AIR-GAS- price gouging

I went to a local AIR GAS shop to swap a 125 cu.Ft. argon cyl. and to
buy some SS filler rod.
the most shocking was the gas
$38 +tax :-0
normally I pay $25
I ask ...whats going on?
the guy said ; did'nt you hear about the price increase due to gas
shortage? and shows me a piece of print out. there is a shortage of
the gases which the argon and other welding gases are extracted from.
then he said; you know .......supply and demand , price goes up.
the filler rod was $18 ( 1/16" , 1 lb, 308/ 308L)
he goes your total is $56 = tax.....
I say ..... let me.... see there is something wrong there.
he hits the esc key to go back to the prev screen. and shows itto me..
get this !!!!!!
on the screen detailed info ;
Argon gas: cost : $5.80
gross profit: $31.00
surcharge $2.20
the bottom line.....these as*****s are copying the oil companies and
scaming the customers, knowing that we have NO choice but to pay for
it.
I had to take my business else where.
Got the argon for $26 and the filler rod for $6.50 /lb
Reply to
acrobat ants
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Argon and whatnot are extracted from air and the last I knew there was no shortage of that. I'd expect the price increase has a lot more to do with the Airgas plant that blew up a few months back.
Pete C.
Reply to
Pete C.
that is what I read somewhere , but was not sure about it. I shold've yelled " it is extracted from the air you dip#$*&^ " there is no shortage.
:-) :-)
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Reply to
acrobat ants
When I first read the post, I was buying the idea argon came from natural gas, but you're right. It is helium that is extracted from NG, argon is distilled from air.
Reply to
xray
Argon isn't directly (though there is a electric bill for making it), but Acetylene is produced chemically for the most part and production was hurt by the hurricanes this summer justifying some increase in costs for it. However there is the increase in cost for shipping the stuff (which is a large part of the welding suppliers costs and the real reason for the surcharges everybody is adding now days).
What's your problem. Nothing new here. It's pretty standard anywhere you go. Did you also see the different price schedules? With Airgas there should of been 5 different prices they can sell it for. You got quoted the over the counter or highest price. The other prices are reserved for welders, big companies, and drop dealers (who get the lowest of any of them). ALL welding suppliers do this though Airgas is about the worst as far as overcharging for the over the counter price.
What really ticked me off with them was as a drop dealer I had to pay rent on every bottle I stocked to service there customers. I shouldn't of had to paid rent at all on the stock bottles (the bottles I was using was another matter). It was bad enough when I was getting a special price but when they started going up on it I had to switch suppliers. It's not hard to do the math and figure out that over $100 a month in bottle rent is going to make it impossible to make any money selling those bottles. It's going to take me years to get all of my customers switched over and some of them will never switch but it was worth it.
Not really copying the way I see it. They've always done business this way.
The right thing to do though I doubt that Airgas is ever going to get the message. I know that my new supplier is making a huge dent in my former Airgas suppliers customer base just because of this and other reasons (I won't go into what trying to deal with them was like). It's just making them increase prices more which is hurting there business more (repeat).
Wayne Cook Shamrock, TX
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Reply to
Wayne Cook
I recall reading somewhere that for many of the gasses they take air, refrigerate and liquefy it, and then slowly let it warm up while drawing off each component gas as it turns back into a gas. Don't know the accuracy of this or what specific gasses this applies to though.
Pete C.
Reply to
Pete C.
I hear ya, and I am aware of the different price sturcture. The sad thing is that I have/had an account with them, and I wanted to buy on the company account. I purchased 2 cylinders from this place.
I normally get the stuff delivered to me from "an other welding supplier" , where I get the "good guy" price as I mentioned. I am not a huge volume user , more less a part time, small 1 man shop. But on this day I was shopping for other supplies and Air gas was just 2 lights down the road, so brought the cyl with me, knowing that I will pay a bit more.
It was not really the few extra $ that pissed me off , but more of how I got treated. and the "cost of gas went up, supply and demand B.S."
the sad thing is that this store is so "up in the clouds", when you walk in you are invisible , like you are not even there. there is 2-4 sales person behind the counter hiden behind the computer/ phones, walking in and out taking care of the BIG guys. you acutally have to stop one of them and say , hey ! could help me please.
they are deeply focused making commision on big sales , and don't want to be bothered with walk-ins, they know there is no money in that. There is no comparision of selling 500 Lbs of welding rod and 10 bottles of gas over the phone or selling me a 10 lb spool of mig wire. some filler rod and 1 bottle of gas, So why hang up the phone.? I understand it.
