Lexico-sementic chartersticcs of business letter correspondence

"The figures must be approved" are obscure ones leaving unsettled who it is that delivers, who decides, and who

Lexico-sementic chartersticcs of business letter correspondence

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uotation for spring and summer clothing that you could supply to us by the end of January next. We would require 2,000 dresses and suits in each of the sizes 10-14, and 500 in sizes 8 and 16. Please quote c.i.f. Chicago prices. Payment is normally made by letter of credit.

 

Thank you for an early reply.

 

Very truly yours,

P.Wilson.Jr

Buyer

.

This is undoubtedly an import inquiry letter. In the first part of a letter there is a kind of introduction as a prospective customer approaches supplier for the first time ,and it is from this part that we found out that the correspondents are engaged in textile industry.

The second part expresses request for detailed information about the goods in question, their prices and terms of possible transaction.

In this example we come across the abbreviation concerning the terms of delivery, that is commonly accepted in the business world. It is interesting to know what this kind of abbreviations means:

 

c.i.f. - cost, insurance, freight.

If consignment is to be delivered according to c.i.f., then the supplier insures the goods and pays for the whole delivery.

 

 

f.o.b. - free on board.

If consignment is to be delivered according to f.o.b., then the supplier pays for transportation to port, steamer or air shipment and dispatch; and the customer pays for onward transportation and insurance.

f.o.r. - free on rail.

It is the same as f.o.b., but for railway transportation.

 

c & f - cost and freight.

If consignment is to be delivered according to c & f, then the supplier pays for the whole delivery and the customer - for insurance.

 

It is worth mentioning here that the whole letter is written in a highly polite way, nevertheless it is quite precise and sticks to the point.

.

Example2

 

GRANT &CLARKSON

148 Mortimer Street

London W1C 37D

 

MATTHEWS & WILSON

Ladies' Clothing

421 Michigan Avenue

Chicago, III.60602 30th October, 1996

 

Dear Sirs,

We are pleased to make you an offer regarding our Swinger dresses and trouser suits in the size you require. Nearly all the models you saw at our fashion show are obtainable, except trouser suits in pink, of which the smaller sizes have been sold out. This line is being manufactured continuously, but will only be available again in February, so could be delivered to you in March.

All other models can be supplied by the middle of January 1997, subject to our receiving your form order by 15th of November. Our c.i.f. prices are understood to be for sea\land transport to Chicago. If you would prefer the goods to be sent by air freight, this will be charged extra at cost

 

Trouser suits sizes 8-16 in white, yellow, red, turquoise, navy blue, black

Sizes 12,14 also in pink per 100 $2,650.00

Swinger dresses sizes 8-16

in white, yellow, red, turquoise, black per 100 $1,845.00

 

You will be receiving price-list, cutting of our materials and a colour chart. These were airmailed to you this morning.

Yours faithfully,

F.T.Burke

Export Department

 

As you can clearly see it we face the second phase of business correspondence - the answering letter. It is very important, because it adjusts the relationships between two partners. It does not only characterise the company, but also advertises it. The purpose of the letter is to persuade the partner that you are the best in business.

This letter contains the quotation in reply to an inquiry. In lots of similar letters the quotations are simply prices and another information asked for. But this sample is quite the opposite: it shows the customer that he met the sales-cautious businessman, who uses every opportunity to stimulate his correspondents interest in his goods by including the sales message. And the assurance that the customer will receive personal attention is read between the lines. In order to draw the attention of the customer to the products in question the supplier offers "cuttings of our materials and a colour chart". On the whole a firm offer is subject to certain conditions, a deadline for the receipt of orders, or a special price for certain quantities.

 

Example 3.

 

A business transaction often starts with an inquiry which may later be followed by an order.

Both inquiry and order are meant to arose and stimulate business activity on the part of recipient. They are typically asking letters. Orders convey the writer's intention to do business with his correspondent, usually to buy some goods from them.

 

MATTHEWS & WILSON

Ladies' Clothing

421 Michigan Avenue

Chicago, III.60602

 

GRANT &CLARKSON

148 Mortimer Street

London W1C 37D November 4, 1996

 

Gentlemen:

Thank you for your quotation of October 30. We have pleasure in placing an order with you for

1,900 Swinger dresses at Price: $38,745

in the colours and sizes specified below:

QuantitySizeColour508,16white10010,12,14white508,16turquoise10010,12,14turquoise508,16red10010,12,14red5016yellow10010,12,14yellow5016black10010,12,14blackDelivery: air freight, c.i.f., Chicago

We shall open a letter of credit with your bank as soon as we receive your order acknowledgement. Please arrange for immediate collection and transport since we need the dresses for Christmas.

Very truly yours,

  1. Wilson

Buyer

It is indisputably an import order, and as we can notice placing orders is simple from the point of view of letter writing. The fact is that usually the purchasing department or the buyer fills in an order form. But in this case the correspondent prefers to write a letter in order to make certain points quite clear. There are special import regulations which are touched upon in the last paragraph: it is necessary to complete formalities and to stress delivery instructions.

It should be mentioned here that the supplier must send order acknowledgement as an answer to order promptly to thank his customer for the order and to confirm it.

If some conditions have changed, the customer must be notified. In the case the goods ordered are no longer available, a substitute may be offered.

Example 4.

 

What follows the order acknowledgement is the advice of dispatch.

 

GRANT &CLARKSON

148 Mortimer Street

London W1C 37D

 

MATTHEWS & WILSON

Ladies' Clothing

421 Michigan Avenue

Chicago, III.60602 20thNovember,1996

 

Dear Sirs:

We have pleasure in notifying you that your credit was confirmed by our bank yesterday, 19th November. We have had the 1900 Swinger dresses collected today for transport by British Airways to Chicago on 25th November.

Enclosed is our invoice for the goods in question plus the extra charges for air freight, packing list to facilitate customs clearance at your end, certificate of origin, air waybill and insurance policy.

Hoping that this initial order will lead to further business, we are

Yours faithfully

F.T.Burke

Export department

The first thing to be done before writing such a letter is to examine carefully whether the partners account is valid or not. So in the first paragraph we come across phrase "your credit was confirmed by our bank yesterday". Air shipment for "Swinger" dresses is also mentioned here.

The next paragraph deals with the documents which are necessary while importing goods: Invoice packing lists, certificate of origin, air waybill and insurance policy. As it is the initial order by MATTHEWS & WILSON, the GRANT & CLARKSON hopes to encourage them to place further orders, so their last phrase sounds very polite.

 

Example 5

 

No matter how efficient a business firm tries to be, mistakes will happen. There might be a misunderstanding about the goods to be supplied; sometimes the consignment is dispatched too late or delays are caused in transit; defect is discovered when the equipment is put into operation and so on.

Therefore a letter with the complaint expressed is sent.

 

 

MATTHEWS & WILSON

Ladies' Clothing

421 Michigan Avenue

Chicago, III.60602 November 22, 1996

 

GRANT &CLARKSON

148 Mortimer Street

London W1C 37D

 

Gentlemen:

Thank you for your delivery of Swinger dresses which were ordered on November 4. However we wish to draw your attention to two matters.

Of the red dresses supplied one lot of 100(size 12) included clothes of a lighter red than the other sizes. Since we deliver a collection of various sizes to each store, it would be obvious to customers that the clothes are dissimilar.

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