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Orders and execution of orders

If the seller's offer is right, an order may he expected to follow. When ordering goods, a customer will generally include the following in his letter:

1. A reference to a visit by the supplier's representative, or to an advertisement or catalogue, or to a sample, or to previous correspondence. This applies particularly to a first order. In subsequent orders the buyer may begin his letter with:

2. Details of the goods required: quantity, quality, catalogue number, packing, etc.

3. Conditions and qualifications.

4. Alternatives which are acceptable if the goods ordered are not available.

5. A closing sentence, perhaps encouraging the supplier to execute the order promptly and with care.


Figure 25:

The following letter illustrates the points listed above.

































Nowadays orders are usually written on a company’s official order form (see Figure 26) which has a date and a reference number that should be quoted in any correspondence referring to the order. If the order is telephoned, it should be confirmed in writing, and an order form should always be accompanied by either a COMPLIMENTS SLIP or a COVERING LETTER (see Figure 27). A covering letter is preferable as it allows you the opportunity to make any necessary points and confirm the terms that have been agreed.

Figure 26





































The guide below is for an outline of a covering letter. You may not want to make all the points listed, but look through the guide to see what could be mentioned.

1. Opening. Make it clear that there is an order accompanying the letter.

2. Payment. Confirm the TERMS OF PAYMENT.

3. Discounts. Confirm the agreed discounts.

4. Delivery. Confirm the delivery dates.

5. Methods of delivery. Many companies use FORWARDING AGENTS who are specialists in packing and handling the documentation to ship goods. Nevertheless, to ensure prompt and safe delivery, it is a good idea to advise the company on how you want the goods packed and sent. This means that if the consignment arrives late, or in a damaged state, your letter is evidence of the instructions you gave.

6. Packing. Advise your supplier how you want the goods packed.

7. Closing.

Figure 27



































































Acknowledging an order

As soon as a supplier receives an order, it should be acknowledged. This can be done by letter, or by email for speed.































A cable or telex message would be the best method of communication, as/since we could then begin to dispatch the goods.

The most acceptable method of payment will be irrevocable Letter of Credit, as/since this is the first time we have done business.









Connect these pairs of sentences, using the words ‘since’ or ‘as’.

1. You should place an order immediately. Our stocks are diminishing.

2. We shall arrange payment by bank transfer in future. It is much more convenient than other methods of payment.

3. There is no need for us to give you special instructions. Our bank always states them on their Letters of Credit.

4. Our credit will not be valid after December 15th. We insist on delivery before that date.

5. Your products are ideal for us. We want to modernize our office and save space at the same time.

6. We must import many types of paper products. There is a shortage in our own country.

7. We must ask you to pay by irrevocable Letter of Credit. We haven’t enough knowledge of your company’s financial position.

8. We cannot guarantee delivery before December 15th. It is difficult to charter shipping at this time of year.

9. We must cancel the order. You cannot guarantee deliver before December 15th.

10. We expect a 5 % discount. Our order is worth more than £10,000.


2. Ordering/Placing orders. Notice these sentences you use when you place a definite order:

We are therefore placing an order for 70 filing cabinets.




We would like to / We are pleased to place the following order for 70 filing cabinets.



We enclose our (your) official order form / purchase order for 70 filing cabinets.




Write sentences placing definite orders for the following using either model:

1. The men’s suits supplied by your correspondent are the right quality. You have seen samples, and they are the right design, colour and size. Order 120.

2. Your agent has inspected the typewriter paper supplied by your correspondent. He has said it is excellent, and you have decided to buy it. Order 2,000 reams.

3. You sent a letter of enquiry to a company which supplies ball point pens. You have tried the samples and found them of good quality, colour, and the right price. Order 500.

4. The bathroom scales supplied by your correspondent are acceptable to you. Your representative has inspected them. They are accurate and well-designed. Order 40.

5. The copper bars you need for electric wires can be supplied by your correspondent. The copper is the right kind, and you are satisfied with the price. Order 750 bars.

6. The magazines you need to distribute to the Production Managers of bakeries in your region must contain the right information about production machines. The magazine ‘The Baker’ has this information and has written a reply to your letter of enquiry. Order 150 copies.

7. You need strong motor car tyres for use on tough roads. Your correspondent is the manufacturer who produces the strongest tyres. Order 800.

