Contents of Chapter 3 Section One Introduction Section Two Useful Words & Expressions Section Three Specimen Letters
Section One: Introduction （ P46 ） What is an enquiry? An inquiry is a request for information on goods. When a business intends to import, he may send out an enquiry to an exporter, inviting a quotation or an offer for the goods he wishes to buy or simply asking for some general information about these goods.
The exporter, on receiving the enquiry, will make a reply to it. In this way, the negotiation is getting started An inquiry can be made by written correspondence, such as a letter, telegram, telex, fax, e-mail or verbally by talk in person.
Inquiries from regular customers may be very simple in content, in which only the name and/or specifications of the commodity will be mentioned. Other inquiries may include great details such as the name of the commodity, quality, specifications, quantity, terms of price, terms of payment, time of shipment, packing method, etc. required by the buyer so as to enable the seller to make proper offers.
2. The Reply to an Inquiry An inquiry received from abroad must be answered fully and promptly. The reply to an inquiry can be regarded as an OFFER if you state all the terms and conditions as requested.
If there is no stock available for the time being, you should acknowledge the inquiry at once, explaining the situation and assuring that you will reply to it once a supply becomes available. If the inquiry is from an old customer, express how much you appreciate it. If it is from a new customer, say you are glad to receive it and express the hope of a future business relationship. In a word, the reply to an inquiry should be prompt and courteous and cover all the information asked for.
3. Categories of Inquiries General Inquiries: If the importers want to have a general idea of the commodity, which the exporter is in a position to supply, they may make a request for a pricelist, a catalogue, samples and other terms. This is a general inquiry. Generally, it is also a first inquiry without first writing a letter to establish business relations
Specific Inquiries: If the importers intend to purchase goods of a certain specification, they may ask the exporter to make an offer or a quotation for specific goods. That is an specific inquiry.
4. The Main Contents of a Letter for Inquiry 1) General inquiry A general inquiry usually includes the following contents: a. Telling addressees the source of information and making a brief self-introduction b. Indicating the intention of writing the letter, i.e. to ask for a catalogue, samples or a pricelist. c. Stating the possibility of placing an order and expectation of an offer (Expectation for early replay or future cooperation)
2) Specific Inquiry A specific inquiry usually includes the following contents: a. Indicating the names and descriptions of the goods inquired for, including specifications, quantity, etc. b. Asking whether there is a possibility of giving a special discount and what terms of payment and time of delivery you would expect. C. Stating the possibility of placing an order and expectation of an offer. D. (Expectation for early replay or future cooperation)
Steps/ContentsTypical Expressions For letters requesting for the establishment of business relations 1. Telling the prospective customers how and where their names and addresses are known We were very pleased to obtain your name from... （我们很高兴从 …… 处获得贵公司的名称。） We are delighted to learned from... that... （我很高兴 …… 处得知 …… ） We have your name and address from... ( 我们从 …… 得知贵公司的名称和地址。 ) Through the courtesy of..., we are given to understand that... 承蒙 …… 我们得知 …… From… ， we know / have learned tha ( 通过 …… 我们得知 ……)
Steps/ContentsTypical Expressions On the recommendation of …,we have learned that… （通过 …… 推荐，我们得知 …… ） Your company has been kindly introduced to us by …… （ …… 把贵公司介绍给我们。） 2. Self- introducing We write to introduce ourselves to you as a... （作为 ……, 特来函自我介绍｡） Our lines are mainly... （我们主要从事 …… ）...fall within the scope of our business activities. （ …… 属于我们的经营范围｡） We are mainly dealing in... （我们主要从事 …… ） We have been engaged for many years in the line of... （我们已经从事 …… 多年｡）
Steps/ContentsTypical Expressions 2. Self- introducing As you may know, we supply... （如贵公司所了解, 我们可供应 …… ） We would like to take this opportunity to introduce ourselves as... （我们借此机会自我介绍, 我们 是 …… ） We would like to take the liberty of introducing ourselves to you with a view to... （ 我们冒昧自荐, 希望 …… ） Our corporation is established for the purpose of... （本公司是以 …… 为宗旨而建立的｡） Our corporation is specialized in... （本公司专 营 …… ） We handle various kinds of... （本公司经营各 种 …… ）
Steps/ContentsTypical Expressions 3. Indicating the intention of writing the letter and the specific goods you want to purchase. We are in the market for…( 我方拟 购 …… 。 ) We are considering the purchase of …( 我 们正打算购买 ……) We are interested in importing …, but we need to have further details before making a final decision.( 我方有兴趣进 口 …… ，但在做决定前需要对此做进一步 的了解。 ) We are regular buyers of …( 我们是购 买 …… 的老客户。 )
Steps/ContentsTypical Expressions 4. Inviting a quotation or an offer (asking for a pricelist, a catalogue, samples and other terms, stating clearly your exact requirements ). We would be pleased to receive your latest pricelist for…( 我们非常希望能收到 贵方 …… 的最新价目单。 ) Please send us samples and quote us your lowest prices for….( 请就 …… 给我们寄样品和报最低价。 ) Would you please supply us with a complete set of catalogues for …so that we may make a choice. ( 能否请您给我们 提供一整套 …… 的目录让我们做选择。 )
