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  1. #1
    A_Pmech's Avatar
    A_Pmech is offline Stainless
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    Default Online metals and shipping.

    I tried Online Metals over the holidays partly out of curiosity and partly because they were easy (online ordering on their website that is). I needed a 1 x .125 x 2' section of free machining brass which the customer is to pay for. The shipping was insane at $11.71 for a $13.82 purchase but I went ahead and did it.

    Well, look what arrived via UPS yesterday:



    That's a toolbox size copy of Machinery's Handbook, not the desk copy!



    This is all that was inside. Two lousy feet of .125 bar stock and a greasy receipt wrapped around the end. Nothing like shipping 4 lbs of paper and cardboard packaging halfway across America for a 1 lb piece of bar stock. Somehow, I don't Online Metals will be getting my business in the future if that's the way they like to pack things. I'm afraid that if I order a 6" cutoff of 3" 4130 it will come strapped to a pallet.

    Feel free to laugh at my expense.

  2. #2
    gmatov is offline Diamond
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    That is kind of funny, but not funny ha-ha.

    How big would a 4 foot length box be?

    I have had delivered 4 foot lengths of brass from onlinemetalsupply, that is the address, that came in a tubular package. Wrapped corrugated around it. .090 SS in one package taped to the larger pieces.

    Be advised that they might not carry as many sizes as onlinemetals does.

    I think I have tried onlinemetals site and was put off by the price, till I found I couldn't get it anywhere else.

    Shipping, if you HAVE to pay for it, might eat at your guts a bit. Better less than more.

    I need a bit more. Have to look at them again.

    Cheers,

    George

  3. #3
    kdc
    kdc is offline Hot Rolled
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    The only ones making out on purchases from business or ebay purchases seem to be the shipping companies. Almost everything I buy costs more to ship than the original purchase did.

    I can see making a buck,but even the post office is high and you know the amount of stuff shipped in the last few years should be bringing the cost down instead of it going up constantly.....like the new increase that's coming the end of this month.

    I gotta admit that is a bit over the top for that little piece of metal though..... but it didn't get bent up and you have a nice box to ship something in.

  4. #4
    m_jerew is offline Plastic
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    next time try www.metalexpress.net they are cheaper and pack things more wisely

  5. #5
    Farmer Mike's Avatar
    Farmer Mike is offline Aluminum
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    I got a 6'x4" tube from enco containing 3'x3/16 drill rod in it. Thought it was overly excessive.

  6. #6
    jmead is offline Hot Rolled
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmatov View Post

    Shipping, if you HAVE to pay for it, might eat at your guts a bit. Better less than more.
    George,
    You HAVE to pay for it. Shipping is a legitimate service and it costs, it will be paid for one way or another. "Free shipping" is a joke.
    "Handling" is another word for markup.

    regards
    John

  7. #7
    MattW is offline Hot Rolled
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    Default Online Metals

    I just received an order from Online Metals, several 3' lengths of 1/4" tube. They were packed in an apropriately sized tube, with some filler material, however my pieces were bent to $hit, I believe prior to packing. I was going to gripe to them, and I probably should, but I'm using short pieces and it straightened out pretty well.

  8. #8
    A_Pmech's Avatar
    A_Pmech is offline Stainless
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    Quote Originally Posted by kdc View Post
    I gotta admit that is a bit over the top for that little piece of metal though..... but it didn't get bent up and you have a nice box to ship something in.
    That's pretty much what I said. "At least the box is reusable."

    You would think that a company shipping lots of long, narrow, flat and round things would stock tubes in their shipping dept instead of big, bulky rectangular boxes. I suppose they could have run out of tubes, yet somehow I don't think there was a run on bar stock and round over Christmas!

  9. #9
    true temper is offline Hot Rolled
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    Thumbs up

    I have placed 2 orders from www.speedymetals.com , both times there was no shipping charged. I never asked why, just one happy customer

  10. #10
    Barry Weeks is offline Stainless
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    Speedy Metals would ship that to you in a cardboard tube, and it will get to you so fast from Wisc. that it'll make your head spin. Whatever they charge for shipping is fine with me, I can't drive to Milwaukee (700 miles round trip) for $11.00 or whatever.

  11. #11
    Chris999 is offline Hot Rolled
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    I suspect the dude in the shipping department simply didn't have a appropriate size tube handy so he stuck it into that too large box because he was hung over and it was convenient.

    I would bet they lost money on that sale. The box alone would cost them $1.50 plus the time for the shipper to cut the stock and pack it up. The fact that a supplier would even bother with having an employee spend 15 minutes filling a 14 dollar order is surprising.

    Give me a break, $11.71 to have it dropped on your doorstep is damn cheap. For you to send an employee out to the local metal supermarket or equivalent would have cost more than that, plus they would probably charge an $8.00 cutting charge or something.

    Shipping services, especially the postal service within the US are very inexpensive. For me to mail a package that size within Canada would cost $20.00 and another $10.00 to send it across the border. And that's a lot less than UPS or Fedex would charge.

    10 years ago, before the interwebs and online metal suppliers it would have taken a week through a local metal supplier to get this if they didn't have it in stock...
    Count your blessings brother.

  12. #12
    Airborne is offline Stainless
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris999 View Post
    I would bet they lost money on that sale. The box alone would cost them $1.50
    Possibly.

    Or they could've just had an excess amount of 12x24x6 boxes that they wanted to get rid of. Who knows...

