Fastenal Bolt prices
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  1. #1
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    Default Fastenal Bolt prices

    I am lucky enough to have both a Fastenal and a Graingers nearby. Usually buy non-critical hardware at Home Depot but the local one does not stock anything in 7/16 diameter.

    I needed four black oxide 7/16-14 SHCS about 3/4" long to install a set of vise jaws. I stopped at Graingers today (Friday) and they sell a pack of 25 for $10.They were not in stock but they could have them Monday. I wanted them for the weekend so I decided to try Fastenal. Their guy brought out a pack of 25 one inch long as they did not have 3/4" either. Since one inch would work I asked how much and the guy said $53. I thought I mis-heard him so I asked again. Sure enough they wanted $53 so I declined.

    I just checked Macmaster Car on line and the sell a pack of 25 for $12.

    Is Fastenal always this big of a rip-off? Five times Graingers price seems ridiculous.

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    You are lucky They even talk to You. Where I live the standard answer is NO. While trying to pay no attention to You.

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    I won't buy anything from Fastenal, I needed some socket head cap screws and they said they could order them at 4 times the price from McMaster-Carr. Mc Master had them here the next day and Fastenal is only 4 miles from me.

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    Fastenal just doesn’t care about you, you aren’t their target customer. Single source an entire factory to use Fastenal hardware and it’s really cheap.

    Without a corporate discount the only thing Fastenal has a good price on is freight…

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    I never use fastenal, their prices are nuken futz.

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    Someone has to pay for all them pick up trucks.....

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    Fastenal is useless up here as well. The GTA stores got the “Amazon contract”. Their customer service went from non-existent to outright refusing to deal with anything less than multi-thousand dollar orders.

    Which at their inflated prices may not get you much.

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    My industrial customers tried fastenal.

    "great prices! Huge discount, 80% off" Eventually they realized it was 80% off grossly inflated price. They also found that the bolt usage skyrocketed. Turns out that fastenal would pack every nook and cranny with bolts.

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    I think I remember for me it was a box of 50 10-32 x 1 button head screws. They had to order them in and it took a week. Then when they came in, I went to pick them up, and the invoice was something like $33. I did the double take, yup, that's the price. I haven't ever gone back, they simply don't exist in my world.

    PS....if we could have a nickle for every fastenal rip-off or counter idiot story we'd all be millionaires.

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    I'll make the nuts before I go back there.
    Called local fasten-nil for 1¼-12 nuts. Yup, got 'em.
    The punk had them on the counter. Told him, nope wrong pitch. That's what you asked for. That's a 7 pitch. I need a 12 pitch. Now he's pissed. So whadda ya want me to do? Uh, get the right ones would be your next step. Told me he'll call when in. He didn't. I called him. Yeah, they're here. Typical asshole response. I'm in a helluva hurry to get this piston rod done. Run down there to find more 1¼-7 nuts on the counter. Shouldn't have, but I sorta exploded.....alot! Drove 40 miles south to get the right ones.

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    Only thing I found Fastenal good for was their shipping service. Of course the down side to that is ya gotta deal with the local idiot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Superbowl View Post
    I am lucky enough to have both a Fastenal and a Graingers nearby. Usually buy non-critical hardware at Home Depot but the local one does not stock anything in 7/16 diameter.
    I would not consider that lucky, I don't even think I purchase from either of them combined even an average of once a year. I order from McMaster sometimes as often as multiple times in one week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan from Oakland View Post
    Only thing I found Fastenal good for was their shipping service. Of course the down side to that is ya gotta deal with the local idiot.
    Problem is last I checked they won't ship across regions, it is either East to East or West to West.

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    I used to work their 10 years ago and if you were even a small shop (spend a few K a month) the pricing was pretty good. But walkins yeah it will be quadruple what the target customers would pay. I have heard things haven't gotten even worse over the years for both walkins and smaller customers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shop Supply Guru View Post
    I used to work their 10 years ago and if you were even a small shop (spend a few K a month) the pricing was pretty good. But walkins yeah it will be quadruple what the target customers would pay. I have heard things haven't gotten even worse over the years for both walkins and smaller customers.

    I knew a former employee as well. He said their sales meetings were a study in weirdness and contradictions. One month, it's "discourage counter sales". Next month, it's "sales are down, be nice to all walk ins"!

    I also now remembered a year or so after my experience in post #9 above, I got a call from that same store, branch manager. He was giddy that they were now selling various metal stock in 3ft and 6ft lengths. I think he must have called all the local machine shops. He sent me an email and it was pretty impressive but no prices listed. I went down to the store because, heck, it would be really handy to have such stock local 10 miles away. Then I asked about pricing.......which didn't sound too bad and I immediately thought it was weird, must be super low promotional pricing. Well, come to find out, those were prices PER INCH not per length or per foot. I had severe instant sticker shock. And walked out. Forget that !!

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    Our local outlet... I went down there a while back, shopping for some ½" automotive exhaust studs. Fine thread/coarse thread.