Steps/ContentsTypical Expressions Please send us your best offer by fax indicating packing, specification, quantity available ， discount and the earliest time of delivery. ( 请向我们报最低价并注明包装、规 格、可供数量和最早的交货期。 ) If you can supply goods of the type and quality required, please make us a firm offer and quote your lowest prices. ( 如果你们能够 提供同类同质商品，请向我们报实盘和最低 价。 ) We would like to know if you allow discounts.( 我们想知道，你方是否给我们折 扣。 ) Would you let us know what a discount you can give for an order exceeding 1,000 metric tons?( 能否告知超过 1000 公吨后的订单折扣是 多少？ )
Steps/ContentsTypical Expressions 5. Stressing that the quotation or offer should be reasonable and competitive; Stating the possibility of placing an order We hope that your price will be workable and that our business will result to our mutual advantage.( 希望贵方的价格可行，交易可以在互 利的条件下达成。 ) You must take into consideration when quoting a price that we may place regular orders for large quantities. ( 你们在报价时要考虑到我们会经常性地 大量订购。 ) If your prices prove reasonable and satisfactory, we will soon place a large order with you.( 若贵方 价格合理，当即大批订货。 ) If your quality is good and the price is suitable for our market, we would consider signing a long term contract with you. ( 若贵方质好价适，我们愿 与贵公司签署一项长期合同。 ) Prices provided should be acceptable/ reasonable ( 前提是价格便宜。 )
Steps/ContentsTypical Expressions 6. Expressing your expectation We are looking forwards to …( 盼 ……) Will you please inform us of your decision by October 10, 2007, so that we can place our order promptly?( 能否请贵方在 10 月 10 日前告知 我方，以便我方及时下订单。 ) See also Unit 2 for other similar expressions
For letters in reply （ unfavorable reply ） 1. Expressing your thanks for inquiries. Thank you for your inquiry of …for …( 谢谢贵方 …… 时 侯对 … 的询盘 ) See also Unit 2 2. Making an offer. A reply to inquiries usually means an offer. 3. explaining the no-stock situation and assuring that you will revert to it once supply becomes available. We very much regret that we are unable to supply you the small quantity you require. （很遗憾由于你方所订数 量太少，我们无法供货。） Owing to heavy orders, we regret being unable to meet your requirement for the time being. ( 由于订单甚多，目 前暂不能满足你的需要，很抱歉。 ) We regret to inform you that we do not have in stock the goods in the desired quality. （很遗憾通知贵方，我们目前没有你们想要的同质量现 货）
For letters in reply （ unfavorable reply ） We regret to inform you that we are not in a position to cover your need for the said goods. Once our supplies are replenished, we shall be pleased to revert to this matter. （很遗憾我们不能满足你们对该商品的需求。一 旦有新货供应，我们将再和你们接洽。） 4 ． Expressing your expectation. We look forward to doing business with you in the future.( 期待着将来能与贵方做生意。 ) See also Unit 2 for other similar expressions A favorable reply to an inquiry means an OFFER, so please see next unit for other expressions.
Letter one Dear Sirs We are in the market for Melon Seeds of the first and second grade and should be appreciated if you let us have your offers with some representative sample by airmail When offering the seeds,please state the earliest possible time of shipment and quantities available. Yours faithfully
Specimen Letter 1 P47 Comments: This is a short and simple letter of enquiry for you to get acquainted with the general form, from which you can see that the enquiry from regular customers is short, simple and brief to the point. Notes 1 first grade 甲级 2 representative sample 具有代表性的样品 3 by airmail 航邮 4 earliest possible time of shipment 最早装运期 Section Two Specimen Letters
Specimen Letters 2 Dears sirs, We are pleased to tell you that we are interested in hand-made gloves in a variety of genuine leather. Recently, there is a growing demand here for gloves of high quality at our end. Although sales are not particularly high,good price can be obtained.
We wish you would send us a copy of your illustrated catalogue of the gloves we wish to buy,together with details of your price and terms of payment.We should find it most helpful if you could also send us samples of the various leather, of which the gloves are made. Yours faithfully,
Specimen Letter 2 P47 Comments: This is a letter of inquiring for leather gloves, in which the writer asks for sales terms and samples. Notes 1 genuine leather 真皮 2 rowing demand 日益增长的需要 3 at one’s end 在某地 4 terms of payment 支付条款
Specimen Letters 3 Dears Sirs, Please let us know at what price per yard and upon what terms of payment,you are able to deliver quantities of Printed Cotton made in china,If your quotation is favorable,we propose to cover all our present requirements through you. Yours truly,
Specimen Letter 3 P47 Comments: This is another short and simple letter of enquiry. Remember to keep your enquiry brief, specific, courteous and to the point. Notes 1 at … price 按照 …… 价格 2 pon/on … terms 按照 …… 条款 3 to cover all our present requirements through/from… 从 …… 购入我方目前全部所需
Specimen letter 4 Dears Sirs, Thank you for your letter of May 4 and your interest in your products. A copy of our illustrated catalogue has been sent to you today, in which you will find samples of some skins we regularly use in our manufactures. Unfortunately, we cannot send to you immediately a full range of sample, but you may agree after checking them, that such skins as chamois and doeskin, not represented in the parcel, are of the same high quality.
