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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    I hope you didn't open a can of worms, this discussion has been peaceful up to now.
    ...and it should stay that way, if the children would take things at face value, and not let their biases and hatred (never trumpers) blind them.

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    I understand the OP frustration. It is nice when you have a supplier that give you a reasonable price, with good service. Then we stop wasting time calling around, weighing what freight is from one to the next. Not looking for cheap, just consistently, that can be planed for. And the reward to the vendor, volume and prompt pay.

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    What always burned me up was suppliers gave big discounts to bad payers,and me ,who paid on the dot got ripped off......salesman would quote the volume thing,but what good is volume if they never get paid for it...........Then the same salesman would turn up and want to know why I didnt buy from them any more....and make all sort of promises forgotten soon as he got to the pub that afternoon.

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  5. #24
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    To me the worst times are when you have to buy from on line metal suppliers. One place will have the cheapest and quickest shipping, but their prices are usually the highest often by a big margin. Another has good prices, but they add cut charges on all sizes and the shipping charges looks like UPS list marked up 50-100%. Then there is the one that has middle of the road pricing, no cut charges, reasonable shipping costs, but the slowest shipping on the planet. To top that off if something is out of stock that you ordered you might not find out for a week.
    That being said I need to go online and order some tight tolerance 3/8" round 6061, locals only sell +/-.005 and I just got in some that was .380. I guess I will stake tomatoes with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    To me the worst times are when you have to buy from on line metal suppliers. One place will have the cheapest and quickest shipping, but their prices are usually the highest often by a big margin. Another has good prices, but they add cut charges on all sizes and the shipping charges looks like UPS list marked up 50-100%. Then there is the one that has middle of the road pricing, no cut charges, reasonable shipping costs, but the slowest shipping on the planet. To top that off if something is out of stock that you ordered you might not find out for a week.
    That being said I need to go online and order some tight tolerance 3/8" round 6061, locals only sell +/-.005 and I just got in some that was .380. I guess I will stake tomatoes with it.
    Sounds like the old adage: cheap, fast, or good - pick any two.

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  8. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    To me the worst times are when you have to buy from on line metal suppliers. One place will have the cheapest and quickest shipping, but their prices are usually the highest often by a big margin. Another has good prices, but they add cut charges on all sizes and the shipping charges looks like UPS list marked up 50-100%. Then there is the one that has middle of the road pricing, no cut charges, reasonable shipping costs, but the slowest shipping on the planet. To top that off if something is out of stock that you ordered you might not find out for a week.
    That being said I need to go online and order some tight tolerance 3/8" round 6061, locals only sell +/-.005 and I just got in some that was .380. I guess I will stake tomatoes with it.
    Quote Originally Posted by awake View Post
    Sounds like the old adage: cheap, fast, or good - pick any two.
    The problem is all the time spent on the online places figuring who to go with. The local yards are easy, both are 50 miles one way, one delivers the other doesn't. If the place that delivers is no more than $100 higher they get the order.

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    I am not the norm here as all but 1 of my customers supplies the material for the job, so I don't spend much time buying material. I have one plastic vendor close and have used them since I moved to the area and worked at other shops. The few times I have priced something with others it wasn't much if any cheaper and it had to be shipped as well. I have a good relationship with them and there have been a few times where the manager has given me a sweet end of quarter deal or delayed payment for a few weeks while I got my ducks in a row. It took a long time to get there and I buy from them when possible.
    I understand I have that freedom as my invoices almost never include material costs.

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    I think my biggest problem is in relation to previous mentioned "long term customer". My grandfathers tool & die shop bought steel from a gentleman in the 70's when he started his steel business. When I worked for my grandfather I met the gentleman several times, though at that time, the business had grown to the point where he was just an occasional observer.

    Today, I still buy some of my steel there. No one that works there knows the gentleman who started it, nor do they know my grandfather, nor do they know me, who has been buying from them for 10+ years. They no longer carry tool steels, which is portion of my business.

    Same story for my aluminum supplier. I could walk in the front door and everyone knew me from my grandfather. I could walk into the owners office and ask about material and get his suggestions and input. Today no one there even knows who the owner is these days, and I do not buy much aluminum, no one there has a clue who I am.

    I do not even bother to get to know salesman anymore.

    You should absolutely hold your sales people accountable, I have had multiple occasions that I have steel quoted and the price has changed from days/weeks/a few months previous. It is also important to ask about the steel/aluminum itself, sometimes I have found going up 1/8" in diameter, or changing the bar size, can drastically affect price.

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    On the subject of salesmen. I buy from 4 different supplier. Over the last couple months, my inside salesperson at all four suppliers, whom I've been dealing with for years, are all "No longer with the company" Anyone else see this, just curious why.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Dickman View Post
    On the subject of salesmen. I buy from 4 different supplier. Over the last couple months, my inside salesperson at all four suppliers, whom I've been dealing with for years, are all "No longer with the company" Anyone else see this, just curious why.
    Gil @ Copper & Brass is leaving. Sucks, he was really good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Dickman View Post
    On the subject of salesmen. I buy from 4 different supplier. Over the last couple months, my inside salesperson at all four suppliers, whom I've been dealing with for years, are all "No longer with the company" Anyone else see this, just curious why.
    Do you still buy from IMS? I see the same here at BMG , they have only one remaining sales office person out of 10 or so from when I moved here 8+ years ago, turn over in the sales office is at an alarming rate and they are hiring people with zero metal sales knowledge. On the flip side the delivery drivers and warehouse people all seem to be mostly the same. My guess is the lack of stability in pricing is causing more calls for quotes, customers no longer assume anything so they always call on pricing. Incoming calls have increased but sales have not so the the powers to be won't hire more staff, people get stressed out and quit or demand more money and don't get it.

