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amgdjp 11-05-2007 09:26 AM

cheaper fixtures online vs. full retail through builder?
Hi Everyone,

I'm new to the forum and am really hoping to find a good answer to this question! I'm in the midst of a moderate sized home addition which includes a bathroom redo. Our builder expects us to order our bath products (sinks, faucets, tub, etc) from a local bath supply store at full retail. I am finding that I can search for these exact products on ebay or other online realtors for almost half the price. Is there a hidden difference in quality of these items, even if the model numbers are exactly the same? Who can explain the huge price difference between a kohler sink on ebay and the same sink on the kohler website? Any advice would be so, so greatly appreciated. Thanks.

travelover 11-05-2007 12:36 PM

No difference. You are paying for brick and mortar overhead. If you have a problem the local store will help, ebay seller probably won't.

glennjanie 11-05-2007 02:33 PM

Welcome to the Forum. There should not be any difference in the products but pay close attention to the shipping cost and be sure to buy the shipping insurance. Remember, porcelan fixtures are very similar to glass. Ebay has saved us millions while making millions for themselves; its a win, win situation. Please post back and let us know how it works out for you.

Hack 11-08-2007 09:57 AM

I purchase fixtures from online stores. I haven't had a problem yet. I am very careful to check their return and warranty policies to make sure I can return something if I don't like it or if it's damaged.

I have also found that it is very difficult to determine quality of a product from a few pictures and descriptions...another reason for a good return policy.

I do purchase items from fleabay and Craigslist, but those are at my own risk, and I take that into account.

Kerrylib 11-08-2007 01:38 PM

I've ordered plumbing and lighting fixtures from online sellers.

I've had good luck to this point. However, it has been single units that I've been doing my own installation and had delivery been delayed, or problems with the product, it would not have caused problems with scheduling on a larger job.

toddt54 08-16-2011 01:25 PM

Are You Kiddding
Buy local. You will spend more money in the end with shipping product back or having delays in your job because of broken items. We cannot buy everything based on price. If you want your trash picked up and clean water without your taxes being raised, it is time to shop your local stores. Yes, I own a local company and buy everything in my local marketplace. You will not have anywhere to shop except the internet if you continue to think buying online is the only way to shop. We match internet pricing and we service the product.

DavidChristensen 09-05-2011 05:07 PM

Buy Locally
I tend to agree. Foster a relationship with your local supplier. I don't mean the big box stores. Go with the supplier who is local and employs your neighbors.

One possible drawback ordering online is your builder has a relationship with your local supplier. He builds his schedule around the delivery of your stuff.

If you order online and there is a delay, you stand to lose the attention of your builder. He'll move on to someone else's project to keep his guys busy.

Every time he has to mobilize and de-mobilize it costs him money. If it starts costing him money, you might see some added expense passed along to you -and quite fairly.

You can try to negotiate with your local supplier for all your fixtures (as a package). All told, it turns into a 'big ticket' item and the rules are the same as when buying a car, for example.

Your local supplier has local competition, too (including the bigbox stores). He'll need to have a sharp pencil when he figures his bottom line. He knows his competition and I am sure his pencil will be sharp. No harm in 'offer' / 'counter-offer.' That is the age old dance.

Dave Christensen

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