I am just kind of visiting this section. It is doubtful I will go into lights but I wanted to say I could not agree more. I went to a new nursery supplier last week. They had been sending me e-mails with some decent prices.
When I got there, they had a completely different service desk for landscapers. They wanted to see my articles of incorporation and my resell certificate. I had not brought that material so I had to get the wife to find it and fax it over. They guys at the desk apologized but there was no need.
I for one appreciated it. Sadly, many people want everyone but themselves to work for free. It cost money to order, receive and transport much less sell someone something. Those margins are yours and is what helps keep you in business.
In regards to sharing estimating tips and such... I think an educated competitor is a good competitor. It is the guys that do not know how to bid, under price stuff and later goes out of business that ruins the market.
Best of Luck Guys.