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If you are a consumer or new business owner the “where” and “how” of buying plumbing materials can be daunting. In the next several paragraphs we will go over the different materials you’ll need to buy and the best place to purchase.
Buying plumbing materials can be a little tricky and we hope to remove the confusion from the task. You can call this your beginner plumbing purchasing agent. We will give you some advanced buying tips towards the end of the article but they will be clearly delineated. If you choose to press on after being warned then be prepared to read about multipliers and discount structures….fun stuff.
Where can I Buy Plumbing Supply Materials
Big Box Hardware Stores – You know the places, they sell all things construction and home improvement. Men walk in and just stare at the rows and rows of mental projects most of which will never happen, they want every tool in the tool section even ones they’ll never use, it is male nirvana. Home Depot, Lowes and Menards are the big boys.
Local Hardware Stores – no need to explain this one. Ace and True Value are examples.
Industrial Supply Houses – they sell mostly to businesses and contractors. They sell everything that is Industrial in nature. Material moving equipment, safety equipment, storage, industrial markers, labels and plumbing material and equipment. This is a fraction of what these store stock and supply. Their list of tools and materials is massive and growing. examples are Grainger and McMaster Carr.
E-Commerce or On-Line Plumbing Supply Stores – They come in all shapes and sizes. There are quite a few niche stores out there, specializing in certain things like water filters, drinking fountains, and faucets however there are just as many that try to be all things to all people.
Professional Plumbing Supply Houses – All though these days most contractors buy from all of the above, these supply houses are the backbone of the trades. Quite a good percentage only sell to trade professionals. Professional Plumbing Supply Houses usually have customers that carry a credit line with terms like 30 Net or 2% 30 days 45 days net. Which means you can take a 2% discount if the bill is paid within 30 days. Plumbing supply houses are finding it exceedingly difficult to turn away cash paying customers regardless of whether or not they are professional tradesman or not. They’re argument is, “that person is going to buy it from someone, it’s a sale we don’t have to finance”. To be perfectly honest we can’t argue with that mentality.