Best Plumbers Merchant ( after Screwfix of course!)

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by Captain Leaky, Aug 31, 2007.

  1. Captain Leaky

    Captain Leaky New Member

    Well I'm back to work next week after a week off at home. I have taken time out this week to look at other Plumbers and Bathroom showrooms near me to see if I should switch my business. I currently use Graham, G&B ( local independent now owned by Graham) a couple of independent upmarket bathroom showrooms and Screwfix.com for all my sundries and non-plumbing bits plus Jewsons for timber.

    I am spoilt for choice locally with all the major Plumbers Merchants close by but I find it hard to decide if any of them are any better than the Graham group.

    Any thoughts?
  2. Water Systems

    Water Systems New Member

    Depends on the quality of fittings, etc, not just price. The established trade merchants tend to sell more of the quality products (although not always), so can justify their high prices.

    The established merchants are <u>expensive</u> (how anyone buys at Travis Perkins is beyond me), unless you have a trade account and even then many are still way over the top. I recall Selco selling a compression fitting for £9 when in Wickes/S'fix it was £3ish. You can save a heap by looking around, however this means buying from many merchants which most don't want to do as it takes time to price up and order.
  3. HOTDOG ø

    HOTDOG ø Active Member

    Why my company of course! but I can't say that or admin will boot me off.

    Graham are a good national as are PTS and City, I beleive the real difference is staff. Tradesmen build up confidence in good staff and will return because they know the staff are good and will help them out with orders/problems/advice etc.

    Bad staff can kill a business no matter how good their prices - just look at Focus DIY, MFI, etc etc.
  4. MR BUSY

    MR BUSY New Member

    I try to avoid plumbcenter as they take too long over every thing and seriously expensive, as are plumbase.
    I try and keep it as local and independent as possible.
  5. Captain Leaky

    Captain Leaky New Member

    How good are PTS? my odd dealings with them they seem to be ok?
  6. hibeealex

    hibeealex New Member

    capt'n ive used mainly PTS for the last 3-4 years as i get fed up waiting on the counter staff at plumbcenter,
    PTS have been ok but its worth checking invoices,as ive often been charged different prices for the same item, amd as its billed monthly you don't always notice.but the staff and service are generally ok up here.
  7. tomplum

    tomplum New Member

    the trick with plumbase is to let them know your money spends anywhere, they do goood discounts if you're loyal to them and spend lots, i agree that plumbcenter are bad,,,which ever branch i go into, there seems to be a contest on how long they can make you wait..and their prices are high.
  8. doitall

    doitall New Member

    Get yourself organise and you don't need to wait around in shops.

    Use the phone and they will pick your order for collection or deliver it.

    I mostly use BSS, PTS are part of the same Company, but be warned they are not always the cheapest for the every day customer, buying power is important as you get better discounts the more you spend.

    As an example I wanted 100m of tuberlite lagging, £1.60-m in BSS and 68p=m in Plumbcenter, admittedly not the same spec, but

    I spend all day every day chasing down materials and prices.

    Trying to locate 160 M16 x 110 hex bolts and nuts and washer at the moment if anyone has any as its proving a nightmare.

    The difficult bit is they have to be Phosphorus Bronze and I want them next week.
  9. paaulyb

    paaulyb New Member

    For a long time I used a local independent, but one day I dropped into City Plumbing as they were closer. I was amazed at the happy staff and the willingness to help and serve you quickly.

    Never go anywhere else now quick when in a rush and happy to chat and have a laugh when you are not.

    Price isn't everything, although I do get looked after.

    Staff make all the difference
  10. tightenit

    tightenit New Member

    We've got a few accounts with most major suppliers - some cash some credit. The problem with credit accounts (with Wolseley at least)is that you get your materials, sign for the goods and off you go. The price is not on the collection sheet. Just checking some invoices last night came across some silly prices. At least 'pay as you go' has it's benefits if not the discounts.
    Staff vary across the merchants - even within the same merchants. Pays to be good humoured, they have a job to do too, and the money ain't that great. Also merchants do put work our way when customers wander in.Better a good relationship than a quick saving.
  11. Captain Leaky

    Captain Leaky New Member

    Have you asked for your collection sheets to be priced? Some merchants will price automatically if you ask them to, they are set as not-priced by default to stop nosy employees seeing how little the boss is paying for things.
  12. plumber31

    plumber31 New Member

    How good are PTS? my odd dealings with them they seem
    to be ok?

