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  • #16
    Re: Plumbing Wholesaler problem!!!!!

    I've never heard of any rules although some manufacturer's may limit their product to authorized installers for warranty purposes. As for pricing you always need to have several sources for material and check them against each other often. Most suppliers will rate the Contractor and then base the discount the are given on the rating they were given.
    In addition, some suppliers have a better price from the manufacturer on an item so they can sell that item cheaper. Half of making a profit is buying right to begin with. Ask your store manager what column they give you when pricing materials?

    Mark
    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: Plumbing Wholesaler problem!!!!!

      Thats what kind of got me heated today my other supplier in the town over beat their price to me by 140 bones. I spend at least 10 ours a month checking pricing and fixing overpriced invoices, but this was my first time i felt like i got played and it makes me mad cause i try so hard to keep them on their toes

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: Plumbing Wholesaler problem!!!!!

        100k a year on parts is a decent loss to the supplier. at a 10% profit on your purchases that's a 10k loss. at 20% that's 20k.

        at todays times when supply house #'s are down. they will be begging for your loyalty.

        they're selling to the diy because they need the business.

        most suppliers used to be wholesale only. today they will sell a slip joint washer to the guy off the street.

        i don't mind them selling retail, but we should be served first and not have to wait for them to figure out what they need. there are typically 6 different price points on the computer for them to choose from. we better be at a better point than the guy off the street.

        go over your account with the manager and see where you stand.

        rick.
        phoebe it is

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        • #19
          Re: Plumbing Wholesaler problem!!!!!

          As long as I've been in this trade I've seen the Weekly struggle between contractor and his material.I've seen a guy have a sit down on a saturday with the manager and a matter of days later find something else jacked.There is no letting up.

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          • #20
            Re: Plumbing Wholesaler problem!!!!!

            The local Ferguson's is always charging me a boatload it seems, but they have 4 locations nearby and it is very convenient, so I end up going there anyway. There is another small local supplier in town that seems to give much better deals but they only have one, inconvenient location and their service is slow. I guess you get what you pay for.
            I really need to make an extra effort and start shopping the little guy exclusively. The savings over the year would likely be tremendous. I'll just have to keep more stuff in stock in my shop to save time. I was thinking to keep the common water heaters and toilets that I often sell in my shop, so they are readily available.
            Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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            • #21
              Re: Plumbing Wholesaler problem!!!!!

              Originally posted by drtyhands View Post
              As long as I've been in this trade I've seen the Weekly struggle between contractor and his material.I've seen a guy have a sit down on a saturday with the manager and a matter of days later find something else jacked.There is no letting up.


              That's why you never extend loyalty to any one supply house.


              I have a buddy in the plumbing business that will email 7 suppliers, with the list of all the emails he sent the request for pricing to.


              Depends on how bad they want the sale. What is awesome though is he'll accept the bid knowing the big ticket items were minimally priced but they tried to mark up the little stuff like angle stops/risers and all that material that has small numbers attached to it.

              It's smart spending no doubt, but one of the supply houses at the end of the year got beligerent with him and said hey look, 70 grand of inventory ran through our hands to yours and we didn't make hardly anything.


              Good for him, bad for the supply house. Having them compete for everything changes the dimension of just the average guy walking through the door accepting their going price.

              I believe it is a good rule to practice and keeps those supply houses on their toes.



              I haven't bought anywhere but Home Depot lately and those numbers are under $100 in the past few weeks. Residential plumbing service allows for minimal spending and usually the repairs connotate very little parts, lots of labor.

              Drain cleaning is even better as that money is more of a total labor charge than consumables like needing a faucet/toilet and what not.


              There's two plumbing supply houses that lost my income this year. One I have no regrets either. The guy is a **** and everyone around him is understanding that if you can't get along with the Watts rep, that's not the fault of the plumbers walking through your door. Plumbers get used to product mfg. and don't like to change, no matter what.
              Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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              • #22
                Re: Plumbing Wholesaler problem!!!!!

                Great idea on the shop till they drop. Im implementing the same attitude for 2009 shop stock and buy in bulk on routine items putty,pipedope,gloves,angle stops,lav supplys,pvc pipe,fittings,pex,and shop till they drop on fixtures,wh,pumps,and big ticket items and just pass the time of delivery to notice needed. Plumber need to win the game in 2009 thats my motto

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Plumbing Wholesaler problem!!!!!

