Letter of Order: Meaning, Tips, Samples

Letter of Order: Meaning, Tips, Samples

Order letters are a common form of communication in all types of organizations. Organizations require various goods and services to support their operations, and these items often need to be procured from other organizations. To ensure smooth and uninterrupted operations, orders must be placed accurately and in a timely manner.

Holtz (1996) defines an order letter as “a letter written by the buyer to the seller that contains a directive to supply goods.” Thill and Bovee (1999) describe it as “a letter seeking products or services for delivery.”

12 Tips for Writing an Order Letter

Order letters represent one of the simplest forms of direct requests. They do not require elaborate language; instead, they call for clear and direct communication of needs. The following guidelines will help make an order letter effective:

  1. Clearly and directly state your needs. Begin descriptions of your requirements with phrases like “Please ship” or “Please send the following.”
  2. Include the order number, as it is essential for record-keeping and facilitating communication between the buyer and seller.
  3. Specify the quantity of the order. State the number of units, sets, feet, yards, dozens, ounces, pounds, tons, reams, etc., that you require.
  4. Provide product identification. If available, include the catalog number, which is a shortcut to precisely identifying the item. If a catalog number is unavailable, provide a detailed description of the item, including size, color, materials, weight, finish, quality, and style.
  5. Mention the price of the product. List individual prices and calculate the total.
  6. Specify the delivery method. Unless you have a prearranged agreement with the seller, indicate the shipping method, such as parcel, post, express, airfreight, or other means. If necessary, include the shipping route. If the goods are to be delivered to an address other than your own, provide the destination. State whether the goods need to be delivered by a specific date and designate “rush delivery” if expedited shipping is required.
  7. Describe the payment method. Unless you and the seller have already agreed on payment terms, outline your preferred payment method. Explain how the total amount was calculated and, if necessary, indicate which account the payment should be charged to.
  8. Use a structured format. Present the information you require in a column format, double-spacing between items, and calculate the total price at the end.
  9. Offer detailed descriptions for unusual goods. If the goods are not easily identifiable from a catalog or advertisement, or if they are unconventional, provide a comprehensive description. Explain the product’s purpose and its unique characteristics. Include information about where the product will be used. Such additional details will assist the recipient in accurately understanding your needs. If necessary, you can even include drawings of the items you require.
  10. Be thorough and clear. Incomplete or unclear information will require your recipient to make additional efforts to obtain missing details. This can lead to delays and misunderstandings in fulfilling your order.
  11. Close your letter courteously and request specific action.
  12. Retain a copy of your order letter. To ensure that your order is processed correctly, keep a copy of your letter. If you do not receive a response within a reasonable timeframe, consider writing or calling to check on the status of your order.

By following these guidelines, you can draft effective order letters that help ensure your needs are met accurately and promptly.

Specimen of Order Letter

Smith & Sons Lighting Solutions Inc.
35, Avenida da Luz
Lisbon – 1500

March 25, 2005

Electrical Supply Inc.
45, Silom Road
Bangkok, Thailand

Dear Sirs and Mesdames,

Re: Purchase Order No. 810

I hope this letter finds you well. We are writing to confirm and place an order for the following lighting fixtures under our Purchase Order No. 810:

QuantityCatalogue No.DescriptionTotal Amount (in Euros)
8J1912Swivel spotlights with 7-inch diameter, chrome-plated frames @ €40 each€320
3J2022Five-light wagon wheel style chandelier, maple finish with brass components @ €70 each€210
4J221814-inch globe pendants with white components @ €10 each€40

We kindly request that you dispatch these lighting fixtures via Rea Express, ensuring that they arrive no later than April 12, 2005. Our payment will be based on the credit terms established on previous orders, which are 2% discount if paid within 10 days, with the net amount payable within 30 days.

Your prompt attention to this order is greatly appreciated, as these fixtures are crucial for our ongoing projects. We trust that Electrical Supply Inc. will continue to provide us with quality products and reliable service.

Please include a detailed invoice with the shipment, and we will process the payment accordingly.

Thank you for your cooperation, and we look forward to receiving these lighting fixtures in a timely manner.


Sir Benjamin Harrison
Manager (Marketing)
Smith & Sons Lighting Solutions Inc.