It wasn’t that long ago that people were actually shopping in office supply superstores. Whenever a small business or home office ran out of ink and toner, files folders, or needed a new stapler, someone from the office would jump in the car and run down to the nearest “big box” office products store, and pick up what they needed from their shopping list. Have you been by an office supplies superstore lately? Parking lots are empty, stores are like ghost towns, and the only movement seems to be employees bouncing rubber band balls down the empty aisles.
Why? Because more and more people today are learning the most economical, and easiest way to buy office supplies today is online. People realize it’s much faster to go online, shop for the office supplies you need, and in most cases receive your order next business day for free. That is much preferred to wasting precious time driving to the store, not to mention wasting gas. And, ever try to find the right products like classification folders at an office supply superstore? It’s virtually impossible to sort thought the file folders all stacked down the same aisle in no apparent order.
But you might say, what about those low prices I get at the Staples, Office Depot or the OfficeMax near you? Probably the most shocking thing for people to realize about buying office products is that the retail superstores are no longer the lowest priced outlets. Many internet office supply stores have great low prices, often times lower than the big box stores, on items from copy paper to receipt books, cash drawers to envelopes. There are some new companies today that will even guarantee their pricing is lower than the big box superstores. Try comparing for yourself. Make a list of your favorite printer paper, report covers, writing pens and legal pads, and compare pricing and see the difference. Many times the savings is as much as 10-20%.
So if product selection and pricing can actually be better when you find the right company to buy from online, it sounds like ordering from the safety and comfort of your own office or home is much better than braving the traffic and crazies on the road. Well, there’s more reasons to buy online which in the end, makes your buying decision a no brainer. Many new internet companies that are family owned and independent do not charge sales tax except for orders in the states in which their corporate headquarters are located. No sales tax can mean a savings of up to 7-10% depending on where you live, which really adds up in today’s tough economy.
One of the few reasons I hear why people might shop at a “superstore” is their perceived large selection. People are shocked to learn that the average office supplies superstore has only about 7000-8000 products, while today’s new online office products companies have over 32,000 products. So basically, customers get better selection, next day delivery and less hassle shopping online for those view binders and post-it notes, not to mention the time savings. Not only do internet companies offer tons of office supplies, but many also carry thousands of janitorial supplies, and office equipment, office furniture and even “green” office supplies that are better for the environment.
Lastly, people are growing tired of buying from large public corporations that care only about Wall Street and their stock price, not for their community, their customers or even their vendors. But smaller independent companies are sprouting up, taking on the big boxes by doing business the right way. Some work very closely with national charities, doing good work in their communities and helping others.
So, next time you need to buy some Sharpie markers, Smead folders, Fellowes bankers boxes and Esselte report covers, don’t hop in the car and leave yourself open to road rage. Relax, shop online, and be happy to know you are doing business with a new breed of entrepreneur that cares about doing good work, while saving you time and money! Don’t waste time and money going to the store – buy your office products online and do good work!