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Euph0ny
01-03-2014, 03:51 AM
This beta-test of a new service from Amazon might be of interest to HSM'ers:

http://www.amazonsupply.com/

dp
01-03-2014, 04:07 AM
I've purchased a number of industrial components from Amazon stores - I imagine this will be another view of many of the existing store fronts. I like Amazon because many of the things I buy get free shipping, and price shopping is very convenient.

ptjw7uk
01-03-2014, 04:15 AM
Another nail in the coffin of small businesses.

peter

sawlog
01-03-2014, 04:33 AM
I have also purchased HSM supplies from Amazon. In fact I have a Starett blad on the way for my bandsaw now.

In my personal opinion the only way the small individual suppliers will be able to compete with the McMaster Carr, Granger, MSW, Enco, ect. is to provide advice and service. Example one of the vendors that calls on us at work is a good friend of mine, I asked him about an indexabe milling cutter for my small mill at home. He not only suggested an import mill that he sells, but said that his customers had as good a result with it as the more expensve version.. He not only recomended the mill but sent it to me to try it before I purchased it. The cutter worked as promised and the cost was reasonable.

This how him and his brother competes in the market, by knowing thier products and providing advice and service. This is the only way the small business man can compete.

CarlByrns
01-03-2014, 06:55 AM
In my personal opinion the only way the small individual suppliers will be able to compete with the McMaster Carr, Granger, MSW, Enco, ect. is to provide advice and service.

Agreed. The local metal supply company has gone out of its way to not support HSM types and as consequence has given some part of its business to the internet metal companies.
On the flip side, a local hardware store has a bright, knowledgeable staff and a very deep inventory. They are everybodies go-to for hard-to-find widgets and whadayacallits.

Royldean
01-03-2014, 10:30 AM
This beta-test of a new service from Amazon might be of interest to HSM'ers:

http://www.amazonsupply.com/

This has been around for a couple of years, at least.

Tony
01-03-2014, 10:39 AM
yes I think it used to be called SmallParts.Com
in fact, smallparts.com redirects right to amazonsupply.

wmgeorge
01-03-2014, 10:45 AM
Frankly I am happy to have Amazon doing this. My local Fastenal is staffed by people who used to stock shelves at Walmart or so it seems. They know nothing. The only way I deal with them is to find the part number online and give that to them when I walk in. The local Praxair is fine if you wanted to pickup or exchange a tank, but otherwise way to high priced. I purchased two band saw blades for fair price compared to online, but then they added on a $15 per blade welding charge???
Thanks but no thanks.

sawlog
01-03-2014, 10:59 AM
You hit on another problem, local hardware stores vs the big boxes. Truthfully the biggest problem with dealing with any online or big box type iof retailer is you need to know the products you are getting. I don't mind ordering somethings when I know exactly what I want, but it is worth the few pennies to get that expert advice when you do not know what the differences is in products or the ease of finding what you need.

Like I said the small retailers have a tough road to hoe, but the only way any of them will survive and grow is to what the interenet or big boxes can't or wont do, provide execelent service and support.

jkilroy
01-03-2014, 01:04 PM
Its just another front end on the existing site, you are still buying from a variety of vendors. As a brick and mortar business man I have a real problem with no Internet sales tax, internet vendors not only should be paying sales tax, they should be paying a premium over brick and mortar stores. After all the local stores have closed, and they are no longer paying sales tax, payroll tax, or inventory tax, where exactly do you think your local government is going to turn to keep their pensions funded? The only place that is left, local property tax.

macona
01-03-2014, 01:12 PM
Not really. Amazon bought Small Parts and most of the stuff there is right out of the old small parts catalog.

lbhsbz
01-03-2014, 01:26 PM
I hate amazon. They are the fuel that drives the race to the bottom in many industries. I prefer to pay a bit more and buy from an outfit with knowledge about what they sell...and the ability to support the product.

lwalker
01-03-2014, 06:19 PM
I hate amazon. They are the fuel that drives the race to the bottom in many industries. I prefer to pay a bit more and buy from an outfit with knowledge about what they sell...and the ability to support the product.

