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Old 05-01-2019, 06:42 AM   #21
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I am at least one hour from any big box. My supply house delivers to my door daily at 7 am. They also do a vendor managed inventory, that includes putting anything they scan back on my shelf, not on the floor, at a price that is competitive with other suppliers. I am willing to pay more. I think they save me about 1 to 2 man-hours per day. Do the math. It is a huge savings to pay a little more for sh inventory
In your situation it makes sense to pay a little more because you are making it up in billable efficiency by saving 1 to 2 hours a day. And, if the supply house inventory is working for you, it makes even more logistical sense, for you. I'm also sure you monitor your purchases closely and buying right.

We have 7 big box stores in the market we serve, one is 7 minutes away, but we have our main HVAC/plumbing supplier at the shop every morning, 5 days a week, between 6:30 and 7:00 am. We also have three different electrical supply houses that deliver to us throughout the week.

My point was, why would someone pay more for material all year long from anyone, supplier or big box, for the one or two times a year you might need something at 2 in the morning? Unless it's a big account with critical needs, but then you would be charging a premium to that one customer for the service.
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Old 05-01-2019, 06:49 AM   #22
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My point was, why would someone pay more for material all year long from anyone, supplier or big box, for the one or two times a year you might need something at 2 in the morning? Unless it's a big account with critical needs, but then you would be charging a premium to that one customer for the service.
This is what I agreed with too. That guy that gets up at 2AM to open the supply house would be willing to do it for a $100 bill as well. Why not just give it to him when you need it, and save the thousands, or more likely tens of thousands with a company Navyguy's size, by shopping around all year?

My local supply house is cheap on some things, but expensive on others. Between big box stores and ordering online, I save thousands a year shopping around and I am a tiny little company.
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:07 AM   #23
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Hmm, I had to stop at Lowes yesterday for a 3 gang triple duplex plate, which of course they didn't have.

But I was pleasantly surprised that the Decora duplexes were only $2 each and since I already had a 3 gang decora plate, I just bought those.
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:09 AM   #24
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There's 5 supply houses that I can wake up at 2 am, so I'm certainly not shelling out anything extra during the year to any 1 of them.
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Old 05-04-2019, 09:50 AM   #25
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We have one SH here that is across the street from an HD.

I went in to pick up an order of some panels, meters, breakers, conduit, fittings, etc. It was about a $5k materials order.

I asked for a box of receptacles, standard 15a TR duplex, on another tag for a quick job I was heading to. The guy says they are $25 for the 10 pack.

I let him know that HD has them for $10 or $11. So he tells me to go across the street and get them there then.

So I did, and cancelled my $5k order (Which they had already pulled).
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Old 05-04-2019, 09:57 AM   #26
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Wow.
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Old 05-04-2019, 09:58 AM   #27
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This pane is $79 at Home Depot: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Square-D...PCVP/204836362

It comes with $32 worth of breakers which I am going to need for the job. That means the panel costs $47.

I bought the same exact panel at the supply house for $90, but it comes with only the panel, the combo pack with the breakers is for Home Depot only.

$90 vs. $47, half price. That's insane.
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Old 05-04-2019, 10:09 AM   #28
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This is what I agreed with too. That guy that gets up at 2AM to open the supply house would be willing to do it for a $100 bill as well. Why not just give it to him when you need it, and save the thousands, or more likely tens of thousands with a company Navyguy's size, by shopping around all year?
This is exactly to the point. It's not like the supply house people give me their home phone numbers. If you call after hours, there's an option or callback number for emergency service, you talk to their answering service then the answering service finds someone to come open the place for you. They charge a lot of money for the emergency service, as I do, I pass their charge directly to the customer, which they expect.

BTW inventory is KING at 3AM so I skip right past the local companies to the national branches if inventory is questionable in an emergency, the locals don't stock jack any more.

Quote:
My local supply house is cheap on some things, but expensive on others. Between big box stores and ordering online, I save thousands a year shopping around and I am a tiny little company.
I do the same thing. I think the big contractors are getting much better pricing overall than I get from the supply houses. The supply houses claim many of my internet / big box prices are below their cost, which I believe is usually bull****, it might show them in their computer that their "cost" is higher but I simply do not buy it, FFS they could just buy it at Home Depot if that's the case.
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Old 05-04-2019, 10:16 AM   #29
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This is what I agreed with too. That guy that gets up at 2AM to open the supply house would be willing to do it for a $100 bill as well. Why not just give it to him when you need it, and save the thousands, or more likely tens of thousands with a company Navyguy's size, by shopping around all year?

