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ENQUIRY

A simple enquiry can be made by email, fax, or cable. The contents of an enquiry will depend on three things:

· how well you know the supplier,

· whether the supplier is based in your country or abroad, and

· the type of goods or services you are enquiring about.

 

A first letter of enquiry should be brief and simple. Many firms even have adopted the practice of sending printed enquiry forms, thereby eliminating the need for a letter. This type of letter is often written to suppliers you have not done business with before. The letter of enquiry often asks for a brochure, catalogue or price-list. It is sometimes considered useful to give some details of your business, and also where or how you heard of the supplier’s name and address.

A first enquiry – a letter sent to a supplier with whom you have not previously done business – should include:

1. A brief mention of what sort of organization you are.

2. A brief mention of how you obtained your potential supplier's name. Your source may be an embassy, consulate, or chamber of commerce; you may have seen the goods in question at an exhibition or trade fair; you may be writing as the result of a recommendation from a business associate, or on the basis of an advertisement in the daily, weekly or trade press. It might be useful to point out that you know their associates, or that they were recommended to you by a consulate or trade association.

3. Some indication of the demand in your area for the goods which the supplier deals in.

4. Details of what you would like your prospective supplier to send you. Normally you will be interested in a catalogue, a price list, discounts, methods of payment, delivery times, and, where appropriate, samples. You might want to see what a material or item looks like before placing an order. Most suppliers are willing to provide samples or patterns so that you can make a selection. However, few would send a complex piece of machinery for you to look at. Instead, you would probably be invited to visit a showroom, or the supplier would offer to send a representative. In any case, if it is practical, ask to see an example of the article you want to buy.

5. A closing sentence to round off the enquiry. Usually a simple 'thank you' is sufficient to close an enquiry. However, you could mention that a prompt reply would be appreciated, or that certain terms or guarantees would be necessary. You can also indicate further business or other lines you would be interested in. If a supplier thinks that you may become a regular customer, they will be more inclined to quote competitive terms and offer concessions.

 

 

 

 

Figure 18: A ‘first’ letter of enquiry from

a retailer to a foreign manufacturer

3. ENQUIRY 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Figure 19: Reply to an advertisement

3. ENQUIRYIn this letter the customer is replying to an advertisement for CDs in a trade journal. The advertiser gave little information, so the writer asks for details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE PRACTICE

 

 

Notice how you inform the company you are writing to how or where you heard about them:

We have seen an advertisement in this month's ‘Office News’ about your range of pocket calculators.

 

 
a.

 

 

With reference to your advertisement in …

 

 
 


b.

 

Make sentences similar to the above, informing your recipient how and where you heard about them or their products, using the words given.

a.

1. Read/article/The Financial Times/filing cabinets

2. Hear/a lot/electric typewriters

3. See/the publicity material/photocopying machines

4. Hear/from the Commercial Attache at the British Embassy/ office equipment

5. Read/an advertisement/local newspaper/modern storage and retrieval systems

6. See/your advertisement/Milan Trade Fair/range of clothes

7. Hear/from our agent in London/leather jackets

8. Read/in the financial papers/success with Type TS8

9. Talk/your representative/possibility of buying electric cookers from you

10. Talk/our customers/suitability of your range of bathroom equipment

 

b.

1. Daily Mail / lastMonday   

2. Economist / last week

3. Radio Times / last Tuesday

4. Guardian / today

5. Financial Time / yesterday

 

 

Notice how you express an interest in a specific good:

We are (most) interested in type TW37.

 

 
 

 

 


Express an interest in the following. Remember you are writing to a company.

1. A range of kitchen furniture

2. Type SK/27 cabinets

3. Large bookshelves

4. A range of pocket calculators

5. Type CSJ/7 especially

6. Electric heaters, type 2JS

7. A range of dining room tables

8. The 'Embossed' typewriter

9. The latest printing process

10. The 'Sierra' 1100 motor car

 

 

Notice how you express an interest in more general ideas:

We are (most) interested in introducing a modern filing system in our main office.

