I know I have never requested a quote for a part. I just order from Digikey or Jameco who don't play those games. What is the advantage to suppliers that list 'Request A Quote' for every part, especially when Digikey has every conceivable part in stock with definite pricing. It seems like a good way to lose 99% of the potential business, especially a customer with cash in hand (credit card number in head these days) who wants to get an order complete TWO HOURS AGO - the exact kind of customer you think they would want.
What is the advantage to suppliers that list 'Request A Quote' for every part
I can see no advantage and in fact have never done so.
Sometimes I guess they may be the only supplier of an uncommon part so you have no choice. But then I would never use a single-source component like that unless there was absolutely no other way.
I see this happen with businesses where salespeople are paid commissions. I actually work at a company where product is not sold directly to the customer specifically due to this.
I don't know how true this is, but whenever I see something like "Request a Quote", what they are really asking is: "Are you a real business who is going to buy enough of this part to make it worthwhile?". I see places like Digikey and Mouser (not so much Jameco) focused on selling to businesses, not hobbyists. And when they sell to businesses, they are selling a lot of stock; thousands of pieces at a shot, for hundreds or thousands of dollars for the order. Not 2 or 3 or 10 parts to a single person with a credit card, but rather an established business, perhaps using wire transfer of funds and/or a purchase order, etc. So - they use that wording to effectively weed -you- out (which, to be honest, your order would probably actually -cost- them money - due to the need to break a standard reel or other packaging and repackage it, etc - thus now they have a partial normal package that they can't sell, taking up space that they still have to pay for, etc), but not the real players in the electronics components business.
I deal with one, I call up say "Hey Michelle, I am sending you a list, give me a total"
20 minuets later I slashed a 2,300$ (rounding up a little) Digikey order to about 1600 bucks, how? were ordering millions o $$ a year
small orders nah, theres a minimum, personal use? ha ha
they have their place
digikey and mouser are more like the middle of the road, you can order 1, you can order 5000 for a sample run, but when you need to hit some serious numbers (like we just got 1.2 million LED's in for the next couple weeks) then you start seeing the advantages of otherwise PITA places for us normal consumers.
Having spent my entire career in either Sales or Marketing, I can understand why suppliers do it but don't like it at the same time.
1. It is so that competitors have a harder time learning the sales price.
2. Depending on who the customer is, the price may change. e.g. Military customers get a different price (and service level) than Education customers.
3. Requesting a quote indicates a high level of interest in a product. If you are willing to request one, you're probably also very willing to buy.
4. Qualification. It can be determined if you are a potential customer.
5. Lead gathering. Sales (and Marketing) love having people's contact information.
Of course, the practice makes it harder to purchase something, but that's the trade off the seller makes.