How to Find Great Deals on Supplies for Your Business

There are many expenses associated with running a business that could be described as inflexible. The lease, for example, is fairly permanent once you come to an agreement with the building owner. You can set salaries for your employees at the time of hire, but you can more or less expect that they’re only going to go up from there. And while the price of utilities will fluctuate from month to month, you can bet that AC during the summer and heat during the winter will basically average out (while electrical usage for lighting, computers, and so on will pretty much stay constant month over month). However, one area that you can probably manage a decent savings if you work at it is on supplies for your business. Here are just a few ways to do so.

1. Join a club. Nearly every office supply store offers a club membership by which your purchases will earn you points to help you save on future shopping trips. Some may even come with a corporate member discount of some sort every time you use your card, as well as special, member-only sale prices on certain items (or at certain times).

2. Shop online. You can almost always find discounts on office supplies by shopping online. Items that are not on sale in-store may be offered for less online and you can also find businesses that provide discounted prices (over their brick-and-mortar competitors) simply because they don’t have the overhead of employees and a lease to tack onto every sale. Plus, if you buy over a certain dollar amount, you can usually secure free shipping in the deal.

3. Freecycle. More than 8 million members and nearly 5,000 groups populate the Freecycle
Network, which aims to reduce waste by connecting those who want products with those who
want to give them away (rather than sending them to the landfill). So if you’re looking for office equipment and supplies at cut-rate prices (or even free) then this may be the place to find them. Of course, you can do your part, as well, by offering up usable items that you might otherwise have thrown away.

4. Buy bulk. There are a couple of ways to do this. One is to go with your regular supplier but just buy a huge amount at once (rather than piecemeal) in order to get a lower price per quantity (although you may still have to haggle for it). Of course, you could just cut to the chase and join a warehouse superstore kind of club that only sells in bulk (but always offers great prices).

5. Network with the neighbors. Are you situated in a shopping center or office complex that houses several other businesses? Likely they are trying to find ways to save on the same supplies that you are. Why not work together to buy more product so that everyone can save? It’s just the neighborly thing to do!

Whether you’re looking to purchase a crate of number 2 pencils, a year’s supply of toilet paper for your office restrooms, or boxes of color business cards, you can definitely find ways to cut back on spending. All you need is a little time and effort to secure the savings that will help to keep your business in the black.

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