Save Money On Office Supplies

Each year, businesses in the U.S. shell out billions of dollars on office supplies like paper, notepads, pens, toner, and paper clips. Since these are inexpensive items to begin with, it can be hard to know whether you're paying the market price or getting gouged. If you take the time to do some comparison shopping, however, you may just save as much as 20% on your annual layout for office supplies.

The price for these items does vary in great measure. It all depends on where you shop. The big warehouse-type stores like OfficeMax tend to offer the lowest prices. That's because these superstores purchase their inventory in bulk. Warehouse-style stocking helps to reduce the overhead for these large concerns. They end up doing a very large volume of sales and in this way, the stores receive greater discounts from the manufacturers. That means they can offer items at a lower price to their customers.

Reduced Fees

Another good way to save on office supply expenses is to use a mail-order vendor. These concerns offer catalogs, toll-free phone lines for making orders, and low shipping charges. They can get your order to you very fast and with reduced shipping fees because they place distribution centers at strategic locations throughout the U.S. You can have your supplies within 1-3 days of placing your order.

Local concerns used to be popular in the days before the superstores and mail order catalogues. They still offer a decent service, but may not have the lowest prices. On the other hand, these stores often have a broader selection. If you're looking for a hard-to-find item, this is your best bet.

If you have a large business with over 100 workers, it's possible to get a good deal with a contract stationer. These concerns will offer you a custom price for a large order. They tend to stock five times the supplies of the superstores.

Leader Items

If you're a small concern, and you buy your supplies in only small quantities, the way to go is with the superstores or the mail-order vendors. That is how you'll get the lowest price without buying more than you need. These vendors may even take a loss on certain items, though they will charge more for higher-priced items to make up the difference. Printer paper, for instance, might be an item on which such a store would take a loss. This is called a "leader item." Leader items bring customers into stores by offering common, much-used products at super-low prices.