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Online Sprinkler Supply House

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by drmiller100, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. drmiller100

    drmiller100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 562


    The nearest sprinkler supply house to us is 100 miles away. I'm really sick and tired of getting shipped the wrong parts. I don't think I'm using weird stuff.
    I'd like to find a supply house that can second day ship me supplies. Preferably the supplies I ordered.

    I require consistent pricing.
    A buck a sprinkler ain't gonna kill me, but starting at 10 bucks a head, then sneaking up to 16 a head tends to piss me off.

    Ability to accept credit cards and keep them on file, or allow me to set up a 2500 dollar account.
    A supplier that will EDUCATE me about better ways to do things.
    A supplier that will help teach me to become more efficient.

    Typically, at one time, I am ordering 50 MP rotors
    25 I20 stainless steels
    along with saddles, L's, funny pipe, wire nuts, wire, etc.
    Double check valves (optional, but for the right price.....)
    Email/ or website would be nice, but I MUST be able to call on a phone and order stuff for second day delivery.

    I use poly pipe, but I figure I'm just going to order 5k from someone somewhere and have it trucked in.

    I'm a small player. This year I'll do 350 or so mp's, and a couple of hundred i20's...... The odd zone......

    suggestions welcome!
    drmiller100 at hotmail dot com
    mccall idaho
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    Set up an account with the nearest John Deere Landscapes. They do an excellent job and have good pricing. Our other supplier is H.G. Fowler, they provide most of our fittings and pipe.

    We have a large shop with a large amount of inventory in it, so we recieve our 'freight' by the truckload once a week.
  3. turfman59

    turfman59 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    You need to concentrate your purchasing to one supplier. You will get support through consistent purchasing and build relationships that will get you out of a jam in the future. It seems to me you are a newer contractor like me. My business would have not been able to grow without a succesful supplier/contractor relationship.

    Why are you using SS heads and I -20's why not PGPS.
  4. drmiller100

    drmiller100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 562

    i'd love to buy from only one supplier. in fact, i only buy from one supplier at a time. when the one supplier can't get my mp rotors for a week, or can't get me my i20's for a week, or can't deliver swing pipe for 5 days, i switch.
    i'm not shy. If a salesperson were to tell me "we're out of i20's, won't have them for a week", then I'd figure out how to survive a week, or order them from someone else, then go back to the HONEST salesperson.

    i'm trying to be "high end" quality systems. I sell my systems as using high quality parts, with a 3 year guarantee. I guarantee the complete installation, including sod, water drainage, programming adjustments, the whole deal. For instance, I include first year's fertilizing, fall blowouts, and spring turn ons with installation price of sprinklers, grading, and sod.

    I have been selling the I20 SS as being a quality, industrial strength part. I sell steel shafted sprinklers, so it isn't fair to compare my prices to those selling plastic sprinklers.
    For a 25 head system, that ends up being a differential in price of 75 bucks. If I can sell my customer on my quality, and service, I have been able to up my rates on a complete system a lot more then that.

    being new, cash is thin. I can't afford to carry 3 months supply of everything. I can carry 2 weeks worth, but stuff happens, and sometimes I run low. Right now I have a 17,000 dollar commercial invoice awaiting 9 mprotator 2000's and 6 mp 3000's. I ordered them July 28, and dad brought them up last night.
    75 bucks in parts, and i get to invoice the builder 17k AFTER the final 15 heads are installed.

  5. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    We are the same way about installing high quality systems DRMiller, and our reputation for it lands us most of our jobs (no advertising needed).

    I think what gets us the most jobs is when somebody walks by and notices that we use SCH40 pipe. We are the only company in this area (or the world???) that does not use any class pipe (SCH 40 pipe and 160+ PSI Poly only) and because of that we get the majority of the jobs.

    We also sell I-20's as an optional upgrade to PGP's, but we don't try to make them sound too good, or people will think PGP's are junk, which they most definitly are not. I think we do 1 I-20 install for every 15 PGP install.

    As time goes by, continue to build up your inventory. Our is HUGE yet would only last us two weeks or so.
  6. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,258

    Uhhh, you might want to drop the phrase 'steel-shafted' from your description, in favor of something that doesn't imply any steel beyond what can be seen on the popped-up head. The I-20's I've replaced had the same plastic joint (between the stationary and rotating parts of the head) as do the PGP's.
  7. drmiller100

    drmiller100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 562

    hi Wet Boots. Lets pretend we are both bidding a system. You give your schpiel.

    I give mine. In mine, I say "here are the sprinklers I use. See, they have a steel shaft. They cost me a little more up front, but I don't make money by doing warrantee work, and I don't want plastic sprinklers of mine going bad.
    The sprinklers I use are similar to my competitor's, but mine are a higher end, industrial version, with a steel shaft. My bid might be a little higher, but I don't think is fair to compare costs of bids directly. Here is how the system will work for you.

    If you commit today, I can have it started by xx date, and fully expect to be done by yy. I don't take ANY money from you until I am done with the job, and you are happy.
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,258

    It's just the English language that's the concern here. What you are describing as a 'stainless steel shaft' is actually a stainless steel sheath that covers a sprinkler that does not materially differ from a PGP. I really doubt that any customer is going to look into a head that's lost it's top, and discover that there is no steel shaft inside the head, and start screaming bloody murder.

    As for not taking any money before a job is completed, this could be vividly foolish, depending upon the laws of the state in which you are working. Where I work, there is no contract whatsoever, despite whatever you may have on paper, unless actual money changes hands. Now, the odds of a satisfied customer blowing you off, may be slim, but if the law supports them in doing so, you'd better allow for the possibility.
  9. turfman59

    turfman59 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    what happens if they are still not happy. do you walk away with your hat in your hand. I have never heard of this kind of salesmanship, it must be tough to be so hungry
  10. drmiller100

    drmiller100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 562

    I work on it until they ARE happy.

    i'm pretty hungry.

    i'm bidding 600 a tap, plus 120 a head.

    is that too low???

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