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Burnham Boilers sold online!

John R. Hall
John R. Hall Member Posts: 2,246
Consumers who buy products online may be your best customers because sooner or later you'll be asked to come in and fix what they or their "fix-it brother-in-law" have screwed up during the installation. The Interent isn't such a bad thing after all.


  • Anthony Mobilio_3
    Anthony Mobilio_3 Member Posts: 62
    Burnham Boilers sold online

    Gave a quote today for a Burnham boiler. After several hours I received a call from the homeowner. The Homeowner said she could purchase a Burnham boiler for less on line. (equipment only) She gave me a name and link for a Alpine home air.

    Doesn't look good...maybe I should make the jump to Viessmann.

  • ALH_4
    ALH_4 Member Posts: 1,790
    Direct Sales

    Can she also install the boiler herself? Was she suggesting you buy it from the online source and install it?

    As more products become available directly to consumers, the contractor's profit has to be made on the labor and not the equipment. That's really what the contractor sells anyway: knowledge, experience, tools, basically him/herself. It's funny how it's all a shell game anyway. The honest contractor has to make the same amount on the job either way, so as the equipment is cheaper, the labor is more expensive. The end result is the same.
  • Glenn Sossin_2
    Glenn Sossin_2 Member Posts: 592
    On Line Sales - russian roulette

    How did the price compare with that from your wholesaler? Maybe its a wholsaler trying to sell direct to the consumer - in this case your customer? There's a few of them out there that try to hide behind a website name. I'm sure it's not Burnham selling direct. There could be a significant back lash from both the Trades and Wholesalers - too many other boiler lines out there.

    If you don't provide the boiler, in theory, you won't be responsible for any warranty issues. If there are any, you could bill accordingly.

    Your insurance costs may be lower if they are a function of you invoices. If your customer provides materials, your invoices will be lower, hence your insurance bill is lower.

    I would liken it to russian roulette. Ask your customer, is it worth the chance?
  • J.C.A._3
    J.C.A._3 Member Posts: 2,981

    Just look to the side of any post you make.

    "Lowest price online"..."Free design and shipping"...."Trust SEARS for all your HVAC needs"...Need I say more?

    Would YOU do work for anyone who purchased their equipment this way? If so, would YOU guarantee the equipment in any way, shape or form?

    What are YOU worried about? You know who these folks are and YOU wouldn't work for them in almost any situation. They'd cut your $#*$ off in a heartbeat if "something happened". But... if they were willing to go the whole road....they would have a WARRANTY...FACTORY backed, and the problems would be few.

    Maybe I should have made this quote in the "quotes post"....But here goes...I quote Click and Clack from NPR and Cartalk...."It's the STINGY man, who spends the MOST".

    Sleep well Bunky. Chris
  • Anthony

    There are many, many companies that sell boilers on the internet and the majority are installers just like you. Unfortunately, we have no control over who these companies sell to after they purchase the equipment from their distributor. I'm sure that if you take the time to look, you will see just about every brand under the sun for sale on the internet. If this is the company I have seen before, they are in Illinois, are ligitamate contractors and I doubt your customer will be dealing with them on line. I think you know as well as I do that there is always someone out there that will sell for less regardless of the brand. There will always be bargain hunters out there that you may or may not end up working for and that choice is yours! I think you know us well enough to know we wouldn't sell on line. You know me, and our other CT people and also know that when you have a question or problem we are always there.

    Glenn Stanton

    Manager of Technical Development

    Burnham Hydronics

    U.S. Boiler Co., Inc.
  • Anthony Mobilio_3
    Anthony Mobilio_3 Member Posts: 62


    Yourself, Jack and Mark have always gone the extra mile and that's why I stuck with Burnham and its a great Boiler. I Had an issue with a Becket Burner Installed on a V83 on Monday, called Mark and he meet me on Tuesday. It doesn't get any better than that.

