Stationery contracts can be a bit of a mind field, and you really need to have your whits about you…
We recently attended a workshop, which was organised by a very experienced individual, who has spent many years working for some of the UK’s largest stationery providers.
The work this person undertook, was in what they term winning ‘contracted business’.
What we uncovered (although not illegal) was rather quite shocking…
And to some degree, we suppose, you could call this individual a bit of a ‘whistle blower’.
This person has made it their mission to teach as many people (both customers and suppliers) as possible, about the tricks that the large contract stationery providers use on unsuspecting customers.
We’ve always wondered why, in some instances, the prices some customers are getting for certain products, are much less than what we pay direct from the manufacturer or wholesaler.
And it isn’t because the large contract stationer has better buying power than us. Being part one of the biggest buying groups in Europe, gives us more than enough clout to compete with any of the big contract stationers.
Are you sure you’re ready for this?
It’s seems, what the large contract stationer providers are doing, is bordering on immoral (although not illegal). And is certainly not something we would even contemplate getting involved with. We pride ourselves in being honest, open and transparent with all our customers.
We hear, when they start to negotiate with you, they ask you (or you provide) a list of your most commonly bought items. Now this list no where near covers everything you buy, just a small number of the most common ones, which also tend to be the low value ones.
The large contract stationer (in some cases) will then price these items at less than their buy prices, on the understanding (usually in a written contract) that you will buy all your other products from them, at an agreed discount (usually as high as 60%) off their catalogue printed prices.
And because the individually priced items look so good (and a 60% discount off the catalogue price sounds so great), the customer (more often than not) goes along with it and signs up for a couple of years or more.
Are you ready for the sting in the tail?
The contract stationer (in some cases) massively over inflate the recommended retail prices (RRP) printed in their catalgoue. And even though, a 60% discount sounds great to you, it’s not, if the RRP of a product has been inflated from £50 to £100. And, you can buy the very same item from most other places for a fraction of the cost, of even, your discounted price.
This is where and how the large contract stationer make their huge profits.
They underprice the small basket of most commonly used and bought low value products, and then massively over inflate all the other products that you will purchase, over the term of your contract with them.
Most customers never actually know that this is going on, as all they measure is the small list of most commonly purchased low value items.
On the flip side, our pricing strategy is quite simple to understand, transparent and fair to everyone…
We make an agreed set margin on every product in the range, and all our products are directly attached to the wholesale market price increases and decreases. So our customer is always assured to receive the same great price, each and every time.
And we don’t hide our prices (like the large contract stationers), they are available and online for everyone to see and purchase, whether you buy 1 item for £10 or many items for £500. The profit margin we make, stays exactly the same.
Why not check out our products and prices here, on our dedicated stationery and office supplies e-commerce website.