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AaronF 04-10-2009 08:57 AM

Purchasing Products Online
I am looking for some feedback regarding purchasing electrical products directly from manufacturers via their websites. (positive, negative, or any general feedback) What do you think about this approach?

If the costs were equal to the other channels such as retail or electrical distribution, which method would you prefer, and why?

Any feedback you have would be appreciated!

Thanks - Aaron

PaliBob 04-10-2009 11:35 AM


Originally Posted by AaronF (Post 257740) regarding purchasing electrical products directly from manufacturers via their websites... What do you think about this approach?

Only when they are not available from distributors because:
1) Cannot visually see whether on not this is the right part
2) Don't wait for time in shipping
3) Don't pay shipping and handling
4) Hassle on returns

BigJimmy 04-10-2009 11:48 AM

If costs were equal, why on earth would you not buy from a local distributor? Bob already mentioned several good reasons to buy locally. Further, I doubt that many manufacturers will do retail business on-line, at least with small orders.

I've bought products from Ebay with great success however, you should still shop around (they're often not offering the best price) and you must take into account shipping. Another resource that I've had great luck with is Craigslist. I recently bought 3 bundles of 1/2" EMT from a local guy for about $0.40 a stick. I even explained to him how much it typically costs at the big box stores to which he said, "This is my dad's crap and I just want to get rid of it."

Good luck,

Gigs 04-10-2009 12:23 PM


Originally Posted by BigJimmy (Post 257820)
"This is my dad's crap and I just want to get rid of it."

That's code for "I stole this off a construction site and I don't care how much I get for it". :laughing:

wrangler 04-10-2009 09:12 PM

Look at it this way:
If the price is SO great that you don't care if you get garbage, then buy it.
If it is something that you might need warranty or a place to return it, then DON'T.
Over the years I have probably spent over $20K on things from ebay with fairly good luck (including the '71 Opel GT in my avatar) and with the exception of cheap window regulators for my girlfriend's Pontiac Grand Am (garbage car) that were made in China and a used tool, I have had few worries or complaints.
So... if the prices are equal, or close to equal as you stated, there is no question. Buy local. Then you have a face to relate to and a local to return to.

J. V. 04-12-2009 11:34 AM

You have to do your homework. You need to know if you are really saving money. Take the net cost + shipping and handling if it applies. Some will ship for free if the order is large enough. If you stick to brand names that you can trust, I see no reason not to shop online.
Make sure you check the online price against the local price. Use model numbers and not descriptions. Apples to Apples.

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