Having a practice is a whole lot of work. On top of that, time-strapped you is constantly on the lookout for the lowest price for your monthly supplies! Maintaining your clinic already requires you to spend endless hours that you simply don't have - but here you are, doing all this work for discounts that, I'm afraid my friend, don't even exist.
Get an insider view of the clinic supply industry and find out the 6 hidden costs that can leave you broke when ordering your monthly supplies:
#1 Choose an honest and transparent supplier
Have you ever established a relationship with a supplier only to discover that you had made the wrong choice? You may have found a supplier that has offered a good price, but later realized that they were unreliable with their deliveries or that they never answer their phones. Even worse, there were many unexpected hidden costs tacked on to the final invoice. Don't get trapped into choosing a supplier based on price alone. Look beyond that. Choose a supplier that is honest, provides exceptional customer support and is transparent about all costs.
#2 Bait and switch
Often dishonest vendors will employ the "bait-and-switch" tactic. For the first few orders they will offer compelling deals and deep discounts aimed at "baiting" you in with low prices, and then "switch" or increase the prices in a few months. Don't assume that you got a bargain, check your invoice and watch out for price increases. Read the fine print. If a deal seems too good to be true, be wary. Check the terms and conditions of any sales or promotions before finalizing a purchase.
#3 It's expensive to shop cross border
If you order products from an online USA site, there are some costs that may catch you by surprise:
- Shipping: Additional fees to ship to Canada.
- Duties: Often the duties can be very expensive
- Exchange Rate: The "final price" in your virtual "checkout" may not be in Canadian dollars. You may be shocked when you see the actual charge on your credit card statement after the exchange.
- Credit Card Currency Conversion Fees: The majority of credit cards charge a 2.5% currency conversion fee.
- Custom Broker Fees: Fees that are passed along by courier companies and postal services to get packages processed through Canada Customs at the Canadian border.
- Expensive Return Policy: If you don't like the product, there is a cost to ship this product back to the US for a return. Check their return policy for outside of USA.
While the initial price of the product may be lower on the USA site, with all the above fees taken into account, it is often more expensive than buying a product in Canada.
#4 Beware of double shipping fees on back orders
Why should you have to pay twice for shipping just because the vendor doesn't have the product in stock in the first place? Some suppliers may charge additional shipping fees for back orders. Always check your invoices for double shipping fees. Ensure that you will not have to pay for any additional shipping fees caused by back ordered items.
# 5 Avoid the restocking fees
Does your vendor offer you a hassle free return policy or do they charge a 20% restocking fee for returned merchandise as part of their money back return policy? Restocking fees usually only come to light if and when things go wrong (e.g. defective items, resell products such as a knee brace that the patient wants to return because of improper fitting). Ask about the existence and terms of restocking fees before making a purchase.
#6 Overweight shipping charges
Some suppliers may charge a considerable surcharge on overweight or oversized packages. When ordering your monthly rehab supplies, it is important to take every opportunity to avoid or limit potential excess shipping costs. Most vendors offer a free shipping option with a minimum purchase. If you find a supplier that sells everything, you can always add frequently consumed items to hit the minimum for the free shipping (e.g. acupuncture needles, detergent, office paper, and toner).