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Old 09-16-2010, 10:18 AM   #1
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Buying Wholesale


I have a company near me in Warminster, PA called HVAC Distributors. They sell Amana brand. I stopped in there yesterday and the nice guy at the counter told me that technically they sell to contractors only but if I came in when there wasn't a contractor in the place he would gladly sell to me. He gave me a price on a 3 ton heat pump and a air handler that will get the tax rebate. The price was considerably lower from the price I got from the two contractors who quoted me. I then found a licensed contractor who works for a company and does sidework and he gave me a price for the installation. When all is said and done my savings is over $1500. So if you look hard enough you can find the place where the contractor buys and save what appears to be exhorbitant mark-up. Good luck!

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Old 09-16-2010, 11:04 AM   #2
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and who do you think is going to warranty that unit once you get it installed? The installer doing the sidework surely isn't and depending on how Amana's warranties work, you might not have any warranty on the product.

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Old 09-16-2010, 11:13 AM   #3
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Hmmmm, save $1500 and set it aside during warranty period. Go on faith that whatever might break if anything will cost less than $1500 to repair (this is a hope and prayer, but usually works out for most customers). At end of period, use any leftover money to pay down mortgage. Add up total savings including interest you don't pay on the mortgage and income taxes you don't have to pay to earn the money to pay the interest on the mortgage.

I'd take that bet. In fact, I am about to do that very thing. Only thing I'm hiring out is gas and electric hookup, since my code doesn't let me do that part as DIY.
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Old 09-16-2010, 11:17 AM   #4
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I really think the OP is a veiled advertisement for the supplier mentioned.
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Old 09-16-2010, 11:22 AM   #5
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Good catch, it does seem like an unusual first post, otherwise
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Old 09-16-2010, 12:50 PM   #6
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I don't know who he's advertising for or if he is,but what he said is true. HVAC contractors do not like the public knowing their equipment and materials cost.

Price difference between 13 and 14 SEER units at wholesale level is usually often only a few hundred, of even that, but with a furnish and install contract, you'll often see a price difference of $1,000 or more even though the labor is exactly the same. They're getting $700 for nothing probably taking advantage of tax rebate.
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Old 09-16-2010, 12:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by HVAC_NW View Post
I don't know who he's advertising for or if he is,but what he said is true. HVAC contractors do not like the public knowing their equipment and materials cost.

Price difference between 13 and 14 SEER units at wholesale level is usually often only a few hundred, of even that, but with a furnish and install contract, you'll often see a price difference of $1,000 or more even though the labor is exactly the same. They're getting $700 for nothing probably taking advantage of tax rebate.


You are paying for experence & knowledge,, over head , tools,, etc , etc,.. You think Home Depot don't make a profit off what they sell ?
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Old 09-16-2010, 01:51 PM   #8
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You are paying for experence & knowledge,, over head , tools,, etc , etc,.. You think Home Depot don't make a profit off what they sell ?
The installation procedure is practically if not exactly the same for two different models. You're paying for experience and knowledge on install. 13 SEER vs 16 SEER, the price difference between two different SEER rated models is substantial in furnish and install despite having very little labor and cost difference to the contractor.

The contractor is for installation labor. It's best to avoid as many middlemen as possible on major components.

This is Tirerack type business model. Materials and supplies procured and shipped to jobsite, prepaid by owner. Install tech mounts the tires, condenser, furnace, etc. One big condition on warranty is that to have it installed by a licensed installer.

Last edited by HVAC_NW; 09-16-2010 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 09-16-2010, 02:42 PM   #9
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__________________
Just slow, not stupid.

Last edited by hvaclover; 09-16-2010 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 09-16-2010, 03:13 PM   #10
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Yes, money can be saved going this route.

It's been mentioned that warranty could be problematic. The other thing you need to do is read the fine print associated with any manufacturers rebates, utility incentives and state, federal tax credits. Many of these are tied to a specific "pre-approved" list of contractors.

Just know everything up front.
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Old 09-16-2010, 03:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by HVAC_NW View Post

This is Tirerack type business model. Materials and supplies procured and shipped to jobsite, prepaid by owner. Install tech mounts the tires, condenser, furnace, etc. One big condition on warranty is that to have it installed by a licensed installer.
Tirerack makes considerable money for it's owners.