 

 
 

 

 


Express an interest in the following. Use the words below.

1. Buy/type TW37 filing cabinets

2. Receive/more information about your electric typewriters

3. Introduce/a modern storage system

4. Order/twenty new office desks

5. Export/some of our business machines to the USA

6. Instal/a new telex machine

7. Extend/our market to include Northern Europe

8. Increase/our supplies of photocopying paper

9. Make/an improvement in our Design Department

10. Improve/our data processing system

 

 

4 Notice these sentences :

We wish to instal a new telex machine.

 

 
a.

 

We wish to enquire into the possibility of installing a new telex machine.

 

 
 


b.

 

 

Sentence B is not a statement of strong intention. It is a preliminary enquiry. Sentence A is a bit more certain.

Make sentences similar to A and B for the following:

1. order a new duplicating machine

a. ………………………………………………………………

b. ………………………………………………………………

2. develop our trade with North America 

a. ………………………………………………………………

b. ………………………………………………………………

3. modernize our filing system

a. ………………………………………………………………

b. ………………………………………………………………

4. increase our storage facilities

a. ………………………………………………………………

b. ………………………………………………………………

5. buy 25 type TW37 filing cabinets

a. ………………………………………………………………

b. ………………………………………………………………

6. visit your head office in London on the 25th of June

a. ………………………………………………………………

b. ………………………………………………………………

7. extend the range of cookers in our department stores

a. ………………………………………………………………

b. ………………………………………………………………

8. accommodate more tourists in our hotels

a. ………………………………………………………………

b. ………………………………………………………………

9. arrange payment by International Money Order

a. ………………………………………………………………

b. ………………………………………………………………

10. send our agent to inspect the goods

a. ………………………………………………………………

b. ………………………………………………………………

 

 

5 Notice these polite requests.

Please send us a catalogue and your latest price-list.

 
 


a.

Will / Would / Could you please send us a catalogue and your latest price-list?

 
 


b.

 

We should be obliged if you would send us a catalogue and your latest price-list.

We would be most grateful if you could send us a catalogue and your latest price-list.

 

 
c.

 

 

 

We would appreciate a catalogue and your latest price-list.

 
d.

 

 

A, B, and C are all formal requests. D is less formal, and should not be used for formal requests, but can be used for additional requests at the end of a letter.

Make four sentences (types A, B, C and D) for the following:

1. a brochure for type TW37

2. more information about your office desks

3. a detailed statement of prices f.o.b. London

4. a reply as soon as possible

5. a quotation for our bulk purchase of men's suits

6. a statement of our account at your branch

7. your latest catalogue reference numbers

8. a reply by telex

9. a message from your agent in Oslo

10. a letter of confirmation

 

6 Requesting information

I / We would like to know whether all your models are now covered by your  standard two-year guarantee.

 
 


Ask for information about whether …

1. the price includes delivery charges.   

2. the filing cabinets are available in green.

3. they could send the order by air.

4. they have an office in Paris.

5. you can pay in US dollars.

6. the items will be delivered in three weeks.

7. you can get twenty units on approval.

8. the goods are in stock at the moment.

9. you can have someone here to give an estimate.

10. the goods can be delivered before Friday.

 

 

1. additional features

2. advise of

3. agent

4. allow/ give/ grant a trade/ cash/ quantity/ bulk discount

5. arrange an appointment

6. associate

7. bill of exchange B/E

8. brand name

9. brisk demand for

10. brisk turnover

11. brochure

12. Chamber of Commerce

13. competitive/ keen prices

14. concession

15. credit facilities

16. credit line

17. credit n

18. delivery charge

19. documents against acceptance (D/A)

20. enquiry

21. estimate

22. inform by return

23. leaflet

24. line

25. list price

26. manufacturer

27. meet an order

28. method of payment

29. net price

30. on approval

31. order on trial

32. place an order with

33. price range

34. prompt delivery

35. prospectus

36. publicity material

37. quotation

38. quote

39. range

40. regular buyer

41. representative – abbr. rep.

