The local guys gets the sale...

... of the gas bottle when I get my new welder.
I stopped by one of the local welding supply shops today to price compare
with on-line pricing. I looked at a Miller 212 with a spool gun. His price was a little higher than the on-line pricing, but close. Add on sales tax and its more expensive to buy locally by a couple hundred dollars. Still I might have, but I asked the guy behind the counter about maybe including some consumables like a roll of wire, and he said, "Sometimes its just not worth selling a welder."
Ohh-kay. Selling a welder package you don't even have in stock doesn't sound all that hard to me. Take the customer's money and place the order. Make a phone call when it comes in. Dang. And its a sale where the customer is going to buy a welder anyway, just maybe not from you.
Still, I was polite and let him know I would think about it. I figured I'd take another look on-line to make sure I had it right. Almost all of those selling the 212 packaged with a 3035 are including a large spool of mig wire with it.
I don't know if the local guy didn't know if that was included with the package, if the on-line guys are all throwing it in to sweeten the deal, or if that's one of those little things the local guy charges extra for to try and make back a couple bucks on competing with on-line sales companies.
I guess I'll jsut buy my argon bottle locally so I can get it full, and shop for the best price on a new welder.
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Just make certain the on-line deal includes all shipping and handling. The on-line folks seem to be worse about adding hidden charges at the last minute. Also, it's sometimes helpful to loose a few bucks to shop local, if it means establishing and keeping a good relationship with a local supplier.
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There's a HUGE difference in attitude from the counter guy when you go in and say, "I need some help with a machine I bought HERE". And not "Can you help me with something I bought on the Internet?"
HUGE. And worth the few extra bucks.
Steve
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There's a HUGE difference in attitude from the counter guy when you go in

So you think if I spend a couple grand with him he will change his mind and decide it is worth selling it to me after he already told me its not?
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wrote in message

If I had the ability to read people's minds like that, I wouldn't be here. I'd be laying out in la playa in Mazatlan with a couple of nice senoritas sipping Pacificos. I'd be worth billions.
I can not recall having problems with counter people at a welding supply store. I knew what I wanted, I went in, and I got it. Unless I didn't like their prices or something else about them, and then I simply went to another store. And that included instances where I knew more than the man behind the counter, and I could see that in order to argue with them I'd have to lower myself. I chose not to.
Your experiences probably vary.
Steve, welding since 1974
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Well... I'm not sure how to do that. I was polite and nice and checked locally and got told my business is not worth it.
I've spent a lot of money various places, and I've found that the attitude doesn't improve after they have your money. Sometimes it gets worse, but I have never seen it get better. When it comes to buying locally I go out of my way to try. I have bought 6 trucks locally knowing that could buy them slightly (a couple hundred dollars atleast) cheaper out of town, but the local commercial salesmanager never told me my business wasn't worth dealing with. Not even when I bought my very first new truck.
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The guy at you local welding supply shop is right. For the most part it isn't really worth it to sell the machine for them, he is telling you the truth. They make their money in selling consumeables and gas. Unless you are going to be doing big volume with them year round, they won't move. For example, with my shop, I sometimes spend upwards of $5000 a month in wire, gasses, tips, stick, etc, etc. When I buy a new machine I maybe get it for 10 to 15 percent less than you would. With that kind of volume you would think there would be a better break, but there really are no margins. Believe me I try to beat them up on price as much as I can. You can be sure I pay a hell a lot less on consumeables though. The other cost that you have to consider, is if something goes wrong with your machine (rare with Miller, but it does happen) and you bought it online, is shipping back for service or warranty. I say the local shop is going to be well within their rights to tell you to fuck off if you pass them over for a few dollars, only show up when your argon or mix gas is empty. Sometimes it is money better spent locally even if it is a bit more. Remember, he lives where you live to. If someone is going to go somewhere else to save a few bucks on something you do for a living, and then come to you to fix thier problems for free after the fact, how would you feel? Probably right along the same lines as mentioned above. If not you are a much better man than most.
Drew

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I had a 38' Newmar motorhome for about five years. At the local dealer, they finally put up a sign on the counter. It basically said that they had enough business with their local buyers that it was taking time away from locals to fix factory and warranty items on coaches people bought out of state. It said, you chose to buy it out of state and save a few bucks, it's a simple thing to take it back where you bought it for service.
I see their point. I never had a problem with my service, as I bought from them. I did see a few irate customers in there, though, who bought from out of state dealers.
Steve
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I guess the thing to do is call Miller and ask them if the local seller is a warranty service station or not. I did noticed a repair shop on the next street with a big Miller sign on the building. I might stop by and talk to them too.
When we did warranty work on compressors in a sop I worked in yeara ago we got paid book rate from the manufacturer for all warranty repairs whether we sold it or whether it came from somewhere else. Since I ran the compressor repairs I welcomed all repairs no matter where it came from.
Last minute freight charges is not an issue. Miller drop ships freight free.
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In Vegas, I can recall two specialty motor shops that did all the work for Lincoln and Miller. One shop did each. My machines were being cranky, and they just told me to take them in and tell them it was warranty work. I figured out the problems, and didn't have to take them, but I heard many a guy who was satisfied. The two always stand behind their stuff, and I always say buy blue or red.
Steve
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Well, I bought my oxy, acetelyne, and mix bottles there in the past. It was not a great experience then, but I needed them.
Based on your logic this company will NEVER care about my business. I don't plan to start a production shop. My last spool of wire lasted a year. Even with the projects I have in mind I doubt I'll buy more than a couple spools a year.