I honestly can't remember the last time I bought something either in person, or online where I needed "support." I do remember spending hours learning about the subtle differences in products so I could decide which one to buy. If the "price" I pay for cheap parts, etc. is that I have to become more educated, it sounds like a win-win to me!

I really don't have a problem being more knowledgeable about a product than the person selling it in the store: being able to hire any idiot off the street is one way store owners can keep costs down ;-)

Lyndon

macona
01-03-2014, 06:29 PM
If I need something now, I go to the local hardware store which is incredibly well stocked. If I can wait and need a bunch of things I order online.

McMaster, Small Parts (Amazon) and other companies really do not intersect in their demographic. I just ordered 50 of continuous flex cable for the laser cutter at work. There is no one local that will have that and there never has been. With McMaster it will be here monday morning ready for me to install asap.

We also order from Amazon all the time at work. We have one account for amazon that allows us to order from a lot of different companies on there. Simplifies accounting big time.

mike4
01-03-2014, 07:07 PM
The smaller local stores have to pay their staff to weld the bandsaw blade, and that wage is usually competing with some large industry , in our case mining .( high wages for no-brainer jobs)

I often buy online from companies who as Macona said have the item or material in stock and deliver in a timely manner.
I have ordered from some franchise hardware stores staffed by dipsticks off the street or rejected from Maccas , and the item takes three weeks to arrive and is often the wrong part number even when the correct number was given to the on the ourchase order.

So its up to you to chase up who has the part and can supply in a time frame that suits your needs.
Michael

kf2qd
01-03-2014, 08:10 PM
Amazon and others are not the cause of many of the local stores failing. Their failure is the result of failing to provide service to their potential customers. Why should I pay more from my local supplier when he charges more, has no-one who knows the product and when I walk into the store everyone is talking and joking, but the customers are being ignored?

Like some have mentioned here - they will go to the shop that actually cares about customer service, and pay for the priveledge of being served. But why should I go local, and pay more when they don't seem to value my business?

RussZHC
01-03-2014, 11:17 PM
Slowly but surely a couple of the local brick and mortar places are losing my little bit of business. I don't know, maybe "little" is the reason.

Anyway, I spend a fair bit of time researching only to be disappointed that neither of these two places seem to have stock. Not really expected though, much of what I want seems to be off the beaten path and I do understand it is impossible to stock an endless variety of items.
What is beginning to bother me is the package quantity idea. I mean if I want a specific grinding wheel for a bench grinder, why should I have to order 10? What am I going to do with 10? And, in this particular case, it is the manufacturer or someone between manufacturer and end point sales who appears to be forcing the issue. Add to that when Norton has a vast catalog and what this seller orders from, for bench grinders, is less than a full page (and even then there are more than a few pictures).
Other than the deburring tools, no one in the place had a clue Noga makes other items. Now they did not have a Noga deburring tool, but they did have some old numbered replacement cutters of some sort.
The staff is very helpful and one in particular has steered me to some very nice items but as I do all the research all I basically need is a place to order from/through. They certainly can't/won't do it on pricing.

The staff at the other place has a huge amount of knowledge gleaned over the years but seems very limited to what is in the catalog (75%+ is import and 75% of that is cheap import) and when some of those are half a decade old...I mean every single place has King and King Industrial and price is within a couple of dollars so you better have some other draw.

Edit: as far as I know, here, Manitoba, Canada, many of the "causes" don't really exist [McMaster, Amazon (Cdn arm is very much more limited in scope) etc.]

C_lazy_F_Guns
01-04-2014, 02:15 AM
Another nail in the coffin of small businesses.

peter
Not at all most of the sellers are small business just like you find on eBay, it's a new market opportunity.

CarlByrns
01-04-2014, 10:47 AM
Not at all most of the sellers are small business just like you find on eBay, it's a new market opportunity.