8. Your correspondent supplies iron ore at the lowest price. You have decided to buy from him. Order 100 tons.

9. Your correspondent has offered you the best price for pocket diaries. You have decided to buy from him. Order 100,000.

10. After a long search you have found a supplier who can supply the right kind of thermometers. You have decided to buy from them. Order 250.


3. Describing payment method. When you have decided to order, notice how you use the future simple tense to show certainty:

Our bank will issue a Letter of Credit in your favour.

We will accept your draft.

Our bank will inform you of the documents needed.

We will pay for the goods by banker’s draft on receipt of your pro forma invoice.







Use the future tense to show certainty for the following:

1. We/inform/the most acceptable method of payment.

2. Our bank/issue/a Letter of Credit in your favour.

3. Our Despatch Department/send/the shipping documents.

4. We/accept/your draft for 30 days.

5. Our bank/accept/your draft after you have delivered the documents.

6. Our Sales Manager/make sure/the delivery date is met.

7. We/deliver/the goods to the port of Geneva.

8. We/arrange/credit to include the cost of freight and insurance.

9. Our bank/inform/when the credit expires.

10. We/accept/your packing instructions.


4. Acknowledging orders. Notice these sentences.

We are pleased to acknowledge your order of 10 January for 70 filing cabinets.


We are pleased to acknowledge your order of 10 January for 70 filing cabinets which is receiving attention now.(where no action is described in your own letter, add which is receiving attention.







Acknowledge the following:

1. Order for 3000x20 clocks – 22 June

2. Letter – 20 July

3. Order for 165xM16 generators – 1 August

4. Enquiry – 15 October

5. Order for 1500 L63 Audio Cassette Recorders – 2 December

6. Order for 1000 V16 Video Cassette Recorders – 1 September

7. Enquiry – 21 June

8. Trial order for 23 type TW 72 filing cabinets

9. Initial order for 100 type JF7 solar-powered pocket calculators

10. Enquiry – 14 February




Exercise 1. Match up the phrases in A with the phrases in B to make complete sentences, and put the verbs into the first conditional.



If there (be) any delay ... ... we (inform) you at once.

If there is any delay, we will inform you at once.



1. Unless the consignment (arrive) by the end of next week, …

2. We (be able) to give you a discount …

3. Unless the items (be/wrap) with extreme care …

4. If the colours we specified (be) not in stock, …

5. We (send) the consignment by road …

6. If this transaction (be) successful, …


a. … if you (order) more than 20,000 units.

b. … we (place) further orders with you.

c. … we (accept) an alternative.

d. … we (have to) cancel the order.

e. … many of them (get) broken.

f. … if the railways (be) still on strike.



Exercise 2. Complete each unfinished sentence in the exercise below, so that it means the same as the one before it.

1. If we don't hear from you, we'll assume there are no problems.

Unless we ………………………………………………………

2. We can't give you a fifteen per cent discount because your order isn't large enough.

If your order …………………………………………………………………

3. On receipt of your order, we'll despatch the goods immediately.

As soon as we …………………………………………………… 

4. We can only process your order if we receive the necessary documents within fourteen days.

Provided that we ………………………………………………………………

5. The colour you require may be out of stock. Would you accept an alternative?

If we ………………………………………………………………………… ?

6. We cannot accept your order without a letter of credit.

Unless you ……………………………………………


Exercise 3. The following verbs can all be used with the noun order. Choose the best verb to complete the sentences, using each one only once, in the correct form.





make up    





1. We should like to … an order with you for 5,000 units.

2. As we are unable to supply the quantity you requested, it would be quite understandable for you to … your order.

3. We are confident that we will be able to … the order to you next week.

4. You will be pleased to know that your order K451 has already been … from our depot.

5. Please … your order in writing, so we can inform our distribution depot.

6. Your order was … yesterday on the SS Oxford.

7. Unfortunately, we shall have to … your order unless payment is settled in cash.

8. I would like to reassure you that your order will be … in our depot by staff who have experience in handling these delicate materials.


Exercise 4. Below you will see parts of two letters concerned with orders. Put the correct word or phrase in each blank. Choose from the following list. Use each item once only.


accept delivery


current issue











reserve the right





























Exercise 5. Use the words below to complete this extract from a covering letter that has been sent with an order.




















