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finding a good online store

lou40 Member Posts: 1
I am new to the trade.  Using my local supply shop for most everything.  Other techs I see are telling me to start buying supplies online.  They say it will save me a bundle.  I do for filters and nozzles.  But still looking for a good online store.  I was given an old vac to help get me going.  It is on it's last legs (motor Bearing)  need to replace it soon.  hopefully for less than the supply store.


  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    That's a good idea, on-line shopping. The Wholesaler I use almost exclusively will do anything to get me and any other good customer what they need promptly. If I have a list of 25 things, I cam always fill all 25 things at their store by "adapting" whatever I need. There is another Wholesaler near by that is cheaper. I could shop there but that list of 25 items, I would be lucky to fill 18 items. So I go to the first store and get the rest. So, why would I want to go to the second store when the first store has a better selection and fills my order. If I have an emergency, and need something right away, how fast can that Internet Store get you a part. Overnight in two days? Three to install? By the time you pay the freight, there's no savings.

    Support your local Wholesaler. Especially if they don't cater to the walk-in DIY trade.

  • don_9
    don_9 Member Posts: 395

    And keep in mind that many states want you to pay local taxes on things you buy on the internet.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,893
    As a rule...

    I completely agree with icesailor -- shop local, if you can, and avoid the DIY stores, if you can.  My problem, though is that since I am a lowly building super, and not in the business of either plumbing or heating, my local plumbng supply store, which is very good, is not interested in having my custom.  I do have a couple of friends who are in the business, and I suppose I could ask them to pick stuff up for me, but that seems like an imposition, and I'm unwilling to do it.  So I shop online...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    I agree with Jamie Hall.

    And not just for home heating supplies.

    Unfortunately, the big box stores (one, a friend calls Home Despot) have put all the local stores out of business. There used to be a very good plumbing supply house near me. Since I am not a heating or plumbing professional, I was fortunate that they would sell to me. I never tried to buy a boiler there; they might have refused me that. They kept appropriate hours for their trade, though. They opened at about 7AM and were closed by noon. Because the professionals would have purchased what they needed by then, and were out in the field servicing their customers by then. There is a pretty good supply house in the next town from here that will also sell to me. I am sure they do not make a lot of profit from me, but at least they have stuff I need (vacuum breakers, aquastats, piping supplies and some tools. Even when the local big box store has the type of item I want, it is often third-rate Chinese reject stuff. When I first wanted plumbing stuff, it was crap from Italy. I know some very fine plumbing manufacturers are in Italy and their stuff can be obtained in USA, but not from big box stores. Think Caleffi, for example.

    But for many items, I resort to Internet supliers, because local businesses tend to be unwilling to order stuff they do not have, take too long to get it even when they will order it, etc. I do not order to save money, because the savings are small and I do pay the New Jersey end use tax (it is easy to cheat on that, but cheating is against my principles) that reduces the savings even more. I buy from the Internet when the local merchants will not serve me.
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,506
    You should get an account.....

    at Sid Harvey, for starters.  Even if they're not local, you can order online and ship.  (same day if first thing in the morning, otherwise next day--or I go take an hour drive).  They'll have a rebuilt motor for your vac.

    Fortunately in my area (Philly suburbs), we still have a nice bunch of supply houses (sid's, RE Michel, as well as some really good plumbing supply outfits).  Of course their Grainger's--that is if you need it in a few days.

    I don't buy anything online, that I can get in the supply houses.  I think local is best, and I'm not interested in saving a few bucks because your relationship with your suppliers will do much more for your bottom line then the online savings.
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    What Steve said

    I would much rather buy quality product locally, and at a better price. Also should there be a warranty issue, I don't have problems. Jamie, I would also echo setting up a Sid Harvey account. You have been around here for a long time, and have enough knowledge and experience. I'd put in a good word for you.
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