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Thread: I've been insulted

  1. #46
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    I pay little heed to engineers......
    ....unless they got a hat

  2. #47
    Like an engineer alternety's Avatar
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    I had one of those; but I lost it when I got tossed out of a raft by a particularly aggressive wave. I've never been the same.

    If I had really analyzed the situation and got this really big rubber band.....

  3. #48
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyPlumber View Post
    I just bumped into this thread.
    I was offended by the opening post...but thought it humorous that he were so kind to allow the HVAC contractor to do what work he didn't want to invest the time in.
    Loose translation...the dirty work.
    How kind.
    I was wondering where you were, when it was happening!

    BTW - Merry Christmas.
    Master Plumber Mark:

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    it smells like......victory......

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  4. #49
    DIY Junior Member turkeyvulture's Avatar
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    Default Why Big Boxes Thrive

    As a dedicated DYI'er (and engineer, God help me) I have also run into the "are you a contractor"/"who are you with" attitude. But at the orange big box, and blue big box, no such attitude. They may not know much but they are eager to help and don't ask if you;re a contractor.

    So more power to the big boxes. If they put the so-called "real" distributors out of business, they have it coming.

    As to professional expertise, I've seen so much stuff screwed up by "tradesmen", we now use "professionally installed" as a pejorative at my remodeling project.

  5. #50
    Customer Service Manager Plumbing Wholesale Peanut9199's Avatar
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    It's funny you are on this board asking "Tradespeople" their advise on how to
    install something, why didn't you ask the good people at "Home Depot".

    I'm a wholesaler (actually a master wholesaler) and i'm one of those guy's you says "Do you have an account" because i get so many calls from Mrs. Smith you wants to buy a toilet.

    I sell to retail and Wholesale only and i like it like that (i have no call backs when something is installed wrong and it is somehow my fault).

    I will tell you a few stories on your great "orange store"

    When they first came into Canada they did not have the buying power to buy direct from the manufactuer so they bought through the wholesalers.
    Which was a nightmare (won't bore you with that), once they got in they dropped the wholesalers and never looked back and the wholsalers who sold to them lost a lot of business because they also started selling to their customers direct and pushed that until they started getting their business and once they did that they started going after Mrs. Smith.

    They have no loyalty to anyone.

    Another story about a lawn mower manufactuer who was called by "orange store" to supply them. He sarted out small and dropped a few of his regular customers, then he started suppling more and dropped more eventually they were his only customer, that's when they called him up for a meeting (which is usually 12 of them around a table) and TOLD him thay are now paying $100.00 for the lawn mower he said "I can't produce them for that it's below my cost" they said to bad do it or bye bye.
    He couldn't and lost the account and went out of business (along with all his employees).

    So the next time your in a big box store, think if your not spending money just how nice they would be to you.
    Last edited by Peanut9199; 07-31-2009 at 05:07 AM.

  6. #51
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default boiler

    Too much stuff up there to read it all, but to answer the original question, manufacturers and reps don't even talk to us. They deal with wholesalers and the wholesaler deals with the contractor. That it the chain of command. And if the wholesaler deals with you, the customer, and sells to you at the same price he does to me, then he has become my competitor and I no longer do business with him. I have to make a profit on what I buy from him and I cannot do that if you tell me you can buy it directly for $***.xx.

  7. #52
    Like an engineer alternety's Avatar
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    The argument for not selling to end users has merit if the customer is purchasing the equipment and then hiring a contractor to install it. It disturbs the old traditional, although not only, business model. Although, pricing install to make a profit is certainly not out of the question. The big issue for me is needing to buy something for which I do not intend hiring someone to do the work. Especially parts. If there is an acceptable alternative to something I can only get through an installer, I will go for that.

    And there is always the possibility of high margin repair after I try to install/repair the device.

    You really should not take the view that anyone doing it themselves is stealing from the industry. We are not under an obligation to do it your way. We may choose to do so, but it is not required (unless doing the task without a specific license, in your own home, is illegal). Don't any of you do things around the house that has a trade prepared to do it for you?

    Perhaps some of you pros could provide a service for DIYrs for inspection or consulting. It creates income, builds goodwill for future service or work, and perhaps adds an element of safety. It would be a lot more useful overall than simply bitching about direct to end user sales. The big boxes are not going away, the internet is here to stay. Evolve. You can still make a good living with your skills.
    Last edited by alternety; 08-01-2009 at 01:32 PM. Reason: spelling

  8. #53
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Another one of those posts that won't die!

    There is no question that the horse has left the gate, on the issue of availability. Many manufacturers try to limit "to the public" or internet sales.....with only some success. But I can tell you, condenser manufacturers are starting to have to rethink the warranty issue. As of now, if an "XYZ" brand condenser carries a 5 year parts warranty from "XYZ" corp, they will stand by that no matter where you bought it, or what yeyhoo installed it. The manufacturers know that a very very high percentage of compressors replaced in the first 3 to 6 months of life were either not failed at all, or failed due to faulty install of the equipment. To some extent, this is factored into the original price, but it is starting to be an issue, and there may be some shakeout on this. Warranties do specify "must be installed by a qualified tradesman" but this is not really enforced. They may have to tighten up on this.

    You would be shocked to know how many systems are installed by people who do not own a vacuum pump or a recovery system. By people who do not know how to weigh in a charge, or measure superheat/subcool.

