local vs. internet suppliers

DoubleOhHoyaApril 28, 2012

Our builder has discouraged us from buying product on the internet because local vendors supposedly will have a better guarantee on the product. The other issue is the builder doesn't want to store our product. However, our allowances are pretty skimpy in some categories, and internet prices are significantly better. I'm thinking specifically of plumbing fixtures, and perhaps lighting. How have others resolved this conundrum?

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Sophie Wheeler

You buy it, you deal with all the hassles. From checking to see if it arrived undamaged and is the right product and finish, to being sure you're ordering every little tiny accessory that's required to go with it. Any warranty issues are yours to handle. Storing it is on you too. And if you mess up and forget something, you pay the trip charge for the trade to come back later and handle the install, plus you wait on parts. That's a big part of why contractors discourage homeowners from supplying their own product. Many don't understand that they don't understand what they are doing, and it slows down the overall build for the builder.

If you really know what you're doing, have the space, and order NOW, then go ahead. But, do check your local showrooms first. Most will match internet prices and give you a point of local contact if there is an issue.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 7:24PM
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We did internet searches for lighting and plumbing fixtures. The local vendors matched or beat several of the internet prices plus they guarantee the product. Also take into account the shipping costs for some of the items. Our bathtub was going to cost over $200 to ship. While there was no sales tax online, the shipping cost ate up all the potential savings.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 7:58PM
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My builder also discouraged me from purchasing from internet sources. At first I stuck with his recommended list of local suppliers but their prices were much higher and the selection was very limited. I would have preferred to keep most of my business local but I wasn't at all happy with the choices. In spite of his admonitions I started ordering online. I ended up saving a ton of money and I didn't have to settle for the same stuff being used in every other new build in our area. I was careful to check every item when it came in and on the few occasions where the products arrived damaged , I called the supplier and they promptly sent me a replacement. I may have been lucky but I really had no problems at all.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 9:15PM
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All our plumbing fixtures, tubs, showers came from the internet, all appliances, flooring, im sure more (cant think of now)

Specific to plumbing fixtures, we went to local and then compared to online. The savings was astronomical even after contractors discount. We spoke with local, they said they couldnt budge at all so we went web, we so far are VERY happy.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 10:29PM
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