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Plumbing Contractor
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I remember reading somewhere that some one mention that a Professional plumber shouldn't go to the big box stores. Send out a bad message. I do agree to a certian degree.

My question is to all members? What do you do for parts after hours?

Example: It's 8 pm and Supply house is closed and possibly on the other side of town. You have a customers house water turned off due to a leak. You begin the work and notice you are one fitting short or have a faulty fitting!

Do you:
A. go to the supply house and pay $50-$75 to have some one come and open it for a $2 part?

B. Go to the big Box store?

C. Call a friend that is a plumber that lives close by to see if he might have the part?

I know I run short on material every once in a while. I do remember getting a bag of 1/2 copper 90's that were deformed (didn't notice it until had to open the bag up) I bought them for my supply house earlier that day for truck stock.
 

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I have in my closet a few competitors shirts with the names on them. :laughing: Change shirts before I need to go into one of those stores.:laughing:
 

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I wrote about work trucks / uniformed plumbers in stores. We do go there when absolutely necessary. If we need a small part and we are a mile away from Lowes, we don't drive 10 miles to the supply house.

More or less, I was referring to the plumbers who have never stepped foot in a supply house.

BTW - an employee at Lowes has referred many customers to us. Mainly tub/shower conversions.
 

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I have in my closet a few competitors shirts with the names on them. :laughing: Change shirts before I need to go into one of those stores.:laughing:
:eek::laughing:

Call a plumber I work with first. Go to Blowes only in emergency cases. Went and bought a toliet supply after hours because I broke the nut after I had to pull the toliet to unstop the HO sewer.
 

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Then I hand out my cards to DIY'er that pass me by, saying if you need help, don't call the one seen on this shirt, but call who is seen on the cards. :laughing:

Just kidding around I don't really do this.
 

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If ya gotta have something. I guess ya gotta do whatever it takes to make the customer happy.

I like to walk through lowes just to see the conglomerations of fittings folks are carrying around:blink:. I've even mentioned a better way to a few of em.

For fun sometime. Weigh a bag of 3/4" 90's from lowes and one from your wholesaler. Same amount in each one obviously.
 

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I try to remember everything, but when I do need something my first choice is a supply house, then Lowe's, then if all else fails, then Home Blepo.
 

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I never buy plumbing or gas supplies from HD,or Lo.,I don't care how far I have to drive.Everyone crying about the work shortage and then patronizing the big box stores which are trying to break the legitimate contractors back.
 

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ill go there im not better than any one if i need some thing and there closer i will go.....i will even choose them over a supply house down river that has a bunch of old cranky *******s working there.....for most of my stuff i call and it gets dilevered to the job or my house
 

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I go to Lowe's and Homey for things that I can't get at the supply house. For example, when I say 'donut,' the folks at the supply house show me something not at all what I'm looking for. I get canvas tarps, bits for my Roto-Zip, hand cleaner that I can't get the supply house to carry, and when I do things like build cabinets around the house, I buy lumber that I could never get at the local lumberyard, which went out of business after the influx of box stores.

So they're my competition: why not let my competition help my business? Truthfully, my real competition is the DIY market and it hurts me bad, but I blame the consumers for that, not the store that uses a good business model to give them what they want.
 

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Sorry, I disagree with you Herk

As a business owner - I disagree with Lowes / Home Depot having no blame in the DIY dept. When you sell name brands like American Standard, Insinkerator, Delta etc. and market them to homeowners who have no idea that they are not getting the same product as the plumbers, I think that is wrong. Homeowner's don't know that the tub/shower faucets don't have integral stops. Homeowner's don't realize the Kohler toilet they buy isn't the same one in the plumbing supply showroom. Lowes / HD should be held RESPONSIBLE and inform their customers of the possible consequences of "DIY." Most times they don't. We installed on 2 different ocassions Kohler Highline All in one box, comfort height toilets (supplied by owner, purchased from Lowes). When we saw the overspray on the underside of bowl, we thought they must be the toilets that are not good enough to go to the supply houses. We got called back on both these toilets. Leak at base. Pulled and reset. Called back again. We knew it couldn't be the seal/flange etc. We waited at least 30 minutes and saw the smallest amount of water seeping from the china. Pinhole leaks! The HO wasn't happy to pay us to put their 2nd Lowes toilet in.

Also - I don't like the fact they subcontract their plumbing installs out for next to nothing!

:) As a homeowner, I must admit - I love to shop there. I just don't buy any of the plumbing products. With the exception of the rare item that we don't have in our shop.
 

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Oh, there's plenty of blame. But sometimes you have to take advantage of a bad situation. If it can help my business, I need to consider how spiteful to be. They aren't going to go away any time soon.

I've had customers supply their own fixtures and then after seeing them say they'd never shop at Homey again. In one instance, it was an Americast tub that had a hole clear through it from a forklift.

I've had trouble with fixtures from home centers since long before Home Depot was a gleam in anyone's eye. Decorative fountain external flush rim toilets come to mind. :laughing:

I've had Kohler toilets 20+ years ago that were cast so badly that they wouldn't fit together - and that never happened from a supply house.
 

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I'll go when i have to. the chilis we just finished was in a lowes parking lot and the supply house is a 20 min drive.
 

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i work in a rural area where it is 30 min to big box or supply house, so i get delivery from supply house 2 times a week or go to local hardware store where the owners are my customer and the employees send me a ton of work. big box only for tools or non plumbing items
 

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ill use blowes and home crappo as an absolute last resort. i try to keep a decent size inventory but one of my wholesalers has a 24 hour guy and they dont mind too much getting you something in a pinch. i usually find the guy who helped me the next friday when hes off call and take him out for a beer. also the wholesaler treats it like a plumbers on call and pays his guys time and a half at no cost to us.
 

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I try to deal with wholesalers mainly. However, sometimes it cost me less to go Lowes or Home Depot and I will. Lately more and more our own suppliers are our competition. I have had two jobs in the past 6 months that Ferguson delivered my materials. More and more builders purchase their own jetted tubs to save money and our own supplier delivers the materials. At least with Lowe's or home depot you know you have the love coming, but your own suppliers!?! They always use the lame excuse that they sell direct at list. Hmmm... So my suppliers who make huge profits off of me year round takes my ability to sell and mark up fixtures and keeps it as well for themselves.... this is not adding up fellas.

Who is the lessor of 2 evils?
 
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