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    Buyers' Choice


    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 1/2001 

    Customers take more than price into account when choosing a product.

    Q. What do buyers look for when determining the purchase of a product? 

    It is important to remember the three "Ps" that influence the buying decision: Product, Price and Performance. Normally, customers have in mind a combination of the three while making any buying decision.


    - Quality and guarantees

    - Technical specifications

    - Design and drawings

    - Patent and proprietary considerations

    - Environmental aspects

    - Packaging, labelling and marking.


    - Price

    - Escalation clause, if any

    - Terms of payment.


    - Delivery schedules

    - Continuity of supplies

    - Transportation arrangements

    - Spares and after-sales service

    - Warranties

    - Confidentiality.

    The guaranteed quality of a product - its conformity with specified or international standards and proper packaging, labelling and markings - can be a major selling factor. High quality can also offset after-sales service considerations.

    Price is a critical factor, but does not by itself tilt the buying decision. Some customers may make a trade-off between quality and price. Once the product and price are right, the customer looks at the exporter's ability to perform well.

    Realistic delivery schedules and gaining the customer's confidence that these schedules will be met will go a long way towards securing export orders. If the customer immediately accepts the price quoted, the exporter should find out why. It suggests that the price may be too low, so a recalculation may be necessary.