By Robbin Lyons
I don't know about you, but I spend a lot of time ordering stuff for my organization. I order promo items, flyers, brochures and golf balls, T-shirts, bags and office supplies. I love it and hate it.
When I find a great buy and get a huge discount, I am doing the happy dance. When I get stuck with high shipping costs, I pout. But since I have done it for so long, I wanted to share some tips.
Always shop the clearance tab on websites. Always sign up for their e-news or discounts - just filter them so they drop into a promotions file. Always check for the latest promotion and give yourself time. If they are not offering what you need right now or if there is no deal for shipping- wait a week. Chances are a new promo will be just the thing.
When you shop- place items in your cart and then leave (make sure you have an established registration first). Often you will get a follow-up email letting you know that you need to finish your purchase- and an added deal to encourage you to check out.
My number one tip- Use that chat button! I almost always get a better deal than listed when I do this. Let the person that you are chatting with know that you are a nonprofit. Ask if they can get you a better discount or better deal on shipping. I rarely come away empty. I have even gotten high rush charges dropped.
It also pays to stay with the same company if you can. Customer loyalty gives you more clout. Let's face it, we all struggle with the bottom line. We need to look professional and make orders, but we all need to be mindful of how much it costs. Hope these tips help!
Robbin Lyons is the President of Wisconsin Upside Down and former board member (and conference chair extraordinaire) of Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action.