Open Thread Thursday: Vendors

I was reading Sarah Houghton-Jan’s post about Freegal* this evening when it reminded me of the wiki/website that Sarah Glassmeyer had set up called LISvendor.info. The idea is to make vendor transactions a bit more transparent and the capability of comparing notes about pricing and practices. This is a bold move considering that some vendors ask for non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) as part of the price negotiation. But in terms of making better decisions on behalf of our communities (whether it be taxpayers, student fee payers, corporate backers, or school boards), it’s an excellent idea to show additional financial responsibility for the money that we spend.

Personally, I haven’t had any issues with the sales reps and vendors that I’ve had the chance to meet either at conferences or in trainings. They’ve all been outwardly cheery people even when I tell them about my lack of buying power. (I have stopped saying that I can relay whatever they have to someone who does since that’s like saying, “I’m not going to go out with you, but I have a friend who might be interested but probably not.”) Most tales I hear are either first or second hand accounts with a skew towards the negative ones. (Which, let’s face it, tend to be more interesting than all but the most positive stories.)

So, this week’s open thread is on vendors. Good stuff, bad stuff, excellent stuff, mediocre stuff. Share with the crowd (and LISVendor.info, while you are at it).

(*Note: Brian Downing from Library Ideas, LLC, the owner of Freegal, has posted a reply to Sarah’s entry.)

3 thoughts on “Open Thread Thursday: Vendors

  1. I want to tell some vendors to not send me sales reps to my institution anymore. Sales reps can email me. I am much more interested in having a closer dialogue with vendor technology folks right off the bat. Send me your tech people. My subject librarians already know the content of products and can discern what is needed for our campus. What we really need to know is how does this product work with our other tools/systems, how can vendors improve the displaylresults, etc,. So either sales reps need to improve their knowledge of the product, or send me someone that I can actually dialogue with.

  2. There for a while I had a vendor who called me every week without fail. Even after I told her that I couldn’t afford her product at the moment and/or we needed more time to think about it, she continued to call. She was very nice, but in the end I had to get a little ugly with her and ask her to stop calling, that we weren’t interested.

    I know everyone’s a tough sale these days because of budget cuts and sometimes it pays to be persistent, but there is a line between being determined and being annoying.

    I also have issues with vendors who say they are going to send information and then never do. I keep a list of these vendors and products so I know not to buy from them. I only want to buy from people who are do what they say they are going to do.

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