How to get what you want

… from electronic resource vendors.

Billie warren-king, head librarian, Archbidhop Mitty HS, San Jose; vp of BASL
Build personal relationships; have regular, effective meetings;
Know vendors, size, age, product lines beyond electronics, competition and their products; licensing, redistribution rights, pricing.
Know your community: population, budget; rank needs and want; know the total amount you are spending on that vendor in your organization (ex. textbooks vs e-resources); who else is negotiating for your groups.
Get your free trial – insist on 30 days. Look at content authority, how many users, easy to use?
Licensing models
User population – all have access
Simultaneous Users – limited #seats.
Pricing models:
Flat fee, tiered pricing (per size of school)
Price per student
Ask for what you want – longer contract for price reduction. Longevity counts, too.
Be creative. What works for you – and present it to the vendor.
Negotiating points:
Higher #schools=less$
distribution rights
admin support, customer service, training
Use goes up, price goes down
remote access
no auto renew;
offer to beta test products
prorate for partial year
annual increase – negotiate annually, but it won,t go higher than a firm percent.
ask for whatever you want
Don’t respond to things right away; don,t be pushed into something you’re not comfortable with. Let me thingk about this for a few days.
look at stats, poll users, market constantly.
Keep track of changes in the databases.

Gillian Harrison, Director, BCR Libray Netwok Cooperative
Do your homework: products and vendors; compare with similar products and vendors; use A’s pricing to get B to give you what you want.
Be familiar with your library’s policies and guidelines.
Document everything – notes of conversations, conversations over coffee; visits, phone calls, save e-mails; remember personnel often changes – both people and terms.
Negotiation – it’s a process. Give yourself time, drafts are good things, keep everyone informed of status. Be honest with the vendor when you’re not ready to make an immediate decision.
Push a little: it never hurts to ask; remember, you are the customer, and the customer is always right.
At the end of the day, you both want a deal; vendor wants to keep you happy; always ask for what you want; have the vendor tell you what the database costs; don,t indicate what you,re willing to pay. What’s your pricing structure – ask to see the whole structure.
Be well armed with info, questions, confidence
Your responsibiity is to get the best deal for your library.
Get addl info from: colleagues, consortia, vendors (who elst publishes stuff like that?”), publishers, attend conferences and webinars, talk to others.


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