That's not always true.
Where I work we have to compete against internet suppliers and it's not easy. We have researched our online competition: they're not traditional mom-and-pops. They're warehouses that don't have a lot of the same expenses as a brick & mortar- just a couple of pickers and packers and even those jobs are being automated. Some don't offer local pick up.
When a customer comes in to our store and asks for detailed technical advice (which we have to go to an expensive school to learn) and then buys the bulk of his inventory online, it costs our company real dollars. We simply cannot survive on a ten dollar sale that took an hour to complete because we had to show the customer how to install the product. The customer buys one from us, hundreds online. It sucks.

I refuse to buy online if there is a local source. I prefer my money stays in my community, not in somewhere in cyberspace.

Bob Fisher
01-04-2014, 11:12 AM
I am fortunate to have a good hardware store near by! Thier prices are competitive with the big box places on most things, so I prefer to deal with them. They even know me by first name. I also have a work account there for sundry items like flourescent tubes etc. try finding a 1in bolt at the big box places. Everything is in bulk, not blister packed and overpriced at that.Bob.

ironmonger
01-04-2014, 06:30 PM
If their web sight doesn't improve, no one has to worry about A/S putting anyone out of business.

If they buy McMaster-Carr they might be a threat... Went looking for a spring on both sites. In 1 minute I knew that MC didn't have it. I never even got through the listings on A/S and I won't even bother. I will call M/C Monday and see what the person who answers the phone can do.

paul

C_lazy_F_Guns
01-04-2014, 07:29 PM
That's not always true.
Where I work we have to compete against internet suppliers and it's not easy. We have researched our online competition: they're not traditional mom-and-pops. They're warehouses that don't have a lot of the same expenses as a brick & mortar- just a couple of pickers and packers and even those jobs are being automated. Some don't offer local pick up.
When a customer comes in to our store and asks for detailed technical advice (which we have to go to an expensive school to learn) and then buys the bulk of his inventory online, it costs our company real dollars. We simply cannot survive on a ten dollar sale that took an hour to complete because we had to show the customer how to install the product. The customer buys one from us, hundreds online. It sucks.

I refuse to buy online if there is a local source. I prefer my money stays in my community, not in somewhere in cyberspace.

Yup the world she is changing and I too liked it better the way it was. But it isnít good or bad, itís just different opportunities, problems and pitfalls. For the reasons you listed I donít have a store front anymore. It isnít economical for me to hold inventory in a store and compete with everyone in the country on Gunbroker.com selling at 5% over wholesale. So I just sell services now days. I no longer spend time helping someone pick a product but charge to get the product they picked to them provide service to modify their product.


On the other side I manufacture some of my own products too. Now days I can direct market them nation wide from here in Podunk Alaska without a middleman and compete well with huge corporations that arenít near as nimble as I can be. Itís just a new world out there with new and changing opportunities.

wierdscience
01-04-2014, 08:25 PM
Its just another front end on the existing site, you are still buying from a variety of vendors. As a brick and mortar business man I have a real problem with no Internet sales tax, internet vendors not only should be paying sales tax, they should be paying a premium over brick and mortar stores. After all the local stores have closed, and they are no longer paying sales tax, payroll tax, or inventory tax, where exactly do you think your local government is going to turn to keep their pensions funded? The only place that is left, local property tax.

I agree partly,however the state you and I both reside in STILL has that idiotic inventory tax on the books which means most of what you and I are likely to need won't be on the store shelves locally unless it's bread,beer or baby shoes.No merchant can afford to stock slow moving industrial items if their profit margin is erroded away to nothing in the time it takes to sell an item.

Property tax needs to be abolished,but people blindly go along with it because it isn't called by it's real name -rent.

loose nut
01-04-2014, 09:50 PM
But it isn’t good or bad,

It's good for the rich and bad for the poor or newer more common poor.

C_lazy_F_Guns
01-05-2014, 02:02 AM
It's good for the rich and bad for the poor or newer more common poor.

It's been good for me, I’m much less poor than I was when I ran a full on store with all the overhead. I’m never one to begrudge others making a nickel be they rich or not. I just do my own thing making my own nickels, very often my nickels used to be some rich guy’s so I’m happy they had them.

vincemulhollon
01-05-2014, 07:47 AM
to provide advice and service

For more than a decade I get better advice from the internet (places like this HSM BBS, the old usenet groups, etc) than any retail establishment could ever hope to provide, especially at part time no bennies minimum wage payscale.

