builders merchants v's sheds

Is it me or have the prices in certains sheds for building materials become extremely competitive against the builders merchants?
As an example, I priced up some materials for a job (plasterboard, cls timber for studding, plywood sheets etc). The whole lot came to approx 192 at B&Q when an equivalent price from a local merchant was 258 (ok it did include delivery but they are just round the corner).
Have merchants become more expensive or is there some hidden discount I`m not tapping into ?!
John
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what do you mean by hidden discount? Yes often builders merchants do offer a discount, sometimes quite high Are you willing to spend hundres or even thousands of punds per month, every month to get that discount. Open an account and ask for say a monthly credit limit of 5000.00. Use it up towards that level each month then come back and say what discount you can get
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John wrote:

Certainly B&Q at the larger branches is trying to attract the building trade. Trade places like Jewsons will give discount but you usually have to ask for it. Maybe it helps if you go in scruffy buider type clothes and sound like you know what you're talking about.
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SNIP
Not exactly, you just need to talk a load of crap and have a tape clipped on your jeans.
dg
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you
on
Have you been watching me? This is scary!
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My experience is that you need to phone to get a price before you enter the Builders Merchant premises. You seem to get 20% off automatically, then you can negotiate down from there. You could try and get them to match the B&Q price?
Colin

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192
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Seconded, when spending 100quid plus I have phoned around for prices and when it's down to the wire, bashing them over the head with, 'but at B&Q warehouse they're XXXquid'. The stock reply to that is, 'but our battens (or whaterver) are straight and not rotten before you get them', and they're right, some of the timber is SHIT, not a straight piece among it and covered in mildew. In the end, the price was similar to B&Q (warehouse), but the quality was far better and the delivered for free at 8am, ready for the working day.
--
fred

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BanQ warehouse are competitive with the local merchant who was been taken over by Travis Perkins even if the name hasn't changed yet. TP prices allow them to give a 20% discount with batting an eyelid.
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I've found exactly the same thing and it can take ages to get stuff from bm's. Last time I was buying wood at a bm's they quouted 1.17 + vat per m. I got them to price match a quote of 0.88 incl vat, which I got from a wood merchants. Neil
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On Thu, 16 Oct 2003 21:46:37 +0000 (UTC), Niel A. Farrow wrote:

I reckon generally that the quality of timber from a BM is far superior to the sheds, but there is something of an urban myth about BM's being cheaper than the sheds. As with all things, you have to be prepared to do your homework and haggle a bit to get a decent price.
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After just getting back from Thurso (20 miles from John-O-Groats) I agree with you. The local DIY/builders merchants were very competitive with my local prices (Lancashire). Amazing, since the petrol prices were at the other end of the competatition :-((
Dave
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I've found that the BMs may initially seem pricy, normally give an automatic discount (especially if you've been in a few times (also remember to chat with them)) but most importantly, their quality is far and above what you get in the sheds. I find that I normally pay less than the sheds, sometimes I pay about the same, but I always get better quality.

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