On Fri, 03 Oct 2003 19:48:37 GMT, "Leslie Gossett"
All places are open to the general public. Heck, when I used to work
for 84 Lumber, which is primarily for contractors, we had plenty of
DIYers coming in all the time. But it was the contractors who would
put $200k on their credit accounts at a crack and get the best prices.
If you can't afford to spend what they spend, don't complain that
you're not getting the prices they get.
on tools than the industrial/commercial suppliers I buy from. I'm
referring to circular saws, drills, routers etc. Perhaps if I was buying
12 saws etc. this wouldn't be true. I also buy most of my PT lumber
there (the framing stuff that is usually covered or hidden from view),
drywall, sheet goods, insulation, screws and nails. I never buy
finishing supplies or any appearance grade lumber there. Most of the
time I buy there for convenience. At the volume I purchase supplies, my
discounts are minimal.
The whole world runs on discounts for bulk purchases. How do you think the
Borgs get their prices so low? Bulk!
Some of (most of) the small mom and pop companies still give the discounts.
They get some of my business now.
I knew there would be flames, but that IS the way I fell about it. To each
One has to remember that it is the contractor, buying widgets a pallet at a
time that allows the Borg to sell them one at a time, cheaper than you can get
at the counter store. Borgs are putting the smaller counter operations out of
business around here. I went to a medium sized electrical supplier the other
day looking for stailess outlet plates, no joy. Home Depot had them ... cheaper
than I could get them from Greybar.
firstname.lastname@example.orgGreg (Gfretwell) wrote:
Not just around there, around America. We are reaching the pinnacle of
capitalism. In a decade or so, there will exist:
2. Borg or Lowes
The only place where more than one will survive is where variety is
demanded by the public such as food, cars, etc. Even those are
consolidating down to a select few restaurants and car makers.
Maybe. Maybe not. I've seen large local building supply companies survive very,
very well doing 95% of their selling to contractors. Open early. Close early.
Give discounts. Pay special attention to quality. Be on the ball with delivery
For kicks, price your auto parts at a professional auto parts store. Then get a
local mechanic to price the same parts at the same place.
"Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit
I usually get the contractors discount at most lumberyards and both
"BORGS". Why, because I'm a contractor, small scale, but a contractor. I
go to the contractors checkout (BORGS) and present one of my business
cards (if the cashier doesn't know me) and pay by credit card. The
discount isn't that much on the quantities I buy, but every bit helps.
If I was one of their "registered contractors" the discount would be
greater, but at my volume ... I have rarely had a problem and a quick
chat with the dept. manager usually solved that. It is stupid to
advertise a special sale for contractors in the general tool area for
all to see. Most of us see "SALE" and that's all she wrote.
I'm still able to do most of my own work on my Truck and cars (ones not
on warranty). I do it mainly because I feel I'm the only mechanic I can
trust and because I can (brag about it to the ones that can't). I always
buy parts from a professional auto parts store (NAPA usually) and get
the trade price. I call the store and ask if they have the part in
stock, then ask my price. They then give me the list price and net
price. I thank them and say i'll send a man down or I'll be there to
pick it up. Just went through that putting a fuel pump in the truck.
Just filled it (34 gal. tank). Good thing I had six gas cans. The pump
listed for $145 and netted $91; However the sending unit (broke one the
very corroded fittings removing it) listed, Chevvy dealer item only,
for $340 and I got it for $260 (still in tears). For the good price you
have to know the system (walk the walk, talk the talk).
BTW it was snowing today (Jewett in the Catskills). Gotta start waxing
Actually what you get is A trade price not THE trade price. I'm not sure
what NAPA's policy but I spent several years working for a large parts
chain my area some time back. We had 4 different price lists for commercial
customers as well as retail. Which book you bought out of depended entirely
on the volume you presented. The best customers got as much as 30% off, the
gas station that made an occasional order got 5. Most got somewhere in
On Thu, 02 Oct 2003 21:11:48 GMT, "Leslie Gossett"
Mostly because you don't buy in the same volume as most contractors.
The more you buy, the more you save, that's the way it works in most
retail outlets. Contractors usually get special prices because they
purchase wood and supplies for entire houses at a time, usually many
times a month. You simply can't match that kind of buying power and
Lowes or HD doesn't chase your business and give you special rates
because of it.
A couple things to add:
I emailed Lowes regarding the above on the 30th, no reply to date and I
don't expect one. Lowes would never make is in this town (Abilene, Texas)
without the homeowner as a prime buyer. Look at their whole system, they
focus marketing to the general public, not contractors.
True, contractors spend a lot of money, but the lion's share of Lowes
profits come from home owners. I don't mind them giving a break to
contractors, BUT DON'T rub it in my face by posting the sale bill in the
general area. Then shove me off like a second rate individual unable to read
a sale bill. The vast majority of major builder/ contractors here choose an
old and well established "Lumber Yard". The prices are often better, but
the quality and service are vastly superior to Lowes. The contractors
shopping at Lowes are more often the fixer up type, building fences, smaller
I have spent many thousands of dollars at Lowes in the past, they are
convenient and I prefer them to Home Depot. I will continue to shop there
but will be aware to not always expect to be treated as I would like. There
are many fine employees at Lowes, it is not a bad store, just that I had a
bad experience with a manager that failed in customer care. And, as I
elevated this to a higher level it may just be a reflection of Lowes overall
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Back when there was the frenzy over Bessey K-Body clamps on sale at Sears, I
went to Lowes for a price match. I even brought in one of the clamps with
me so they would know it was the same one. The tool department manager
refused to match because the Sears ad didn't have the model number listed.
I e-mailed customer service from the Web site. Within a few days, I had a
response and they were looking into it. A couple days later, I had a call
from the same tool department manager. He would be happy to sell me those
clamps at the Sears price, less 10%.
Best Regards, Phil
Living In The Woods of Beautiful Bonney Lake, Washington
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