    NAPA wanted around $3.50 each, had them in stock, but I'm cheap. Online, they were around $2.50 I didn't really HAVE to have them right-frickin-now, so I went shopping around.

    Got to Fastenal.

    "Yep, $1.50 each in packs of 10" I'll have to order them.... is that OK?"

    I said I'll take it.

    "They'll be here Friday. Give me your number and I'll call you when they get here."

    That was 4 days in the future. I called that Friday... "where they at?"

    "Oh, it turns out the vendor we order them from doesn't ship us orders until we reach a $300 threshhold.... I'll call you."
    I should have inquired whether that was $300 from that particular store, or company wide, but I didn't.

    Like I said, they weren't an immediate need because I had other things to work on before I needed them.

    A week later, I called. "Nope, I'll call you."

    Getting kinda antsy, now. To hedge my bets, I had a friend order those I'd located on Amazon..

    She said "the order form shows they'll be shipped tomorrow and be here in 4 days."

    In 4 days even THOSE didn't show up.

    She checked her Amazon order form, and they'd changed the arrival time to "they've shipped, but no arrival time"

    I'd went back to Fastenal... "hey, you remember me?" to a different counterman... original guy was setting in an adjoining office, looked up at me, then back down at cell phone...

    Them: "No"

    Me: "Well, I ordered 10 of these studs... any idea?"

    Them:

    Me: Well, supposedly had them ordered and were waiting on order dollar amount to reach certain threshold.

    Them: tapping computer keyboard... "hmmm... I don't see any order for you or for any studs..."

    Me: Bell on exit door dinging as I leave.

    Also me, to friend who ordered from Amazon: "Hey, any news?"

    Her: "No"

    Her, 2 weeks later: "They're here"

    Me: Jeezus... I shoulda just spent $30 at NAPA and had the damn things... and saved 2 months of waiting on what were probably out of stock items at Fastenal and the Amazon vendor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeE. View Post
    Our local outlet... I went down there a while back, shopping for some ½" automotive exhaust studs. Fine thread/coarse thread.

    NAPA wanted around $3.50 each, had them in stock, but I'm cheap. Online, they were around $2.50 I didn't really HAVE to have them right-frickin-now, so I went shopping around.

    Got to Fastenal.

    "Yep, $1.50 each in packs of 10" I'll have to order them.... is that OK?"

    I said I'll take it.

    "They'll be here Friday. Give me your number and I'll call you when they get here."

    That was 4 days in the future. I called that Friday... "where they at?"

    "Oh, it turns out the vendor we order them from doesn't ship us orders until we reach a $300 threshhold.... I'll call you."
    I should have inquired whether that was $300 from that particular store, or company wide, but I didn't.

    Like I said, they weren't an immediate need because I had other things to work on before I needed them.

    A week later, I called. "Nope, I'll call you."

    Getting kinda antsy, now. To hedge my bets, I had a friend order those I'd located on Amazon..

    She said "the order form shows they'll be shipped tomorrow and be here in 4 days."

    In 4 days even THOSE didn't show up.

    She checked her Amazon order form, and they'd changed the arrival time to "they've shipped, but no arrival time"

    I'd went back to Fastenal... "hey, you remember me?" to a different counterman... original guy was setting in an adjoining office, looked up at me, then back down at cell phone...

    Them: "No"

    Me: "Well, I ordered 10 of these studs... any idea?"

    Them:

    Me: Well, supposedly had them ordered and were waiting on order dollar amount to reach certain threshold.

    Them: tapping computer keyboard... "hmmm... I don't see any order for you or for any studs..."

    Me: Bell on exit door dinging as I leave.

    Also me, to friend who ordered from Amazon: "Hey, any news?"

    Her: "No"

    Her, 2 weeks later: "They're here"

    Me: Jeezus... I shoulda just spent $30 at NAPA and had the damn things... and saved 2 months of waiting on what were probably out of stock items at Fastenal and the Amazon vendor.
    I'm with Ray Behner, I'll make the stuff before I ever go to fastenal again.

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    I work for a mom and pop tooling distributor now and it may please some of you that I took a BIG cutting tool account from Fastenal. Vending machine involved etc. feels pretty sweet as it’s the opposite of the trend over the years of big companies going to Fastenal and Grainger because a corporate suit takes the corporate buyer to the golf course.

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  27. #19
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    We spend a couple grand with Fastenal per month and their prices for regular bolts are pretty decent. They come and stock our bins once per week.

  28. #20
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    Fastenal owns HoloKrome, the bolt making company, and they also own a bolt factory in China, and a few smaller plants in the USA.

    My guess is they do a lot of wholesale of bolts to other sellers, but, like Grainger, small shops are not their market. They have plenty of big accounts that want ONE invoice, and dont really care if they are paying more.

    Somebody must be shopping there, they sold something like $5 Billion worth of product last year.
    Meanwhile, McMaster Carr only did something like $328 Million worth of business.

    So Fastenal sells more than 15 times as much as McMaster. Obviously the people like me and you who dont shop there are heavily outnumbered by companies with fat wallets.


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