Author Topic: Why do companies force you to ask for a quote?  (Read 8136 times)

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Offline jeremy

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Why do companies force you to ask for a quote?
« on: February 17, 2016, 02:38:41 pm »
Hi,

Hope this is on topic here.

When looking at buying equipment, the prices seem to disappear as soon as someone drops the words "scientific", "quantitative" or "metrology". I ask this purely out of my own ignorance and curiosity, but why do these companies make it so hard to find out the price? Why can't it be in a catalog somewhere if not online? Even when I send for a quote, I sometimes don't get a number easily, instead the sales rep asks about what I want to do, how I'm going, what my background is, etc seeming trying to set up sales tactics. And then I receive many emails in the months to come asking if I still want to purchase. Not that they aren't pleasant and polite, they are just wasting both of our time  :) .

So putting aside what I imagine is a whole lot of cynical opinions from folks who have been in a similar situation as me ;), why do all of these "scientific" businesses operate this way? Does it really have such a large effect on the bottom line ? It would be great to hear from someone who has firsthand experience on the sales side.
 
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Offline DenzilPenberthy

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Re: Why do companies force you to ask for a quote?
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2016, 03:05:59 pm »
This really is infuriating! It's so that they can work out how much they can get away with charging you. It makes buying things really difficult. I don't know what I want to buy until I know how much all the different options cost! Grrrr!!!  :rant:
 

Offline tszaboo

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Re: Why do companies force you to ask for a quote?
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2016, 05:35:22 pm »
Because the quote will be different from company to company. And they get your email address. And maybe the lead time is long, or they just make it for you if you order it. It is quite common in B2B environment.
 

Offline _Andrew_

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Re: Why do companies force you to ask for a quote?
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2016, 05:45:19 pm »
It is also a method to make it harder for competitor distributors to know what there price point at which there selling equipment at to make it harder for them to come in at a lower price, and harder for the customer to shop around.

 

Offline Dave

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Re: Why do companies force you to ask for a quote?
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2016, 04:47:59 am »
I've had worse experience. I requested a quote at Micro Precision Calibration for something. They must have figured out from my Gmail address that I'm not a business customer and decided to straight out ignore me.
A couple of months later I received their newsletter. |O
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Offline tino_so

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Re: Why do companies force you to ask for a quote?
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2016, 05:18:21 am »
In my experience, a lot of these companies don't even have a store front, so if you do not have an account manager, they will have to set you with one first. At my company we would normally have to fill out an internal work order, so our purchasing department would ask the resellers they have contact with for a quote. Then the phones start to ring!

For my hobby gear I have dealt with companies such as Electro-Meters.com (Rigol Distributor in Canada), and even though they do not have a store front, the purchasing of equipment was pretty straight forward, same goes for RAE Industrial Electronics, where you can almost feel they are so used to the "give me your PO and I will give send you a quote", that my guess is that is a bit awkward for them to deal with the hobbyist lot, although I must say they too were really nice to provide pricing for several devices in record time, with no Spam e-mails or follow up calls that I can recall. Not the most straight forward transaction, but I would certainly go back to these two companies for more down the road and even recommend them to the "general public".

Now if you are talking about  companies such as most listed on Labx.com for example, then yes, I think they have such tight controls on distribution and pricing, to keep the discounts at a minimum, and so they can add other services of their own to the quotes they will send you, as "value added" options you will surely need!  ;)
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: Why do companies force you to ask for a quote?
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2016, 10:17:42 am »
In come cases because the salesdroids wish to remain in charge of proceedings, and don't want to be cut out of the loop.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline nanofrog

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Re: Why do companies force you to ask for a quote?
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2016, 10:46:19 am »
It can also involve the seller keeping within their distributor agreements regarding advertised pricing.

Let's say for example, a distributor in a particular market that wants to sell an item with an MSRP of $100 for $58; but per the distributor agreement, can only advertise a price no lower than $75. They can still sell the item for less, but they have to use Please Call types of statements on webpages in an e-store or risk losing their distributorship from the manufacturer.

It's all about protecting the price structures in a given market, and ultimately, profits (protect the dealer/distributor's profits, and thus their own bottom line). This is also where you run into other restrictions, such as a distributor that sells less in say the US can't sell to EU/UK based clients for example (territorial based restrictions).
 

Offline mswhin63

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Re: Why do companies force you to ask for a quote?
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2016, 11:24:00 am »
Generally if they do not display prices, and they do not have a phone number, I will not deal with them.

I won't subscribe to locate pricing. It is entirely their decision and I respect that, as long as they know that will miss out on a lot of trade as a result the ball in in their court.
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Offline jeremy

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Re: Why do companies force you to ask for a quote?
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2016, 01:14:19 pm »
Hi all,

Thanks for your responses, they make a lot of sense. I should point out one thing in my own experience; having a company email address very much matters, as well as using "we" to describe yourself, like "we are designing a motor driver..."

I wasn't even talking so much about accessing this information as a hobbyist, as I have come across this professionally too.
 

