After much thought and research, I am likely to buy a Miller Dynasty 200DX. I figure a good machine will make me look good. It has a lot of features and flexibility. Anyway, the only local dealer ( NW PA ) is Airgas and they only list it at list price on their website. Of course I will go there to see as I like the idea of buying local. However, if they are not competitive, any recommendations of other places I may purchase one? Any thoughts would be welcome.
I got a Lincoln Squarewave TIG at the Delco National Drags in October for $1300 at the Lincoln exhibit. Shop around. Get prices. Go out of town to adjoining towns if practical. Use the telephone. When you find the best price, take it to the closest shop to you and tell them you want to buy it there, plus all your future consumables and gas. They will probably take the deal to lock you up as a regular. If they don't, shop on. You are better off buying a machine at the closest shop because if you have trouble, you don't have far to take it. If you buy it on the Internet, you won't have such a luxury. Most times, they will send you to an electric motor shop in the area or such that handles that machine. But sometimes, they can fix it or diagnose it, which converts to less down time. And open an account. People who have accounts usually get a price break. You don't have to go in and charge up a big bill. Just pay cash, or pay it off monthly. Helps out when you need something, and need to spread the payments.
FWIW, I bought a Lincoln SP135 from my local Airgas dealer at a pretty good discount. I brought in some prices from some web sites and didn't ask him to meet the prices but asked him to split the difference. I told him I wanted to support my local business but also didn't want to pay more than I should. He refused initially but after we spoke for a while and I'm assuming, he figured out that I wasn't a flake, he made me a deal I was more than comfortable with. He's interested in building business for gas so it was in his interest to keep me happy.
I bet you can get a good price from the Airgas guy when you're ready to buy.
Oh yeah! Welder shopping! I'm another guy who gets good deals from his local Airgas store. I first showed up there when I took some welding classes at the local community college and bought all my stuff there.
I'd pop back in for more accessories and I was always enthusiastic. Early on one of the guys there said that most mornings were pretty busy and Monday especially and Friday afternoons were also likely to be hectic. So I would avoid these times for my tire kicking. If they weren't busy, my newbie questions were entertaining :-)
FYI AirGas also sells a very extensive range of general hardware in their catalog. List prices looked okay and can be very good after a discount. I bought a 7" angle grinder (Dewalt) a better model than the one at Lowes/HomeDepot for the same money.
My next 4 wish list items are
Miller handheld spot welder (probably no timer, still considering which tongs to get.
Plasma cutter (still considering which brand)
Helmet with a forced air system (might rig up my own)
Miller Maxstar 150
Jay - not really a Miller guy, already got some RED in the shop, might get some Yellow next.
ps Isn't the Airgas "house brand" called Radnor after a town in Penn.?