    In the end, it is all about the $$$$$$

  9. #54
    Like an engineer alternety's Avatar
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    Actually, in some undetermined percentage, it is about quality. There is sort of an implicit view that if you hire someone in the trade to do it the results will be superior to DIY. I have been exposed to a really annoying percentage of instances where I definitely would do (did), better than the people I initially hired. It just is not a given, as I am sure you all know. Checking out the references is really tricky in today's lawyer driven universe.

    We did what we considered to be good research on a contractor. He did a really crap job, and then stole $22,000 that was supposed to pay for materials. We later found out that the main reference we talked to simply did not tell the truth because they did not want to get "involved". They had actually fired him for poor performance and now have a four level deck that does not qualify for the manufacturers materials warranty, and a living room floor with a very significant peak part way across. For us he worked maybe half of each day, the "crew" he had consisted of one untrained and brow beaten late teen (later his girl friend), refused to implement details that had been explained to him before hiring him, never provided a project cost, never provided a project plan (even though he showed us examples of plans for others). The contractor is still in business. His subs were just as bad. Two were fired. One I retained only to have really incredibly bad crap for a plumbing installation. Examples; outside faucets necked down from the 3/4" necessary for proper pressure flow to 1/2" pex (use a hose and it looks like it has enlarged prostate problems), shower heads that don't work for essentially the same reason, two seperate floods after people left without checking their work, pex hanging down below the ceiling drywall position, piping layout and documentation not followed, etc..

    I would counsel not identifying "money" as the only issue. Many times, without doubt, but not always either. With the scorn that is attached to the cheap b****rd. Likewise, there is frequently a position taken that decides that the CB simply does not want to spend the money and really could afford it. Has anyone here not ever had to allocated limited funds to living essentials. Did all of those people live in a shack in the woods or in a reqular or above average house with a nice car(s)?

    I believe some slack is called for in the frequently expressed attitude toward the errant consumer who tries to do it themselves or get the best price they can, and not necessairly the best solution at a higher cost.

    Some on this board (but in no ways all, or even a majority I think) seriously denigrate the end user. Many other boards for trades are much much worse. Please try not to "offend" all the people who simply don't want or afford, or need, to have your services or ultimate solutions.

  10. #55
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default sales

    WE do not care WHO is going to install it. If you buy it from Home Depot, that is fine because you are paying the "retail/list" price for it. A wholesaler is selling at contractor prices, and that is why he asks "who are you with" and asks for identification, and usually invoices the purchase, so you cannot tell them some company name you saw on a passing truck and then pay cash. If you have a good friend in the business, he may call the wholesaler and tell him to sell it to you at his price, but that would be his decision.

  11. #56
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    Wait you mean the suppliers have to sell to homeowners?
    Great I'm going to call GM tomorrow & order direct & cut out the car salesman
    Then call Sony & cut out the retail store
    And heck can I call a lumberjack to have them deliver my lumber?
    HVAC is one thing I will not consider as a DIY
    Luckily we do not need much AC here

    One Seasonal Decoration Mfg decided to go direct & sell off Amazon in case lots
    Customers like me were able to buy cases & sell off some to make $$ or just break even (with keeping some decorations for "free" due to sales)
    Their major retailer dropped their product & came out with his own product to sell
    Other retailers also dropped the product line
    They Lost a LOT of business & then claimed the Amazon sale was a computer glitch & only the wholesalers were supposed to be able to place an order
    Last edited by Scuba_Dave; 08-01-2009 at 03:48 PM.
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

  12. #57
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    To follow up on some of my previous posts on this subject...


    When I walked into that electrical supply house, they should know the talk, walk the walk when I'm searching for info...why?


    Because for them to match me with the right product, more product is in their best interest with me going about my way with the ability to have what I need.

    And guess what?


    If that was a good experience with knowledgeable people at the counter, where do you think I'll go back,
    where do you think I won't mind spending more for product,
    where do you think I'll go for knowledgeable people who answer questions correctly...


    This all adds into the pieces of the puzzle of a good buying experience. That supply house I mentioned, to this day, I would feel uncomfortable spending one dime inside their building given their attitude towards someone who is a master of one trade, not just an apprentice or walk off the street, someone who knows product in one field but not completely in another.

    That whole big issue of why I was there could of been answered quite quickly without jerking me around...

    you cannot operate a 50hz motor with 110 here in the states as it is a 60hz design, there is no cheap transformer as the motor will turn too many rpms higher than designed, which ruins the motor completely/causes it to overheat.

    $200 on **** for transformers, $134 for simple step-up transformers from that same establishment, and $100 at an electric motor service when they knew damn right well you cannot make that transition from 50 to 60hz without a transformer that can adjust the motor speed, which is a very bulky and expensive one...

    3 establishments let me spin my wheels spending money. Tell me how that attitude produces positive results. Seems to me like a good ole boys club, let the new guy figure out he's the one wasting his money.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  13. #58
    Like an engineer alternety's Avatar
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    Scuba Dave - I know you were trying for silly answers. But, most of those can be reasonably approximated using the internet. The lumberjack is easier. There are any number of lumberjacks around here that advertise they will take you trees down and give you the sawn lumber on-site. Or they will sell you the lumber fresh from their small sawmill from other peoples trees. now granted, this is kind of an area thing, but with small portable sawmills not isolated.

  14. #59
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    Actually the neighbor at my last house had a sawmill right next door
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

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