5 Mistakes To Avoid When Shopping For Office Supplies

mistakes avoid shopping for office supplies purchasing errors

Ordering new office supplies can be both exciting and overwhelming. On the one hand, you are looking forward to replenishing supplies or setting up a new office space. On the other hand, you want to be sure that you are making the right purchase decisions. For every type of office supply you are contemplating buying, there are probably dozens of models or brands to choose from. 

Make sure you are buying the office supplies you need by avoiding the following mistakes. 

1. Prioritizing Appearance Over Function 

There is nothing inherently wrong with buying an item that looks and feels good. However, if appearance is the only reason you are buying it, then it will not be long before you regret your purchase. 

Keep functionality at the top of your list of factors you are considering. Aesthetics are great, but must be a secondary factor. Think about how the item will enhance or streamline your workflow. Whenever possible, try out the item beforehand. It is better to go for something that looks somewhat average but that serves its intended purpose perfectly. 

2. Not Taking Employee Input 

Some supplies such as printing paper will probably be used by every employee in your organization. Other items such as server hard drives may have a narrower set of target consumers. Either way, you should always consider who will be using the supplies as the foremost experts on what will be best. 

If the employees already have certain brands and models that they would prefer, then you should probably consider their requests, as long as they fall within your budget. These people are going to be using the items regularly, so get supplies that work for them. 

3. Lack Of Planning And Research 

Spending that is not preceded by good planning has a high probability of going wrong. Before you go shopping for office supplies, develop a plan. Think about the item’s frequency of use, the length of use, the place it will be used and what supplies you currently have in stock. If you are moving to a new office or setting up a new business, the nature and volume of supplies you need may be different. 

Think long-term and avoid stocking up on something that you will not need for some time. Even if you have developed a plan beforehand, revisit your plan and adjust accordingly whenever you are about to embark on a major purchase of supplies. What was needed before may not be needed now. 

4. Lacking A Budget 

Part of the process of planning for your office supplies shopping is developing a budget. After all, office supplies are not the only thing your organization spends money on. If this is not the first time you are shopping for supplies, you can probably already estimate how much each item will cost. 

A budget is not only about making sure you are not spending too much, but is also about ensuring you allocate sufficient funds for the supplies required. 

5. Choosing the Cheapest Brand 

Limited financial resources means you should only spend on what is necessary. Still, resist the urge to only look at price. Often, the most economical item also has a lower level of quality compared to the pricier products. And that may mean either compromising your work at the office or having to return to restock on supplies much faster than you should have. 

In the long run, you may spend and lose more with the low cost item than you would have if you had gone for something of better quality at a higher price. 

Getting The Right Supplies Is Key To Success 

Procuring the right office supplies is integral to your organization’s success. By choosing the right supplies and steering clear from office supplies mistakes, you increase your chances of making the right shopping decisions.

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