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Thread: Sourcing steel?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    307

    Default

    Well, went back in and had a talk with them, at least with the office mgr. Found out a few interesting things, one was that due directly to my little 'situation' we had, they implemented a new training program for the guys in the yard on how to write up tickets, as well as they are going to be opening up this spring a new 'drops shop' in the front of the place, which is cool, no more issues with mispriced stuff. This wasn't because of me, they had that in the works for months now.

    The downside of that, which really bums me out, is that they are closing the back shop to customers. I've always been amazed that I could walk thru their prod shop and pick out steel to buy right off the shelves. I guess I have been living in the lawyer infested world too long now, and have been brainwashed into seeing liability issues everywhere. I am going to miss that.

    We talked about what happened that day last week, and came to an understanding that it was pretty much a misunderstanding. We talked about the piece that I was interested in, and it still came to $70, 35 of it was the cut. I said for now I'd pass, and once the snow melts out there I will take a look around for a shorter piece that may not need to be cut.

    We talked about pricing, she said the owner explained it to her as she should think of it like she was selling bologna at a deli. If you want a small slice or a full loaf, it is the same price per lb. I agreed, but then said that if the bologna was a little end piece that was getting old, they'd probably sell it to a pig farmer for less, and at least get something out of it before it went bad (i.e. sending the pipe out to scrapped). Not a perfect analogy, but she understood and agreed, but said it wasn't her decision, and that's what she had to do. I said no worries, that was cool. I'd just keep my eyes open for a piece that more closely fit my needs, and avoid the cut chg.

    All in all it worked out fine, no bridges burnt or hard feelings, and I will still buy stuff from them when it works for both of us.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Milan Michigan
    Posts
    1,731

    Default

    Whether you think a pc. is scrap or not, When they bought it they had to pay by the lb. for every inch.

    They cant say to their supplier that ( hey I only need 18' of the 20' pc. so charge me full price for the 18' and scrap price for the remaining 2'

    It doesnt work that way. Usually the drop price may only be a few cents more than what he paid for it.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    greenfield new hampshire
    Posts
    878

    Default

    if a shop is willing to sell individual drops to a small guy, it is a blessing in disguise, try stocking a small shop with 20 and 24 foot sticks of steel, one will run out of space and money very quick, i have bought bulk drops in the past, a ton of plate, angle, ect, now thats the way to buy steel

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    307

    Default

    Well, sometimes it pays to network, and treat your customers as you would want to be treated. I was at a customers house yesterday, and when I was leaving with him thru his garage I noticed some interesting stuff, large (12"+) powered gate valves, etc. I asked him about them, we got into a conversation about the business he is in, and he said he has access to all kinds of stuff, and after telling him my steel woes and what I was making with it, he asked me what I wanted! I couldn't believe it, so I tossed out a couple suggestions, he said no biggie, he'd be happy to grab a few pieces for me, both tubing and some plate, and even could have it cut! Dang! Not to be greedy, but I had to mention my current trials and tribulations about getting any quantity of lead, he said he runs across it all the time in demolition. I asked if there was any way I may be able to get some from him, and he said no prob! Wow, I didn't know what to say, other than Thanks! Just goes to show, one never knows where good things may come from, but it sure does pay to be curious. It does help that I treated him quite well as a customer, so Karma also seems to be at work...

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