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I started in the plumbing field over 30 years ago. At the time wholesale suppliers sold only to licensed contractors . The supplier loyalty to the contractors really gave us a huge advantage in pricing and specialty items, Now days all the wholesalers cater to anyone and everyone. Handymen,Maintenance departments and homeowners. Yes our pricing is better but in the end our profits are smaller due to fact we now have a ceiling of what we can charge the customer.
I believe this practice is industry specific to plumbing. The HVAC and Electrical Suppliers in my area sell to contractors only.

Any thoughts?

John Craig
 

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AKA house plumber
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I blame it on all these tv shows where it looks like they build a house in 30 minutes. They are the ones that show the ho's how "easy" it is to remodel a bathroom so you don't have to hire a licensed contractor. I bet half the stuff they do isn't code compliant. I was watching ask this old house and the plumber (Richard Thuey or whatever) on there used a brass ferrell on a pex supply tube.
 

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My main wholesaler(about a year ago sold a complete hydronics system to a guy that had phoned me looking for price over phone. I said I need drawings of house. He said good bye. 2 weeks later he calls again, can u install my equipment I got frm********* wholesale. wtf.... thats my wholesaler. I called them, and they said it was new co, policey to increase sales. I decreaded those sales by about 200k a year.:brows:
They keep callin me back wondering why I don't grace them with my $$$$. Oh well.:whistling2:
 

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Illinois Licensed Plumber
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4,253 Posts
I noticed that around here as well. Plumbing supply houses sell to anyone, but the HVAC supplies you have to be a contractor with them and have an account. It always rubbed me the wrong way.

The other thing that annoys me is manufactures saying how they only sell to pro's but then you see their product online being sold at the same prices we pay for them sometimes even less. Or you find them in hardware stores with very little markup on them.
 

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www.DunbarPlumbing.com
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5,478 Posts
Gotta ask yourself what the gain is for the plumbing supply house to sell exclusively to plumbers for a reduced cost.



Now ask yourself if you would limit your customers to those who are living in 100,000.00 homes and want better pricing than the one who randomly spends and lives in a 1/4 million dollar home.

I'm talking frequency here.

Plumbing supply houses will take every dollar they can get right now...and big box stores offer more inventory (these days) with the customer given the ability to touch/feel/see what they're buying.

You don't get that at a plumbing supply house these days.

You get an aged book with very little pictures, then you're brought back toi the land of cardboard boxes and stray, homeless fittings here and there.

And to open a new box is almost insulting to the counter boy that expects you to "just buy" and move on.

Two of my suppliers has a showroom separate from their supply house and I cannot see how they are staying afloat.

When everyone sees what is purchased out of a big box store, the level of "risk" goes way down when people talk to each other and mention they bought at the big box stores.


In the big picture, these supply houses will probably get bought up by one huge company and there won't be diversity. It's the only way they are going to compete at this point because the hard losses are stacking up.....and with the big box stores seeing the steady,

prepare the grave yard for some new attendants. :blink:
 

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I blame it on all these tv shows where it looks like they build a house in 30 minutes. They are the ones that show the ho's how "easy" it is to remodel a bathroom so you don't have to hire a licensed contractor. I bet half the stuff they do isn't code compliant. I was watching ask this old house and the plumber (Richard Thuey or whatever) on there used a brass ferrell on a pex supply tube.
That's exactly it!:thumbup:
Blame it right where it started with Bob Villa and this old house...:whistling2:
Everyone became a know it all cause they saw how easy it was on TV...
Then came Big Box stores to cater to them.

Both Us and the Plumbing Supply Houses are in a fight for survival because of it.

How it plays out remains to be seen but there is going to be a whole lot of adapting going on and those who fail to adapt will be hanging around with T-Rex down at the museum...

Add in the wonderful economy and the ones who adapt to the conditions may survive. Rest assured no bailouts are in the cards for us. Even though the ones who are getting the bailouts don't come close to deserving them...

It seems to qualify for a bailout you have to be a banker or, investor who through a series of bad choices became a person that deserved to be in a museum next to the T-Rex fossil...

But for some odd reason the goverment steps in and interferes with Darwin's Theory of Evolution bailing thes inept bankers and investors out...

I have the bailout plan that would have worked much better than throwing billions of dollars of money to those that have aready demonstrated an inability to handle money...


All we hear of is golden parachutes, bonuses, & and money shifted overseas....
  • My plan would be a one time payout of $230 trillion and not one penny more...
  • Give $1M to every Working American Citizen that is 25 or, older.
  • If the own a house they must pay off the morgage!
  • If they are renting they must buy a house and pay for it with their money from the pay out.
  • Money left over must then be used to buy a new car with a majority of it's parts made in this country and it must be assembled in this country.
  • Then money left over must be used to buy applianceswith a majority of it's parts made in this country and it must be assembled in this country.
  • And so on until $5K remains and that must go into a basic savings account.
Any one wanna vote for me? :laughing:
Redwood for President 2012
 

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only one problem see. It should be one million to every WORKING american citizen. Yeah, you have my vote
Change made sorry about that!
It was not my intention to take care of non-working citizens...:laughing:
We know where they need to be...
 

