Requesting a quote with Supplier

                                          Requesting a quote with Supplier

Once you have found a suitable supplier, how do you approach them? 

The biggest question you are going to have is ''How much"?  But before you hastily send the supplier your request for quotation, take a few minutes to plan out what you want to say and the questions you need to ask.

Planning your Email will increase your chances that you will receive  a response and the correct information. Here are a few important questions to consider for your Email: 

-What is your minimum order quantity? - Also referred to as a MOQ , you want to make sure their minimums are manageable for you and that you can afford them. This minimum order quantity can vary wildly depending on the and the supplier so it is important to ask upfront.

-What is your sample pricing? - you will likely want samples to inspect before making a full order.  Sample pricing ranges, depending on the product and supplier. Some suppliers that receive many request may change the full retail pricing, others will offer you samples at a discounted  rate and some may even send you samples for free.

-What is your production pricing? - One of the most important questions is how much your products will cost. you will probably want to ask for pricing for several quantities to get a sense of it and how they do discounted pricing at higher quantity levels.

-What is your turnaround time? - Knowing how long it will take to produce your order is an important consideration and depending your exact business, time can be critical.

-What is your payment terms? - many suppliers will require new business to pay for the full order upfront. This is important to know since inventory is a major cost for ecommerce startups. you may want to also ask if they provide payment terms on future orders.

So, how do you avoid being ignored? There are a few things that you should avoid when you reach out to suppliers for the first time:

Long emails - Your first email to a manufacturer should be clear and concise. Avoid telling too much about story and background. focus on what suppliers care about the most like the details of what you are trying to source.

-Asking for too much - Request aren't always easy for the supplier to produce. It is important to ask for a few prices for multiple quantities, but avoid asking for too much or too many quotes. Stick to asking for what you absolutely need to assess fit between you and the supplier.

-Asking for too little - If you ask a quote well below the supplier's minimum order you risk being met with silence. If you are unsure if your request is too small, consider giving them a quick call or send a quick one question email prior to ask what their minimum order is.

       Finally, if you are contacting a supplier from overseas, keep in mind that in many cases, they may be using translating programs to translate your email as well as their reply. 

Keeping your emails short, concise, well formatted and spelling error free will not only help the manufacturer but it will ultimately provide you with better replies and answers.

Also, when asking your questions, it is best to number your questions, so that they can easily reply to each number, keeping the questions and communication clean and organized.

Here is an example of an email I might send out:


My name is Richard and I am from XYZ company. I am interested in placing an order for Widget A.

I just have a few questions beforehand:

1.what is your minimum order quantity?  2.What is your cost per unit at the minimum order as well as if I were to order 3x your minimum order?   3.What are your payment terms for new customers? 

I would also like  to order a sample of widget a to verify quantity. can you please send me the cost for the sample, including to!

Richard Lazazzera

80 spadina Avenue, floor 4

Toronto, ON, Canada

M5V, 2J4

Thank you        Richard

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