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Old 10-02-2010, 07:48 PM   #1
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Supply houses are really stuck-up about not selling to DIYers


I went to a Ruud wholesale distributor to purchase optional parts for my A/C and they refused to sell it to me. They asked "are you a heating contractor?" and when I said no, I'm told I can't buy it from them.



I see no other reason than ensuring job security for Ruud Reliable contractor network. If I purchased a component from them that is easily replaced, that's going to prevent a contractor from being able to have his service call and sell that part at markup

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Old 10-02-2010, 09:06 PM   #2
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Supply houses are really stuck-up about not selling to DIYers


you seem suprised ! Can't believe they wouldn't sell to you. However,,I believe several of us told you supply houses usually won't sell to the public


Last edited by kenmac; 10-02-2010 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:14 PM   #3
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Supply houses are really stuck-up about not selling to DIYers


HVAC stuff seems to be hard to find in general. Even ductwork. Last time I went to HD I pretty much emptied them out of their inventory. They only sell a few of everything, but not enough for a large project. I could see it being hard for a DIYer wanting to do ductwork for a whole house, for example.

I would love if they sold more advanced stuff, like dampers. I would love to zone my house at some point but getting the parts would not be easy.
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:32 PM   #4
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Supply houses are really stuck-up about not selling to DIYers


You are partly correct and you need to think about WHY they will not sell to you. They are protecting their dealer/contractors, but not for the reasons that you have laid out. They are really protecting themselves and you should respect the real reason.

You come in and want to buy the $100 worth of parts. You will fix your furnace and that will, by and large be the extent of your trade with the wholesale house. The Ruud dealer that you think they are protecting, will probably spend $100,000 with them this year. So, you see, they are really protecting themselves and I hope, regardless of how it effects you, maybe you can appreciate the WHY.

I am a huge proponent of DIY, but I see both sides of the coin. You are frustrated because of how it effects you only. I have no idea what you do for a living, but maybe the above logic can be applied in your world.

I am not taking sides, I just think I understand the WHY.
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:53 PM   #5
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Supply houses are really stuck-up about not selling to DIYers


Supply houses do not sell to the general public because they can only sell to a State licensed contractor and State Licensed technician. This is a requirement by Consumer Protection and environmental protection.
All HVAC service technicians have to carry a occupational license and EPA refrigerant certification to purchase at the local HVAC wholesalers in Connecticut. The wholesalers will not sell to anyone who is not licensed.
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:15 PM   #6
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Supply houses are really stuck-up about not selling to DIYers


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Supply houses do not sell to the general public because they can only sell to a State licensed contractor and State Licensed technician. This is a requirement by Consumer Protection and environmental protection.
That may be the case in CT, but in many states, no license is required. No licensing board exists. As far as the EPA is concerned, a 608 cert or better is the only requirement, and that is only related to the bulk purchase and servicing of cooling gases.

In most states, Plumbing, HVAC and Electrical is separate in its governance and requirements.

And, I can tell you from VERY first hand experience that a wholesale HVAC supplier can sell to anyone that they want to sell to. The choice is financial first.
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Old 10-03-2010, 02:12 AM   #7
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Supply houses are really stuck-up about not selling to DIYers


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You are partly correct and you need to think about WHY they will not sell to you. They are protecting their dealer/contractors, but not for the reasons that you have laid out. They are really protecting themselves and you should respect the real reason.

You come in and want to buy the $100 worth of parts. You will fix your furnace and that will, by and large be the extent of your trade with the wholesale house. The Ruud dealer that you think they are protecting, will probably spend $100,000 with them this year. So, you see, they are really protecting themselves and I hope, regardless of how it effects you, maybe you can appreciate the WHY.

I am a huge proponent of DIY, but I see both sides of the coin. You are frustrated because of how it effects you only. I have no idea what you do for a living, but maybe the above logic can be applied in your world.

I am not taking sides, I just think I understand the WHY.
Contractors do not enjoy competition and they enjoy price fixing through restricting, boycotting or bullying their supply chain.

http://dockets.justia.com/docket/new...v00613/289009/

Kichler Lighting came up with anti-competitive price fixing scheme to prohibit its customers from advertising its products below vertically ordered pricing structure for no other reason than preventing competition.