Exercise 6. Hotel Interiors design and manufacture high-quality furniture. They specialise in refurnishing and re-decorating hotels. Recently, they secured a large contract to refurnish a 40-bedroom extension for an hotel in Jersey.

Here is a letter to an Italian supplier, Lanificio Bonardi SRL in Milan, confirming an order for cloth and other furnishings. Fill in the gaps, using the phrases below.


Could you please check …

We would like your assurance …

We must point out …

the date of invoice.

This is to confirm …

at the latest.

May we remind you of …

to avoid a recurrence.



























Exercise 7. Use the words below to complete this extract from a letter of acknowledgement.


at your expense            at your risk                                     in full                  in response to

in touch with                         in (your/our) favour                       of assistance



Exercise 8. Complete the letters below with suitable words.
























































Exercise 9. Write these letters using the following words and phrases:




















Exercise 10. Read the memo below from a buying manager to a secretary and look at the sales catalogue Mr Faust mentioned in his memo.



































Now, use the information from the memo and the catalogue to complete the order form.

























Write a covering letter with this order from Sabine Muss on behalf of D. Faust.

· Thank Satex for their letter of 1 May, catalogue, and price-list.

· Tell them you have enclosed the above order, and that you expect delivery within six weeks. You will pay by banker's draft when you receive the shipping documents.

· Explain that if items are not available they should not send substitutes.

· Tell them that if there are any problems with delivery, they must let you know at once.

· Close by saying you look forward to receiving acknowledgement of your order.



Exercise 11. Write a covering letter from Anne Lenoir for an order according to the instructions in the memo below.



















Exercise 12.

Уважаемые господа,

Благодарим вас за каталог и список доступных скидок, которые вы выслали нам 15 октября. Мы думаем, что товары такого качества будут пользоваться большим спросом на нашем рынке, поэтому мы готовы сделать пробный заказ на следующие предметы из вашего осеннего каталога:

         20 вечерних сумочек модели «Анджела»    номер в каталоге 5

         50 косметичек модели «Вероника»              номер в каталоге 17

         50 кошельков модели «Дорис»                     номер в каталоге 27а

         50 кошельков модели «Глория»                   номер в каталоге 28

Если у вас нет в наличии номеров 27а и 28, пожалуйста, вышлите в качестве замены номера 27 и 29а.

Поскольку данные товары необходимы нам к Рождеству, мы размещаем у вас заказ только при условии, что вы можете гарантировать отправку товара не позже 10 ноября. Таким образом, мы оставляем за собой право аннулировать заказ в любой момент после указанной даты.

Поскольку это наш первый деловой контакт с ваше фирмой, наиболее приемлемым способом оплаты будет являться безотзывный аккредитив. Наш представитель в банке свяжется с вами по поводу необходимых документов и количества их копий, и по их получению, мы дадим распоряжение нашему банку открыть на вас аккредитив.

С нетерпением ждем подтверждения нашего заказа.






1. accept / take delivery of

2. accept draft 

3. advise on

4. air freight

5. Air Waybill (WB)

6. assure of

7. at your expense

8. at your risk

9. bank transfer

10. call for

11. catalogue number Cat. No.

12. charter shipping

13. clearing agent

14. compliments slip

15. confirmation

16. costs

17. cover v.

18. covering letter

19. crate

20. credit expires

21. date of shipment

22. delivery dates

23. delivery immediate/ prompt / safe

24. depot

25. display

26. distribute

27. draft (DFT) for … days for …

28. ensure

29. execution of orders

30. forwarding agent syn freight forwarder агентство по отправке грузов; грузовой экспедито

31. freight

32. give special instructions.

33. hand over

34. handling

35. handover

36. in (your/our) favour

37. in full

38. in production 

39. in response to

40. insurance certificate

41. logo

42. losses

43. make up order

44. meet a date

45. methods of delivery

46. negotiable documents передаваемый денежный документ

47. on display

48. on receipt of

49. order acknowledgement.

50. order form

51. order ORD

52. packing instructions

53. payment (pymt.)

54. purchase order

55. qualification

56. ready market

57. ream

58. recurrence

59. reference number

60. refrigeration facilities

61. reserve the right

62. resume

63. settle

64. shipping documents

65. subject to

66. substitute

67. terms of payment

68. tissue paper

69. transaction

70. trans-shipment отгрузка товаров с одного судна на другое в одном и том же порту

71. wrap v.


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