    Hey you can't win the all

    Thanks again
    Anthony Mobilio

    P.S Glen how are you feeling

  • Dan Foley
    Dan Foley Member Posts: 1,258
    Internet Sales

    I will hazard a guess that there is not a product I install that is not available for direct sale online. The question is this: What do I bring to the table that adds value to this product? That is the essence of sales. - DF

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  • joel_19
    joel_19 Member Posts: 931

    Even Viessmann is sold direct and online. I've seen it. The question is so what? You can't stop it and can't beat it so why bother? She buys it on line. You sell the job for what you would have minus the boiler. You then inform her that she has no warranty whatsoever, and her cost will be the same she'll just be paying it to two seperate companies the selling agent and you. Lets say the boiler was 2k and the install with the rest was 8k. Your price was 10k she pays that either way. She gains nothing so why would she bother?

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  • Tell her to call

    you after she has it positioned in the basement!

    We have a standard form for customers to sign that spells out our warranty policy for materials supplied by others. Once they read it, we regain about 50% of those material sales. E-mail me if you'd like a copy.

    Break down the installed price? No problem. Reduced by the boiler's cost before sales tax. Reminds me of the time a homeowner & builder were double-teaming me on price. My truck was clearly visible in the driveway from our collective vantage point. I pointed out that it didn't say "United Way" on the side. There was a pregnant pause. They never asked me about our pricing again.

    Everything's for sale on the net - except experience, skill-sets you've got and the boat-load of knowledge you bring to the mix. We were referred by a mod-con mfgr to fix a customer's problem. Very peculiar piping/pumping arrangement, so I asked a few questions. Turned out the HO purchased it on-line & paid for the so-called design from the same outfit. If that's our (your, my & all of our) competition, we don't have any!
  • Will_5
    Will_5 Member Posts: 85
    Not much better

    You can by Viessmann online just as easy.........
  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
    Hey Joel

    you mean 8K plus your mark-up on the boiler right ?

    You would'nt charge someone for something they did'nt recieve right ?



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  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    me personally

    I think this could work to my advantage. The customer purchases their own boiler, warrantee's it, put's it in place, remove's the old. I come in, get my normal rate and have the majority of the nasty work done. I'm loving it..

    Just think of all of the Ron Jr. job's out there, I bet he'd jump at that possibility..

  • Kal Row
    Kal Row Member Posts: 1,520
    yeah..and just think..

    how much the HOME DEsPOT and sLOEWS is loosing to this ;)
    "i just love it when a plan comes together..." the great Hanneble Smith
  • bob_100
    bob_100 Member Posts: 3

    Homeowner here. (1000 square foot main floor with unheated basement, oil fired hydronic) For what it's worth I went through the same thing this fall. My 40 year old steel boiler was leaking like a sieve and I was looking to replace it but, there are always more fun things to spend money on. Ok,I'm a cheapskate!
    I do all my own plumbing and consider myself fairly mechanically inclined so I ordered the Slantfin software, did my own heat loss calc and started pricing up boilers online. Between various web sites and Ebay it was pretty easy to find companies that would sell me Viessmann, Buderus, Burnham ect. at a discount. I also called up the local "heating professional" to come over and give me a quote. Several days later a fellow shows up at my door. Loafers, pressed pants and a nice clean oxford. He stayed just long enough to read the plate on the old boiler and get out.
    Long story short, after figuring: shipping, my time, potential warranty coverage problems, my aching back, disposal of the old boiler, multiple trips to the supply house for parts I forgot, lack of a combustion analyzer and that should I ever have a fire, the fact that the boiler install was "a happy homeowner job" could be a reason for my insurance company to deny coverage, it just didn't make sense to do it myself. The local family owned company "Murphy Oil" in Maryland that ended up putting in a new CI Burnham was wonderful. The tech (not a slickly salesperson)came to the house and spent a ton of time discussing my options, future upgrades and stuff I could do myself. He also cut me a break since I removed the old boiler and had the space ready for them. When I figured in all the hidden costs I really wouldn't have saved much money doing it myself and besides, I sleep at night! Money well spent on a nice job.
    Different industry but, when someone asks about having something they didn't buy from me installed, I tell them the following: Should the provided unit prove defective or fail out of the box it will be the their responsibility to have the unit or defective part removed, sent back to the factory/wholesaler and reinstalled. That usually does it:)
  • Anthony Mobilio_3
    Anthony Mobilio_3 Member Posts: 62
    Dave what is your E-mail address

This discussion has been closed.