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I would like to jump in here.
I will be leading a workshop on dealing with vendors at the California
School Library Association conference in November.

First of all, many of the "problems" that people have listed with particular
vendors are problems in outgoing communication.  Where did you tell them to
put the barcodes, for example?
The vendors do make mistakes, however.  In California with our funding over
the past few years, some vendors were making huge growing pain type
mistakes.  Now they will have shrinking pains.
I also have not noticed any particular difference in pricing for hardbacks.
Buy from the publisher when it is cheaper - otherwise any wholesaler is
about the same.
For paperbacks, some wholesalers can do lots better on multiple copies - up
to 50% off. These are worth looking for.
I have not noticed that any particular vendor makes more or less mistakes
than any other.  The most important things are:
1. ease of use - includes web site ordering, interface with your automation
program, etc.
2. service - availability of titles and desired bindings, response time,
fill rate, processing quality, availability and helpfulness of the sales
rep, etc.

Your sales rep is your best contact - keep a good relationship with him/her.

Other than that, look for specials that can save you money.

I vote we stop bad-mouthing any particular company for what are probably
local and old complaints that have been fixed already.

George Pilling, Director, District Library Media Services
Visalia Learning Center
Visalia Unified School District
5000 Cypress Ave.
Visalia, CA  93277

Hours: M,Th, F 7:00 - 5:00;  T, W 7:00 -7:00

FAX 559.730.7693

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