42. retailer

43. sample

44. sell ready

45. showroom

46. specify

47. subsidiary

48. supplier

49. tender

50. terms of business/ delivery/ payment

51. Trade Fair

52. trial order

53. wholesaler

54. with reference to   

 

ENQUIRIES

Exercise 1. Rewrite the following questions in a less direct form, beginning with the words given.

 

Examples

What are your terms of trade?

Please let us know what your terms of trade are.

Are you able to offer us trade and quantity discounts on large orders?

Could you also tell us if you are able to offer trade and quantity discounts on

Large orders.

 

1. Could you send me a copy of your latest brochure?

I would be grateful _________________________

2. How much discount will you give on orders of 5,000 units?

Could you please tell us ____________________________

3. When can we expect to receive the cheque?

I am writing to enquire ________________

4. Would you like us to arrange an appointment with one of our representatives?

Please let us know _______________________________________________

5. Has Mr Crane returned from the Menswear Exhibition yet?

Do you happen to know ____________________________

6. Does your company export to South Korea?

Could you tell us _____________________

 

 

Exercise 2. Match these words from Exercise 3.a with their definitions.

A

B

a

catalogue

1

details of conditions of sale

b

trade discount

2

price reduction to a company in the same business

c

order

3

a small amount of a product offered free to a potential  customer

d

quantity discount

4

book giving details of items for sale

e

sample

5

request from a customer to supply goods

f

terms of trade

6

price reduction for a large order

 

 

Exercise 3. Make words from the jumbled letters and match them with the definitions in the sentences below.


a  UEAGTOCLA

b  LAOEEHSLWR

c  METIESAT

d  WOSORHOM

e  RENTED

f   IDISYUSRAB

g  ETSMCOUR

h  OSSUTCREPP


 

1. A company or organization that is part of a larger one.

2. A person who buys items from a shop or company.

3. A room where companies demonstrate their products.

4. A kind of magazine giving details of the items a company sells.

5. A prediction of how much an item or service is likely to cost.

6. A written quotation for a large job such as building a factory.

7. A kind of magazine giving details about a school, college, or university.

8. A company or person that buys and sells items only in bulk.

 

 

Exercise 4. Complete this letter of enquiry. Decide whether to use a, the, or no article at all, in the blank spaces.

3. ENQUIRY 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Exercise 5. Below you will see parts of three letters of enquiry. Put the correct word or phrase in each blank. Choose from the following list. Use each item once only.

 


advertisement

advise

current issue

Dear

 

 

 

(1) … Sir

I have seen your (2) … in the (3) … of ‘Office Weekly’ and am interested in your range of office stationery.

Could you please send me your (4) … and (5) … . I look (6) … to hearing from you.

Yours (7) … .

 

 
 


A.

 

discount

forward

latest catalogue

model

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

particularly

information

payment

price list

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

price range

reference

faithfully

still available

 


 

 

B.

 

 

 

With (8) … to your advertisement in today's ‘Times’, could you please send me (9) … about your office furniture. I am (10) … interested in your adjustable typist's chairs.

 

 
 

 

 

 


C.

 

 

 

Some time ago we purchased from you some JF72 solar-powered pocket calculators.

As this (11) … was so popular with our customers, we would like to know if it is (12) … . If so, would you kindly (13) … us of your terms of (14) … and any quantity (15) … available. Could you also include details of any new models in the same (16) … .

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Exercise 6. Complete the following letter of enquiry with the correct prepositions.

3. ENQUIRY 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Exercise 7. Fill in the missing words:

3. ENQUIRY
 


a.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. ENQUIRY
 


b.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise 8. Look at the advertisement. Complete this letter to Hermis Travel requesting full details and prices of flights to Kuala Lumpur.

