Tips for Talking with Vendors
1. Bring plenty of business cards. Ask for the business card of the vendor so that you have up-to-date contact information.
2. It is helpful to bring a list of materials in which you are interested, or at least categories of materials: graphic, foreign language, Hi-Lo, etc. Be sure to find out how this vendor’s materials address those areas of focus.
3. While you’re at the table, mark up the vendor catalog with the items you see that you might want to order. You won’t be able to remember later.
4. Make sure you get the NYC DOE contract and vendor number for the vendor to help with the ordering process.
5. If the vendor is not a contracted NYC DOE vendor, ask if the vendor’s material is distributed by a contracted vendor.
6. Be sure to ask about pricing for processing and if you can file a processing profile.
7. Check the bindings. They should be either trade bound or library bound if they are hardcover.
8. What is the return policy for damaged materials or those that do not stand up to a reasonable number of circulations?
9. If looking at electronic/database products:
· Is it a per-pupil or a set price?
· Is that particular database listed in FAMIS, not just a listing for the vendor?
· Is there a discounted price if the database is bundled with another one from the same vendor?
· What grade/reading level is the product aimed at?
· Can you get a free trial of at least a month to see how your students/teachers will use it?
· Is there a remote log-in available for your entire school community?
· Are there alternate interfaces to address the needs of different types of students (e.g., different languages)?
· What is tech support like? Available hours? Speed of response?
· Is training available? Is there a cost for the training?
· Is there an online tutorial? Are there down-loadable tutorial materials for your students?
· What kind of material is in the database: compilation of articles from many sources? Original material written by the vendor?
· If original material, what authority is used?
· What are the print capabilities?
· Are individual student accounts available within the database?