Vendor Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I already receive bids from this buyer via fax and mail. Why would I want to use this marketplace for my company?
A: There are many potential reasons. One is to never miss a bidding opportunity with your existing customer. Never lose an opportunity by not knowing. Have bids opportunities sent to you via email, allowing you to be away from the workplace and still view and respond in a timely fashion. Secondly, responding to bids with the old-fashioned paper base requires postage, paper, etc. With the click of a button, you will now be able to respond immediately. You will also have the ability to receive bid opportunities electronically from buyers you have never done business with, so it is a marketing tool.
Q: My business is small and I only do business within a small geographic area. Why would I join this marketplace?
A: First, remember that you pay no communication fees to do business with one agency at a time. You can "move" yourself around from one agency to another at any time. You may also receive complimentary solicitation notices from other agencies that want to expand their outreach, or maybe they are just starting to utilize the marketplace. Next, you must understand that your clients may save hundreds or thousands of dollars in mailing, printing, copying and handling costs by electronically using our marketplace. "Business as Usual" is being redefined.
Q: My Company has joined other E-commerce networks in the past. What we found was joining was a waste of our time and money! What makes this marketplace any different?
A: The costs associated with this marketplace make it so all agencies no matter big or small can utilize this marketplace as a buying tool. The marketplace is also used by agencies as a training tool for HUD purchasing guidelines, so it is not a "fly-by-night Marketplace". This is the way agencies are being taught to purchase in the future. Just as they switched to fax machines for communication 20 years ago, this upgrades the speed, efficiency and outreach of their procurement opportunities by using the internet.
Q: My Company is not very computer literate. Will we have any trouble learning the marketplace?
A: This marketplace was designed with the computer novice in mind. If you've ever bought or sold anything on-line: you can use this marketplace. Should you have any questions, contact our customer support department at 1-866-526-9266. They are available Monday through Friday from 9 A.M.EST - 4 P.M. PST (excluding holidays) to answer any questions you may have.
Q: Our Company has over 100 branch offices throughout the United States. Does your marketplace require each of them to register separately, or should we consolidate the bid requests through our corporate office in Chicago?
A: Our marketplace makes no requirements that each branch sign up individually. That being said, the answer to your question is that it depends on how your company does business. If you employ a national account manager strategy, the consolidation approach may be the best option for you. If, however, each office is responsible for sales in their geography, it makes sense for each office to sign up separately.
Q: I am a very busy salesperson and I don't have the time to check the Housing Agency Marketplace site every day and see when a new request pops up that I may want to bid on. I'm afraid I'll miss some business opportunities. How can the marketplace help me?
A: When you register on the marketplace, one of the questions you are asked is what commodity codes that you want to receive email notification about. Then, depending on the geographic area you choose to serve, every time an Agency has a request in your bid category, you will receive an email directing you to view the opportunity. You may also receive complimentary emails when agencies wish to expand their outreach to additional vendors.
Q: We spend a lot of time, money and effort on marketing our company. Now, you tell us that any company that signs up, as a vendor in the marketplace will know all the bids we know about. It doesn't sound fair to me.
A: As we all know, price is just one component of the purchase decision. If you are a proven Vendor, with a great relationship with your clients, this will just become a communications and marketing tool between your company and agencies who utilize the marketplace. You will have the potential to view bids from other agencies that will provide your company with additional bidding opportunities.