Reply to
acrobat ants
It would be nice if they would be truthful.
Wow that's a uptown high rolling place. My former Airgas supplier has a total of 4 employee's and that includes the two truck drivers. None of them would have the smarts or the energy to chase those type of accounts.
Understandable but unexcusable at the same time. I guarantee that you walk into my current supplier and you'll be jumped on as soon as they get through with the guy they're helping now if not sooner.
Wayne Cook Shamrock, TX
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Reply to
Wayne Cook
The Praxair guys in my area (Everett WA) are really on the ball and fair in price. My last tank of C25 was $17 for the fill. They are fully aware that about 6 blocks away is AirGas and Central Welding is 3 blocks beyond that. They generally quote the highest price but only to illustrate how good a deal they're giving me. Their service has been straight up even when I was just in to drool on equipment and bug them with questions. As a result I've purchased three welding set ups from them (Tig, Mig, and O/A) over the past year. Good guys.
Mike H.
Reply to
Mike H.
Sorry to hear this. Whenever I walk into my local AirGas store I either get immediate attention or if everyone's already helping other people I at least get acknowledged and told they'll be with me in a minute. It just demonstrates the age old rule of retail: a poor manager can ruin a good store and a good manager can turn a crappy store into a good one.
I have no idea how the prices are as I've never really shopped around - too much of a pita to waste my time trying to save $5 or $10 on a bottle of gas that will last me a year.
Robert
Reply to
Siggy
our local air-gas rep came into the shop looking to win our business with some downright incredible pricing , but when the owner told him he wanted it writing and fixed for 5 years the pricing came back over 100% higher than the first "sales pitch " We use a lot of gas 10 oxygen, 4-6 acetylene and 12-14 shielding gases every week , we find the best deals with a local company called welder supply here in Nashville
Reply to
WILLIAM HENRY
When you only go through a cyl or two a year you can pretty well just shop on service and not worry much about the price. The Airgas shop near me has been quite friendly and helpful, even loaning me a small tank of Argon at no charge when I went in to swap my 80cf and they didn't have one on site. The small tank kept me going on my project and they had the 80cf for me the next afternoon. This was also the first time they had seen me as I had recently moved from another state. I'll likely be purchasing an OA setup and eventually a plasma cutter from them.
Pete C.
Reply to
Pete C.
That's for sure. I'm in a unusual area. For some reason years ago Airgas decided that my town wouldn't be serviced by the Amarillo store and instead go to a Oklahoma store. These two stores aren't even in the same district so they don't communicate with each other. The Amarillo store has a good manager and isn't a bad place to deal with. In fact my customers who still have there leases with that store after all these years are still paying the same price for the lease. On the other hand the ones who have leases out of OK are paying a lot more (as I was).
Wayne Cook Shamrock, TX
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Reply to
Wayne Cook
Yup, it really comes down to service. Make one customer happy and he'll tell ten. Piss one off and he'll tell a hundred.
Mike H. To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. --Thomas Edison
Reply to
Mike H.
| Sorry to hear this. Whenever I walk into my local AirGas store I either get | immediate attention or if everyone's already helping other people I at least | get acknowledged and told they'll be with me in a minute. It just | demonstrates the age old rule of retail: a poor manager can ruin a good | store and a good manager can turn a crappy store into a good one.
It can take but moments for the former to happen, and years for the latter.
I recall a saying from JC Penney on his new employees "Either your or your replacement will greet the customer within the first sixty seconds of them coming in the store." I can guess they ignored that for their mall stores!
Reply to
carl mciver
I heard a story about Mr. Penney and his hiring practices in the old days when he was still in charge of the company.
He would always interview potential managers over lunch or dinner. After the meal was served Mr. Penney would observe the candidate. If they seasoned their food before taking the first bite he would end the interview right then and there and not hire that person. After all, how could the candidate know the food wasn't already seasoned perfectly if he didn't try it first?
