Any tricks for getting "contractor" discount on supplies?

Page 2 of 5  
snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) writes:

I don't entirely disagree -- total cost is at the end of the day most important. But if you are not going to give me true material and labor costs, then why bother even splitting them out. Also, knowing what material and labor costs should be (relative to market rates) helps one identify a total bid that is either unrealistically low or unrealistically high.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My stepfather was a very successful contractor. He quoted the entire job and never broke down materials and labor. People that knew his work were willing to pay what he asked. He'd never quibble over price either. When you are good, there is no need to work cheap; you just walk away and go to the next job.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I agree that if reputation is excellent and price quote is reasonable then no need to break quote into part and labor. My complaint is more against the deceptive practice of breaking up pricing into parts and labor when the breakout is really into (parts + labor) + labor.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
A bid is always a scope of work/bottom line issue. It really doesn't matter what line items they list. The only wild card is whether they finish on time and do a good job. The volume discount on the materials may not cover the bureaucratic costs of a company big enough to get top tier discount.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

actually it would be more along the lines of 1)parts and expenses(relative to just getting to the job....including initial consult, time spent to work up the bid, and time to get materials,tools and workers to the job)
PLUS 2)labor(which covers employee wages, taxes and hopefully a little bit of money for the contractor to pay himself while leaving money for the business(I.E. profit) )
------------------- Chris Perdue "I'm ever so thankful for the Internet; it has allowed me to keep a finger in the pie and to make some small contribution to those younger who will carry the air-cooled legend forward" Jim Mais Feb. 2004
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Kosowsky) wrote:

There's no deception involved. You can't seem to get your mind around the simple concept that only the *total* price matters. How the contractor chooses to break it down is irrelevant.
Suppose I bid on a job for you, and we agree on a total price of $500. Then, when I present my invoice showing $200 for materials (that cost me $100) and $300 for labor, you complain that I'm overpricing my materials -- but if I had presented an invoice showing $100 for materials and $400 for labor, you'd be okay with that???
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) writes:

You seem to not be able to read what I write. I have said many times that I have nothing wrong with total price bid. Just if you are going to break it into parts and labor, then you should do so in a way that reasonably represents the two components. Otherwise, at best you are providing useless information and at worse you are misleading me into believing that your labor is more competitively priced than your competitors and that the difference in materials cost is due to true difference in choice of materials.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload


This is Turtle.
No Jeffrey, The only reason we are still talking about this issue is you don't like the mark up on parts and material and You not being told about it. You want like a hvac contractor to tell you he buys the condenser for $411.00 and will install it for $1,200.00. Then you take that info and tell the next contractor that you will give him $411.00 for the condenser and you think $300.00 labor seems good enough and take it or leave it. The good contractor will walk off, but the hvac hack will take you up on it and just throw it in and collect the money with no warrenty. Then when you want some one to come fix the mistake. You have to call the good contractor back which will charge you out your ass for fixing it because your stuck with no warrenty. All good contractors know a hack has been there by just looking at the equipment and we all think a like. If you pull the price game on one contractror. They tell each other and wait for you. If you was just screwed by a hack out of just getting bids from all. I / We will try to cut the cost of fixing the screw up as low as we can.
If you think you breaking new ground on the pricing game , well son , it has been done back in the 1950's till today and the result is still the same. 1/3 of my HVAC business is just fixing screw up by Hacks and Pricing Game players. Tuesday i will be replacing a split system on a $400k home that a hack put in and was under sized & Poorly installed. The system is 3 years old and will pull it out and install it correctly in his guest house and replace the main unit with a new 4 ton 15 seer. Now the hack sure give him a good price on the system but it did not work like it should have.
I know it is tuff on you have to be not told all the details of the job but the world and the industry will go on without you. If you did not know it but your the best help the Hacks of this industry has because of wanting to know all price and not look at who is doing the job. The Hack's love Price Game player for they can cut the price down to do the job without worring about quality of the labor being presented. If all, customer really started looking at quality of the installation. Hacks would just get out of the business for they would have hell getting jobs.
TURTLE
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Not sure where you are getting the above -- you seem to be either unable or unwilling to understand what I am saying. - First, if you have at all followed the thread, my primary question was about how I can increase my odds at getting a contractor discount when I am acting essentially as a contractor (whether as a DIY or as a general contractor for my own own job). In reality, I find that I sometimes get the discount and sometimes don't.
- You and others then twisted this thread into a discussion of contractor markup on pricing. In that case, I responded that adding a large markup to materials essentially is a hidden way of shifting labor costs from the labor to the materials column. My point there is that this is confusing, potentially deceptive, makes it difficult to compare true pricing, and basically makes the labor vs. materials cost meaningless.
- In any case, I have always said that total price is what matters (assuming contractors are of equal quality and job is the same).

Not sure what you are ranting about but this has *nothing* to do with labor vs. materials mark-up. You seem to be saying that one should not go with the lowball price because you often get what you pay for which is of course self-evident.

Again, this has nothing to do with anything I ever said -- sounds like you have some personal problems with this but not sure what this has to do with me.

