Summa Office Supplies: Net 30 Review

net-30-vendor-summa-office-supplies

In need of office stationery? Then get a business credit score boost via Summa Office Supplies when actively ordering and paying your account purchases on time.

Let’s face it, office supplies are something that you need are normally going to purchase anyway, so why not have them delivered straight to your door while adding to your business credit rating at the same time.

Is Summa a company you want to do business with though? If so, you better know how they work, and how they compare to their competitors.

What is Summa?

Summa Office Supplies is an online office supply store offering every kind of stationery imaginable, along with anti-virus, MS Office, educational, etc. software. They sell retail brands, like Bic, Sharpie, and Scotch, as well as, the usual assortment of notebooks, legal pads, file folders, and envelopes.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, Summa Office Supplies specializes in providing quality office supplies at guaranteed savings. So, whatever you need, they’ll most likely offer it at a decent price, and deliver it to you.

Membership Tiers

The system created by Summa has two-layer registration tiers with different catalog sizes and purchase requirements.

Tier 1

The Tier 1 system is geared to new account holders. There is no personal guarantee required, nor is account approval based on your personal credit score.

Unfortunately, the Tier 1 catalog has a limited Net 30 selection that is mainly made up of basic digital products and software.

If you only qualified for a Tier-One membership to start, you can still make pre-paid purchases of actual office supplies which they deliver to your door. Purchases over $75 will be reported to Experian Small Business.

If purchasing any pre-paid office supplies, use a business credit card whose balance you pay in full each month. In doing so, you’ll add more positive transactions to your credit reports.

Tier 2

The second membership tier gives you access to their full product catalog. Access is generally restricted to established companies due to its $2,000 initial credit limit or those who spend 6 months in Tier 1.

When reaching the Tier 2 upgrade stage, Summa may request a personal Guarantee (PG) if your business credit is still not up to snuff. If you’re not fully confident of paying your Summa bill on time, then don’t do this, as delinquent transactions will affect both your business and personal credit.

That being said, if you pay your bills on time, and keep your account in good standing, it also means a positive report on your personal credit score with each purchase of $75 or more.

Credit Reporting

If you’re only looking for a credit score boost, then you can make $75 digital download or prepaid purchases from the Tier 1 office supply catalog as you need them. Stocking up on the office supplies you need that will last at least a month, is a good way to ensure you meet the $75 minimum requirement for credit reporting.  

If notice you’re able to purchase $150+ of products, then try to split the order out over two purchases of $75, preferably in separate billing months. This way you’ll get one positive transaction per month reported to Experian Small Business.

Tier 2 purchases allow for selection from their full catalog and come with Net 30 billing. If you need them, the bulk order discounts available here would beneficial to your bottom line.

The key to using your Summa vendor account for a credit boost, is to make sure you get positive credit reporting every month, so spread out your orders where possible.

Net 30 Terms

Summa Office Supplies is a certified Net 30 vendor. The way their two-tier member system works, however, can require using them as a long-term solution for your Dun & Bradstreet reporting needs.

To get Net 30 billing terms from Summa, you have a Tier 2 membership. As a startup business, this may require prepaying for your office supply orders for up to 6 months via a Tier 1 account, before you qualify for Net 30 billing.

One thing of note though, as long as you meet the minimum purchase amount of $75 or more, every transaction is reported, whether pre-paid or not. 

In Tier 1 memberships, Summa will report your $75+ payment to Experian Small Business, while Tier 2 members on Net 30 billing will get a transaction report sent to Dun & Bradstreet.

If you’re a Tier 2 member on Net 30 invoicing, do note that Dun & Bradstreet will increase the Paydex score of each invoice that you pay early, rather than just one time.

Payment Due Date

The most important aspect beyond the minimum order amount for reporting ($75), is the payment due date. If you pay your bills on time, you’ll get positive feedback when Summa reports your purchase history.

Delinquent habits and late payments will also be reported, so always make sure your account is in good standing with each and every bill paid on time. Where possible in Tier 2, pay your bills early to get Paydex score boosts from Dun & Bradstreet.

Trade Credit References

Summa Office Supplies will also provide written trade credit references for accounts in good standing. This can be very beneficial to startups or existing businesses with shaky credit who are having trouble opening up other tradeline accounts.

How to Apply

The two-tiered member system at Summa Office Supplies can be a little tricky to understand, so knowing how it works in advance will help manage how you spend money on their products.