    Very professional IMO. I've been using them on a regular basis for a while now. Its the staff that makes a difference to me. Good quality gear as well.
  13. Tommy_Saxondale

    Tommy_Saxondale New Member

    PTS....
    shower of ***** ...
    Of course with these big firms its down to the staff an managers at the depots ..
    Never use Jewsons/plumbase as they are a massive ripoff even at trade ..
    I went back too an indie merchants, father an son an they are very good for service will deliever stuff as/an when needed not that bad on price too
  14. myzeneye

    myzeneye New Member

    i have an account at grahams(owned by st gobain who own jewsons...handy for other bits) and city plumbing(owned by travis perkins, also handy for other bits....

    the trick is as said before to play the penny pinchin ****.... i get a quote of one and give it to the other and theyll knock it down by £100 most times, as said befoe, let them know youll spend your cash anywhere.

    the hard thing is, you want all the gear from under one roof, but different places are cheaper on certain things but dearer on others... you could drive round all day but im sure you loose out in the end.
    with this in mind, a fair comprimise i came up with was this..... city plumbing where about chepest for me, they are owned by travis perkins, who sell all manner of stuff you may need... get them to match your cityplumbing terms and youve cracked it. a one stop shop for all plumbing/heating/building needs.... and if you need somthing oddball you can still use city plumbing.
  15. myzeneye

    myzeneye New Member

    the downside is when you need gas/boiler/fire parts... none of these merchants do any parts... so its off down the road....
    for me there are only two local gas part merchants, hrp and cumbria heating, both are around 10 miles away for me.
    hrp are scandelous, there delivery times are rediculas and staff are brainless.....
    cumbria heating (warrington) well, i cant fault them really.....
    so theres plenty of plumbers merchants around, but parts centres are scarce....
  16. Ion Transient

    Ion Transient New Member

    > the downside is when you need gas/boiler/fire
    parts... none of these merchants do any parts... so
    its off down the road....
    for me there are only two local gas part merchants,
    hrp and cumbria heating, both are around 10 miles
    away for me.
    hrp are scandelous, there delivery times are
    rediculas and staff are brainless.....
    cumbria heating (warrington) well, i cant fault them
    really.....
    so theres plenty of plumbers merchants around, but
    parts centres are scarce....




    hi myjapeye


    if anyone understands your inane ramblings I say good on 'em
  17. Tommy_Saxondale

    Tommy_Saxondale New Member

    Plagerism =Ion
    Out of your depth this one NO experiance you being a failed ex IT...
    How do you FAIL a paid for Course an FAILING ...an copying pasting answers to ?s from other sites ?
  18. leakylou

    leakylou New Member

    i had to buy 6 float valves because of high pressure mains, plumbase was £11.50, plumb center £10,50 B&Q £8.90 including the Vat I wrote to plumbase head office after compering there prices on several other items, there reply was tuff, they said their main aim was to provide a good service, they did not seem to care they were overpriced, Graham matched the B&Q price when i showed them, it is a constant uphill battle to get the best term and conditions out of the merchants,plumb centre charged me 26p for a 15mm elbow when they are 15p else where
  19. Tommy_Saxondale

    Tommy_Saxondale New Member

    leakylou

    Dont start the sheds route cos you become a *penny wh ore*...

    get an indie shop they can supply /price sim to the major plumb merchants ..

    they suck an dont spit ..lol
    I needed a bit of gas Ptfe at 5 friday ...belled them as friday its wind down from 4 as you no ....they came out delievered 15mins..Thats Bang on ..
    so a few components are a few pence dearer ...customer pays anyway *** !!!!
  20. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds New Member

    If you want to be served by knuckle-draggers in orange overalls, then go to Bodgit & Quickjob. If you want something better, ask yourself who should pay for it to be better.

    If you want to shop somewhere where they will never have everything you need then go to Bodgit & Quickjob, and then when you can no longer get the 5% of the things you do need because not enough Bodgit & Quickjob customers want them, and the places other than Bodgit & Quickjob have all gone out of business because you took their bread-and-butter trade and gave it to Bodgit & Quickjob, ask yourself how costly all that cheap stuff was.

    Ban all sheds, I say.

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