Mr. Li, our sales representative,will be in Tehran early next month and will be pleased to call on you.he has brought with him a wide range of our manufacturers and, when you see them, we think you will agree that the quality of the materials used and the high standard of craftsmanship will appeal to the most selective buyers.
We also manufacture a wide range of hand-made leather handbags in which we hope you may be interested. They are fully illustrated in the catalogue and are of the same high quality as our gloves. Mr. Li will show you the samples when he calls on you. We look forward very much the pleasure of receiving an order form you. Yours sincerely
Specimen Letter4 P49 Comments: In this letter, the writer answers the enquiry in detail. Even though the writer does not say how good their products are, we can see clearly from the lines that the writer thinks of his products highly. Notes a full range of samples 全部样品 craftsmanship 工艺
Specimen letter 5 Dear sirs, Re: parts of machine Type B-268 Thank you for your letter of march 15,2010 and the enclosure requesting quotes for parts of the captioned machine.
As requested, we are submitting our quotation in triplicate and wish you to place your order with us as early as possible because have a large backlog. We await your early reply. TRULY YOURS
Specimen Letter 5 P50 Comments: When replying the enquiry, the writer submits his quotation. Notes 1 As requested 按照要求 2 in triplicate 一式三份 3 in duplicate 一式两份 4 to place order with/before… 向某人下订单 5 captioned 标题
Specimen letter 6 Dears sirs, Messrs. brother and Clark of this city inform us that you export all cotton bed-sheets and pillowcases. We would like you to send us details of you various ranges, including sizes, colors and prices, and also samples of the different qualities of material used.
We are a large dealer in textiles and believe there is a promising market in our area for moderately priced goods of the kind mentioned. When replying, please state your terms of payment and discount you would allow on purchase of not less than 1000 dozen of individual item. prices quote should include insurance and freight to New York. Yours sincerely
Specimen Letter 6 P50 Comments: This is a very good example of enquiry letter to follow, sentences are short, words and phrases simple. But the meaning expresses very clearly. Notes 1 sizes 尺寸 2 freight 运费 3 allow/grant/give discount 给予折扣
Specimen letter 7 Dear sirs We are very pleased to receive your enquiry of 20th August and enclose our illustrated catalogue and price list giving you the details asked for Also by separate post we are sending you some samples and feel confident that when you have examined them you will agree that the goods are both excellent in quality and reasonable in price.
On regular purchase of not less than 200 dozen of individual item we would allow you a discount of 2%.payment is to be made by irrevocable L/C at sight. Because of their softness and durability, after studying our pries you will learn that we are finding it difficult to meet the demand. But if you place your order not later than end of this month, we would ensure prompt shipment.
We invite your attention to our other products such as table-cloth and table napkins,details of which you will find in the catalogue,and look forward to receiving your first order. Yours sincerely
Specimen Letter 7 P51 Comments: The writer in this letter gives details of the goods and the sales terms. While showing comments on the goods, the writer invites the buyer’s attention to his other products. This is often used in letter-writing. Notes 1 by separate post/by separate mail/under separate cover 另封航邮； 2 be both excellent in quality and reasonable in price 价廉物美 3 not less than 不迟于 4 irrevocable L/C 不可撤消信用证 5 at sight 即期 6 be popular 受欢迎
Specimen letter 8 Dear sirs Table-cloths Thank you for your letter of June 10. We note with pleasure that you intend to develop business with us in the captioned goods. We have gone through your catalogue and are interested in cotton Table-Cloths Art NO.510 and NO.514.please quote us/your lowest price. we shall be pleased if your quotation also indicates the quantities of the various size that you can supply for prompt delivery.If your prices are reasonable and quantity satisfactory,we shall consider placing substantial orders.
We have handled table-cloths for more than thirty years and have good connections all over this country.we have also some associate firms in the neighboring countries, where we can find a ready market for your products as well. We trust you will give this enquiry your immediate attention and let us have your reply at early. Yours sincerely
Specimen Letter 8 P52 Comments: 1 This letter responds to seller’s sales promotion letter by inviting an offer and ends up with remarks to secure better terms and encourage future business. 2 Note how the writer presents his rather strict demands in a friendly, sincere, and matter-of-fact attitude to make his letter effective in both business and human aspects. Notes 1 captioned goods 标题商品 2 prompt delivery 立即装运 3 handle 经营 4 associated firms 联营公司 5 ready market 有销路