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In tune with inflation and the emergence of new technologies, there is not only a rise of vendors and suppliers offering almost every little thing that a person may need or want but you can also see a parallel growth of scams and swindles that two out of ten consumers experience every day. And this rate is alarmingly increasing by the minute so it is very important not only for business but for every customer to be cautious in their business dealings.


It is fairly critical for a company to look out and dodge these market tricks especially when it comes to purchasing supplies. Office supplies in particular are vulnerable to rip-offs. For your information and added precaution, the Federal Trade Commission has suggested some simple easy to follow measures that you can use in purchasing your office supplies.


First on the list is to know your consumer rights. Perhaps the oldest trick in the book of a deceitful vendor is sending you items or supplies which you did not order. This could very well be an honest mistake or it could be an attempt to con you. Either way it is best that you are on your toes.


The initial thing that you can do is to call the supplier and tell them about the mistake. It is considered illegal for the vendor to bill you for the extra items so make sure to check the billing statement once you receive it. The advice on this is to pay only for what you ordered and consider the extra items as a gift. You also have the option to return or not return the unordered products. You do not have the obligation to send them back; that action would definitely be an added cost for you.


Also check if the items that you have on hand correspond to the specifications on your purchase order. The supplier could trick you into sending supplies of a different brand, quality, size, type or quantity. Again it is important that you carefully check your bill and mark the items which do not fit your purchase requirements. These items can also be considered as unordered goods and similarly, you do not have the obligation to pay for them.


It is highly recommended that you have one designated person to make the purchase orders and requisitions and check these items upon receipt. These authorized buyers should be trained to be as accurate and as detailed as possible when purchasing your office supplies.


It is but proper that they use sequentially numbered purchase orders and have them duly signed and authorized before the actual purchase. The forms should indicate in precise detail the specific item and the equivalent quantity of each ordered. Purchase orders should be meticulously checked and matched item per item with the bill of lading and actual items received.


Copies of these purchase orders should be distributed to the accounting department particularly the one handling accounts payable for check and balance. It is equally significant that you have defined internal control measures for the safeguarding of your unused purchase order forms. You could just as easily been deceived if it is in the wrong hands.

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