3. ENQUIRY 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Exercise 9. Use the following notes to compose a letter of enquiry for a firm of importers:

3. ENQUIRY 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Exercise 10. Write a letter of first enquiry, using the following words and phrases:

 

To the Drake Cycle Company, Wellington, New Zealand: Your new sports models seen at the Birmingham Trade Fair. Request details all models, catalogue, price list, terms, delivery times. Requirements: 50 each, women's and men's. Discounts? Future supply position?

 

Exercise 11.  Translate into Russian.

 

Увага: Відділ продажу

 

Ми одержали Вашу брошуру, у якій представлені Ваші нові продукти.  Деякі з представлених товарів могли б знайти застосування й у нашому виробничому процесі.  Були б Вам вдячні, якби Ви направили нам більш повні дані по всіх товарах цієї групи разом із Вашим поточним прейскурантом із вказівкою умов постачання на експорт за кордон.

 

C повагою,

І.І.Іванов,

директор фірми,

"ІнтеллСервис".

 

 

Мы прочли вашу рекламу в мартовском номере журнала “Metal Worker” и будем вам признательны, если вы вышлите нам подробную информацию о вашем ассортименте алюминиевой арматуры.

Спрос на высококачественную арматуру, которую вы производите, довольно высок в нашем регионе. Мы будем рады получить спецификацию вашей арматуры класса SB21, а также текущий прайс-лист с указанием стоимости доставки С.И.Ф. Брайтон и подробную информацию о торговых скидках. Если возможно, просим вас выслать образец вышеупомянутого товара.

Наши ежегодные потребности в арматуре значительны, и мы, возможно, разметим у вас заказ большого объема при условии, что ваш товар будет соответствовать нашим требованиям, а цены окажутся приемлемыми.

 

 

ENQUIRIES

Exercise 1. Rewrite the following questions in a less direct form, beginning with the words given.

 

Examples

What are your terms of trade?

Please let us know what your terms of trade are.

Are you able to offer us trade and quantity discounts on large orders?

Could you also tell us if you are able to offer trade and quantity discounts on

Large orders.

 

7. Could you send me a copy of your latest brochure?

I would be grateful _________________________

8. How much discount will you give on orders of 5,000 units?

Could you please tell us ____________________________

9. When can we expect to receive the cheque?

I am writing to enquire ________________

10. Would you like us to arrange an appointment with one of our representatives?

Please let us know _______________________________________________

11. Has Mr Crane returned from the Menswear Exhibition yet?

Do you happen to know ____________________________

12. Does your company export to South Korea?

Could you tell us _____________________

 

 

Exercise 2. Match these words from Exercise 3.a with their definitions.

A

B

a

catalogue

1

details of conditions of sale

b

trade discount

2

price reduction to a company in the same business

c

order

3

a small amount of a product offered free to a potential  customer

d

quantity discount

4

book giving details of items for sale

e

sample

5

request from a customer to supply goods

f

terms of trade

6

price reduction for a large order

 

 

Exercise 3. Make words from the jumbled letters and match them with the definitions in the sentences below.


a  UEAGTOCLA

b  LAOEEHSLWR

c  METIESAT

d  WOSORHOM

e  RENTED

f   IDISYUSRAB

g  ETSMCOUR

h  OSSUTCREPP


 

9. A company or organization that is part of a larger one.

10. A person who buys items from a shop or company.

11. A room where companies demonstrate their products.

12. A kind of magazine giving details of the items a company sells.

13. A prediction of how much an item or service is likely to cost.

14. A written quotation for a large job such as building a factory.

15. A kind of magazine giving details about a school, college, or university.

16. A company or person that buys and sells items only in bulk.

 

 

Exercise 4. Complete this letter of enquiry. Decide whether to use a, the, or no article at all, in the blank spaces.

3. ENQUIRY 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Exercise 5. Below you will see parts of three letters of enquiry. Put the correct word or phrase in each blank. Choose from the following list. Use each item once only.

 


advertisement

advise

current issue

Dear

(1) … Sir

I have seen your (2) … in the (3) … of ‘Office Weekly’ and am interested in your range of office stationery.

