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Old 06-14-2019, 08:25 AM   #1
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Default Amazon, Big Box Stores, and your Neighborhood Stores

So just wondering how my buying practices compare in regards to contractors. I'm a small one man operation that fits in his small customer base at night and weekends. I try to always buy from either my local BM Paint store or local hardware store. I find the prices to be comparable to the big box stores. Paint, brushes, ladders, covers, and etc. Sometimes they don't have what I want such as a pressure washer and I HAD to order from TSC. I actually could not find anyone local or distributor for that, i looked and looked. I even asked my local True Value to order me it but they couldn't. However I got my 20' Louisville from there. I'd like to just order my consumables online for convenience but can't bring myself to it. I see the families my dollars support behind the counter. Do most painting contractors have the same business practice?

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Old 06-14-2019, 08:58 AM   #2
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So just wondering how my buying practices compare in regards to my business. I'm a small one man operation that fits in his small customer base at night and weekends. I try to always buy from either my local BM Paint store or local hardware store. I find the prices to be comparable to the big box stores. Paint, brushes, ladders, covers, and etc. Sometimes they don't have what I want such as a pressure washer and I HAD to order from TSC. I actually could not find anyone local or distributor for that, i looked and looked. I even asked my local True Value to order me it but they couldn't. However I got my 20' Louisville from there. I'd like to just order my consumables online for convenience but can't bring myself to it. I see the families my dollars support behind the counter. Do most painting contractors have the business practice?
Loyalty is important and is often rewarded, but a business is not a charity and no one expects it to be.

Paint is the most important thing to buy from your supplier.
Like you, I also like to support the local distributor, and I do so whenever I can, and when it makes sense.

However, I don't worry about sundries as much as I used to... If I can get exactly what I need online to help my business, I will do it (no need to mention it to your supplier). You have an obligation to look out for yourself and your business. They are doing the same. They may be able to price-match, and it is worth asking. If not, don't worry about it...really.
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:42 AM   #3
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I generally like to support businesses big and small within my community because they all are contributing tax monies for city services.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:06 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by cardgunner View Post
So just wondering how my buying practices compare in regards to contractors. I'm a small one man operation that fits in his small customer base at night and weekends. I try to always buy from either my local BM Paint store or local hardware store. I find the prices to be comparable to the big box stores. Paint, brushes, ladders, covers, and etc. Sometimes they don't have what I want such as a pressure washer and I HAD to order from TSC. I actually could not find anyone local or distributor for that, i looked and looked. I even asked my local True Value to order me it but they couldn't. However I got my 20' Louisville from there. I'd like to just order my consumables online for convenience but can't bring myself to it. I see the families my dollars support behind the counter. Do most painting contractors have the same business practice?
Do you want to make a difference? Hire people and pay them well.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:08 PM   #5
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So just wondering how my buying practices compare in regards to contractors. I'm a small one man operation that fits in his small customer base at night and weekends. I try to always buy from either my local BM Paint store or local hardware store. I find the prices to be comparable to the big box stores. Paint, brushes, ladders, covers, and etc. Sometimes they don't have what I want such as a pressure washer and I HAD to order from TSC. I actually could not find anyone local or distributor for that, i looked and looked. I even asked my local True Value to order me it but they couldn't. However I got my 20' Louisville from there. I'd like to just order my consumables online for convenience but can't bring myself to it. I see the families my dollars support behind the counter. Do most painting contractors have the same business practice?
Do you want to make a difference? Hire people and pay them well.
I order a lot direct from China and Negotiate with SW every year. The goal is to find ways to pay the guys more so they live better, spend more, and stay longer.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:59 PM   #6
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I buy a lot from my local hardware store, well, as much as I possibly can. Mostly sundries even though their paint brush selection is pretty bad. There are things at the big boxes that I like such as good Wooster brushes, roller sleeves, drops, etc. Those kinds of things are hard to find at local stores, at least with a reasonable price tag.
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Old 06-15-2019, 05:41 AM   #7
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I buy a lot from my local hardware store, well, as much as I possibly can. Mostly sundries even though their paint brush selection is pretty bad. There are things at the big boxes that I like such as good Wooster brushes, roller sleeves, drops, etc. Those kinds of things are hard to find at local stores, at least with a reasonable price tag.
Wow, that sounds harsh. I shop at my local stores because they have better and usually cheaper selections than Lowes/HD. For example, locally at the BM store I pay $5 for Arroworthy 9" microfiber covers, at PPG they'll even do low $4. At HD the same cover branded Linzer is over $6 and not as good as the Arroworthy (Linzer is Chinese made Arroworthy, same designs...) I saw a brush my local store was selling, I think it was called the Wooster "Lil Devil" or something like that. Little $3-4 angled 2" short handle brush. Lowes had it for $7-8 with a pink handle with a girl in the picture on the box. The local paint store explained to me the way box stores work is that way. They make a gallon of primer be $2 cheaper to draw you in, then jack up sundries and accessory items really high. As well, a Home Depot or Lowes Wooster won't be as good as Silver Tip or Pro Extra.

