Friday, August 14, 2009

OfficeMax? WTF?

As some of you may or may not know, I work for a computer store in the St. Charles area. I'll keep this fairly anonymous, because I don't want to get my employer in any kind of hot water.

We, from time to time, find good deals on laptops at other retailers in the area and purchase them to resell here. Most of the time they will have a purchase restriction like one per customer, usually enforced by name, address, or phone number look up. Depending on the deal, we will sometimes try to get around this by having everyone in the shop order one individually, and sent to our home addresses. Not the most scrupulous business practice, but I'm certain that damn near every other small business in existence does the same kind of thing.

We tried this with a recent laptop sale at Office Max. The owners each ordered one (one to the office and one to a home address). The office and sales managers also each ordered one, to their home addresses. All but one of the orders were canceled. The reason for the three cancellations? OfficeMax said that the names of the people making the orders were associated with our company's name, and that their sales policy says that we are not allowed to purchase goods for resale.


The owner, when discussing her purchase , asked, "What if the laptop is for one of my sales staff to use in the business?" They told her that no, since we are a reseller, we cannot purchase laptops from them.

Does it sound like a sound business practice for a company, called OfficeMax, that primarily sells office supplies to refuse to sell products to a business? With an office?

It's not like I shop there very often, but I think from now on, I'm going to make a point of not shopping there.


  1. So, what you're saying here is that your company tried to buy these laptops from OfficeMax with the intent to resell them, and then OfficeMax denied you because they explicitly forbid that in their terms of sale. And then you're complaining about it and saying that you're going to boycott them because they're enforcing their sales policies, which (at least the ones in question here) make the sales more fair to real consumers.

    I agree that if you were simply buying these laptops for actual office use, this would be completely unfair. However if you've done this to OfficeMax in the past, they could have picked up on a purchasing pattern and have the right to refuse your business.

  2. Fair enough Nick. You're right; like I said and you pointed out, it's in thier sales policy. But two of the canceled orders were made by employees of the buisness, with thier personal (not company) credit cards, to be shipped to thier home addresses.

    That basicly says that since you simply WORK FOR a company that might compete with us in a certain area of sales, then you are not allowed to purchase products from us.