Do they deserve to stay in business.

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I have always wondered how the local WoodCraft stays in business. Everything over $50 is cheaper at HD or Amazon; and how can they make a profit selling inexpensive odds and ends?
I needed 6 drawer slides and they are the only woodworking store in town. Yesterday they only had 3 in stock and none on order. (What kind of stock is 3 drawer slides?) I was told to call back today and the owner would put them on the Thursday order. I did and he told me he placed his order yesterday, so it would be two weeks. No apology, no nothing.
I ordered from Rockler. If they hadn't mislead me yesterday, I would have ordered them from Rockler yesterday. Next time I will not bother calling them and order from Rockler immediately.
So I ask you. Do they deserve to stay in business?
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business has nothing to do with words like "deserve". It's about the bottom line. If they make enough money to meet the profit margins set forth in the owner's business model and keep the business afloat, then they have every right to be there and operate. That's not to say you'll like the way they operate, but that's the way it is. The 2 woodcrafts I sometimes patronize generally have things in stock, but the treatment I get is very respectful and courteous which goes a long way.
Anyway, you giving your money to other entities is what will hurt them the most. If enough others do it, they won't be in business long.
Mike

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Make an adult decision.
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If there's only one woodworking store in town, maybe it would behoove you to plan a bit further ahead. You could order from ANY distant company that stocks the items you need. It's just a crying shame that another woodworker beat you to the goods.
David
toller wrote:

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Rockler and Woodcraft have different business models. Rockler is, generally speaking, a specialty fittings & finishes hardware store, with books and basic tools available on a convenience basis. Woodcraft have fewer fittings, and more tools, electric and hand.
My local Woodcraft has multiples of large power tools on display, and reasonable backstock. And significant display and backstock on better tools, like Lie-Nielsen. A choice of replacement blades for handplanes and spokeshaves and the like.
The staff at the local Rockler are all familiar with these items. They just aren't allowed to stock and sell them. The Woodcraft store is franchised, locally owned, and so the stocking decisions are made locally, to some extent.
Buy your tools and supplies where it makes the most sense to you.
Retail has never been an easy business.
Patriarch
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Try ordering here in the future as they tend to be very cheap and dependable.
http://wwhardware.com /

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I'm not sure "deserve" is the right term, but the free market will sort that out and make a decision. Seems like they could have been a little more co-operative.
Woodcraft stores are franchises so it is difficult to make a decision on the entire chain based on one store. You could have ordered from the Woodcraft web site and had them delivered in short order.
As for the tool prices, they are not the cheapest, but that does not stop me from buying some of my tools at our local store. They treat me well, hey offer good advice, they take the time to demonstrate something, etc. I'm willing to pay a little premium for that. They will also go out of their way to let me know that a sale is coming up for an item I'm buying.
I would have probably done a similar thing to what you did. I'd also let the manger know that he lost some business and why. He may offer sincere apologies and try better or he may tell you to F off. Then you can decide if it is worth going back again. Ed
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I was in the hardware business (as a manufacturer) when Home Depot was going expanding and driving others out of business. HD said that the other companies didn't deserve to be in business; they were too expensive, poorly stocked, and had poor service. The companies that survived found the secret to competing was offering better service than HD.
This Woodcraft store has high prices, inadequate stock, and lousy service. They don't send me their advertising circular, even though I have complained about not getting it. I just hope someone else comes to town before they go under.
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toller wrote:

