2008-12-13

Comparison price shopping & Library Products

Having just received the Five Season collection of Andromeda, via BoxedTVSeries.com, I find myself in the market for DVD cases, specifically 10-packs, cases which will hold 10 DVDs plus cover graphics.

Nexpak VERSApak seems to be the way to go. Let's see what the library supply firms have to say:

Brodart has them for $2.65, Demco for $4.79, Gaylord for $3.25, The Library Store for $4.40

Hmm, last time I ordered them from U.S. Plastic... $1.33

I need five. Take a wild guess where I'm ordering from. Same place as last time.

The real point in this exercise is that in many cases a bit more digging will find a better price, in this case a majorly better price, at a non-library source, for products we tend to associate almost exclusively with libraries.

There are reasons your purchasing department may prefer utilizing the standard library sources, such as the convenience of one-stop-shopping, working with a "known" source, minimizing time required to process orders, etc.

In The Olden Dayes these had some validity, but with the ease of online shopping this is far less valid. Certain institutions I used to work for would bring to mind the concept of delaying payment as long as possible, which can be stretched a bit via purchase orders, invoicing, etc., but unless there are cashflow problems involved with your funding this shouldn't be a factor, and if there are cashflow problems with your funding you have a much greater problem to deal with, and should have incentive to argue for staggered purchasing at the best price possible per item; I can testify that if a librarian saw a chance to stretch their supplies budget to 3 times its face value via careful scheduling of purchases to match cashflow they'd be most happy to work with purchasing to expedite things, just tell them the truth and don't lie to them, work with them to find the best price for your money, after all, anything not spent can be grabbed for administrative expenses, which always expand without penalty...

I feel a rant coming concerning budgeting and accountability and who gets the axe based on my personal experience, so I'm ending this now.

Post this puppy!

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