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Drain Cleaning Specialist
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Supply houses must love Jo Home owners questions. I know if I'm ever in a Depot or lowes for anything I make sure I don't have a a company shirt and park far away.
I need ah its about this big by that long by this wide and you screw it in. :laughing:
 

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Supply houses must love Jo Home owners questions. I know if I'm ever in a Depot or lowes for anything I make sure I don't have a a company shirt and park far away.
I need ah its about this big by that long by this wide and you screw it in. :laughing:
I find it even more fun to see what Homer sends the DIYer out the door with. Stand around and watch that some times...:laughing:

 

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A market is a market. Assuming you have a 100 item demand per year in a given market, then you're only going to sell 100 items in that area.

Why a wholesaler would confuse that market by selling directly to the end user is beyond me. It has cost them relationships and sales in the end. By trying to be more competitive, they have actually only confused and are diluting their market share by forcing those that buy from them professionally to seek a product or service that isn't offered over the counter to the end user. If this means their old clients switch brands or buy from out of the market area, then they will do that in order to try to stay competitive.

Its a myopic view and an act of desperation for a wholesaler to think that there is profit or numbers to be had in selling to Joe Homeowner. They have a professional and highly trained staff in sales, and they are supported dollar wise by having a professional and highly trained customer, the Plumber. Why would you take that high dollar sales force and turn their attention away from those they can help quickly and in high volume to those that require hand holding and and education before they are even smart enough to know what they want? The answer is, you can't. Even WalMart and Home Depot realize that. That is why finding help in one of those places is almost as hard as finding a product made in North America.

The biggest problem is, its also a Pandora's box. Once they start, they can't just turn off that strategy or they risk losing the end user sales and thus reduce their total market share in the area. The opposite of what they wanted in the first place.

Once you piss a plumber off, you can't unpiss him.

One day, the accountants and the lawyers of this world will realize that when all is said and done, the stock holder is much less important than the customer. Until then, get in the bread line and have your tin cups at the ready. It's gonna be a bumpy ride.
 

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Drain Cleaning Specialist
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That's exactly it!:thumbup:
Blame it right where it started with Bob Villa and this old house...:whistling2:
Everyone became a know it all cause they saw how easy it was on TV...
Then came Big Box stores to cater to them.

Both Us and the Plumbing Supply Houses are in a fight for survival because of it.

How it plays out remains to be seen but there is going to be a whole lot of adapting going on and those who fail to adapt will be hanging around with T-Rex down at the museum...

Add in the wonderful economy and the ones who adapt to the conditions may survive. Rest assured no bailouts are in the cards for us. Even though the ones who are getting the bailouts don't come close to deserving them...

It seems to qualify for a bailout you have to be a banker or, investor who through a series of bad choices became a person that deserved to be in a museum next to the T-Rex fossil...

But for some odd reason the goverment steps in and interferes with Darwin's Theory of Evolution bailing thes inept bankers and investors out...

I have the bailout plan that would have worked much better than throwing billions of dollars of money to those that have aready demonstrated an inability to handle money...



All we hear of is golden parachutes, bonuses, & and money shifted overseas....
  • My plan would be a one time payout of $230 trillion and not one penny more...
  • Give $1M to every Working American Citizen that is 25 or, older.
  • If the own a house they must pay off the morgage!
  • If they are renting they must buy a house and pay for it with their money from the pay out.
  • Money left over must then be used to buy a new car with a majority of it's parts made in this country and it must be assembled in this country.
  • Then money left over must be used to buy applianceswith a majority of it's parts made in this country and it must be assembled in this country.
  • And so on until $5K remains and that must go into a basic savings account.
Any one wanna vote for me? :laughing:
Redwood for President 2012
Sounds great Only problem. "Greed" Soon after The first 1 million dollar payments you would see the frist $100.00 dollar Snickers bar $350.00 for a bag of Lay's chips $50.00 roll of toilet paper.
 

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Sounds great Only problem. "Greed" Soon after The first 1 million dollar payments you would see the frist $100.00 dollar Snickers bar $350.00 for a bag of Lay's chips $50.00 roll of toilet paper.
Yep like greed had nothing to do with the shape we are in today...:laughing:
 

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Drain Cleaning Specialist
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2,076 Posts
You got it we as a people will never learn. Greedy greedy.

Would be nice even if goverment took people who had ajustable morgages but bought smart not stupid people who buy a 400k home on 43k per year income.
My morgage sucks But I bought cheap because of the adjustable rate I knew I would get hit with. Would be Nice if Uncle Sam would reward me buy buying out my loan. Because I'm on time with payments and broke. Reward me with a 1%-2% APR on my home loan
would be bail out for me. I would be doing cart wheels.
 
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