So anyway, I buy most sundries from actual paint stores, some from SW (SW has super good 14" microfiber covers) most from a BM store. A little from PPG. Their prices are miraculously cheaper/on par with online.

This goes for other areas of construction as well, the box store thing. When I did my bathtub surround, I wanted a color matched Mapei silicone caulk. At Lowes on the website it was $22 a tube. At my local tile store special ordered it was $13. It's really how these stores operate, make the "big" items cheap and the "small" items cost a lot more than they should, to nickel and dime you out of $1-5 at a time while you're "already there."
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Old 06-15-2019, 05:49 AM   #8
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All you need to do, is tell your local store your boxstore price, and they will match, or beat it.

BTW, last week I bought one of SW's microfiber 14" roller covers and it was garbage..... It left threads and crap all over the walls. I only bought it cuz I didnt want to drive to BM. That was a mistake...
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:52 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Gymschu View Post
I buy a lot from my local hardware store, well, as much as I possibly can. Mostly sundries even though their paint brush selection is pretty bad. There are things at the big boxes that I like such as good Wooster brushes, roller sleeves, drops, etc. Those kinds of things are hard to find at local stores, at least with a reasonable price tag.
you should buy your brushes from Buckeye Brush! They're built in OHIO!
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:55 AM   #10
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All you need to do, is tell your local store your boxstore price, and they will match, or beat it.

BTW, last week I bought one of SW's microfiber 14" roller covers and it was garbage..... It left threads and crap all over the walls. I only bought it cuz I didnt want to drive to BM. That was a mistake...
That would actually be a Bestt Liebco roller in a SW package. Junk. Same company that makes Purdy now btw.
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Old 06-15-2019, 03:50 PM   #11
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All you need to do, is tell your local store your boxstore price, and they will match, or beat it.

BTW, last week I bought one of SW's microfiber 14" roller covers and it was garbage..... It left threads and crap all over the walls. I only bought it cuz I didnt want to drive to BM. That was a mistake...
Do you prewet your microfiber rollers and spin them out? I used the 1/2s in December or so and had no problems, actually were a little smoother than Arroworthy. I think all microfibers need to be prewet, wrung out, then spun out with water. Of course maybe it was a bad batch, something SW will never ever ever ever admit about anything.
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Old 06-15-2019, 04:21 PM   #12
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Not having an actual paint store within 100Km, I've started to buy all my painting tools on Amazon. Get all my paint and sundries at the local hardware store. I feel bad when the girls in the paint department ask how I'm doing for brushes, cages, etc. as they never see me buying any from them. I usually just try and subtly change the subject, but they know I don't buy them there because all the stuff they sell is geared towards home owners. Just the way it goes.


Living in a small town can be tough. Not much selection of virtually everything. You can't even buy men's clothing around here without driving a good distance.


