Which web site has the fullest range of DIY goods? Whenever I search
B&Q, Homebase, Wickes, etc I get the feeling they show only the most
basic of stock.
The Screwfix website is much better and much more useful. (Their
delivery charges mean that I don't actually order through the website.)
Which other websites are as comprehensive. It's is just to locate and
read basic specs of products.
Best of all is the hard copy Screwfix catalog. Which other DIY
suppliers provide something as good as this?
On Sat, 1 Jul 2006 10:23:26 +0100, David Peters wrote
I expect that the DIY stores have only a selection of items because they want
people to go and visit and browse in the hope that they will buy more than
they intended to do, as well as not wanting to plagiarise their store
business with online purchases. Muddled thinking, but there it is.
I don't follow the logic of not buying from an on-line site because of
- If the prices are less for the goods than a store then why does it matter?
- You can have free delivery if you spend more than £45
- A £6 delivery charge for smaller orders or faster delivery is negligible
when compared with the cost of transport plus time used in going to a store.
I agree with you if the total cost (including delivery) was
competitive. But to buy a small item costing maybe £8 or £9 and add a
delivery charge of £6 means it is likely to be very uncompetitive.
After all I find Screwfix's price to be anything but bargain
I'm not that far from two or three different DIY chain stores but as
you point out it can take resources (time and money) just to make a
trip to them. Espeically if all I want to di is browse goods or to
That's why I want to get a decent catalogue or use some good web
sites and see what is avilable and what a good price is and then to
use my local store if they are suitable. In some cases they will be
and in others they will not be.
On Sat, 1 Jul 2006 12:40:22 +0100, David Peters wrote
Obviously if you buy items of low value one or two at a time it is not going
to be an efficient or cost effective way. That will be true of any on-line
supplier. The shipping costs have to be paid for out of margin or added to
the price paid or a combination of the two.
A store retailer has to pay for shipping, premises and the surly teenagers to
I suppose that that is realistic if you cost your time at a very low hourly
rate. OTOH, if one is costing time at a realistic rate, there really isn't
(economic) time to wander round several stores to buy goods for a project.
Generally each retailer has high/low price levels across the board or on
product groups/brands. It's simple enough to note or memorise those and
then to decide on which retailer/on line source is likely to have the best
price and availability on all the goods for a project.
On a larger project, it becomes possible to go to several trade suppliers and
ask them to quote competitively for the project.
Some traders in different sectors do operate something like this - e.g. PC
World and some other DSG stores have something like this. You can look for
products on line, check availability at a local store and go and pick it up.
Sometimes the price is lower than the store retail price.
However, this type of operation is not the cheapest in the market and their
ASP per line item is higher than a DIY store. I suspect that the cost of
maintaining a detailed and accurate web site with stock availability at
branches would be quite high. As long as people are willing to waste their
time wandering around and going between stores, there is not a lot of
incentive for them to change that. The web sites will continue to contain
only a subset of higher ticket and offer items.
I use Screwfix most of the time as AFAIK it has the broadest range, so
is the closest to a one-stop online shop that I've come across (which is
important to me as it minimises hanging around waiting for deliveries,
and you don't end up paying delievry charges to several companies
because the order sizes are too small. Sometimes use
www.toolstation.com too; also someone mentioned www.thetoolbag.com here
recently which is new, and has no minimum order charge (so far).
As somebody else mentioned, even if you aren't buying enough to achieve
Screwfix's £45 minimum order for free delivery, it's often still
worthwhile paying the £6 as they are so much cheaper (for many items)
than local alternative suppliers like B&Q.
South London Hardwood ? I've bought maple off them, efficiently discussed
my requirement via e-mail/excel spreadsheet cutting list; delivered rough
sawn boards in sufficient lengths to achieve my desired outputs, delivered
BTW, they seem to be "up north" from my south coast point-of-view.
Where do you live? Screwfix are in the process of opening a large number of
Trade Counter stores, which work very much like Argos. I use my local one
(Reading) regularly. This way, you get to use the catalogue at home, but can
collect the goods without delivery charge or waiting.
Can you phone an order ahead?
I live near the latest Screwfix trade counter, I don't think I have ever had
a mail order delivery that was completely correct so was looking forward to
my first ever correct Screwfix order. Didn't check in the shop (it was >£200
and about 25-30 items), when I got home I found one item was wrong, one item
was missing, one item they said was out of stock was included, and a further
four items I hadn't ordered at all were in there.
They were very nice about it when I went back though!
Their stock system is rubbish - it is updated once per day Mon-Fri, so if
you go in Saturday or Sunday the computer can say "in stock" when it isn't.
But you've already paid by that point so you then need to get a refund.
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