Tips for Talking with Vendors

1. Bring plenty of business cards. Ask for the vendor's business card too!
2. Bring a list of materials you are interested in, 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. 4. Make sure you get the NYC DOE contract and vendor number from 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 or available in the FAMIS E-catalog.
6. Be sure to ask about pricing for processing for library books and reference material.
7. Check the bindings. They should be either trade bound or library bound if they are hardcover; look at prebound materials (paperbacks rebound with a hard cover) and test the durability. Most prebound material come with some type of warranty.
8. What is the return policy for damaged materials or those that do not stand up to a reasonable number of circulations? Is their a lifetime return policy for prebound materials?

9. If looking at electronic/database products:
· Is it a per-pupil or a set price?
· Is that particular database listed in the FAMIS E-Catalog, 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/interest level is the product aimed at?
· Can you get a free trial 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 student learners (e.g., different languages)?
· What is tech support/customer service like? Available hours? Speed of response?
· Is training available? Is there a cost for the training? Are there Webinars available? Is there an additional cost for 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?