McMaster-Carr Catalog

Could someone explain to me the deal with McMaster-Carr being stingy with their catalog?I keep hearing how great they are, but I can't even
get them to send me a catalog (to my business). I've tried 3 times in the last 4 years, and always the same line "we produce a limited number of print catalogs" with an implied "you're not worthy of one". How would they know??? The last response I got via email was even bordering on rude.
I personaly spent a fair chunk of change at MSC last year, a few grand, primarily because I can thumb through their catalog--which they automatically send me eahc year--and see all my options at a glance, without having to go online or use some kind of menu system to sort out the contenders and click on each one to see details (argh). In fact, all the companies that send me their catalog (J&L, MSC, Wholesale Tool, Grainger) are getting enough profit from me each year to print several cases of their catalogs, so what's McMaster's problem?
-Adam adam at airraidsirens dot com
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You are not the only one, not by a long shot. They treat them like gold, well, actually more valuable than gold.
Lane
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Get over it. And use their Web page http://www.mcmaster.com - it's actually handier than their catalog for two reasons. First, you can search it. Second, they offer many products that aren't in their current catalog (like machine files) that show up on their Web page.
Their catalogs are very expensive to make and they made a conscious business decision to only send them to companies with whom they have a reasonable expectation of doing several hundred dollars a year in sales with.
Grant
Adam Smith wrote:

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Grant Erwin wrote: (clip) Their catalogs are very expensive to make(clip) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Maybe if they printed more, the unit cost would go down. No maybe about it. The fixed costs of printing, including photography, design and layout, color separations and actual press setup do not go up if the order is doubled.
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On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 07:31:28 GMT, Leo Lichtman wrote:

Are royalties paid on the photographs? And is it based on the number of copies? That could increase the cost.
--
Skuke
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On Sun, 22 Feb 2004 22:00:35 -0800, Grant Erwin

Feh! For them, additional catalogs cost pennies apiece and each generate hundreds if not thousands of dollars in sales. They're a marketing piece. A big brochure, if you will. Perhaps McM is playing psychological games. Uncle Bob sez: "If something is hard to get, it must be valuable."
*(Robert Cialdini, Ed) -- If it weren't for jumping to conclusions some of us wouldn't get any exercise. www.diversify.com - Jump-free website programming
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Their catalogs don't really show brand names of anything. I personally spend over $40,000 a month on tooling for the company I work for. The butt load goes to MSC, J&L. McMaster maybe gets 1% just because the guys in the shop don't have their own catalogs to browse though, and they don't have computers next to their Bridgeports. In my opinion it's another American company that were going to cry for because they went out of business when it was a poor business plan and too watered down of a product offering. Just my 2c.
Russ Wizinsky
www.professorwiz.com www.metalhobbies.com
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Having read bits and pieces of this thread I decided to give them a call today. They seemed eager to send one right out, until I failed to give them a company name and indicated it was for a hobbyist. The young lady (Atlanta Office) then directed me to the web site where there is a full catalog online.
Perhaps if you'd give them a business name and have it delivered to you at the business address they'd get one to you. I dare say most of us could do that, or arrange to have one sent to use in care of a friend's business.
Just another over priced $0.02.
Al
============= Russ Wizinsky - ProfessorWiz wrote:

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i was in this thread earlier, and my business address and home address are the same. no problem getting catalogues, but only after i made an initial order. a great co., imho, exempellary combination of old and "new". --Loren

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The catalog is much better for browsing. One day, while waiting for an item at the Atlanta will-call desk, paged through the catalog and found at least five more items that I "needed".
I have one suggestion for them: Offer the catalog for sale. List it prominently on the home page, and the first page of the catalog itself. I'd bet that if they printed an extra 1000 catalogs and offered them for $20,00 each, they'd be gone in the first month. (The ones they ship to companies that don't need them end up disappearing quickly on eBay.)
To reply, please remove one letter from each side of "@" Spammers are VERMIN. Please kill them all.
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Grant Erwin wrote:

I must be spending enough, I just got a new one two years in a row, up from every other year. I spend several grand with them last year.
And yes, I have #'s 106 and 107 available for the cost of postage and a box, to the first two respondents via direct email. Due to various news servers delays, a direct email to me is the easiest way to determine the first two responses.
Jon
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snipped-for-privacy@ncwebsurfer.com says...