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    My strategy has been to develop a good friendship with my EMJ salesman, and he takes good care of me. Roger sets my pricing, not the inside sales guys — as their prices can vary widely.

    On occasion I get a competitive quote or two, just to keep EMJ honest.

    Roger tells me a lot of shops, and especially the large manufacturers, are slow to pay their steel bills! And because of slow-paying, EMJ will not give these companies the best pricing.

    I pay my steel bills in 25 days or less, and Roger says this paves the way for my little shop getting materials as cheap as the big boys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnctoolcat View Post
    My strategy has been to develop a good friendship with my EMJ salesman, and he takes good care of me. Roger sets my pricing, not the inside sales guys — as their prices can vary widely.

    On occasion I get a competitive quote or two, just to keep EMJ honest.

    Roger tells me a lot of shops, and especially the large manufacturers, are slow to pay their steel bills! And because of slow-paying, EMJ will not give these companies the best pricing.

    I pay my steel bills in 25 days or less, and Roger says this paves the way for my little shop getting materials as cheap as the big boys.
    ^^^^THIS! There is nothing that gets you a higher priority with a supplier than paying your bills under 30. Nothing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnctoolcat View Post
    My strategy has been to develop a good friendship with my EMJ salesman, and he takes good care of me. Roger sets my pricing, not the inside sales guys — as their prices can vary widely.

    On occasion I get a competitive quote or two, just to keep EMJ honest.

    Roger tells me a lot of shops, and especially the large manufacturers, are slow to pay their steel bills! And because of slow-paying, EMJ will not give these companies the best pricing.

    I pay my steel bills in 25 days or less, and Roger says this paves the way for my little shop getting materials as cheap as the big boys.
    Do they deliver that far or are you picking it up?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldwrench View Post
    ^^^^THIS! There is nothing that gets you a higher priority with a supplier than paying your bills under 30. Nothing.
    Hmmm, I’m not sure I agree with this. I pay most all of my suppliers at the time of purchase. A few won’t let me and insist on 30 day terms, yet still send me individual invoices for each purchase? Those get paid as soon as I get the invoice.

    I have one supplier who the woman that does billing stopped me the one day and sai,” 30 days means 30 days, TAKE the 30 days”. So now I always call on the 30th day.

    I have a few who give me preferential treatment because I am a small one man shop. Or maybe they just like me. But I don’t feel as though I have ever gotten better treatment because I pay early or at the time of purchase.

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    Default Transparent Material Pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    Do they deliver that far or are you picking it up?
    EMJ runs a truck out of Charlotte up to my region (Tri-Cities of Va/Tn) two times per week. It’s about a 3-hour trip one way, so the drivers usually spend the night around here somewhere before heading back.

    EMJ is very aggressive in my region for machining-grade steels, and thus they get a lot of business. Their main competition is Ryerson (who has a warehouse in the region, but stocks mostly structural steels), and Siskin (who runs a truck out of Chattanooga two times per week).

    It’s a long haul for both EMJ and Siskin!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fal Grunt View Post
    Hmmm, I’m not sure I agree with this. I pay most all of my suppliers at the time of purchase. A few won’t let me and insist on 30 day terms, yet still send me individual invoices for each purchase? Those get paid as soon as I get the invoice.

    I have one supplier who the woman that does billing stopped me the one day and sai,” 30 days means 30 days, TAKE the 30 days”. So now I always call on the 30th day.

    I have a few who give me preferential treatment because I am a small one man shop. Or maybe they just like me. But I don’t feel as though I have ever gotten better treatment because I pay early or at the time of purchase.
    That is odd, but maybe 'accounting' is different for big companies and it looks like they aren't using/giving "credit" if you pay right away??

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnctoolcat View Post
    EMJ runs a truck out of Charlotte up to my region (Tri-Cities of Va/Tn) two times per week. It’s about a 3-hour trip one way, so the drivers usually spend the night around here somewhere before heading back.

    EMJ is very aggressive in my region for machining-grade steels, and thus they get a lot of business. Their main competition is Ryerson (who has a warehouse in the region, but stocks mostly structural steels), and Siskin (who runs a truck out of Chattanooga two times per week).

    It’s a long haul for both EMJ and Siskin!
    Ryerson won't deliver to me and I am only 45 miles away, BMG metals will and both of them are in Richmond about 2 miles apart. I think EMJ is a little south of those two in Petersburg I think I have only called for quotes from them a couple times, don't even know if they would deliver to me or not. I am only 8 miles off I-95, but some of the roads are pretty skinny and windy where two cars can fit with only a couple feet to spare. The roads back here are Ryerson's reason for not delivering even if I paid extra.

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    Quote Originally Posted by john.k View Post
    What always burned me up was suppliers gave big discounts to bad payers,and me ,who paid on the dot got ripped off......salesman would quote the volume thing,but what good is volume if they never get paid for it...........Then the same salesman would turn up and want to know why I didnt buy from them any more....and make all sort of promises forgotten soon as he got to the pub that afternoon.
    Salesman make sales, if you pay early, on time or late the salesman still made the sales.
    The ONLY times a salesmen seems to care is with the AR department cuts off the credit...or the saleman is an owner, partner shareholder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SIM View Post
    Salesman make sales, if you pay early, on time or late the salesman still made the sales.
    The ONLY times a salesmen seems to care is with the AR department cuts off the credit...or the saleman is an owner, partner shareholder.
    And to add to that, there is a good chance that he got the credit and commission off it even if the buyer later defaults or cancels the order.

    I once worked at a place where my manager "was a hero" because he was quoting millions of dollars in sales. *QUOTING* not selling, making, or anything else. Not to mention I saw the quotes on quite a bit of it and I thought oookkkaayy... sure we'll make lots of money packaging the parts in $20 bills!


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