How to hunt the perfect supplier

You have the power to choose.

As customers, we can compare anything we wish to purchase. The times we must suffer inferior service or pay too much for too little are fast disappearing.

The conditions for supplier comparison have never been better. And while some comparisons may take longer than others, the principle of ‘the customer is king (or queen)’ remains true.

Take, for instance, dry cleaning.

Cleaning up

If you have a dirty jacket and a hot date, you don’t trek around town comparing dry cleaners. You find one to get the job done fast.

Yet each time a dry cleaner lets you down, it makes sense to try a different one.

Working your way through suppliers like this can take years. (I call it ‘time-lapse comparison’.) But it’s still well worth the effort.

Maya* has tried several dry cleaners over two decades. I’ve compressed her experience into these few lines, so you can benefit now.

Time for a change

Maya’s first dry cleaner was in a posh suburb. It had all the equipment you could wish for, but the owners were sick of the business. They took their frustrations out on customers with surly service.

The second dry cleaner picked up and delivered. He was a smiling, supremely fit bloke who ran up office stairs three at a time.

However, when his machine turned Maya’s buttons a different colour to her coat and she politely raised it with him, he turned very nasty. He dyed the coat another colour, then returned it with no buttons at all!

The third dry cleaner was cripplingly expensive.

The fourth was irritatingly inconsistent in the time it took to clean Maya’s clothes.


Maya is now onto her fifth dry cleaner. This one looks like a keeper:

  • They don’t pick up, but they’re just round the corner from her home.
  • Their operation is very basic, but they do a great job.
  • They’re not super fast, but they’re very reliable.
  • They’re flexible and friendly.
  • And reasonably priced.

Maya is rapt. It took her a long time to find this superior supplier. And she’d never have done it without her negative experiences with the others.

Instead of putting up with crap service and complaining to her friends, she went hunting. And turned her frown upside down by tracking down a winner.

Story time

I’d love to hear how you’ve found your best suppliers.

Do you track, bait, trap or net them, or use an elephant gun?!

By sharing our tales of comparison, we may generate a list of top-notch providers that saves us all a lot of field work.

And bag a bargain!


Fred Schebesta is a Director of and loves being frugal and finding loopholes in deals.

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