into account shipping costs. When you buy some big items, like office furniture, shipping costs do add up. Also, when you buy in bulk, the same thing can apply if you have to pay for shipping.
Always do the math and see if it is worth buying from a specific retailer as you factor in shipping costs. It is possible that a more expensive item will end up costing less due to lower shipping fees when bought from another online store.