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Thread: Buying material from the big box stores. Good idea or not? Top five reasons not to

  1. #16
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    One thing the pros have to consider is that their pricing is generally much better at their supplier's store verses some non-pro walking in off the street buying the same thing. This is where the big box stores can be a good thing. For example, I was in my local plumbing store and their price on a WM shutoff valve was over 2x what I paid for it at HD - same brand, same part number, and as far as I can tell, the same quality. ANyway, it works. I last was looking for some duct insulation sleeves - their price for the same R-factor was twice as much as at HD, and they had to get what I wanted from their 'other' store...HD had it - walked in and walked out with it, and did it on a Sunday when I wanted to go out, not the limited hours of the supply store. There is a place for them - you do need to recognize when the quality may not be equal, and watch the prices, just like anything a smart buyer should be doing.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  2. #17
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Post(s) removed by John Whipple
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    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

  3. #18
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    qutoe; their pricing is generally much better at their supplier's store verses some non-pro walking in off the street buying the same thing It had BETTER be, or I will stop buying at that supplier's store. If YOU can come in and buy it at my price, why would you pay me what I have to charge to make a profit. If they sell it to you at my price, they are my competitor and I don't do business with my competitors.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Post(s) removed by John Whipple
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    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

  5. #20
    DIY Senior Member DougB's Avatar
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    Having grown up in a family that was in wholesale business – I think I have a good view of where it was and where it is going:

    Yeah, in 1965 we had ‘dealer net’ prices, and list prices (usually double). This was supposed to discourage normal ‘stiffs’ off the street from buying all our ‘secret’ merchandise, and support our trade customers. Like fittings, motors, tubing, controls, were proprietary items? – hell the sign on the building didn’t even say what we sold – just ABC supply.

    The revolution is because of communication, transportation, and distribution. The internet is really just a big indexing service, where you can get connected to goods and services offered by people who want to do business. And with transportation you can get goods delivered without running around all over town, or coming back cause it’s at our other store, or waiting for us to back order it (when I think about it, it's been a long time since I needed to back order something - there's always someone who has it in stock). That alone saves all the labor / time wasted running for parts.

    The wholesaler’s / suppliers that want to operate in a 1965 business model are going to be fewer and fewer. Here in Minneapolis, a very large plumbing supply, and lumber yard have gone under in the last 10 years.

    The problem as I see it, is that the big box stores have somewhat focused on ‘discount’ / cheap merchandise. I predict that there will be an upscale big box chain where you can buy better quality sinks, faucets, water heaters, tile, etc.
    If a hammer won't fix it, it's an electrical problem.

  6. #21
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    What are the...reasons not to go to the box store?

    1) Junk parts or inferior quality

    2). Unskilled service staff and often poor advice given out.

    What are reasons three, four and five?
    I doubt there are any more, and even the first two must be taken with a grain of salt. Yes, there are some things I cannot get without going to a specialty house, but now I finally live near one that treats DIYers like real people.

    Quote Originally Posted by DougB View Post
    The revolution is because of communication, transportation, and distribution...

    The wholesalers / suppliers that want to operate in a 1965 business model are going to be fewer and fewer.
    Agreed.
    "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people." --Eleanor Roosevelt

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