Here are some more tips to help minimise your costs for catering supplies and equipment – and save more of your valuable time.
Use Product Codes in your searches: Many of the main UK catering equipment suppliers you find online use the same product codes (including Chefswarehouse). So, when you have identified the product you want to buy, note its product code to facilitate easy price comparisons.
Use Google Shopping: Although other search engines are available Google is the most commonly used (and generally most useful) tool. For product / price searches, use Googles's Shopping category option. Most suppliers submit their product listings to google so it's the fastest way of finding best prices.
Identify the product code for the item you are looking for - say from the Nisbets or Chefswarehouse website
Enter the product code into the google search box with a brand name or product name (e.g 'S088 Hygiplas')
Click on Google's Shopping tab option (rather than 'All')
- View the response (e.g. below). Note, that Google presents a comparison table link (circled in red on picture below)
Look down the listings: Whether using the standard 'All' search option or 'Shopping', you will usually see the big name suppliers' prices at the top of the search results as they generally bid highest to be in pole position. Although many searchers rarely look at more than page 1 or 2 of results, it does pay to look down the listings. Suppliers who have not bid so high for marketing positions - often with lower operating costs, spend less on marketing so can offer keener prices.
VAT included or not?: Check whether VAT is included in the prices quoted, annoyingly it is not always clear and makes comparison more time consuming as you have to do the maths and / or check out a site. The Google shopping comparisons do include VAT in prices.
Delivery Charge Threshold: Check suppliers’ minimum order for free delivery. It varies from zero to over £200. It’s not always clearly stated (until checkout!) but can make a significant difference to your total invoice bill. Lowest quoted price but paid-for delivery is rarely your best option.
Delivery Options: Check delivery charges and when you expect to receive your order. Generally, products held in stock should be delivered next (working) day to UK Mainland postcodes.
Is Next Day Delivery offered as standard or is it 4-7 days?
Does Next Day cost you extra?
Does your postcode put your delivery charge up?
Is there a weight limit on your Free Delivery?
What time is cut-off for next day delivery?
Items In Stock?: Check that your order items really are in stock as not all suppliers have proper inventory control. A “sorry this item is out of stock” email after you’ve paid up-front, is not only extremely annoying but has wasted your time. For more expensive & urgent items just confirm stock is present with the vendor and when you can expect to receive it (e.g. through the instant chat line) - before paying at the checkout.
Use a benchmark supplier for comparisons: E.g. Chefswarehouse (our prices are consistently low across all product ranges and brands. Delivery options are upfront - so we make a good benchmark.)
Price Matching: If your order basket adds up to a sizable amount, try asking for a price match or additional discount - With a highly competitive market for your custom, its very likely that you will succeed in getting a bit extra off the bill. If you 'abandon' your basket, its is quite common to receive an automatic offer an hour or so later anyway!
Happy Shopping from chefswarehouse.co.uk - do let us know if you have any more tips to share.
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