A Procurement Professional’s Guide To Buying Christmas Presents

It’s that time of year again, your family require Christmas presents to keep the relationship going, you have a limited budget and you are running out of time.

Do you start with a plan? Do you wander round town looking in the shops, choosing stuff at random and then try to fit the present to the person afterwards? How many times do people have to return the presents after Christmas?

There is another way – you can apply procurement theory to buying Christmas presents.


Let’s look at each of these quadrants in turn


Routine: low spend, lots of suppliers.

If you are looking for socks, slippers, book vouchers or bottles of generic whisky then there’s no need to waste time, just go to the Supermarket – job done.


Leverage: high spend, lots of suppliers.

If you are looking for Xboxes, computers or Bikes, then the power is with the buyer. There are lots of suppliers, all wanting to shift product before Christmas so have a look online and either buy there or check out prices and walk around the High Street. In either case bargain hard!


Critical: Low Cost – few suppliers, or high risk of not getting what you want

If you want that gift voucher from the artisan basket weavers you visited when you were on holiday, or your children absolutely NEED the latest version of Buzz Lightyear or Tracey Island, or you have left it until 4pm on Christmas Eve to buy your Partner’s present, then be very careful.

The power is definitely with the supplier here and if you want a good deal you are going to have to bargain very carefully. Build rapport, help them to understand your predicament, gain their sympathy and you might still get what you want without having to mortgage your soul.

Slide4Strategic: High spend, few suppliers or high risk of not getting what you want

If your partner has had a lifelong dream of flying a helicopter, Learning to Windsurf or eating at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck on a particular day, then you need to work hard to get the deal.

Build a relationship with the supplier – people are much more likely to go the extra mile, do a deal or be helpful for someone they like. Avoid being stroppy, demanding, patronising or superior. Remember the supplier has the power to destroy your Christmas.

So, have a plan, analyse and categorise the presents you are going to buy and negotiate in the most appropriate way and you’ll have a great, reduced stress Christmas surrounded by happy and grateful people.

When you wake up on New Year’s Day and make those New Year’s Resolutions, perhaps you should make one to contact us and see how we can help you and your business next year?

Whatever you choose, we hope you have a fantastic Christmas and a successful New Year.


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