STAPLES BizTIPs: Negotiate your supplier prices

By Small Business Expert, Roger Pierce, BizLaunch

Small business owners don’t have mountains of cash, so every dollar counts. If your new small business deals with suppliers, it’s important to negotiate the best deal in terms of delivery deadlines, quality, guarantees and price.

Try one of these tactics when negotiating your next order with a vendor: 

  • Reveal your budget. Tell your supplier how much you have to spend and what you expect to receive for it. This establishes clear supplier expectations and allows your supplier to work within your dollar limit.

  • Share other quotes. Collect quotes from at least three vendors and share the results with each of them. You’ll find that vendors will compete for your business.

  • Pay early. Your supplier may be willing to reduce the total price if you offer to pay a deposit on the order, or pay their invoice within 15 days instead of the usual 30 or 60 days.

  • Buy in bulk. Suppliers will reduce their prices if you’re ordering a large amount of inventory or services at one time. Demand a volume discount.

  • Negotiate lower. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. A good vendor rep will present a high number to you, expecting to settle at a lower price. Take the amount quoted by your supplier, subtract 20 percent and negotiate from there.

Roger PierceROGER PIERCE is passionate about helping entrepreneurs achieve success. Co-founder of Canada’s largest small business training company,, he’s launched eleven small businesses of his own and personally experienced what he calls “the good, the bad and the ugly” sides of entrepreneurship.

BizLaunch advises thousands of Canadian startups through its popular how-to seminars and webinars delivered with partners such as STAPLES.

By Adam

June 18, 2010