Discussing Dates and Terms of Delivery

B. – Beresov, P. – Peterson

B.: I've been authorized to discuss the terms of delivery with you.

P.: I see.

B.: What time of delivery could you offer?

P.: We can deliver the goods within three weeks of the date of receiving the bank transfer. It’s our usual practice.

B.: Could you offer earlier delivery dates?

P.: I have no idea how to do it.

B.: We agree to take part deliveries if it’s possible.

P.: Then we’ll deliver the goods in three lots of 50 items each at regular intervals within three weeks. Does that suit you?

B.: Yes, perfectly.

IV. Make up dialogues based on the following assignments:

1. Meet your future customer. Ask him what he thinks of your draft contract. On the whole the draft is acceptable but the customer wants you to change the delivery date. Finalize the outstanding points.

2. Greet Mr. Fisher at your office. Find out what equipment his firm is going to buy from you. Discuss the prices.

3. Meet your future customer. Ask him what he thinks of your draft contract. On the whole the draft is acceptable but the customer wants you to change the terms of delivery. Finalize the outstanding points.

4. Contact Mr. Johnson and find out their terms of delivery and payment. Tell him that you would become their regular buyers if their terms are acceptable.

V. Read and translate the text:

The Modern Way to Do It

One corporation wrote to another: “Our electronic brain has computed that the cost of the work you want done will be $ 25,650.50”.

The following reply was received a few days later: “As this is more than we anticipated, we would like to suggest that your electronic brain make an appointment with our electronic brain to discuss ways and means of cutting costs.”

III. Orders

Replies to Offers

When a prospective buyer receives an offer, he will examine it carefully and perhaps compare it with offers from other suppliers. If the terms of the offer suit him, he will place an order. An order following a firm offer, provided it is placed on time and constitutes an unqualified acceptance of the offer, results in a contract. If the offer was made without engagement, there is no contract unless buyer's order is accepted by the seller.

Sometimes certain points in the offer have to be clarified or additional information has to be obtained from the supplier before the buyer can place an order. (By making his offer clear and complete, the supplier can save his customer and himself time and trouble.)

If the buyer cannot make use of the offer, he should, as a matter of politeness, inform the seller of his refusal.

Perhaps the buyer is interested in the goods offered, but does not agree to the prices or terms proposed by the seller. In such cases he may try to obtain concessions from the supplier or make a counter-offer. When the supplier receives a counter-offer, he must decide whether or not he wants to accept it.


Orders are placed either in response to an offer, as mentioned above, or on the buyer's own initiative, without a preceding offer. In the latter case, the buyer declares that he is prepared to buy certain goods if they can be supplied at the prices and on the terms stated.

The order which opens business between two firms is called the first order or initial order. Orders for goods previously bought from the same firm are repeat orders or re-orders. A trial order is an order for a small quantity for testing purposes, which is followed by a larger order if the buyer is satisfied with the quality of the goods, or if he finds that there is a market for them. Advance orders are placed in advance of the time when delivery is desired. A standing order is an arrangement with the supplier, according to which the supplier delivers goods in specified quantities at certain intervals until further notice.

Orders can be placed orally or in writing. Verbal or telegraphic orders should be followed up by a written confirmation. The order letter is being replaced more and more by printed forms (order forms, order blanks, purchase order forms). Order forms are numbered to facilitate reference; they are usually accompanied by a brief note.

A complete order should cover the same points as those listed under offers. Orders following a detailed offer or placed with a regular supplier need not be so specific. In the latter case the supplier will assume that the goods are to be delivered as usual. Gener­ally speaking, however, it is advisable to repeat in the order the main points of the offer.

After the order has been placed, follow-up letters may have to be written. The buyer may want to know when the goods will be delivered, he may want to increase or reduce his order, change his original instructions, give additional information, etc.

Follow-up is also necessary if the supplier fails to acknowledge the order or does not deliver the goods on time.

Sometimes unforeseen circumstances arise which force the buyer to revoke his order. (The cancelled order may be replaced by a new one.)

When an order has to be cancelled, this should be done as quickly as possible, if necessary by telegram. The supplier will, as a rule, accept the cancellation if it does not cause him any loss. (On the other hand, the cancellation of an order may also be the consequence of the seller's failure to perform his contractual duties.)