One way for the small businessman to compete is the convenience store model. No one expects the local quickiemart to stock everything or to be "gourmet" or to know anything about cooking, but one thing they are pretty good at, is at 4am on Sunday you can walk out the door with a quart of milk in less than a minute, the place is clean, and the help is polite. My local old time hardware store is an epic fail at this business model, but its the only way I do business with them anymore.

I wanna walk in off the street, buy exactly three 1/4 inch SS bolts that are 3/4 inch long and I want to walk out the door in under 5 minutes. And I couldn't care less what they charge because I really need those bolts like right that hour to finish a half done project, just keep it under the cost of a restaurant dinner, so I know I've got enough in my wallet. This doesn't seem impossible, although it doesn't exist in practice.

ironmonger
01-05-2014, 09:03 AM
I contacted Amazon in regard to AmazonSupply. Here is what Amazon had to say...

"Hello,

Thanks for contacting us.

AmazonSupply.com operates as a stand-alone website and has dedicated customer service representatives independent of Amazon.com.

Unfortunately, Amazon.com customer service is unable to help you with your inquiry.

Please contact AmazonSupply directly:
<<snip>>"

paul

loose nut
01-05-2014, 11:35 AM
It's been good for me, Iím much less poor than I was when I ran a full on store with all the overhead. Iím never one to begrudge others making a nickel be they rich or not. I just do my own thing making my own nickels, very often my nickels used to be some rich guyís so Iím happy they had them.

Glad it is working for you. Unfortunately Joe Average who is just trying to get by with a little left over now and again usually gets victimized by the greed of the rich. Now that the 1%'ers have taken most of what the workers had they have begun to feed on their own kind, the lesser rich are being fed on by the greater rich.

I wonder if it will end up like that mythical snake that devours it's own body,by the tail, until it finally disappears.:confused:

wendtmk
01-06-2014, 09:24 AM
Glad it is working for you. Unfortunately Joe Average who is just trying to get by with a little left over now and again usually gets victimized by the greed of the rich. Now that the 1%'ers have taken most of what the workers had they have begun to feed on their own kind, the lesser rich are being fed on by the greater rich.

I wonder if it will end up like that mythical snake that devours it's own body,by the tail, until it finally disappears.:confused:

Interesting. So, the 1%'ers just kinda waltzed into the Average Joe's home and bank and took almost all his money?

Making profits are not a zero sum proposition. As profit is made, the money supply expands. Means there's more money available. But then again, that's taught in Economics 101.

Mark

loose nut
01-06-2014, 11:31 AM
It's not "making profits" that is the problem, at least a reasonable profit. It's uncontrolled greed that is doing the US and much of the rest of the world in. The expanded money supply just ends up with the same few people. This isn't anything new, it is probably the norm through out history, interrupted by periods were the greater mass of the people get fed up with the crumbs that they are given and revolt. The fear of communism after WW2 forced the rich to let the masses have more, wouldn't want the US to go communist now would we but since that threat has disappeared so are the gains that the average Joe made.

Remember the Reagonomics trickle down theory, it really is a trickle.

wendtmk
01-09-2014, 11:10 AM
It's not "making profits" that is the problem, at least a reasonable profit. It's uncontrolled greed that is doing the US and much of the rest of the world in. The expanded money supply just ends up with the same few people. This isn't anything new, it is probably the norm through out history, interrupted by periods were the greater mass of the people get fed up with the crumbs that they are given and revolt. The fear of communism after WW2 forced the rich to let the masses have more, wouldn't want the US to go communist now would we but since that threat has disappeared so are the gains that the average Joe made.

Remember the Reagonomics trickle down theory, it really is a trickle.

Who determines what's a "reasonable profit"? You? Me? The government? Realize that most businesses operate on a profit margin of less than 20%, some down in single digits. The business's profits come from volume.

