Kohler - Home Depot or plumbing supply house?

I've been shopping for new bathroom fixtures & my contractor recommended Kohler as a toilet brand.
I've priced them in Home Depot & for the same model, they are far less $$ there than in the plumbing supply store.
Are these the "same" toilets? I've heard that sometimes a company will make a cheaper version for Home Depot stores.
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On 12 Aug 2003 15:00:05 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (DP) Crawled out of the shop and said. . .:

yes, they do make a "cheaper" version for HD Lowes and the rest of the bog box stores.
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Traves W. Coppock wrote:

like Home Depot, but I think the model number would differ in some respect. If the model number is identical, I would think the product would be identical, and Home Depot may just have a better deal from the manufacturer because of their size.
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sell cheaper because they can sell so many. While I never really studied sales and marketing, if you can sell 1 item for a 5 dollar profit, or sell ten items for a 2 dollar profit, you make more money. Kind of the Wal-Mart concept. Sure, there are other factors, but that is it in a nutshell.
Maury
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Ture story: Purchased a Americast tub 3 years ago. Priced it at Home Depot: $225. Priced it at local plumbing supply: $350. Identical tub, but buying locally would have cost me and extra 50%. I'd have paid $250, but not $350.
Same model and different price, get the cheaper one. Different models will have different pricing and some companies will make special models for their big box customers so they don't get into a price matching situation.
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Jim Sullivan



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wrote:

A lot of it is just quantity buying by HD. The manufacturer gives them a big discount for buying a large quantity. They also often act as both the "distributor" and the retailer since the quantites they buy qualify them for distributor status.
Try ordering a toilet in a non-stock color from Depot. The price jumps quite a bit... although it may still beat the local retailer.
Bob
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Aah the wonders of modern marketing! The model numbers and/or names assigned to 'cheaper' products serve several purposes, most having to do with comparison shopping and agreements with other retailers. If your local plumbing contractor doesn't carry the same model number as the big box stores, you have no easy way to compare the products. I once worked in a furniture store, and the same thing goes on with mattresses. Other stores in our area carried the same brands we did, but never with the same names or external fabrics and colors, even though the construction was identical. The manufacturer agreed not to distribute the same 'appearing' product in our marketing area. It's a common practice almost wherever you look. What makes a Pontiac better than a Chevy? Under the skin, they're practically identical. The main difference? Marketing - plain and simple.

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wrote:

Happens in the stereo business too. One model for the "discount" suppliers, one for the fine stereo store. Same unit inside.
Bob
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DP wrote:

called up their 1-800 order number and i talked to the lady on the order desk.. i told her that the model number, etc of the toilet and that the web page had a price of $250-$400 and asked her about the price.. she stated that if i went to home depot or some place like that i can get the same thing for about $125.00.. i went there and for $96 including tax and shipping(they had to order it)... i got it delivered to the store as i did not know if we would be home when UPS delivered it... two weeks later we went to the store and picked it up. i checked some local plumbing showcases and the prices were pretty steep... same item cam be ordered from lowes or home depot alot cheaper then the small independent store that will only order a few items... i think it took two weeks to get mine delivered as they must stock up on orders so they can order in volume and make a better deal......
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I am currently doing a big remodeling/addition project that involves electrical, plumbing, framing, etc. I am doing everything myself and I had to shop for many fixtures, electrical boxes, plumbing supplies, etc. What I found is HD and Lowes always have exact or similar items substantially cheaper then local supply stores. Just a couple of things that come to my mind:
2" PVC solvent union: HD - $5.65, my local plumbing supply $15.65 roll of self-adhesive duct aluminum foil: HD around $7, my local hardware store - $17
I could not find any local supply store anything cheaper then in big chains. The only problem is that HD and Lowes do not carry everything you need so sometimes you have no choice but to go to a local store. I needed a Zoeller sewage pump system and neither HD nor Lowes has it. I had to order it through my local plumbing supply.

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Just a word in defense of local stores. If doing a project that I am confident that I can handle from start to finish, buying from the borg is what I do. If the project is something I am not completely familiar with or anticipate some difficulties, I will buy from the local. The simple fact is the local shop is staffed by folks who know their products and how to use them most effectively. They can offer advice on how to get the job done efficiently and with minimal screw-ups. Further, they have been employed at the same place for a number of years it's that experience and service before and after the sale that I am paying extra for. Contrast that with the average borg employee who may well be hard put to tell the difference between a masonary bit and a regular high speed bit.

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On Thu, 14 Aug 2003 00:58:54 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@nospam.net wrote:

The local hardware store, yes. The local supply store, no.

Try the supply store.

Could be true on some items. The supply store has a little more diversity and is a lot more convenient than the half hour drive to Depot, the helpless aisles, the long register lines, etc. Unless I'm buying a large bunch of stuff, I tend to go local just to save the time and figure the minor difference in cash is paid for in project time saved.
Bob
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the advantage is to the "proffessional" not the DIY'er besides dealers will give you a better price on a "whole package" sale. you won't get that at the "big borg".
pretty soon you will have no where else to shop except HD,Lowes,Wal-mart. then up go the prices.
there go your options. so much for free enterprise welcome to corporate enterprise.
small co.'s are being pushed out everywhere.

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Speak for yourself <g>. Our Home Depot is about 2 miles away. Supply stores I've been to always seem to have that air of "you shouldn't be in here" or "why aren't you just calling in a pro", even though I'm a very competent DIY'er and never ask for help, except maybe to compare a couple different versions of the product I"m looking at. They don't seem to want my business, they charge more, they're never open when I want them, so what's the advantage?
-Tim
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wrote:

Some do, some don't. There are some local ones near me that are very good with customer service.

With your proximity to the HD and the experience you've had, I agree.
Bob
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Before you compare the Plumbing Supply outlet and one of the Borgs, you have to realize that they work differently. The Borg stores have one price only, that is what you pay. Most Plumbing Supply stores will quote you the MSRP which is the highest price anywhere. They may discount down from this, and you need to know if they have done that. Always ask the Plumbing Supply store if the price they quoted you is "list" or "trade". If they say it is "list" ask them for their "trade" price, you will find it is 25% to 35% less. Many Supply stores will sell to you for the "trade" price if pressed, some will not, and it is time to move on.

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