                  When buying in bulk, the greatest savings derive from freight free direct shipments from manufacturers (through a wholesaler). To qualify for freight free requires a minimum order, but the savings can be substantial. I buy Brasscraft, Sioux Chief, LSP, Harvey's and Oatey this way. Coupling this strategy with multiple quotes reveals that some suppliers get better pricing from manufacturers then others do, however 7 quotes is a bit excessive. With experience you can ascertain who the players are and narrow it down to 3 or 4. Items like pipe, tube and fittings and tubular also benefit from bulk purchasing and multiple bids.
                  If a supplier complains, ask them how they buy. Do they get multiple bids? Are they in a buyer's group? There is nothing unethical with this type of activity. Selling wholesale to a retail customer, on the other hand, is unethical. I doubt if the supplier who sold directly to DoubleL's customer would like it if local plumbers like DoubleL started to buy directly from manufacturers.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Plumbing Wholesaler problem!!!!!

                    Originally posted by DoubleL View Post
                    The store manager wants to meet with me on Friday so I need some more suggestions and good ammo for the meeting!!!!! I would like to know if there are rules that wholesalers have to abide by if not it looks as if i might become a small operation to get cuts on all my material. I know i spend over 100,000 a year on parts maybe i should open up my own showroom!!!! Thanks guys
                    Your spending 100K with them! And your worried about more ammo when you talk to him? He should be worried when he talks to you.

                    Remember to speak calmly and no threats, but tell him that you are reconsidering where you purchase your materials. Let him know that you are reviewing all of your purchasing and there are more options available today than ever before; local wholesalers, web-based, out of town wholesalers, mail order houses, etc. Many will pay frieght charges and some will discount two per cent and pay freight on orders over a certain amount, when paid by credit card.

                    Tell him if he can't treat you like a valued customer, he will be losing out more than you. It is always easier for us to find places to buy than it is for them (wholesalers, car dealers, insurance agents) to find buyers.

                    Throw your weight around a little, quietly.

                    I have a friend in the heating business who receives a free cruise or winter vacation each year from either his wholesaler or the furnace manufactuer. While not as common in the plumbing industry, spiffs like this are ( or used to be) given out to the valued customers. Does this supplier do this? Have you ever been included?

                    You have 100k worth of ammo, use it to the best of your ability.

                    One question before you use the ammo. Do you discount all of your bills? If not, the ammo will not be as effective.
                    _________________
                    Last edited by APHCO; 12-25-2008, 12:22 PM.

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                    • #25
                      Re: Plumbing Wholesaler problem!!!!!

                      Great stuff to let you know I mark up my parts service 25% on small items and 15% on the big ticket items. In my new construction jobs I mark up my delta 15% on homeowner build and 6% on builder with over 3 builds a yr. Been working and able to grow the past 3 yrs. Only been running service truck for 11months I like the pay better and thank god i started the transition with the housing market plunge.

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                      • #26
                        Re: Plumbing Wholesaler problem!!!!!

                        suggestion on the mail order supply housed got any names or recomendatons i havent thought of this route but good info!!!!!!!!!

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Plumbing Wholesaler problem!!!!!

                          Barnett and Hodes are the first two that come to mind. There are others on the net but I have never dealt with them. My preference is Hodes.

                          You might want to check pricing from a supplier in a neighboring state that will ship to you. Paying by credit card is good for both you and the supplier and as I said before, sometimes you can get your 2% discount on top of using the CC.

                          ------------------------------
                          additional thoughts in the morning:

                          When talking to the wholesaler do not be rude, crude or lewd. Let him know that you are not some butt-crack handyman-plumber. You are a professional contractor who spends a goodly sum of money each year purchasing plumbing products for resale. You are not requesting to be treated as such, rather you are demanding to be treated as the businessman that you are.

                          If he values the one purchase customer more than you, it is his choice. And it is your choice where you give the majority of your business.

                          Sorry for the additional rant. I woke up thinking how often this happens and how it affects our profit margins as an industry. There are still suppliers that do not sell to the public and we should be giving most of our business to them, even though it is sometimes necessary to buy from the others on occasion
                          Last edited by APHCO; 12-25-2008, 12:23 PM. Reason: add content

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                          • #28
                            Re: Plumbing Wholesaler problem!!!!!