    $11.71 is a bit steep for shipping, but even a rock bottom shipping price for a ~2lb package would've been at least $6-7.

    So he's out $5. Boohoo.

  13. #13
    Racer Al's Avatar
    Racer Al is offline Stainless
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    +1 on SpeedyMetals.

    They've consistently beat the price listed on MetalExpress.com, and never charged shipping.

    I use MetalExpress to quote jobs.

  14. #14
    bobo_plenty is offline Aluminum
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    I order from onlinemetals every month or so because they are on the west coast and I know ground shipping will get to me quicker than ordering from somewhere in the midwest (that might beat price + shipping). Every order I have placed has been shipped same day and arrived promptly. I could drive 10 miles in LA to a "local" dealer and pay less for the materials and nothing for shipping but with LA traffic, that could be a whole day round trip. Even if it took me an hour to fetch the metal, the shipping rate is much cheaper that what I can bill by just working and letting UPS deliver the metal to me. My shipments have always come in appropriately sized packaging which leads me to belive that they ran out of boxes during the holiday rush (my order last week came in an 8ft tube stuffed with metal) and did their best to get your order out and in your hands with the packaging they had on hand.

  15. #15
    Finegrain is online now Titanium
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    How are you guys getting free shipping with Speedy Metals? They don't do that for me. What's the Secret Sauce?

    Finegrain

  16. #16
    RH68 is offline Aluminum
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    I've used just about all the companies listed in this thread. I think that Speedy Metals is the cheapest and fastest. I live in MD and the local MetalsExpress is only 30 min from my house. However, I just do this for a hobby and my day job makes it impossible for me to drive down there when they are open so I have to have stuff shipped. It takes 3 to 4 days for them to get stuff to me. Speedy Metals, which is 1500 miles away, has stuff on my doorstep 2 days after I order. And thats just regular ground shipping. Plus, they are always 25% to 50% cheaper then MetalExpress. MetalsExpress seems to have a $10 minimum for whatever you order. Go to there website and pick out a really small piece of something cheap like 1/4 rod and it will be $10. Double or triple the cut length and it will still be about the same price, maybe 20 cents more. With Speedy Metals, you might pay $1 for the same amount. It really adds up when you are ordering small amounts of lots of different stuff at one time. I'd rather pay $1+$1+$1+1$ for 4 things than $10+$10+$10+$10.

  17. #17
    mcm
    mcm is offline Aluminum
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    UPS charges by weight not the physical size of the box, so it would not have been any cheaper in a smaller box.

  18. #18
    Dave A is offline Titanium
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    Any of the above explanations make sense and it beat paying for gas and your time to get it. When I order metal from one of the online sources, I always get something else to have on hand and to make sure the shipping cost is spread over several items, instead of just one small piece of stock. I also write my cost, including shipping on the metal, so I can easily determine what a future customer should be charged for a portion or all of it.

  19. #19
    piniongear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A_Pmech View Post
    I tried Online Metals over the holidays partly out of curiosity and partly because they were easy (online ordering on their website that is). I needed a 1 x .125 x 2' section of free machining brass which the customer is to pay for. The shipping was insane at $11.71 for a $13.82 purchase but I went ahead and did it.
    I order from Online from time to time, and here is what you did wrong.
    You ordered 1 item only. There is a basic shipping and handling charge from the git go.
    I only order when I have a number of items to lump together. As you add each additional item the shipping charges increases very gradually. The brunt of the charge lies with the first item. Everything else that can go into that box will ship at a very reasonable rate and will pertain only the the added weight.
    With all that said, you may choose not to order again because of the initial charge, and I can understand that. And no, I am laughing at you or with you. None of us like to get hit with high shipping charges. For instance, I NEVER purchase powder or primers for reloading over the Internet because of the $20 hazardous shipping charge added to the standard cost to ship the items..............pg

  20. #20
    Rudd's Avatar
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    Online - I've griped about them before here, unfortunatly they are they are way cheaper than the only other supplier I could find for some oddball brass tube I use quite a bit. Last time I needed some, having already learned my hard lesson about placing orders online with them, I called 'em up. I need X amount of stock number such and such brass tube. "Great, can I have your CC number? " Sure, says I, but do you have that in stock? (ref. Hard lesson above) Why no, she sez, we'll have to order some, we are slap out, and we practice "just in time" delivery.

    I'm thinking, this woman has no earthly idea what that phrase means. So, I wait a couple weeks, consider ordering from the other source, customer says not to worry about time, they'd rather save money than time. OK, call back 2-3 weeks later, still out of stock. Verified the "still" part. Went ahead and ordered, got my stuff about 2 1/2 weeks later. Packaged in an appropriately sized tube, and not "pranged" as we used to say in the aircraft biz.

    I've ordered multiple items from Online, if they are out of one item, they hold the whole order up. YOu've got my email address, you've got my phone number. If you have a problem with my order, maybe you should let me know about it so I can decide what to do instead of sitting with my thumb all warmed up for a week and a half till I call?

    I like speedy, they are quick. Only prob I've ever had with them, I ordered some brass round and some steel tube, ground delivery, man was in some what of a hurry for the steel tube job, but normal 2-3 days was OK. Got the tube, opened it up, and had a brass round and a chunck of brass tube. Called 'em up, explained the situation, no worries he says, he's our UPS#, ship the brass tube back, and we'll ship the steel tube out GROUND. No, really, we screwed up, but you said ground shipping, so you get ground shipping for us to correct our mistake, if you want faster delivery, you can pay for it.

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