The Borg part..... ?

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Leon wrote:

I've noticed the same here. I work in Ottawa in Ontario, as well as in a Quebec city across the river, where there are quite a number of HDs and a Quebec equivalent called Reno Depot.
I live in a very small town about 30 miles away, which has a local hardware/lumber store. It's small, and doesn't have near the stock that the stores in the city have, but the prices on almost everything are no more than the larger centres, and at times they are cheaper. If they don't have stock, they'll often order for me.
It's not Lee Valley, and they don't stock exotic woods. But then neither do the Borgs.
Plus, it's really nice to walk into a store and be greeted by my first name.
Tanus
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"BDBConstruction" wrote:

When is the last time you checked a can of coffee?
Last I looked, a 16 oz can now has 13 oz in it.
Paper products, especially toilet paper, is another.
Lew
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point- you are also paying for the change in packaging and the associated changeover (if any) in the production line. Pat
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mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
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On Mon, 17 Mar 2008 18:09:36 -0800, "Lew Hodgett"

That's been going on for more than ten years. 13oz? I haven't seen anything bigger than 12oz in any grocery store in this century. The one huge exception is Dunkin Donuts. They still sell a 1lb bag at a fairly reasonable price--at Christmas, it's half price. Don't scoff. DD is right up there with MickyDs for good tasting coffee. People who think Starbucks is good coffee need not continue in this thread.
--
LRod

Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
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"LRod" wrote

Any college student will confirm that in a heartbeat. When visiting I asked my college senior daughter where the best cup of coffee in town was, and her quick reply was "Duncan Donuts".
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"Swingman" wrote:

That the same as "Dunkin Donuts"?
Lew
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Duncan Donuts sells more coffee than anyone else in the US.
Surprising but true.
The best coffee doesn't come from any particular company though. It comes by region. If you buy a straight cup of Sumatra from Starbucks (no flavored corn syrup, frothed milk, etc) then odds are it's essentially the same as Sumatra from say Java City or the Publix down the street. Companies who roast their own beans don't make much of a difference either. A medium roasted Sidamo will taste about the same no matter who does the roasting. Also, Starbucks, Duncan, Brothers, etc. all buy their coffee from the same markets.
Most starbucks coffee is made from crappy (cheapest in the current market) beans that are dark roasted for a strong flavor. Then it's labeled as their "expresso" brand. Once it's brewed with a bunch of cream, corn syrup and artificial sweeteners then the flavor of the coffee itself is lost. If you buy bags of their expresso beans you'll find the taste varies from bag to bag. It's all really dark so the difference is harder to detect but it's there.
If you haven't tasted different coffees from around the world then it's hard to understand what a good cup of coffee really is!!
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Agreed, I too shop for food. An average pound of pasta has been 12oz for quite some time. Especially since the petroleum conundrum companies across the board have been reducing the product while maintaining the exact package size, and in many cases increasing the price, to offset additional costs which they feel they can not pass on to consumers through price alone.
The issue for me is attempted and willfull deception. I see both sides of it. Kudo's to the marketing agency who gets a big bonus for coming up with a way to save the corporation millions annually and yet I also see the family who grabs the same box off the shelf they have been grabbing for 15 or 20 years only to realize after a several purchases that the company has rooked them.
This is a common practice across the board, that is no news to anyone. The issue for me is as I said, willfull deception in an attempt to deceive the consumer. In this case, a 250' box is basically an industry standard and has been well established for decades. It is further compounded by them changing the infomation on the packaging in an attempt "not" to inform the customer of the quantity change rather than to inform them.
This would be like you going to a rack of plywood and because it doesnt say 4x8 on it, you get it home only to put your tape on it and have it measure 45" x 93". The same would be true, buyer beware.
Mark
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It will be worthwhile seeing what you discover upon calling yourself. Where I live HD is still selling 250' rolls of wire. No repackaging to 200'. No deception.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
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SNIP

I understand what you are saying to some extent. But on the other hand, the rule of the land has been "caveat emptor" in all dealings since I can remember. I don't buy anything for a job without checking out everything along the way as I make my order up. For example, I have two roofs with all the goodies to install in the next couple of weeks.
I called my shingle vendor when bidding them, and found that not only did we have a price increases in December, February and March, but we are face with another from the manufacturer in April. I have dealt with these guys for literally 15 years, and none of us has ever seen the kind of profiteering going on right now.
But do they call me and say, "hey Robert, we are not going to carry the Elk High Point Ridge vent, we are going to another that is more expensive." Do they call me when their fuel surcharge goes up? No. Does my local paint dealer call me when paint goes up? No. Do they me and every other of their thousand contractors in their list of clients when they modify or change their delivery charge? No.
I look at it this way. It is my money going out on a job. Period. It is my responsibility to make sure it is protected; most likely I won't get anything more than a sigh from my clients when I tell them prices went up from the time I bid and the signed to the time work starts. So I do the best I can, knowing I might take a little in the shorts. But the point being, I do my homework up front and try not to take anything for granted.
I understand your burning and obvious hatred of HD. I do. Most of the time they are of little or no use to me as a contractor. But they have a job to do as well, and none of us really know if their marketing department didn't find in their research that all of these people in the TV inspired home improvement wave didn't need the 250', but would be fine with 200'. I don't know. I really don't care.
I think repackaging is part of marketing, and no retailer will shy away from a chance to make more money. Being a contractor has made me a better shopper everywhere, as I use the same techniques for personal purchases that I do for my business. The first rule of course, is not to take anything for granted when gathering prices.
In the face of the onslaught of hard competition from the big boxes, my local hardware stores and lumber yards started playing stink finger LONG before the big boxes. I thought that "my boys" down at the local lumberyard would have lower costs on things because the didn't have the overhead, didn't have to pay any of the employees health insurance unless they were full time, and they didn't have an advertising budget. Wrong.
I even paid more to them when I knew I was paying too much since I wanted to keep the money local, and I did get a little bit better service from them. But when I started paying waaay too much to them, how could I justify it. So that they could keep their margins up to the levels they had when they were the only game in town, they started selling smaller boxes of nails, off brands of different staple items like caulk and sealers, and a lot of different off shore stuff began to sneak into the tool corral.
And if something breaks at HD, you take it back, and you are taken care of. If it breaks that local lumberyard, they don't want to RTV it, so they can make it a little harder. The manager of the hardware store used to tell me, "awww come on... it's just Chinese crap and you knew it when you bought it. How long did you think it would last?"
Now I am careful and suspicious with all of my purchases. I ask what size a product is, I ask what amount is in the package, and I ask for any price increases that might be in effect soon.
Just a few thoughts. Like I said, I understand what you are saying, but there isn't a damn thing we can do about all of this but to be aware of more and more aggressive marketing to get our dollars. So indeed, it is up to all of us to be savvy consumers on point all the time. A screwing will happen from time to time no matter what we do. But if a box is marked in plain view, I don't know other than telling someone how much wire is in a box (in writing) they purchase what a retailer can do.
The surprise sure isn't pleasant, though.
Just my 0.02.
Robert
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<SNIP>