                            For those that insist to call 5 supply houses-Does it bother you if a customer checks with 5 plumbers? Just thinking.

                            From my short time working at a supply houses.

                            They had 4 tier pricing. What's interesting is that most (supply houses) only use 2 of them. 1 for contractors & 1 for the homeowner/guy off the street. And the ones I was experienced with did not give a better % or multiplier to the contractor that bought $50,000 more than the other guy. The only way to get a better price was through volume quotes with the RIGHT person at the supply house & you they had to work with you to "make freight". Sometimes it's worth it-but sometimes I think you would just be better off investing that product money in other areas and just purchasing your normal column 4 contractor price as you need the supplies.

                            The two prices:

                            Contractor price was a decent wholesale price.
                            The homeowner/guy off the street price was WAY high.

                            This worked for a long time but now is changing. The onset of the internet and the rise of the HD's & Lowes of the world have forced the traditional supply houses to align prices with them. Not only for the homeowner/guy off the street but also the contractor.

                            EX.
                            If HD has the same solder, glue, fittings for 35% less-homeowners AND
                            contractors will buy there instead. This has already been proven.

                            A traditional supply house makes almost nothing on a water heater, tub, large ticket item. People have the mentality that if it's $1,000.00 that they're making money on it. Not true. It's never what you charge, it's what you're able to keep. They make their money on the small consumables with a good percentage markup.

                            Now some of the manufacturers are actually trying to bypass the supply houses. I've received direct marketing information myself from two major players. And my business is tiny!

                            The future-I'm starting to think that the contractor traditional markup is going to go by the wayside and you should just put that percentage into your labor.

                            I'm finding the first thing a customer does is check behind me on the internet on ANY product.

                            J.C.

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                            • #29
                              Re: Plumbing Wholesaler problem!!!!!

                              My suppliers had 4-columns and were using the same pricing book I was using on my desk. I often did not even ask for a price I only asked which column they were giving me. I had two regular wholesale houses, one local wholesaler (conviennent but over-priced) and one wholesaler I only used for Wilkins. The guy I bought my Wilkins from was high on everything else but about 25% lower on Wilkins.

                              It is also important to have a salesman and not a random counter guy picking which column you get.

                              Mark
                              "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                              I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: Plumbing Wholesaler problem!!!!!

                                Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                                For those that insist to call 5 supply houses-Does it bother you if a customer checks with 5 plumbers? Just thinking.

                                From my short time working at a supply houses.

                                They had 4 tier pricing. What's interesting is that most (supply houses) only use 2 of them. 1 for contractors & 1 for the homeowner/guy off the street. And the ones I was experienced with did not give a better % or multiplier to the contractor that bought $50,000 more than the other guy. The only way to get a better price was through volume quotes with the RIGHT person at the supply house & you they had to work with you to "make freight". Sometimes it's worth it-but sometimes I think you would just be better off investing that product money in other areas and just purchasing your normal column 4 contractor price as you need the supplies.

                                The two prices:

                                Contractor price was a decent wholesale price.
                                The homeowner/guy off the street price was WAY high.

                                This worked for a long time but now is changing. The onset of the internet and the rise of the HD's & Lowes of the world have forced the traditional supply houses to align prices with them. Not only for the homeowner/guy off the street but also the contractor.

                                EX.
                                If HD has the same solder, glue, fittings for 35% less-homeowners AND
                                contractors will buy there instead. This has already been proven.

                                A traditional supply house makes almost nothing on a water heater, tub, large ticket item. People have the mentality that if it's $1,000.00 that they're making money on it. Not true. It's never what you charge, it's what you're able to keep. They make their money on the small consumables with a good percentage markup.

                                Now some of the manufacturers are actually trying to bypass the supply houses. I've received direct marketing information myself from two major players. And my business is tiny!

                                The future-I'm starting to think that the contractor traditional markup is going to go by the wayside and you should just put that percentage into your labor.

                                I'm finding the first thing a customer does is check behind me on the internet on ANY product.

                                J.C.
                                That J.C., he's a smart one!
                                spodelee

                                Until lions have their own storytellers, stories of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter

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