Perhaps you can show me how the expanded money supply just ends up with the same few people. There are many, many examples out there of folks starting a business with very little money, making it profitable to operate, and generating wealth. Are they the greedy same few people you're talking about? The so-called "greater mass of people" getting fed up and revolting were revolting against the socialist, communist and fascist governments/dictators that were ruling them, not against the businesses that employed them and gave them a paycheck.

The "trickle down theory" is a myth. Please give references where Reagan actually said that. Reagan was a proponent of supply-side economics.

Mark

ironmonger
01-09-2014, 01:58 PM
It's not "making profits" that is the problem, at least a reasonable profit. It's uncontrolled greed that is doing the US and much of the rest of the world in. The expanded money supply just ends up with the same few people. This isn't anything new, it is probably the norm through out history, interrupted by periods were the greater mass of the people get fed up with the crumbs that they are given and revolt. The fear of communism after WW2 forced the rich to let the masses have more, wouldn't want the US to go communist now would we but since that threat has disappeared so are the gains that the average Joe made.

Remember the Reagonomics trickle down theory, it really is a trickle.

Here is is a dirt simple way to determine profit or hourly rate in a small shop.


Add up EVERYTHING that it costs you to live and run your shop for a year. Include vacations, car purchase, machinery, overhead, phones... every damn penny you either spend or want to spend.

Divide that by 2, 'cause you are only going to work for about 1000 hours per years in a one man shop. You need to answer the phone, purchase materials, pay bills... whatever you need to do to keep every thing working

Divide your total yearly expenses by 1000, ie: $100,000/1000=$100 per hour.
If you can't charge that much, find someone to work for and hope that they know how to apply the math. Thats how it works. In the words of every school kid calling out another, ďput up or shut upĒ. I will never let someone else determine what I'm worth...

If you don't like one companies 'reasonable profit' buy whatever someplace else

paul

loose nut
01-09-2014, 09:55 PM
In 1895, the height of the age of the robber barons JP. Morgan, Rockefeller and Carnegie had a combined net worth of over 1 trillion dollars (in today's dollars) gained at the expense of their workers and any one else that got in the way. How can anyone have that much wealth at the expense of others. This is what started the drive towards trade unions and the standard of living that lasted until the 21 century. It finally broke Carnegie and he sold off his steel company, to Morgan, and gave the money away (Carnegie hall, Carnegie free libraries etc). Now you have a new generations of robber barons, the 1%er's, out there doing it to the little guys again (has your job been outsourced yet) in the name of greed.

You may not want anyone to tell you how much you can make but they will anyway, even if it is by buying from China instead of you.

ironmonger
01-10-2014, 10:34 AM
<<snip>>
Now you have a new generations of robber barons, the 1%er's, out there doing it to the little guys again (has your job been outsourced yet) in the name of greed.
.

how sad for you...

The biggest crooks are the politicians that pray on the '99'. They spend time worrying about my money and how I can 'give' it to someone that 'needs' it more than I.

I spent 42 years working in the construction industry. Heat and cold. Now I'm retired, and I am disinclined to spend what I have now to support someone who wants my money rather than earns their own.

You rant about greed... perhaps you should consider that avarice is evil as well...:mad:


paul

wendtmk
01-10-2014, 10:59 AM
In 1895, the height of the age of the robber barons JP. Morgan, Rockefeller and Carnegie had a combined net worth of over 1 trillion dollars (in today's dollars) gained at the expense of their workers and any one else that got in the way. How can anyone have that much wealth at the expense of others. This is what started the drive towards trade unions and the standard of living that lasted until the 21 century. It finally broke Carnegie and he sold off his steel company, to Morgan, and gave the money away (Carnegie hall, Carnegie free libraries etc). Now you have a new generations of robber barons, the 1%er's, out there doing it to the little guys again (has your job been outsourced yet) in the name of greed.

You may not want anyone to tell you how much you can make but they will anyway, even if it is by buying from China instead of you.

So, all those workers were coerced and forced into working for those so-called "robber barons"? If you don't like the job, and don't think you are being paid your worth, look elsewhere. The market determines wages, not the government, and not the robber barons.

Mark