It is always easy to win a strawman agrument... the only problem is that you are arguing with yourself. Again, I never claimed that one should buy only on price.
The irony (which you clearly fail to appreciate) is that having more transparent pricing for labor and materials actually helps in part to minimize the problems that you are ranting about. Specifically, if the pricing for materials and labor are accurately represented then when you get a low price you can more easily analyze the following: - If price of materials is lower, is that because the contractor is using cheaper quality materials? - If price of labor is lower is that because one contractor is pricing too high or because one contractor is lowballing?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<< Any tricks for getting "contractor" discount on supplies? >>
Sure. Go see your lawyer. Set up an LLC or S corporation. Fill out the state/federal tax forms. File the appropriate credit apps with your suppliers. You are now a legit contractor. Pay all your bills before the 10th prox. and take that discount, too. Now go play by the rules. HTH
Joe
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.comtosspam (Joe Bobst) writes:

I'm sorry, I don't remember receiving the rule book in the mail :)
Perhaps you live in Cuba or some other last bastion of Marxism, but here in the USA, there is no law against trying to get the best price possible and there are no "rules" saying that only a certain privileged group of citizens get prices.
Hope it makes you smile, that after asking for it, I started getting the contractor discount at my local electrical and plumbing supply store so long as I pay cash rather than credit card. BTW, I don't remember the other contractors in line minding too much either.
Now take your sour grapes and go sulk in the corner!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That freedom goes both ways, as in the freedom of the supply house owner to give discounts to whoever he chooses.
You don't seem to adore freedom as much when it isn't to your benefit.

That's not a contractor's discount, that's tax fraud.

Contractors might engage in the practice known as "deeds not words." The supply house might not be aware for a couple of weeks that a couple of the contractors who had to "wait on line" behind a retail or non-contractor customer who was demanding a cash discount or the contractor's price, have taken their business to a different supply house where the owner recognizes that time, especially contractors time, is money.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
All the building supply places here will set you up with an account if you ask. Tell them what you are doing and how much you plan on spending. They will probably give you 10 % just on your face.
If you are in or near a rural area and can use rough cut lumber (750 + board feet) in your project, logs from a woodlot sawed with a portable mill are lots cheap than the building supply store. Also, used building supply businesses are a good way to save money, or find stuff for older homes that is not manufactured anymore.
It all worked for me.
Mike
(Joe Bobst) writes:

prox.
to
supply
contractors
was
business
especially
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My wife and I just spent the last two years building our own home. We didn't even try getting "contractor" discounts on our building supplies.
Despite that, we often received contractor pricing on many of our larger orders anyway because of the size of our purchases.
Also, we purchased many items at home centers (Lowes, Home Depot, etc.) cheaper than some contractors prices.
In addition, we ordered many supplies (faucets, timers, special plumbing and electrical supplies, etc.) on the internet and saved a bundle over local pricing.
Anthony
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

This is Turtle.
Yes, If you are building a house. The suppliers will automaticly put you in the contractor picture. In so may words you are a contractor by buying so much stuff at one time.
TURTLE
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (HA HA Budys Here) writes:

Of course freedom goes both ways -- if you only spent half as much time reading and thinking as you do venting, you would know that I have stated many times that no one is *required* to give discounts. Rather, I will choose my suppliers based on who gives me the best combination of service, selection, and price. The market will then do all the rest...

I didn't realize that MC and VISA outlawed cash -- considering that I got a computer receipt and paid sales tax, it would be pretty stupid of them to not pass the tax on to the government. The reason they wanted cash is to avoid the 2-3% MC and VISA "tax" on transactions.

Why do you assume that contractors are faster than I am? If anything, since I am aware that I am a "guest" in this world, I try extra hard to be efficient. In fact, it is usually the contractors who are there asking to look at different things, shooting the sh*t, and holding up the line!

Why do you have such a chip on your shoulder about others sharing in some of the pricing and selection benefits that contractors typically get? Is your precious contractor discount your only source of self-esteem on this planet?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Now you're just getting frivolous.

Ahhh, I stand corrected.

Where did I mention anything about your transaction speed?

What would you know about what "usually" goes on?

First, the last comment wasn't mine. That's from 2 posts previous.
Second, I have no problem with even an off-the-street retail customer discovering the wonderous glories and possible savings that lay in wait behind those forboding, unmarked cold steel doors. I rarely step into a supply house, as my orders go into a machine.

I can only say this:
-It's not really a "contractor discount." What "it" is, is industry or trade pricing, which is lower than retail because selling at the retail level is very expensive. Retail requires those requisite markups to cover all kinds of added expenses like advertizing, air-conditioning warehouses, theft and mistakes made by bottom-of-the payscale employee zombies (not too many contractors waltz out of a supply house with an extra set of French patio doors the cashier "forgot" to scan, or have 6 pairs of antique brass hinges hidden in that 4.99 fire extinguisher box) acres of parking lots, managers, assistant managers and night managers and department heads, probably a whole lot more liability insurance, etc...
-I detect that it is you, not me nor anyone else who has responded in kind that has a "chip on his shoulder" about NOT getting a discount because you're NOT a contractor. Possibly because you're a businessman, you're aware of options that many others may not be or you explore different avenues in an effort to maximize your bottom line. But none of that *entitles* you what some other businessmen might get.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
HaHaHa posted for all of us....

I don't think that has been established...
--
Tekkie

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
says...

Yeah.
It's the kind of thing folks get away with only because few people will press for it. A lot of us were raised not to 'take advantage' - once too many people jump on a discount that wasn't meant for them, the discount will no longer be offered. Like how ice cream shops in areas with a lot of homeless won't give taste samples anymore. A store will give Jeffrey J. his discount only because, thanks to most folks' decency, they won't have a store full of Jeffrey J's to deal with.
I don't expect Jeffret J. to get what I'm talking about, or he'll answer with some spin about how it's a free country.
Banty
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Sour grapes from another lifelong loser who has no self-esteem beyond his "precious" contractor discount.
Somehow this Banty loser doesn't understand the first thing about economics or markets -- to him the world is one big "zero sum game" where my getting a discount somehow takes away from him.
The good news is that the supply houses I now frequent are getting to know me and give me that "contractor discount" with a smile. They are happy for my business - most of the time I don't even have to ask.
You have to feel sorry for losers like Banty who have nothing much else to live for in life than their hourly jobs.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.