Faucets at plumbing store vs. big box

home4all6March 15, 2013

I am working on my master bath right now, but this is a more general question regarding faucets...
I did my research online from home, chose the faucet I wanted, then my GC got the price form the local plumbing supply and the price was waaaay more than I had expected, based on my research.
He is trying to convince me that the one at the big box/amazon.com is a lesser quality version of the same faucet, hence the lower price. But it has the exact same model number, so doesn't that mean it is the same faucet?
I need two of them, so I'm looking at Significant savings if I buy the lower price, but I'm not going to do that if it is indeed a lesser quality.

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This question has been covered recently, see the link below. Generally, tf the model number is exactly the same its the same faucet. Be sure to check the exact and entire model number. You should also call the manufacturer to confirm.

Here is a link that might be useful: Model Numbers

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 11:20AM
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I was told by my Moen rep that even the same number faucet is boxed and made differently for the big box store than for the dealer. That said, the warranty is the same, customer service is the same. Higher quality at the dealer, but if something happens, you can always get it fixed.

I heard the same from my Delta rep. Without taking them apart myself and checking that story, I just don't know.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 11:34AM
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Do faucets from big box stores come in different packages than those from plumbing suppliers? If they are in the same package with the same barcode I'd find it hard to believe that it is a different product.

Simple solution for those without ethics: Buy a faucet from the big box store and one from the plumbing supplier. Switch faucet from one box to the other. Return the switched faucet to the plumbing supplier.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 11:57AM
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Plumbing supply places generally give discounts to contractors ... does your contractor's price reflect his discount?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 12:05PM
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Thanks for the input and the link to the other discussion...I tried to search the topic, but couldn't come up with a good search term, I guess :)
The faucet in question is a Moen, so I called Moen and was told they are exactly the same. And I called Moen again, talked to a different rep, and was told the same thing again. Same model number, exact same product.
The info from the plumbing supply price sheet:
Faucet list: $462.85
Gc's price: $300.85
Hd/amazon price: $214.00

I know it's not hugely expensive, but buying 2 of them, it's a significant savings to get it for the lower price.
And I need to match the cross-handles on my pedestal tub, so I'm looking for something very specific, and I want decent quality, not cheapy-cheap.
I called the plumbing supply, and they won't price match--say it's up to my GC, but the paper he gave me is the price they are charging him...
I think I'll just order it...

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 12:21PM
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Difference is plastic interiors (Box Stores) vs. metal/brass interiors (Plumb stores). Big box stores approach delta/moen and say we want this style but we only want to pay $xx. Can you make it for us at this price point? Hence the quality isn't the same. Box stores faucets break and don't have replacement parts.

For example, if you compare a delta faucet on Lowes website, and go to delta's normal website, you'll probably see that model is exclusively made for Lowes. It because it made cheaper for the box stores.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 12:35PM
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So the manufacturer's lie when they say they are the same? I am struggling with this right now too. Plumbing bid is $14K, I got all the fixtures priced out (identical parts) and came up with $5500 plus tax on Amazon.com. That's a big difference to my budget. Plumbing labor is a big part of that original bid but I don't think its $9k.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 1:28PM
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I would not discourage people from ordering on line because that is already happening on a very large scale so by your trying to hold back the tide and buy local, it will not make much difference.
But.. from what I read (somewhere on Gardenweb I think), if the website you purchase from online is not an "authorized dealer", Moen or whatever brand you've chosen can choose not to backup your warranty. When I was shopping for a Toto brand toilet, I purchased from Homeclick.com which stated on the toto toilet page in a very clear spot that it was an "authorized dealer" of Toto. I would recommend you check. Let us know if you find out Amazon is authorized.
If Amazon is not an authorized dealer of Moen, I suspect you could still find pretty good deals elsewhere on the web such as faucetdirect.com efaucets.com qualityhardware.com, etc. from places that ARE authorized retailers, just be sure to check (though Amazon has an awesome 30 day return policy but beyond that, not so good.)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 1:42PM
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I would only trust the manufacturer's word but you are wise to ask multiple reps. But if they are overseas, credibility goes way down, unfortunately. To nil as far as I'm concerned.

Don't swap them, lol, but you could order one from each and check for the plastic versus brass parts, whatever else you can see. Check the weight on the packaging too. The good solid faucet would be heavier. Finishes are another area that is said to be different when the prices drop.

I wouldn't mind paying a little more at a supply house but that's quite a bit. I would want to be sure there is a substantial difference in quality that goes along with that.

Talk to your plumber and supplier about the differences too.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 1:46PM
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Is it possible your plumber is marking it up to make a little extra

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 4:05PM
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Hi, I have been lurking in the kitchen forum for awhile and reading everything I can. We are in the middle of our kitchen reno and I have been researching faucets. As an example, was looking at the Delta Leland faucet. HD has one on their website with the same model number as the one at efaucets, amazon and other online retailers. Same model # as the Delta website. If HD is selling an inferior product, then what are the other sellers offering. Can I trust the one from HD?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 5:25PM
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