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Where to buy cheapest (same quality) materials

Discussion in 'General DIY' started by an203888, 11 Dec 2019.

  1. an203888

    an203888

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    I have got several quotes back from builders merchants for a range of items and there seems to be a huge difference in price. Has anyone got any advice to get cheaper prices or where you can suggest to go to get them? I'm doing a rear extension so blocks, muck, timber etc.

    I just don't want yo be paying over the top prices.

    Thanks in advance
     
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  3. Notch7

    Notch7

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    Builders merchants are one of the few sectors still using opaque pricing methods.
    Basically their business is designed for trade accounts. Once you have an account their software will automatically discount. Big builders will get big discounts.

    You could call into a branch of your local merchants, tell them you would like a self build account for your extension and see what prices you get.

    If they wont play ball, you will have to ring around and decide where you go for each order based on the price you get at the time. Play one off against the other -sometimes works, sometimes doesnt.

    For drainage, screws etc, screwfix etc are better for diy -merchants done discount that stuff much
     
  4. scbk

    scbk

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    I don't think that's true, I would imagine most of the time it is up to the person behind the desk/on the end of the phone.

    I sometimes put stuff on an account for someone at travis perkins, they get robbed blind, never any discount.


    If you can, try and use local, independent suppliers. You usually get better prices and service
     
  5. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    I've worked for a few firms who have accounts with Travis - but when dealing with big outfits like Travis you have to have a trade credit account, volume and have negotiated discounts for the categories of materials you are buying (e.g. timber. sheet materials, screws, plumbing supplies, etc). The discounts you can get out of these big guys are sometimes really amazing - providing you have the volume (e.g. full packs of timber or PB, etc) and a properly set-up account.....

    Last firm I worked for we split timber purchases between a small local timber yard, a major builders merchants and a national sheet materials supplier. The small guys were slightly better on price and could resaw in-house if needs be, but their delivery wasn't always reliable (and TBH who wants to be unloading a wagon at 4pm on a Friday afternoon on their jack in the dark and rain?) and quality was an issue at times. The bigger guys were often better on delivery (i.e. 2 days means 2 days, just don't expect anything tomorrow unless you collect it yourself), their prices on sheet goods were often far more competitive and they delivered exactly when they said they would. I still think that we ran three accounts to get more credit, though.

    And as for screws, fastenings, sealants, etc - never, ever buy them from a builders merchants because they are always cheaper from a specialist ironmongery or fastenings firm if you are buying sufficient volume to get an account (a self-build might be sufficient for that)
     
  6. scbk

    scbk

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    I once got a few bits of builders metalwork etc, on the business account at travis perkins. The guy got the bill in the post a few weeks later, I saw it and it was about £140 with vat.

    Just for the sake of it I put the equivalent items through on the toolstation website, and the total was less than £40!

    Travis perkins own both Toolstation and wickes.
     
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  7. domdee

    domdee

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    small indipendant builders yards are best imo as they need your custom. look after them and they'll look after you.
    using cash obviously helps too......
    they wont beat the big companies on everything, but will on most if they can as they work on smaller profit margins.
    so tell them your intentions of using them for buying everything (if they have it) and ask for best prices
     
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  8. an203888

    an203888

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    Does actually using cash help anymore?
     
  9. domdee

    domdee

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    yes at my local indipendant yard.
     
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  11. Notch7

    Notch7

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    yeah that is a problem -what happens is the account holder must get a list of the discount structure applied to the account and ensure discounts are applied to each sector -otherwise the system will charge the full retail price.

    non account holders might or might not get discounts, that all depends on who you speak to.

    TPs put high margins onto all small items like screws, drainage etc -its best really to go to toolstation or screwfix. Toolstation is great -you can get it delivered next day, to site. £5.00 for turbo delivery on orders over £10.00
     
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  12. lostinthelight

    lostinthelight

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    If one has a business account , banks charge more to process cash so its not king any more?
     
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  13. foxhole

    foxhole

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    I use Selco and Travis , son in law has a trade account with Travis and we compared prices on all major purchases , Travis beat Selco or were similar price but offers better service. Both are less than ten minutes drive from me but Selco have longer opening hours if you needs something late in the day or at weekends .
    Travis also own Benchmarx kitchens so we used them for kitchen getting a trade discount .
    If you have a local small timber/builders merchant they can often provide a more personal service but usually at a cost , you have to balance not just cost but availability and delivery charges .
     
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  14. bsr

    bsr

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    My experience is to use Toolstation for everything possible, and Buildbase for the rest. Travis prices have always been ridiculous.
     
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  15. opps

    opps

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    If you are a small firm that cash can erm... disappear.
     
  16. opps

    opps

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    I was recently in the Brentford Screxfix. A guy was looking through the catalogue and asked the store employee if screwfix will price match the Toolstation next door for identical products. She replied that "With Toolstation you get what you pay for". He raised an eyebrow and replied "OK, I'll go next door and get what I pay for".
     
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  17. opps

    opps

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    As a decorator, I find Selco to be more expensive for most products (that I need) than my local decorators' merchants. That said when it comes down to buying some items, such as large tubs of 2K filler, the likes of ebay can be 30-40% cheaper.

    I do use Selco from time to time, particularly because of the sunday opening.
     
  18. DIYnot Local

    DIYnot Local

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