You'll be lucky if there is only one (1) price increase in April.
After all , shingles are mostly asphalt as in oil based.
Lew
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That's what they are saying.

Actually, it is smaller part of the composition of a standard laminated fiberglass shingle than one might think:
http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/ConDemo/Shingles /
And remember, the apshaltic/coal residues used in shingle manufacture are actually the by products of refining. And 25% of the overall cost of goods to manufacture doesn't amount to much.
Even when they factor in the transportation costs, the .40 a gallon raise per gallon of fuel doesn't translate in direct proportion to the price we are seeing at the vendor.
And average truck brings in 190 or so squares of roofing. If they go up on their prices about 20% in 4 months, that means an increase of pricing to my supplier of a little over $1000. Owens Corning already charges (and adjusts to fuel pricing - per load!) of $175, to defray fuel costs from Houston/Temple. That will buy them their entire fuel to the vendor, there and back.
Nawww... there is some monkey shines going on. That $1000 went in part to cover the 25% cost of material in a shingle, but where did the other 75% go with all fuel charges covered? And BTW, I also pay my vendor to deliver and roof load as well as a fuel charge.
But again, who can stop it? I just call for prices, and then put a 15 day start clause in my short contracts to make sure I can be covered on the costs.
Robert
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Actually most of the oil pumped here in California is considered asphalt grade and goes directly into asphalt based products.
All the major roofing products guys are here.
We do business with most of them.
As far as glass is concerned, energy costs have a major impact on the final cost.
There may be something else, but oil not only as a feed stock, but also as an energy source have a major impact.
Lew
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SNIP
> There may be something else, but oil not only as a feed stock, but also as

Sorry, Lew. But you have been outvoted.
The Combined Brain Trust of West Avenue Ice House (now with pool and darts!) has voted, and we are getting the sausage.
Members of the trust include participants from the brick laying community, as well as roofers, plumbers and even a painter. The painter isn't usually sober enough to participate in our problem solving sessions, but he was lucid until a good two hours into the meeting this last time.
Before you dismiss this, all manner of pertinent facts were examined at great length by the trust will many members not even in the construction community adding their commentary as we went along. It wasn't always on topic, but we didn't want to exclude any potentially valuable information for future subjects.
No, I don't remember the exact details, but after the last meeting I would bet none of the other members remember much, either. It was a.... ahem... "busy" meeting with the Spurs playing on the big screen and all.
But, ask ANY construction worker, contractor or vendor and they will gladly tell you the same thing.
We're gettin' screwed, and that's that.
;^)
BTW, we don't keep the minutes, but about a month ago we peered into the mystery of mortgage crisis, and we pulled back the curtains on that as well!
<VBG>
Robert
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With that, you're credibility went up a dozen notches! What is it about painters that they must have a 12 pack of Bud Lite in the van? ;)

Must be raining in "dirty SA" today, eh? :)
Same here ... another day, another layer of mud on wood floors yet without paint. But. I did get the flatwork done this past Saturday, which usually means less of it.
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I don't know, but it is a requirement of the trade, that's for sure. One thing I always admire about the painters, though. When they are having a bad morning and all of them are bitching a blue streak at each other, they always manage to clear things up at lunch and come back in a good mood and ready to work. Hey... wait a minute...

Yeah. Sadly. It isn't enough to do any good for us as we are already in drought conditions. It has just been pissing all day, nothing of consequence, just enough to keep us all inside.

Looking at the radar, you guys are getting real rain and will probably get more actual "rain". We got squat. Wet streets and a little mud in the yards, that's it.
It has done this off and on for several days now, and I am really ready for a break.
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote: ...

I'd give most anything for a shot at that much....we got 0.08" and now back to 30mph winds to be nearly 80F by tomorrow. And that was our 80% probability chance... :(
--
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On Tue, 18 Mar 2008 15:01:08 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

Here it has been raining since at the end of St Patty's day, 2" so far another 2" to come according to the weather forecast. The island in the lake behind us is about submerged. So be careful what you ask for. My wife asked for rain to avoid seeing someone.
Mark
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"Markem" wrote

Rain? I remember rain. It rained here a couple years ago.
Max (in El Paso)
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