To create your vendor account, and get approved for Net 30 billing terms, follow the steps below:

  1. Click on the Create an Account link in the top right corner of any page on Summa’s website.
  2. Enter a User ID, Password, Email Address, and your Referral Code if any
  3. Fill in your Business Information and click the Submit button
  4. Order any Tier 1 digital downloads that interest you, or place a prepaid order of $75 or more for the office supplies you need.
  5. Keep placing regular monthly orders where possible to build your business credit with Summa and Equifax Small Business.
  6. After 6 months of being a Tier 1 member, place a $300+ order and click on the Pay Later button.
  7. After getting Tier 2 approval, (usually within 24 hours), you’ll now be qualified for Net 30 invoicing.

Application Tips

When you start the registration process at Summa, be sure to double-check your business information is accurate and properly detailed in all parts of the form before submitting it.

After registration, you will reach a page with additional information on each tier. Most likely you’ll want to apply for Tier 2, so you can get on a Net 30 billing. Do note, however, that it’s common for a startup business to be still relegated to Tier 1 membership until they provide to be reliable customers.

At times, they offer Tier 2 memberships to some small businesses that offer to add a personal guarantee (PG) in their application. It’s not clear what Summa registration criteria is needed to get this offer, but most likely it would require having a Duns Number, and a 411 listing that was easily verifiable.

Pros

The main advantage to buying from Summa Office Supplies, over say, Office Depot, is that they offer monthly credit reporting, even on prepaid purchases.  If you qualify, Net 30 terms add both delayed payments, Dun & Bradstreet reporting to the pros.

Experian Small Business Reporting

All transactions with Summa Office Supplies are reported. If you’re a Tier 1 member, that means you’ll get a positive indicator report at Experian Small Business for each pre-paid purchase of office supplies, or digital download purchase you make over $75.

Bulk Discounts

If you purchase office supplies in large volumes, then it would be a good idea to compare their Tier 2 catalog prices to whomever you shop with now. If they can match or beat what you’re currently paying, getting that extra D&B reporting will be more than enough to justify applying.

Net 30 Invoicing

Tier 2 members can immediately take advantage of their buy now, pay later invoicing with Net 30 terms. When you consider the fact, that office supplies are a necessity for many businesses, you’d literally be getting free, positive credit reporting just for buying what you need.

D&B Reporting

Once your account reaches Tier 2 approval, all purchases over $75 will be reported to Dun & Bradstreet. And remember, D&B will reward you with a Paydex score increase for every invoice you pay early, rather than just on time.

Cons

The hoops that some businesses have to climb to become a Tier 2 member on Net 30 terms, might just be enough to discourage them from applying, and not even seeing what product discounts they offer.

Small Product Selection

Summa’s product selection pales in comparison to Quill and Crown Office Supplies and has a large focus on digitals downloads, like anti-virus programs and educational videos.  Summa’s office supplies are also mainly stationery related, so you won’t find any computers, photocopiers, desks, or anything big, bulky, or electronic.

Membership Fee

There is a $75 annual membership fee which could offer a little bit of savings over Crown Office Supplies ($99, but refundable if you have good business credit).  In comparison to Quill’s $15 annual plan, however, it’s not even close.

On top of that, you’ll need to make an initial $75 prepaid purchase to qualify for your $2,000 Net 30 credit, and that’s only if you get accepted in their Tier 2 plan.

Net 30 Tiers

Unfortunately, many businesses won’t immediately qualify for Tier 2 memberships where they can make Net 30 purchases right away. For some Tier 1 members, it may take up to 6 months of buying prepaid office supplies, to qualify for Net 30 billing as a startup.

Tier Transparency

If you want to learn anything about the two-tier membership system, you have to create an account first and apply. Why they don’t offer this information freely, is most likely due to marketing related. As in, if you go through the trouble to create an account, you’re more than likely to make a purchase than a normal website visitor.

Catalog Transparency

Normal product pricing and any bulk discounts they offer cannot be seen until you register an account. This practice is in contrast to competitors like Quill and Crown Office Supplies who let you browse their entire product and catalog prices without having an account.

Bottom Line

The best thing about buying office supplies at Summa is that they offer monthly credit reporting for all transactions over $75, even for those which are prepaid. For Tier 1 members, it’s to Experian Small Business, while Tier 2 members on Net 30 billing get Dun & Bradstreet reporting.

If you can’t get approved quickly as a Tier 2 member, then you might want to apply to competitors like Office Depot/Office Max, Crowne Office Supplies, and Quill, whose have bigger product selections and easier paths to Net 20/Net 30 accounts.

If you’re just looking to add more Net 30 vendors to your credit profile, and spending $75 per month in office supplies is not an issue for you, then that too could be a good reason to register.

As well, if you can’t get approved by Summa’s competitors, or you find some good discounts in their product catalog, it might be worth your while to do business with them.

Leave a comment