Buying Material?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by GroundScapesIncorporated, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. GroundScapesIncorporated

    GroundScapesIncorporated LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Posts: 386

    How many suppliers do you deal with?

    I am the kind of person that likes to deal at one place.
    I believe strongly in building relationships with those you deal with.

    Example: The place that I buy my mulch, plants, and all gravel is a retail place. I pay a little more for mulch and plants then I could at a wholesale place but by dealing soley with them a decent percentage of our work comes from them, and if I need something they are always there to help out.

    Example 2: I bank at only one bank, I dont even shop around, I go in every other day and deposit money or whatever. I always go in, in person to help in building that relationship, j . The return? When I want something, I get it.

    My question is towards Pavers and wall Material though,

    As some of you know, I am married to Versa-lok, our versa-lok dealer also sells nava stone and Techo, which are both more expensive than my Belgard dealer that I really really like, (very nice people).
    I know that Techo is a better product than Belgard but in our area most people will take the cost break and just go with belgard, not to mention that 75% of my competition ALWAYS prices Belgard and my prices are already more expensive than all but one of my competitors.
    I know that if I dealt soley with one supplier I would get more referral work from them.
    In a perfect world, the same supplier would sell v-lok and belgard, but they dont.

    I know their is no perfect answer, but I am just curious if anyone else is or has dealt with a similar situation, or anybody got any advice on what they would do in my situation.
  2. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    Price the job with belgrad. When the people tell you that you got the job i assume you then bring out some samples for them to pick color. Bring the belgrade and techo samples out. Chances are, they will choose the techo.

    I buy all my wall block and pavers from one supplier. I buy top soil and fill dirt from another. Plants from another. Gravel from the quarry.

    My block and paver guy is way to high on top soil and gravel to buy those from him.

    I do have to deal with another company to get quality natural stone products. And another to get marble pavers.

    I also found much better deals on piping, pvc and black perforated along with fabric at the local plumbing supply store.

    I do my best to stay loyal to my supplies. I will only buy block and pavers from 1 guy. But i refuse to get over charged on his sideline products.
  3. McKeeLand

    McKeeLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 681

    i stayed with the same supplier for years until one year they raised their prices, really raised them. i tried talking to them and the owners that i have another supplier that i used to deal with when i first started that would beat there price substationally. they decided they would not match that price because it would not be fair to the other contractors. i finally went back to the original supplier and couldn't be happier. i will never go back even if they lowered their prices. they started selling techo last year and that is the only reason that i would buy from them. you would think spending $100k a year in pavers and walls would get you some loyalty. that's OK i have since referred several other contractors to my old supplier and they love him, not the smartest thing to give the competition the better priced supplier, but it was worth it to take business away from them.

    Price isn't the only thing, like you guys said, service is worth a little more if need be. i get that and better prices. jsut curious what you guys where paying for coventry wall single sided and Coventry I pavers last year. i was paying $12.55/SFF and $3.13/SF.

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