I tried and got told my business is worthless. That may or may not be better spent.

As a local business owner myself I know all these arguements very well. I have to compete against bigger out of town companies every day.
I want to spend two grand+ on a welding rig. What am I asking for free? Nothing. Warranty? If they are a warranty shop they get paid to fix stuff, and if they aren't my welder wouldn't go there anyway. Out of warranty? I'ld buy the parts where I could get them and fix it myself.

Huh? I don't work for free, and neither does anybody else.
Let me put it to you this way. I've already been told my business isn't worth anything. How do you think that makes me feel. How is that supposed to make me feel all warm and fuzzy that they WILL help me out if I have a problem. It doesn't at all. If he doesn't want to cut me any slack on pricing. Fine. Doesn't want to include anything. Fine. Tell me my business isn't worth anything. Not fine.
P.S. I tried to buy a portable welder at this same shop several years ago when I bought my 110 rig, and actually was told I couldn't afford anything they sold. I don't recall that anybody even bothered to actually give me a price that time. They just looked at me and made a wrong decision. There is another newer shop down the street that sells a different brand. I'll check them out on Monday.
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LOL. I just checked the Miller website, and the shop down the sreet is also a Miller dealer. I guess its worth atleast one more try to buy locally after all.
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wrote in message

Dang. I just checked for service centers, and there are three authorized service locations here in Yuma. None of them are the two dealers.
I think your arguements were very useful. I had not even thought previously to check on that.
Thank you very much.
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I would attempt to find another local dealer with less attitude.
i
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On Sat, 01 Mar 2008 19:41:18 -0600, Ignoramus30768

There is a Praxair dealer here in Taft.
An utter asshole.
Now I take all my bottles, and all the bottles of my friends 150 miles down state and have them filled, while Im working down there.
Hell..with the price difference, on ONE tank of argon, I could afford to drive the 300 miles round trip .
$21 for 135 cf downstate $68 for 135 cf locally.
$47 is a hell of a difference.
Fuck Praxair
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
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Gunner Asch wrote:

This is going to sound amazing, but it's completely true. On January 18 of this year, I was quoted $50 to refill a 125 cf bottle of C25 (actually, to swap, of course). Last Friday the same store quoted me $55 to refill a 251 cf bottle of C25. That gives me double the gas for nearly the same price. Gunner, maybe you should dig up an old oxygen cylinder and swap it (straight across; they're both high pressure cylinders) for a 251 full of C25. Might help your price a whole lot.
I haven't gotten very many good prices out of my local Praxair either. But they're real close (3 miles vs. 16 to the next closest).
Grant Erwin Kirkland, Washington
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wrote in message

Points taken.
I guess I didn't think that when he said "Sometimes its just not worth selling a welder," he could have been insinuating to you. I know that my local guys are really good and talking to them, they would rather not sell the smaller welders. I'm sure somewhere along the line you have had experiences stocking or servicing something that was more of a pain in the ass than it was worth. Anyhow, moot point. If you have other options in your local economy, and you already knew this guy was a dick, why go back for anything in the first place?
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wrote in message

I think it is also noteworthy that a lot of people who work at these stores do not know a lot about welding or parts. I've had many an experience where one guy couldn't find what I wanted, or just looked back with a blank stare, and the other one said, "It's right behind you on the top shelf." Or the guy comes up with the wrong part and I say, "That ain't it" and he swears be damned that it is. "Well, that's what the book says," he huffs. Then I pull out the old part from my pocket and make him look like the idiot he is. (A very good idea to take in old parts to compare, but hold them for trump in case you need them.)
One of the things about going to local shops is establishing a contact. I usually have one at every store. It usually takes me a few trips to sort them out and find the smart one. After that, I try to get that one all the time. And some of these places are worse than hvac suppliers. If they think you aren't a real dyed in the wool welder, they treat you with disdain. I've seen it while in there, and a newbie comes in and asks for something and needs some help. And in most cases, the counter geek barely knows more than the newbie. He just has the shirt and name tag. Once you get a guy who knows what he's doing, and he knows you know what you're doing, it usually goes a lot smoother. Unless YOUR contact is off bass fishing.
Steve
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Heck, I'ld rather be bass fishing. Unfortunately my customers would never stand for it. If I go fishing mid week I take my cell phone with me.
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wrote in message

Actually to my knowledge I had never spoken to that particular guy before. In fact my dad who used to buy a lot of gas and tanks from that shop (he had a country hardware store and stocked and resold gas for the local farmers, and that shop was his supplier) had told me the guy I had the poor experience with in the past didn't work there anymore. He works at the other store down the street now. The one I'm gonna try and visit today. LOL.
Ultimately though, I was trying to do the buy local thing.
Its way easier for me to do my research right here in front of my computer. Usually its easier and takes a lot less time to buy it here as well. I make the purchase in a few minutes and in a few days it arrives on my door step. I can spend the intervening time working on things that make me money and taking care of my own customers. If I go shopping at local stores it often takes two or three trips and if they don't have what I want in stock more. It can take upto several more hours of time to buy locally for a single purchase.
Lots of people say, "You should buy locally even if it costs a little more." In response I say that even if its the same price it costs a little more. Time is money. 2-3 hours extra can be a couple hundred dollars in service revenue not earned. I still try. Like I said I'm a local small business owner and I understand the difficulties of doing business. I also understand though that my time is precious, and I'ld rather be bass fishing. LOL.
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