That's the key...do you want someone in town other than Borg? If so, they'll have to be patronized. If they don't meet up, they'll not be long and it's unlikely anyone else will try, either, unfortunately, unless it's a really large market.
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going into a HD, picking out all of the PVC fittings I needed, and then finding that they had no 1.5" pipe. On another trip they had the pipe and fittings but no solvent in stock. Your 3 drawer slide story is along those same lines.
I shop at the local Woodcraft store because they provide good advice. I did get a (sale) price on my DW TS that was close to Amazon's and they helped me make my decision on which saw to buy. When I know what I need, I buy "cheap". When I don't, I buy from the people who can advise me -- and if I _shop_ at a brick store I will not buy from an on-line store unless the price difference is truly _substantial_.
I will say that I often now shop from Woodcraft.com because of the stocking "problem" and the fact that it is a bit of a haul to the store. But again, if I want advice, I go to the store - and, IIRC, if the stuff is not in stock they can arrange for the stuff to be shipped to me (and then, I s'pose, they get a commission.) -- Igor
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As Clint Eastwood said to Gene Hackman in the Unforgiven, "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it."
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Well, ours has a huge field of cast iron to play with and choose from. You don't get that with HD or mail order. Plus, their people are really knowledgable about their stuff. A lot of our guild members shop there.
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The question is, do they deserve YOUR business? Only you can answer that, and it seems you have.
-- ******** Bill Pounds http://www.billpounds.com
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Well, FWIW - drawing broad generalities from single isolated instances is always problematic. You got mad and you got even - hope you feel better. But you needed more "revenge" so you took your beef over here. Feel what you want about them, but so far they have been very good at what they do; perhaps not in all cases but in enough that they are surviving in a truly brutal industry.
Now here is a thought for you - if you achieve your goal of boycotting them out of business do you really want to be a captive of the "WalMarts" of online woodworking stores? Brings to mind an old Salada Tea tagline that went something along the lines of "the sweetness of a cheap price is soon lost in the bitterness of poor quality." If you think you got poor service perhaps you have forgotten how convenient it was to be able to pick up your drawer slides and see if they were what you really wanted/needed. That in itself is a service and too few of us ever think of it in that light.
Better luck with your next shopping trip and I hope your project is a success . . .
toller wrote:

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I never suggested boycotting them! If I had I would have identified the store. Heck, I suppose I will probably have to shop there myself.
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Comparing Woodcraft (or for that matter any speciality store) to Home Depot or Lowe's is like comparing apples to oranges.
I shop the local Woodcraft store at least 2 times a month and hit their web page at least weekly. But I am not looking for the ordinary run of the mill tool or hardware but quality items or tools. The people at this store are knowledgeable, eager to please and willing to take time to answer questions even if I'm not making a purchase at that time.
I go to either Lowe's or HD at least once a week to pick up some miscellanous hardware, finish or other commonly available products - mainly for the price. Occasionally I can find someone at HD that can answer a basic question. At Lowe's you are doing good to get one of their clerks to even acknowledge your presence. And, for the record, I haven't been in the local Wal-Mart in over a year.
And, if I want quality drawer hardware that isn't carried at the local borg I usually go to Rockler or Lee Vally.
Just my 2 cents worth.
Lee
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At the risk of beating a dead horse; that is not true at this particular store. The people there are neither knowledgeable nor eager to please. If they were, I wouldn't have posed the question. I remember the first time I tried a dye. I asked the clerk some questions what kind to use, and it was obvious that he didn't know any more about them than I did. Or the time I wanted to buy the rust remover on sale. They didn't have any; only the three pack, with surface treatment and something else. "Hey, since you sell all three, why not break open the pack and sell me the rust remover; and put the other two that I don't want in stock?" Nope, it would mess up their inventory. Heck, they would do that for a customer at HD, or Walmart even.
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Well, in Woodcraft's defense, on the rust remover sale.
A lot of these sales are promotional in nature to get traffic into the store. They make little or no money on the sale ("loss leader"). So, if you're not there the first day of the sale, you take the chance that it might be sold out. That's just the way it is. It's happened to me too, but I don't get upset, because I understand the process.
And yes, breaking open a 3 pack does screw them up. Now they have an inaccurate amount of their inventory, and that leads to the understocking (like the drawer slides you complained about).
I'm not defending everything Woodcraft does, but I can't see getting angry at a store when a promotional item is out of stock. It happens. The sale flyer probably said "While supplies last".
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bf wrote:

Also, depending on the exact circumstances, they might end up with wierd items on the shelf that can't even be sold through conventional means. Wrong UPC, wrong size, wrong color, whatever. Just because it says "Crikey's Sput Wax" on the can doesn't mean it's the same Crikey's sput wax they normally carry.
Wal-Mart won't do this either as a matter of course. This kind of thing has been going on for at least 20 years, and it's no reason to get pissed off and single out a particular retailer. Why, I bet even Lee Valley wouldn't split open a three-unit promo pack under these circumstances.
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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Silvan responds:

Ah, the joys of modern retailing. This wouldn't even have been a question 30 years ago, and probably not 20. The promo pack would have been opened, someone would have used a pen or a slap printer to reprice the three items, two would have gone back on the shelves, and...
The good ol' days may have sucked, but there were some good features.
Charlie Self "They want the federal government controlling Social Security like it's some kind of federal program." George W. Bush, St. Charles, Missouri, November 2, 2000
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