Terms and phrases

a. Opening Phrases Фразы для начала письма
We thank you for your quotation of … and should be glad if you would send us … Мы благодарим Вас за Вашу расценку от … (дата) и будем рады, если Вы пошлете нам …
We enclose (We are sending you enclosed) Purchase Order No … . Мы прилагаем Заказ на поставку № ....
Please enter (book) the following order for immediate delivery: … . Пожалуйста, примите следующий заказ для немедленной поставки: … .
Please send me the following articles and charge them to my account: … . Пожалуйста, пришлите мне следующие товары, оплату за которые снимите с моего счёта: ...
b. Buyer’s Instructions and Conditions Указания и условия покупателя
Please acknowledge this order promptly, giving earliest delivery date. Пожалуйста, подтвердите этот заказ быстро, с указанием самой ранней даты поставки.
The goods must be delivered, without fail, by the end of next week. Товары должны быть поставлены обязательно к концу следующей недели.
Please see that the goods are shipped by the first available steamer. Пожалуйста, проследите, чтобы товары были отправлены первым же пароходом.
The delivery dates in our order must be strictly adhered to. Сроки поставок нашего заказа должны быть строго выдержаны.
We reserve the right to cancel the order if delivery is not made by 1st March. Мы оставляем за собой право отменить заказ, если поставка не будет произведена к 1 марта.
We must hold you responsible for all losses which may arise as a result of any delay in delivery. Вы должны взять на себя ответственность за потери, которые могут возникнуть в результате любой задержки поставки.
The goods must be up to (correspond to, conform to, agree with) the sample. Товары должны соответствовать образцу.
Goods of inferior quality will be returned at supplier’s risk and expense. Товары низкого качества будут возвращены с риском для поставщика и за его счёт.
If you cannot match our sample please send us the nearest substitute you have in stock. Если Вы не можете предоставить нам товары, соответствующие нашему образцу, пожалуйста, пошлите нам самую подходящую замену, которая у Вас имеется на складе.
Please ensure that the goods are well packed. Пожалуйста, проследите, чтобы товары были хорошо упакованы.
Careful packing is essential. Тщательная упаковка необходима.
Packing must be strong enough to afford the goods adequate protection. Упаковка должна быть достаточно прочной, чтобы обеспечить товарам надлежащую защиту.
Detailed instructions regarding packing and shipping marks will follow. Подробные инструкции относительно упаковочной и отгрузочной маркировки последуют.
Marks as usual. Маркировка обычная.
Insurance to be effected from warehouse to warehouse covering the invoice value plus 10%. Страхование от склада до склада покрывает стоимость по счёту-фактуре плюс 10 %.
This order is subject to our General Terms and Conditions. Этот заказ подчинен нашим общим положениям и условиям.
с. Closing Phrases Заключительные фразы
We trust that you will give this order your usual prompt attention. Мы полагаем, что Вы уделите этому заказу Ваше обычное своевременное внимание.
Your careful attention to our instructions will be appreciated. Ваше должное внимание к нашим инструкциям будет оценено.
If this first transaction is satisfactory, we are prepared to place a standing order. Если первая сделка будет удовлетворительной, мы готовы разместить постоянный заказ.
d. Cancellation of Orders Отмена заказов
We are sorry that it is necessary (We regret being compelled, We regret having) to cancel our order of … Мы сожалеем, что необходимо (Мы сожалеем, что вынуждены) отменить наш заказ от ... (дата)
Please cancel our order for…and send us instead … Пожалуйста, отмените наш заказ на ... и пошлите нам вместо этого ...
As the buyer of the goods has withdrawn from the contract, we have no alternative but to cancel our order. Поскольку покупатель товаров не выполнил контракт, у нас нет другого выбора, кроме как отменить наш заказ.
We have just learned that the firm for which these goods were intended has gone bankrupt. Мы только что узнали, что фирма, для которой были предназначены эти товары, обанкротилась.
We hope that we shall soon be able to make up for the inconvenience caused by placing another order. Мы надеемся, что скоро будем в состоянии возместить причинённые Вам неудобства путём размещения другого заказа.
e. Refusal of Offers, Counter-Offers Отказ от предложений, встречные предложения
We regret that we are unable to make use of (to avail ourselves of) your offer at present. Мы сожалеем, что не можем воспользоваться Вашим предложением в настоящее время.
As your prices are too high, we cannot take your offer into consideration. Поскольку Ваши цены слишком высоки, мы не можем взять Ваше предложение на рассмотрение.
We have been able to obtain the goods at a more favourable price. Мы смогли получить товары по более благоприятной цене.
These articles are not suited for our market. Эти изделия не подходят для нашего рынка.
We have a sufficiently large stock. Мы имеем достаточно большой запас.
We have just replenished our stock. Мы только что пополнили наш запас.
We cannot expect to achieve satisfactory sales, unless you reduce your prices by at least 10%. Мы не можем ожидать достижения удовлетворительных продаж, если Вы не снизите Ваши цены, по меньшей мере, на 10%.
If you can accommodate us with regards to the price, we shall be glad to give you an order. Если мы сможем договориться относительно цены, мы будем рады дать Вам заказ.
We cannot do regular business on the basis of the terms suggested by you. Мы не можем иметь регулярные деловые отношения на основе условий, предложенных Вами.
We require at least 30 days’ credit. Мы требуем, по меньшей мере, тридцатидневного кредита.

Specimen letters

Request for a Sample

Dear Sirs,

Thank you for your letter dated 18th June regarding your DECO Glue for Plastics.

Before making a decision as to whether we should place an order for a quantity, I should be pleased if you could arrange for a sample to be sent to me in order that we may test the suitability of the glue for the application we have in mind.

Yours faithfully,

Наши рекомендации