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No matter the size of your office, one man or woman band or thousands strong army of employees to keep armed with pens and post-its, staples and sticky tape, office supplies are bound to be a persistent cost and a real headache if you run out suddenly.

Despite the fact that much of the jobs that office supplies do can be done digitally now, still the old icons litter the office.

The paperless office, a dream since the turn of the millennium, still nowhere near an everyday experience for the average office worker. Since supplies must be supplied you might as well save money while doing it.

This article offers 6 ways to save money without compromising on quality.

Buy In Bulk

Generally the unit cost for buying in bulk will be lower than buying individual items. Lower costs means a saving on expenses which can be spent elsewhere. The penalty is the risk that the item is not as in demand as estimated, or it is not the best fit for the office in question. For example, there are some pretty good promo codes for tea and coffee at Viking office supplies; visit mamma.com to see them!

But I have worked in offices that suddenly went health-obsessed; bottled water and smoothies were the order of the day, leaving the tea and coffee gathering dust. However, that is the exception and most offices can be relied on to break out into violent rebellion without their tea and coffee.

Free delivery over a certain order value is another benefit which is a more or less pervasive reward for buying in bulk. Of course the supplies that you have now bought need to be stored somewhere, another potential trouble spot.

Brand Consciousness

Its nice to have the best of everything, but it comes at a cost. A premium cost.

This is where it’s easy to mistake price for value. Cheaper products can be worse value than the more expensive ones, but that is a judgment call. Overall brands represent reputations. Sometimes these reputations are appropriate to your office environment and sometimes they are not.

It’s not necessary to give every member of staff a Mont Blanc pen when a Bic Biro is good enough. So examining where your position is in the brand spectrum is important.

Shop Online

Shopping online is a fun thing to do usually, and the savings you can find by shopping around are pretty impressive. You can get instant feedback from the people who will be using the product, and decision makers, by asking them to look at the photos and features of the product.

Usually you would have to open an account with a legitimate office supplier, which will open the door to loyalty schemes such as free gifts and discounts over time as a reward for repeat business. Frequently a site which you have an account with will have a virtual assistant to help with your order if you have any questions.

Contract Orders

Sometimes it’s possible to negotiate regular orders to be automatically processed and delivered at reduced rates.

It has the benefit of allowing you to see clearly which items are absolutely essential to the running of your office/ business.

Variety Means Variety of Price

Buying from a large supplier like Viking (mentioned above) will give you access to a vast variety of brands, products and services. Feedback on their website or elsewhere online will give you added peace of mind about your purchases.

Viking is even providing a line in Christmas hampers alongside their coupons and promo codes.

Buying Secondhand

It’s not for everyone. You can get ripped off, you can end up with a bunch of stuff that seemed like a good idea at the time and wasn’t, if the item comes by courier it can be a nightmare to track, old models might cease to function quickly, etc. However it has to be said you can get some extraordinary bargains this way, but you have to know what you are doing.

So, there you are some tips for saving money on office supplies. However you take the above tips make sure the decision makers are on board with your efforts before you start committing someone else’s money to them.

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