Quoting Kichler, it made the following statement for its price fixing scheme:
“Due to the growth of the Internet channel of commerce, we are seeing more and more of our distributors losing sales to these low price Internet web sites."

Kichler admitted it was policing point-of-sale price in order to protect "traditional" contractors and showrooms, which is just another way of saying anti-competitive practice.

The only reason I can see for supply house not wishing to give access to parts at wholesale price to the public is that it creates competition for contractors and the contractors pressure them to not do so.

Just imagine what it would be like when car parts only become available for purchase by licensed mechanic with tax ID on account and you're forced to take it to a shop and pay labor and parts markup only because you can't get parts. It's the same logic.
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Old 10-03-2010, 02:14 AM   #8
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Supply houses are really stuck-up about not selling to DIYers


You should call the wholesalers that Walmart uses. And ask to buy their products directly from them, instead of going through Walmart.
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Old 10-03-2010, 02:19 AM   #9
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The only reason I can see for supply house not wishing to give access to parts at wholesale price to the public is that it creates competition for contractors and the contractors pressure them to not do so.
If they sold it to the public for the same price. Then it wouldn't be wholesale pricing anymore. Look up the definition of wholesale.

It would then be retail. Since the general public is retail.
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:01 AM   #10
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You can find most replacement parts for most major brands of HVAC equipment on the web.
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:56 AM   #11
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Supply houses are really stuck-up about not selling to DIYers


I do sense that supply houses, in general, have tighten their reins on selling to DIYers over the last ten years or so. It seems to be an industry-wide movement in HVAC, to make supplies, parts and information less accessible to the DIY community. That is why I am so grateful to those individuals that are willing to share their expertise on this site.

To the pros out there, has there been some type of industry-wide, top-down movement, say from a professional organization or manufacturer's collabrative that has been leading the charge with the goal to make HVAC industry more "professional" and, therefore, less accessible. Or would you say that movement is more grass roots. Ultimately I would think it is about economics, but it is hard to believe that DIYers "suction" more than 0.5% of the gross profits from the residential side. When you move to commercial, I am sure the number drops to practically zero.

My sense is that the complexity of the devices and systems will, much like the automotive industry, drive out most DIYers. There is also a clear trend in this country toward less, I guess I would call it, "rugged individualism", where one gains a sense of accomplishment and self satisfaction from completing a task that involves getting your hands dirty. Out of convenience, people hire others to clean their house and mow their lawn. It is no surprise then, almost no one is interested in really understanding how to fix their car or HVAC.

Regarding supply houses, they should have the right to sell to whoever they want. I don't think the G-man should be regulating that, but it sounds like that does happen in some states. Supply houses likely have two reasons for not selling to DIYers: not interested in handholding and returns that come from a DIY sale and protecting their professional customer base. The privlilege of buying at wholesale prices is, almost always, a function of volume. No volume, no wholesale.

Last edited by civiltoatee; 10-03-2010 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 10-03-2010, 08:12 AM   #12
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You can find most replacement parts for most major brands of HVAC equipment on the web.
Yep.

And then he would have to pay for the part.

He's trying to get the part for free. Since his furnace is under part warranty at this time.
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Old 10-03-2010, 08:20 AM   #13
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Supply houses are really stuck-up about not selling to DIYers


The profit margins for some very small independant dealers is VERY low where I am. They cutthroat each other (another story). Drives them mad when they see a DIYer at the parts house taking away even more of their earning potential. They lean on the parts house threaten to take their biz elsewhere so the parts house agrees to not sell to DIYers. Also saves them a LOT of hassle with DIYers parts changing/frying boards etc when they don't know what they are doing and trying to return them. Folks, this is democracy, parts houses have the right to do what ever they want with no gov't interference. Funny that I cannot go to GMs central parts depot and buy my parts there at dealer cost.
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Old 10-03-2010, 08:21 AM   #14
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but it is hard to believe that DIYers "suction" more than 0.5% of the gross profits from the residential side.
Unfortunately. Gross profit almost means nothing.

USA national average profit for HVAC companies ranges between 3 to 5%.
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Old 10-03-2010, 08:23 AM   #15
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Some states in the USA do have restrictions on who can buy from a wholesaler. Most states don't.

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