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Fixed terms and negotiable terms

It is possible to quote terms in two ways: by stating your price and discounts without leaving room for negotiation, or suggesting that the customer could write again and discuss them. In the two examples below, the companies make firm quotes, indicating that methods of payment and discounts are fixed.

All list prices are quoted f.o.b. Southampton and are subject to a 25% trade discount with payment by letter of credit.

The prices quoted are ex-works, but we can arrange freight and insurance if required, and unless otherwise stated, payment is to be made by 30-day bill of exchange, documents against acceptance.

In the next two examples, the use of the adverbs normally and usually soften the tone of the statements to indicate that although the firm prefers certain terms, these can at least be discussed. In the final example the supplier even asks 'if this arrangement is satisfactory'.

We usually offer an 18% trade discount on f.o.b. prices, and would prefer payment by irrevocable letter of credit.

Normally we allow a 23% trade discount off net prices with payment on a documents against payment basis. Please let us know if this arrangement is satisfactory.



Giving an estimate

Companies which are asked to estimate for a particular job of work may include the estimate in tabulated form in a letter (see 4.3.7). More often, however, they will send their official estimate form with a covering letter.

As you know, our representative has visited your factory to discuss the extension which you wish to add to it, and I now have pleasure in enclosing our official estimate.

The enclosed estimate covers labour and parts and carries a six-month guarantee on all work completed.



Specimen letters




1 Catalogue and price-list:

reply to 3.3.1 A


Dear Mr Raval,

Thank you for your enquiry of 31 January. We are enclosing our Spring catalogue and current price-list quoting c.i.f. prices Le Havre.

We would like to draw your attention to the trade and quantity discounts we are offering in our Special Purchases section pp. 19-26 which may be of particular interest to you.

Please contact us if we can be of any further help to you.

Yours sincerely,


2 College prospectus:

reply to 3.3.1


Dear Miss Iwanammi,

Please find enclosed our prospectus covering courses from July to December. Details of fees and accommodation in London for that period are covered in the booklet 'Living in London' which accompanies the prospectus.

At present we still have places available for students taking the Proficiency course beginning in July, but would ask you to book as soon as possible so that we can reserve a place for you in the class and arrange accommodation with an English family.

We are sure you will enjoy your stay here and look forward to seeing you.

Yours sincerely,


3 General information:

reply to 3.3.1


Dear Mr Wymer,

Thank you very much for your enquiry. You will find enclosed a catalogue giving detailed information about our tubeless tyres and including the impressive results we have achieved in rigorous factory and track tests. Please note the items on safety and fuel economy which have proved the main selling points of this product.

With regard to trade discounts, we are allowing 25% off list prices to bona fide retailers and wholesalers, with quantity discounts for orders over £3,000.

We will be pleased to supply any further information you require.

Yours sincerely,


Date: 2016-01-03; view: 970

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