He reasoned that seasoning the food before tasting meant that the candidate was to habitual and would likely run a store based on preconceived ideas rather than learning and analyzing the store and running it according to it's unique needs.
Pretty interesting hiring technique. Of course I'm sure someone would scream discrimination or some such nonsense if that were tried today.
Robert
Reply to
Siggy
Airgas is the local here in my neck of the oil fields.
I go to LA every week, and about twice a month..I have at least 5 bottles, generally inert gas, bolted into a rack on my trailer. Ive some serious hobbist buddies who use a lot of gas...and I get our gas from a dealer in LA....at 1/3 the price as locally..and the guys all kick in $5 for gas..so even thats paid for.
And the local dealer is a total prick. The only thing he sees coming in the door is a wallet, and the only thing he wants from you after he has emptied it..is the sight of your back on the way out.
FUCK AIRGAS..in the ASS.
With a B tank.
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
Reply to
Gunner Asch
It's gotta be the individual managers. I get a better price here in Joliet rather than Chicago's Air-Gas was offering me and I drove here to get it before just on the principal of the "deep-pockets" but the Air-Gas in Joliet was not only cheaper, they had more in stock. (Surrounded by two other vendors as well) Anyhow, they hammered the pricing I was getting from Mittler Supply in Burbank. They(Mittler) got a new manager who is a complete prick and I closed my acct. with them over a tiny issue the manager made a mistake on and would not bend. Enter Air-Gas, I took all my paperwork to them and said "beat this, and the account is yours" I was accompanied by a box of doughnuts and a rack of coffee to help seal the deal. We hit it off on the spot and they have given me rock-bottom pricing, completely undercut Mittler by a good 30% and I'm not even close to having a big welding operation. The manager can make or break a store just by his over the counter attitude. At least I lucked out with my shop. There was an older guy running the Mittler shop and when he quit all of us in the area felt like we were being treated like turds so we all went elsewhere (and all returned about 30 cylinders with a "f-you" attitude and called the district manager and let him know why six of us went to Air-Gas. I don't know if that butthole is still there but I won't even set foot in the store since I got treated like my money was not enough or too small for this new guy. It's all over, not just Air-gas. I really can't complain about them down here. I guess I just got lucky.
Rob
Fraser Competition Engines Chicago, IL.
Reply to
RDF
What I like Mittler for is that they have all kinds of connectors etc, and people who actually know what they are selling. My gas account is with Terrace Supply. You actually referred them to me. Last time their price was $76 for 300 cf of argon. Lifetime lease kind of deal, I pay a deposit and get it back when I return the tank.
Very nice.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus27731
Iggy,
Did you deal with Andrea? She is pretty smart on the parts. The old manager "Bill" was the greatest. He came over to my place to teach me some tricks on the Aerowave and the SD180. Ever since he quit the place has gone to hell from word of mouth. Granted, they do indeed have the best parts selection in town. I'll give them that. It sounds like you got a good deal on your bottle too. Maybe the guy just did not like me or my tiny account. I sent you over for a fitting if I'm not mistaken and I saw the Terrace band on your tank. Maybe they got rid of the wiener. Also, I don't know if you are interested in "toss-out" tools but there is a Harbor Freight close. Right on Cicero Ave. by Best By on 55th (Where the plane skidded off the runway at MDW and killed that poor kid) They have a LOT of stuff. I might buy a Jet vertical mill from them. I sold my Bridgeport from lack of use and now I'm kicking myself repeatedly. Also- Welding supply is in Burbank too right near UPS and Fed EX. If you are in the neighborhood. I have a guy selling me full 80's for $110.00 and I picked up two aluminum cylinders for my Dynasty in a hockey-bag. What a weight difference! He has tons of them if you need em. I can pick them up. I bought three more K cylinders of Ar, 75-25, and TriMix.
Keep those funky projects headed out! Also I have a Fluke 98 that needs a calibration- can you do that? I don't have a reference meter and I saw your killer Tektronics in the background. Fluke has a 60 day turn around and $100.00 (ouch!) It's been off a bit and I do have a service manual but this is out of my league.
Now that the shop and I are in Joliet and Shorewood I don't get up there too much except for court. (A guy stiffed me 30k).
All the best,
Rob
Fraser Competition Engines Chicago, IL.
Reply to
RDF

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