My theory is that they send a new catalog after you've accumulated about $1500-2000 in purchases since the last catalog. I get one every 2 years or so, and over the past 10 years the arrival of a new catalog seems to correlate pretty well with the actual level of purchases.
Ned Simmons
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My point was that, for me, it's not always convenient to use the website. It depends on what I'm looking for. If I need a TiN-coated HSS 8-32 H3 4-flute plug hand tap, I'm all set--I can find it on their site in 10-15 seconds, and they get $6 of my business. But when I'm buying something big, their site's hierarchal system fails me; I don't want to go down a text list of products clicking on each one to see it, and then clicking again to see a CAD drawing of it, I want to flip through 5-6 pages and know in a minute or two exactly what my options are complete with photos.
And then there are all the items I never knew I needed (until I saw them in the catalog), or the items that I knew I needed but didn't know what they were called (online won't help me there!). These situations account for at least 1/3 of what I buy.

There is easily the potential that I would do over $1000 in business with them, since their prices seem to be generally lower than MSC's. Should I send them printouts of my MSC purchase orders? I spent $4,288 at MSC in 2003 and $18 at McMaster. If McMasters catalog is like MSC's, it can't cost them more than $100 each to publish.
-Adam
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Good idea, but mark those items you didn't PLAN to buy, but found while browsing the MSC catalog.
I sent them a link to an ebay auction for catalog #110. It was up to $45 at the time, and finally sold for $75.00 http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2594697392&category=26220
The seller was obviously one of their "preferred" customers, who only used the catalog to make a profit at their expense. Maybe this will turn some heads there. I suggested, once again, thhat the order 1000 extra catalogs from the printers and put them up for sale on the web site at $20 each. I just hope they don't decide to sell them on eBay inetead :-)
(I didn't get the usual form letter in response this time.)
To reply, please remove one letter from each side of "@" Spammers are VERMIN. Please kill them all.
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I sent them another batch of completed auctions. One interesting item. The same person is buying most of the #110 catalogs.. What for, I wonder?
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2594475786&category=26220 http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2594697392&category=26220 http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2596922457&category=26220 http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3587672764&category=616 http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3587672936&category=616 http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2597939799&category=26220
They'd have to be nuts to ignore the money they could make just selling the catalogs.
To reply, please remove one letter from each side of "@" Spammers are VERMIN. Please kill them all.
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maybe he is a shill? what is the cost of selling on ebay, anyone? is it negotiable, does it vary on the item type? if someone can sell 20% of the deals to legitimate buyers, maybe it pays for him to pay the cost to Ebay for the bogus sales? inquiring minds want to know, --Loren

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My inquiry of a few years ago, submitted on a company letterhead, didn't even warrant a response from them. I'd suggest you do what I do, which is to avoid doing business with any company that doesn't have enough respect for their customers to at least be gracious for their attempts to do business with them.
Harold
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Drop me your address offline, Harold.
Jim
================================================= please reply to: JRR(zero) at yktvmv (dot) vnet (dot) ibm (dot) com =================================================
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please_look@my_sig.com says...

It's a mystery to me also. I started a business around 1983, spent around 2 grand the first quarter, they sent me a catalog. Sold the business, moved, started another shop with a different name, spent over 15,000 the first half year, no catalog. ???
I realize these aren't large sums of money, but WTF??
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This seems odd to me. I have gotten three in the past 6 years. The old ones have been given away to posters here. I have only a small business and they treat me like a king. I do all my ordering from their website, but a paper copy is great to have when I am looking to solve a problem and do not know what is availiable
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