Sunday, August 10, 2008

It Doesn't Hurt to Ask....

One rule in business transactions: it doesn't hurt to ask, especially when you're making a reasonable request. I buy a lot of shipping supplies for my business. Over the years I have consistently had a great experience with Uline as well as Quill. I generally bump up my quantities to lower the per item cost, waste less on packing resources, and likewise, save on shipping. As we all know, shipping costs are becoming a bigger factor in purchasing decisions. These companies can keep those costs down a bit by running regional distribution centers.
I just ordered 3" tape. Usually I order 36 rolls at a time, but they had a cheaper price for 96 rolls, which included a "free" 3-inch tape dispenser. I already have a perfectly good 3" tape dispenser; I don't want or need another, even if it's free. Things aren't really free. They are a marketing inducement and said company figures the cost into their pricing structure. (I do the same thing in my own business.) I emailed them NOT to send the free tape dispenser, but said I would love a discount. (Since I know the free tape dispenser costs them something.) To my amazement, their customer service rep emailed right back, "We'll take 20% off your shipping." On a $19.99 shipping bill, that's a nice 5$ savings. Worth asking!
So in the Giving-Credit-Where-Credit-is-Due Department, bravo for Uline. They are very smart. They inspired me to write about them, for example!

photo from TedNellen's blog

2 comments:

Parker said...

Quick note-- 20% of $20 is actually $4. Congrats on the discount, though.

Ed Reif said...

You are a brilliant writer!