The Dos and Donts of Buying Business and Industrial Items

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The Do's and Don'ts of Buying Business and Industrial Items

Business and industrial items are necessary to run a successful enterprise. Even a small business has to invest a lot in their equipment. Research indicates that it can cost an average of £600,000 to start a new business, and once it is started, even more money is needed to maintain it. Depending on the type of business, equipment and supplies are one of the biggest costs associated with running an enterprise. Expenses add up quickly with costs such as machinery, office supplies, display cases, cooking appliances, and even furniture to make the office or shop look professional. When the economy is slow, it is even more important to show wisely, find the best deals, and cut back on expenses.

In the beginning, most people find it exciting to purchase all the supplies for the business. However, once the costs start building it up, it can be nerve wracking. This can lead to shoppers buying low-quality products to protect their business, but that is not advisable. Instead, start out shopping by following some recommended tips that will help businesses find all of the supplies and equipment they need for less of an investment and a more satisfactory outcome.

Do Research the Business and Industrial Products

Perhaps one of the most important parts of shopping is researching product brands and models to make sure that the items are a perfect fit for the business. Here are a few things to consider while doing the research.

Make Sure It Is the Right Size

If it is an indoor item, such as furniture or an electronic device, measure the possible areas where it is going to go to make sure that it fits. Certain outdoor equipment such as a tractor or heavy machinery can be quite large. See if there is enough space in the garage, shop, or shed to store the device. Some things may have to be kept outside due to a lack of room indoors. If this is the case, see if there is a tarp or other covering that is large enough to protect it from the environment.

Compare Brands and Models

Once shoppers have figured out what their needs are, such as colours, specification, and sizes, they can then begin to search for the models that match their criteria. Usually there is more than one brand that has a suitable model. Read as many customer reviews as possible to see if others have been satisfied with the products. Check to see if there is a guarantee available and remember that name brands are sometimes only priced higher because of their popularity and not their quality. Consider the off-brands as well.

Ask Sales Representatives to Come to the Business

In order to save time on shopping for larger products, request that the sales representatives all visit the office to discuss what they have to offer. This cuts down on time and saves on fuel.

Do Save Money on Business and Industrial Products

A business cannot make any profit if its expenses are too high. In order to be successful, it is vital to save as much money as possible in all areas. Since one of the largest costs of starting a business is purchasing all the supplies and equipment, learning how to save money in that area greatly contributes towards the success of the enterprise.

Shop for Used Items

One of the most simple ways to cut down the price of an item is to find it used, rather than brand new. Many high cost items can be found at lower prices that still have a lot of use left in them. Good examples of used items to look for include woodworking machinery, fax machines, copiers, restaurant equipment.

Used items can be found at a number of places. Some online websites such as eBay allows sellers to list used items. Another way to locate some good deals is at an auction, closing sale, or a moving sale. At closing sales, companies have gone out of business and need to sell their supplies as fast as possible. Watch the local newspapers for ads about the sales.

Shop Online

People have access to many more products online that they do at local stores. With an unlimited supply of items and sellers all over the internet, shoppers can compare the prices easier. Even with the postage charges, the products are still often a better deal than they are locally.

To make things easier, choose the item to look for before comparing prices online. Once the product has been selected, do a search for it online and begin bargain shopping.

Shop for Recycled Goods

Recycled products are not only good for the environment, but they are also cheaper sometimes. In addition to this, a business can sometimes increase their popularity by showing that they care for the environment.

Buy in Bulk

For disposable supplies or ones that are needed in large quantities, a business can save a lot of money by purchasing them in bulk. Manufacturers charge less for each item when large amounts are ordered.

Split the Purchase with Another Business

If the product is something that does not need to be used all of the time, it may be possible to form an agreement with another business that also needs the item part time. The two companies can then split the cost of the product and share its use.

Purchase Virtual Services

Some products can save money by cutting costs in other areas. For example, rather than travelling to every business meeting, invest in an online web conference service. This allows everyone to stay at their office and meet virtually.

Spend a Little Extra to Save a Little More

Certain needed items can save money in the long run. For example, instead of getting low cost disposable heater filters, purchase the reusable ones that is going to last for years. Another option is to get a copier or printer that prints on both sides of the paper instead of one.

Try a Preferred Supplier Agreement

Some suppliers discount their products if the business signs an agreement with them stating that the business exclusively purchases their items from the supplier. Since the supplier can guarantee future sales from the business, they will discount their items and sell them for cheaper.

Make a Trade

In some cases, two business may be able to come to an agreement to trade services or products of equal or similar value. In cases like this, both companies save money and build a good working relationship.

Don't Go Solely For Looks

It can be tempting to purchased the biggest, shiniest product because it looks nice. While it is important to keep the business looking professional, do not fall into the trap of buying the best of everything. For example, construction equipment gets dirty and banged up quickly, so there is no point to buying any of it brand new just because it looks nice. Try only purchasing new items that  contribute to the presentation of the business. For example, a nice set of furniture in the reception room goes a long way.

Find Business and Industrial Items on eBay

As mentioned earlier, eBay is a great place to shop online because sellers list their new and used items there. Because there are so many different sellers, it is also an easy place to compare prices and find the best deals. The layout of the website is easy to use and navigate. On each page there is a search bar that you can use to search for any product. For example, enter something like "copier", "tractor", or "table saw". You can then start looking through the available products or you can narrow down the search further. There are a number of ways to customise what listings are shown. First, enter in your price range. Second, select whether you want new or used products, third sort by the lowest price first to get the best bargains. For some items, you can also choose more options about the specific kind of products, such as the brand or colour.

As you shop, check all of the photos, read the descriptions, look at the seller's past feedback, and double check the postage. It is important to be understand everything about the item before purchasing.


Setting up and maintaining a business is a challenge. There are a lot of decisions to make and a lot of financial analysis to keep the company profitable. Carefully selecting business purchases is vital to the success of a company in any industry. Nearly all businesses have to purchase supplies and equipment. Being as careful about the purchases as possible can save the company a lot of money and time, therefore, increasing the profit margins.

It may require an extra time commitment in the beginning to research all of the options and find the best deals, but in the long run, the business is going to be better off because of it. By following the tips above, companies can easily determine which products best suit the needs of the company as well as their budget. With some items, if the price of the product is still too high after finding the best deal possible, there is still the option of purchasing the item, and then leasing it out to other business is for short periods of time when it is not needed.

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