Could you please send me your (4) … and (5) … . I look (6) … to hearing from you.

Yours (7) … .

 

 
 


A.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

discount

forward

latest catalogue

model

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

particularly

information

payment

price list

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

price range

reference

faithfully

still available

 


With (8) … to your advertisement in today's ‘Times’, could you please send me (9) … about your office furniture. I am (10) … interested in your adjustable typist's chairs.

 

 
B.

 

 

 

 

Some time ago we purchased from you some JF72 solar-powered pocket calculators.

As this (11) … was so popular with our customers, we would like to know if it is (12) … . If so, would you kindly (13) … us of your terms of (14) … and any quantity (15) … available. Could you also include details of any new models in the same (16) … .

 

 

 
C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise 6. Complete the following letter of enquiry with the correct prepositions.

3. ENQUIRY 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Exercise 7. Fill in the missing words:

3. ENQUIRY
 


a.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. ENQUIRY
 


b.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise 8. Look at the advertisement. Complete this letter to Hermis Travel requesting full details and prices of flights to Kuala Lumpur.

LET THE LOW FARE SPECIALIST LOOK AFTER YOU

Scheduled 747 flights to AUSTRALIA & NEW ZELAND

With stopovers available in Bangkok, Bali, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Jakarta, Los Angeles, Fiji and Honolulu.

 

HERMES TRAVEL

Hermis Travel

35 Whitehall, London SW 1

01-930 2556/7. Telex 296421

 

 
3. ENQUIRY
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Exercise 9. Use the following notes to compose a letter of enquiry for a firm of importers:

3. ENQUIRY 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Exercise 10. Write a letter of first enquiry, using the following words and phrases:

 

To the Drake Cycle Company, Wellington, New Zealand: Your new sports models seen at the Birmingham Trade Fair. Request details all models, catalogue, price list, terms, delivery times. Requirements: 50 each, women's and men's. Discounts? Future supply position?

 

Exercise 11.  Translate into Russian.

 

Увага: Відділ продажу

 

Ми одержали Вашу брошуру, у якій представлені Ваші нові продукти.  Деякі з представлених товарів могли б знайти застосування й у нашому виробничому процесі.  Були б Вам вдячні, якби Ви направили нам більш повні дані по всіх товарах цієї групи разом із Вашим поточним прейскурантом із вказівкою умов постачання на експорт за кордон.

 

C повагою,

І.І.Іванов,

директор фірми,

"ІнтеллСервис".

 

 

Мы прочли вашу рекламу в мартовском номере журнала “Metal Worker” и будем вам признательны, если вы вышлите нам подробную информацию о вашем ассортименте алюминиевой арматуры.

Спрос на высококачественную арматуру, которую вы производите, довольно высок в нашем регионе. Мы будем рады получить спецификацию вашей арматуры класса SB21, а также текущий прайс-лист с указанием стоимости доставки С.И.Ф. Брайтон и подробную информацию о торговых скидках. Если возможно, просим вас выслать образец вышеупомянутого товара.

Наши ежегодные потребности в арматуре значительны, и мы, возможно, разметим у вас заказ большого объема при условии, что ваш товар будет соответствовать нашим требованиям, а цены окажутся приемлемыми.

 

Уважаемые господа,

Мы узнали в Британской торговой палате в Гамбурге, что Ваша фирма выпускает высококачественные кожаные перчатки и ремни.

В Германии существует большой спрос на кожаные товары такого качества. Пожалуйста, вышлите нам Ваши последние каталоги, прайс-лист с указанием экспортных цен, а также информацию о доступных скидках. Сообщите стоимость доставки Ф.О.Б. Ганновер. Мы бы также хотели получить образцы Вашей продукции.

Если Ваши цены окажутся приемлемыми, мы сможем рассмотреть возможность размещения  у Вас пробного заказа на партию Вашего товара.

С нетерпением ждем получения Вашего ответа.

С уважением,

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