Offline printedcircuit

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Re: Why do companies force you to ask for a quote?
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2016, 08:06:34 am »
When looking at buying equipment, the prices seem to disappear as soon as someone drops the words "scientific", "quantitative" or "metrology". I ask this purely out of my own ignorance and curiosity, but why do these companies make it so hard to find out the price? Why can't it be in a catalog somewhere if not online? Even when I send for a quote, I sometimes don't get a number easily, instead the sales rep asks about what I want to do, how I'm going, what my background is, etc seeming trying to set up sales tactics.
You are purchasing from the manufacture instead of their distributors. Due to the contract between the manufacture and its distributors, the manufacture cannot sell its product to a certain group of customers or it cannot price its product same to various groups of customers. my answer to your question is that you are purchasing from the wrong supplier. try to ask the manufacture of the contact of their distributors. You should never expect the manufacture to offer you a lower price than its distributors.
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Offline Arjan Emm

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Re: Why do companies force you to ask for a quote?
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2016, 03:16:35 pm »
It's odd how it works. Once i needed a single spool of wire 2 km. The supplier, TU only sold it by bits of 100m and told me to contact the manufacturer, draka.  Draka said fine if i take 5 km they could do  a single spool for the normal price. But that price was double of what the supplier asked,TU. I told draka we have a 50%discount at TU. The guy at draka simply told me to order it through TU with the mention of his name and i would get the 50% discount. But there was absolutely no possible discount by ordering it direct, eventhough it was a one of specialty order.  So i quess draka sold the wire for 40% or less to the TU and i paid 50% as promised. So appearantly they rather earn 10% less by selling through their normal suplier instead of selling direct. Sellingdirect was absolutely no problem, just not any discount... weird.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2016, 03:26:18 pm by Arjan Emm »
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: Why do companies force you to ask for a quote?
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2016, 04:13:14 pm »
So appearantly they rather earn 10% less by selling through their normal suplier instead of selling direct. Sellingdirect was absolutely no problem, just not any discount... weird.

Less weird than you might think. Firstly it keeps the distribution channel happy, and that can make/break the business. Secondly it requires no changes to any administration processes; "special procedures" always incur an extra cost.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: Why do companies force you to ask for a quote?
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2016, 10:48:04 pm »
That normal price is just a virtual selling price no one in its right mind will pay, perhaps some hobbyist that orders with Conrad a single meter will pay that price.
So lets say Draka makes a cable for 0,10€ per meter and asks 0,20€ per meter selling to its distributors.
The distributors ask that virtual price of for instance 0,70€ per meter but offer discounts to  "special" customers 50% off for 0,35€ per meter. So no one looses money on your deal.
 

Offline jeremy

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Re: Why do companies force you to ask for a quote?
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2016, 10:48:59 pm »
When looking at buying equipment, the prices seem to disappear as soon as someone drops the words "scientific", "quantitative" or "metrology". I ask this purely out of my own ignorance and curiosity, but why do these companies make it so hard to find out the price? Why can't it be in a catalog somewhere if not online? Even when I send for a quote, I sometimes don't get a number easily, instead the sales rep asks about what I want to do, how I'm going, what my background is, etc seeming trying to set up sales tactics.
You are purchasing from the manufacture instead of their distributors. Due to the contract between the manufacture and its distributors, the manufacture cannot sell its product to a certain group of customers or it cannot price its product same to various groups of customers. my answer to your question is that you are purchasing from the wrong supplier. try to ask the manufacture of the contact of their distributors. You should never expect the manufacture to offer you a lower price than its distributors.

I don't think this is true. Most manufacturers which don't have direct sales won't list a sales contact or say to "contact for a quote", "please call", etc
 

Offline blacksheeplogic

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Re: Why do companies force you to ask for a quote?
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2016, 11:26:04 pm »
I don't think this is true. Most manufacturers which don't have direct sales won't list a sales contact or say to "contact for a quote", "please call", etc

My experience has been that they will provide contact information and forward those requests onto a supplier/distributer. In some cases this can take several days.

 

Offline tautech

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Re: Why do companies force you to ask for a quote?
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2016, 11:35:17 pm »
In my case I can't afford to stock all my suppliers products and wouldn't want to either plus I have to buy in US$ and with a constantly varying exchange rate makes it difficult to set pricing even on a short term basis.

It's easier to make my contact details freely available on a website and have clients inquire.

Times have changed and there's less companies that send spam as there once was and for sure there's no better way to drive customers away.

Better companies have a distributor list on their websites for local supply so you can contact a "real" person.

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Offline Malaclypse

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Re: Why do companies force you to ask for a quote?
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2016, 04:49:42 pm »
I sell the kind of equipment that you need to email us for a quote for. I'm one of the people that will answer an email with a quote.

I don't sell the kind of test gear people here are interested in, but I think it's close enough that I can add to the conversation.

It's quite a technical product, and I think most customers would not be able to select the best product on their own. Most customers come at us with a problem they want to solve, and we help them select a product with options etc.

Often when a customer does come in with a specific product they want it's one of the high end models we advertise. A lot of the time it turns out they don't really need that, and we actually save them money compared to a webshop.

A while ago we started putting the price online in an online store. It hasn't been very popular. I can imagine it being more popular with low-end scopes or products like that, but if you are going to spend $10000 on something, it's nice to be able to run your application past an expert.

And yes, we do follow up on leads. But I won't email you again if you tell me you are no longer looking for the product. Normally when I get a response it's from someone who does still want the product but got distracted by day-to-day business.

If you are a hobbyist that already knows exactly what they want I imagine we are a bit of an annoyance. Sorry, you are not the main market.

But I recommend you make as much use of the sales people as possible. Don't research every product before you ask for a quote, just tell them what you want and let them figure out which product would fit that. Only then should you look at the datasheets.
 

Offline tautech

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Re: Why do companies force you to ask for a quote?
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2016, 05:32:17 am »
I sell the kind of equipment that you need to email us for a quote for. I'm one of the people that will answer an email with a quote........


But I recommend you make as much use of the sales people as possible. Don't research every product before you ask for a quote, just tell them what you want and let them figure out which product would fit that. Only then should you look at the datasheets.
Good advice.

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