I saw a while ago that you can literally buy just about anything on Amazon. Kraft Dinner (if you chose to buy that crap), car parts, everything. I just replaced all the gear in my drivers side power window in my van and got the motor, regulator and plastic clips on Amazon.
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Old 06-15-2019, 07:05 PM   #13
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@cardgunner If it's possible it is an excellent practice. When we buy from the locals the money stays local, is spent local and the whole community is much better off. Most communities that got Marworts, Big Box Stores and such, their main streets died, and all the retail money left town to go into corporate bank accounts. These big companies don't give a hoot about local concerns, balk at local tax and they don't hire the local trades or eat in local restaurants. I lived in a town that managed to fend off big box stores for a couple of decades, then the monsters managed to get properties just beyond the town lines. Within a year all the local businesses were dead & gone. The main street is now full of Cute Novelty shops operated by Dr. & Lawyer wives and serve no local purpose. It's mainly all junk for tourists. Not a single useful retailer left. It was really sad, a once vibrant community is no more. The town used to support 2 grocers, 2 drug stores, a good hardware store, a great shoe store, a five & Dime, a book store, printer & copy shop, a dress shop, 2 men's clothiers, a dry cleaner with alteration service, a tailor, a wonderful diner, a steak house and I forget what all else. All were independents not franchise!
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Old 06-15-2019, 10:20 PM   #14
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you should buy your brushes from Buckeye Brush! They're built in OHIO!
Once again I have been edumacated by the one and only PACman! I had never heard of Buckeye Brush until now......

buckeye brush company
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Old 06-15-2019, 10:52 PM   #15
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Do you want to make a difference? Hire people and pay them well.
Well said, i put a lot of money back into my community from paint, gas, shop rent, advertising but my biggest gift back is paying a living wage to my workers

in fact i pay them a good wage so they don't have to work overtime just to live
i get better work & keep them longer by given them family time and time to enjoy life
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Old 06-15-2019, 10:54 PM   #16
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I buy from my local paint suppliers. They live here and are trying to make a living just like we are.

I know I get irritated when I see painting outfits from out of town doing work here so can’t really see buying my stuff online or even from a box store. If I want the local guys to be here when I need them, then I better support them.
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Old 06-15-2019, 11:55 PM   #17
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I use local/regional suppliers as much as possible. A couple months ago, we were installing a metal roof and they neglected to deliver the flashing for the chimney. Sure enough, the delivery guy ran back to the store and brought it out the same day...1.5 hr trip

Conversely, I unwisely decided to use the Trex railings from Lowes on my current project. I ordered 9 vinyl post wraps that were to be in on Tuesday. My brother picked up the order on Tuesday, which had 2 post wraps and one trim cap. The rest..who knows? Supposedly they will be here on Tuesday...that seems to be their go to line. Pro services can hit the price point, but they are costing me money now. This has happened several times, but the siren song of lower cost tricks me every now and then.

Every time, I bang my head on the wall and swear I'll never use them again. I might save $500 in material costs, but lose that many times over trying to reschedule labor to keep things moving after their f up. I don't think that anyone working there has a realistic idea of how construction works. I mean, it's swell that you delivered all these widgets, but I need the missing widget before I can install them.
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:56 PM   #18
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you should buy your brushes from Buckeye Brush! They're built in OHIO!

Went looking https://buckeyebrush.com/shop and nothing there.?!

Also the web page title is 'vuckeye'?

How do they compare to Corona's in construction and feel.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:39 PM   #19
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Went looking https://buckeyebrush.com/shop and nothing there.?!

Also the web page title is 'vuckeye'?

How do they compare to Corona's in construction and feel.
Agreed @cardgunner. The website is awful. I click on "Shop now" and it goes to a blank page. About all you can find that is useful is a land-line phone number.
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Old 06-19-2019, 01:11 PM   #20
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I saw a while ago that you can literally buy just about anything on Amazon. Kraft Dinner (if you chose to buy that crap), car parts, everything. I just replaced all the gear in my drivers side power window in my van and got the motor, regulator and plastic clips on Amazon.
I recently needed cowling ends (little pieces of plastic that are on the ends of the piece of plastic between the hood and windshield) for my F 150. The UV rays had made them brittle and they were deteriorating. I went to the Ford dealer and they wanted $25.00 and a 7-10 days to get them. Google cowlings , found a site called, get this, F 150 Cowling Ends......all they sell are cowling ends for F 150s. Talk about specialization! $8.00 (free shipping) and at my house in 2 days.
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