Yes, each person that touches a product is going to make some money on the deal. It really doesn't make any difference if it is charged as material or labor. It is the total that is of concern and anybody that thinks they are going to get something for free doesn't really understand why the prices charged are what they are.

Yes, you can do a self install and save a lot of money. Heck, I can build my own house and save a lot of money but for the majority of the people, that is not a reality. and to the self installers; make absolutely sure about the warranty, or lack of because it wasn't installed by an approved installer. Don't forget that when that "side job Johnny" installation fails and smokes your unit, you are starting at ground zero again. Simple figure that all the money you spent gets to be spent again.

Last edited by nap; 09-16-2010 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:08 PM   #12
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I'm sorry to ruffle the feathers of a few contractors. I'm not advertising for anybody. My point was to help those on this forum realize they can save alot of money. A few contractors brought up warranty. The distributor told me that since the heat pump was purchased from an authorized distributor both they and Amana would stand behind the warranty as long as it was installed according to manufacturers directions. So that's a non issue. The contractor who I am using showed me his EPA card that qualifies him to handle the freon. He works as one of the lead guys for one of the big HVAC companies in my area. This is a side job for him. But he is as qualified I'm sure as any on here who have questioned his ability. He provided references and I did check them out.

DIY forums exist because we as homeowners have gotten tired of being way overcharged for the services of tradesman. Please spare me the "You're paying for knowledge and experience" baloney. Its a heat pump install not brain surgery. The consumer can, with a little shopping, save the mark-up that contractor makes, which can be 50% or more. And if you go to craig or angie you can find a good contractor for the install and you will save at least half probably more on the labor. Do the math...the quote you just received from that contractor will be half, with a little research on your part.

I'm sorry guys but 12 months of tech scool training doesn't qualify you to make an hourly wage similar to what I pay my physician. Quite frankly this would be a non issue if you guys didn't overcharge the public for so long. I wish I could post on here what I paid for the heat pump so the readers could see what Im talking about.
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:14 PM   #13
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I wish I could post on here what I paid for the heat pump so the readers could see what Im talking about.
Nothing's preventing you from posting prices here. (unlike other forums)

http://www.diychatroom.com/f17/announcements/
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:22 PM   #14
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Then he isn't a contractor.

You hired a tech that works n the side. But, HE IS NOT A CONTRACTOR. Please don't call him that. Because a contractor CAN'T work on the side. Since all his work is for him to begin with.

As to the other poster that said we get ruffled when people find out what whole sale prices are.

Well. Neither you or him know what are whole sale prices are. because you paid more then whole sale for that unit. HVAC has more then one price list on their computer.


As for warranty. You still have the same warranty problem that anyone does. That uses a side job guy. You will wait until he is done working his regular job, for him to come out to you.


Did you get an Amana, an Amana Distintions, or a Goodman unit.
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:52 PM   #15
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To Beenthere and the other po'd contractors: He may be a tech at his regular job but since I hired him and he has a PA contractor license then to me he is a contractor. He has his own truck, his own tools, and even sells the units too if I wanted. He is as good as any contractor on here. I know people he has done work for. And if I have to wait a little bit longer for him to answer a warranty call should I have one, I'm willing to do that since it will save me $1500 to $3000 dollars.

Since I just found out I can post pricing here goes. The heat pump is a 14 Seer, 3 ton, model ssz something Amana. The air unit is ecm, not sure of the model #. Prices are $1349 for the heat pump, and $799 for the air unit. Installation is $1100 and includes installing new line...which will involve cutting some dry wall. The drywall will be repaired and patched and sanded but not paint. One other estimate I got was 4900 but did not include the line and 6300 which did include the line.

I'm sorry but there is no justification for that big of a difference. $3250 vs $4900 or $6000. Like I said, I'll wait a little bit for him to get done his day job to come out and see me. It's not like one of these other contractors will be out in 10 minutes anyhow.

My suggestion to those on this forum: Your in a DIY forum for a reason...probably to save money and this is a perfect example of how to save a ton. And when you ask a question and find that the contractors are hesitant to share information since they want to take your money, go to youtube as there are many many helpful videos on hvac there. Some repairs are so simple its mind boggling how they get away with charging the prices they do.

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