My local supply house is cheap on some things, but expensive on others. Between big box stores and ordering online, I save thousands a year shopping around and I am a tiny little company.
I was really trying to answer the question in the previous post, and not trying to explain my situation specifically.

In my situation, we don't have a good selection of Big Box stores; we have Canadian Tire (maybe like an Pep Boys) and a tiny Rona (like Lowes). If I want to go to a HD or Lowes I have to drive to another city (35-40 minutes one way).

As I mentioned I always price check against the BB and in almost all cases the SH far beats what the BB is offering. On the few instances that they are not, they are willing to match and if it is only a few pennies I don't even bother. But they cannot compete in things like light fixtures, bulbs, etc. Canadian Tire et al are purchasing millions of them where the supplier is maybe 100k of them... so you just need to know where to shop.

For me to be competitive I need to purchase the larger quantities and store it essentially. I know this is a totally separate subject about the cost of housing material, but I turn pretty much most of it in 30 days. But I will by boxes by the case and they may sit for a year depending on the style. I will always buy four or five roles of wire at a time, etc. Some things like network connectors you just need to buy a 1000 at a time and just use them up over time, etc.

I generally don't purchase much on amazon or ebay, etc simply because most of it is not CSA approved and generally it is tough to have someone around to receive the delivery.

So for me, I don't generally spend more per item at the supplier to get quality service, but I tend to spend enough at the SH to get good service when I need it. Only on large jobs to I price shop between SH; I only have one SH in the city too, the other major players such as Guillevin, Nedco, Westburen, etc are all 35-40 mins away too.

Cheers
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Old 05-05-2019, 05:15 PM   #30
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Prices do look like they are about 20% higher than several years ago.
One thing you have to take into account is code changes. Now we have Tamper resistant receptacles, weather rated receptacles. GFCI receptacles have changed. AFCI breakers have changed. Wire prices have always fluctuated up and down. I remember back in the mid 1970s a roll of 14/2 NM was $28.00 or $110.00 per 1000 feet. Also the rules of supply and demand are in place. There is a building boom going on and supplies are low in some areas.
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:31 PM   #31
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Suppliers play a dirty game of having good prices on many items but then slip in really high prices on others. I know this is not by accident because they all do it. This is why it does pay to shop around as stated.
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:01 AM   #32
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Interested to know from the online buyers: Are there any supply houses that are tapping into internet sales or are amazon/ebay the only places of online?

There are a few companies who are bringing their own brand to market and focusing directly on online sales but wasn't sure what the general consensus was. Their product is quite reasonably priced.
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:06 AM   #33
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Interested to know from the online buyers: Are there any supply houses that are tapping into internet sales or are amazon/ebay the only places of online?

There are a few companies who are bringing their own brand to market and focusing directly on online sales but wasn't sure what the general consensus was. Their product is quite reasonably priced.
Platt does I think, but many of their prices are hopeless.
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:22 AM   #34
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Interested to know from the online buyers: Are there any supply houses that are tapping into internet sales or are amazon/ebay the only places of online?

There are a few companies who are bringing their own brand to market and focusing directly on online sales but wasn't sure what the general consensus was. Their product is quite reasonably priced.
Like Mikey said, many of them have crazy prices.

I shop Platt, Crescent, Elliott, etc. Once in a while I can find something for less at those places, but usually they are the same cash price you would pay if you walked into a supply house without an account, which is outrageous.

For example, this box extender should be less than $3, as it is at 2 of my local supply houses, but look at the prices:

https://www.platt.com/platt-electric...x?zpid=0052108
https://www.platt.com/platt-electric...x?zpid=0721628

But even Amazon is $7+ for one of them, so this is an example of the local supply houses having better prices.
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Old 05-15-2019, 12:15 PM   #35
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Platt is where you go to get a price to carry for the job materials. Then when you get the job, you shop the pricing elsewhere. Their prices without an account are stupid high. If 7-Eleven sold extension boxes, they'd probably be cheaper than Platt
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Old 05-15-2019, 01:22 PM   #36
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Wow ya, that is pricey. There's a company called Duralec out of the Chicago area but ships nationwide. Their range is limited but growing. They've served me well.
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