Any tricks for getting "contractor" discount on supplies?

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Let me translate that. "what kind of lies can I tell to save a few dollars by falsely representing myself"??
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Christopher A. Young
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I prefer to think of it as: What can I do to prevent from being ripped off by suppliers and contractors who think I am just a "rich", naive yuppie who is ripe for being ripped off :)
Since when does having a government license or a contractor business card give one some legal or god-given right to better pricing?
If I act like a contractor and don't waste the time of the sales clerk any more than a real contractor, then why should I not get similar pricing? (after adjusting perhaps for some volume discount that true high volume contractors may deserve)
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Kosowsky) wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) writes:

Touche but unfortunately I don't really do a good impression of being one :)
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writes:

You sure sound like one.
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Jeffrey J. Kosowsky posted for all of us....

research, then called the other branch to order. Meanwhile somebody is waiting at the counter while the first branch nursemaids you.
You pay sales tax for that stuff? Probably not...
What do you do for a living? Bet you're in by 8:05 and gone by 4:55 and if you have to stay you want OT or a bonus.
--
Tekkie

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For someone with a name like "Tekkie", you sound like you have an IQ of about 50. Do you know how to follow a Usenet thread? If you did, you would know that I was not the poster who talked about calling "one branch" and going to another.

Just because you appear to be a shady contractor whose business is threatened by honest pricing does not mean that others are similarly dishonest. Trying to get the best price on supplies is "good 'ole American capitalism," cheating on taxes is illegal -- can you grasp the difference?

I am sure that your pea brain could not even begin to comprehend what I do for a living :)
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: Now that the Internet has made pricing so transparent, it gets even : more frustrating to walk into a local supply house and realize that : you are not getting the same deal that contractors get.
Hello Jeffrey!
You've done an admirable job arguing your case, probably won't convince any pro's here to change their mind...
I'm more interested your repeated allocutions to pricing via the internet. Would you care to share with the group these internet sources?
As a 'confirmed' DIY'er myself, I'm trying hard to see your point. Whenever I've gone to specialty suppliers (the contractor's sources) it has always been armed with specific item numbers/descriptions/quantity information. Be it from my own research or advice of a hired pro. However, to go from one specialty house to another takes up *way* more time than simply stopping by one of the two borgs in my neighborhood. I maybe saving 10-15% at the specialty shop, but waste a lot of time doing so... I digress...
And if labor is generally ~50%~ of a projects cost, are you realizing your greatest savings by doing the work? Plus, end the end the realization that *you* did the work!
Rick
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finding out competitive pricing is more of a side benefit.

I don't disagree. In fact, until recently, I used to just go buy everything at the big box store, until I started hearing rumors of inferior products masquerading as name brand product -- hard to know how much of this is just self-serving innuendo served up by threatened mom-and-pop supply houses, but it has made me hesitate before just scooping up parts at Home Depot.
Now if doubts about Home Depot quality lead me to start visiting more supply houses, then at least I don't want to feel like I am paying twice as much as the guy next to me just because he calls himself a contractor.
What I don't understand is why so many disgruntled contractors on this newsgroup are so offended by this to the point of getting nasty and ad-hominem. I am not forcing anybody to give me better pricing -- it is a free country and vendors are free to give me discounts or not. In fact, it would be quite naive and reckless of me not to try to get the best price for an item. I mean how many people walk into a store when an item is on sale and say please give me the regular price instead...
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The rumors are generally true. The likes of HD and Lowes have the ability to get manufacturers to make special lines of their product, sold only through these respective stores.
Case in point - HD made Milwakee replace some metal parts in their power tools with plastic in order to cut the cost of, and therefore the price to, Home Depot.
Kwikset and Shlege locks made only for HD or Lowes.
American Standard and some Kohler faucets which look exactly like the ones available from any plumbing supplier, yet somehow made in China instead of the USA and for some odd reason, a few ounces lighter.
And, you don't really believe that either HD or Lowes is getting the best lumber from the mills, and leaving the seconds for the builder's lumberyards, do you?

You wouldn't be paying twice as much. But you would be paying more because professional supply houses cater to the professionals who have a different way of doing business than your typical retail customer. And while choosing to sell to professionals or choosing to sell retail both have their pros and cons, generally, it is more expensive to deal with the public than on a pro-to-pro basis.

I can't speak for anyone else, but if an Item retails for 100 bucks but contractors get it for 75. because they spend thousands every month, and don't take up counter employee time, and don't pay for floor space for pretty displays, and don't have to pay markups due to retail shrink, and don't pay for air conditioning and heating hundreds of thousands of sq. ft. of storage space... and that wholesaler starts catering to retail clients and all it's added expenses as if there was no comparison, I'd be a little miffed too.
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Do your research, know exactly what you want by name, make, model and part number, and find out the retail price, go to a local wholesaler of that item and ask his price. Ask for his trade price it should be anywhere from 10% to 33.3% lower than retail. If you act professionally, they may give you the trade price. If they don't, try somewhere else.

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Thanks -- very helpful.
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