Comment for the plumbers and big box

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by justlen, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. justlen

    justlen New Member

    Oct 4, 2009
    Everett, WA
    I'm not a plumber but I thought I'd pass this along.

    My Wife and I are big proponents of buying locally, and go out of our way to shun big box. However, while at Lowe's doing some research I noticed something that might be of interest with people who are trying to compete with big box.

    We were looking at a coordinated collection from Kohler in their special order section. I happened to notice that the same NAMED faucet was in-stock for almost $70 less. The less expensive one had a product code that was one number higher. Of course the staff had no idea why the special order one was so much more expensive.

    I went home and did some digging on the Kohler site. The model that matched the "special order" featured at Lowes was there but not the stock one. I then did a search on the stock model number. What popped up was the same faucet with an exact description of it being a custom build for big box, and more importantly, what made it different. Plastic internals.

    So, I did some playing around and at least for Kohler you can increment the product number by one and find out exactly what they did to cheapen the big box standard product. Seems to me a pretty good way to combat pricing issues.

    Oh, and Lowes discounts a pretty consistent 25% off list for special order.
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    I may give 10% off, but then I do not have to worry about the product being defective out of the box, and have to deal with removing it, returning it, waiting in line for a credit, buying it again, and reinstalling it. ALL of which have happened too many times when installing customer supplied items from those big boxes. The last time it happened, I think it cost the customer about $800.00 extra in labor.
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  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    Most plumbers won't buy from big box stores for just that reason.
    Too much plastic means service calls later one,
    The kind we don't like. Replacing junk on our time and dime.

    But like hj mentions, if the homeowner supplies the junk, then we keep the meter running.

    I sell most brands of faucets at 30% off.
    Now that's a no-brainer.
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