You don't have to know the Offer ID to buy with SPP pricing, that is just the way to place an SPP order without going through a rep. over the phone.
Call IBM's Small Business section (number on the website), they make you give name, number, address, etc. first, then they connect you to a rep. You don't need to be a business, tell them that the name of the business is your name if they ask.
Tell the rep what models you are looking at, and ask for them to email you quotes with SPP pricing (shareholder). It worked for me, they never asked if I really was a shareholder. Once you have the emailed quote, you just click on it, put in your credit card number, and it becomes an order instead of a quote.
Keep in mind, however, that if you order a Thinkpad from IBM, you will have to pay tax. There is NO WAY around it. IBM has a presence in all 50 states, so you are going to pay tax, just like you have to pay tax ordering direct from www.sonystyle.com
, or dell.com in some states. BTW, www.shopping.hp.com
does not charge tax, but if you order HP business models from hp.com there is tax charged.
The only way not to pay tax is to order from a reseller like newegg, pcconnection, etc. but then you can't add stuff like Thinkpad Protection (accidental damage coverage) which you can with an order direct from IBM. Also, there is a guy named Bill who hosts the forums at www.thinkpads.com
who discounts Thinkpads, and can add the Thinkpad Protection, but I think you have to wire money to him. Everyone on the forum says that he is very reputable, but I have no idea, and have never ordered from him myself.
Anyhow, the shareholder price thing worked like a champ for me with 3 orders, unfortunately, I didn't keep any of the Thinkpads. VERY disappointing screens, although the Thinkpads themselves are very solid. Unfortunately, for me, a poor LCD display kills the deal.
By the way, just to clarify, I never told them I was a shareholder and they never asked if I was. I just asked for quotes with SPP pricing. They figure if you know what "SPP pricing" is, you probably are a shareholder. Or, they would rather sell Thinkpads, and not ask questions. If they had asked me if I really was a shareholder, I would have answered "no".
BTW, the discount varies by the model, it is at least 10 percent, and as great as 20 percent. Also EPP (Employee purchase plan) pricing is better, but I have no idea by how much.
I would not have told you this information, but I won't be ordering any more Thinkpads.
Also, as I said, the tax kills a lot of the discount anyhow.