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From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Solenoid Mysteries (was Re: Charging a 3rd battery from the 
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2007 20:18:04 -0500
Message-ID: <>

On Mon, 22 Jan 2007 19:03:24 -0500, "JerryD\(upstateNY\)"
<> wrote:

>>Jerry, the whole idea IS to do less work.  It's a lot easier and less work
>>to give some snotty outfit like Graingers a company name than it is to try
>>to schmooze in or find someone who'll let you use their name.  It's also
>>less work (in the form of less money expended) to get wholesale prices (NOT
>>at Graingers - they're full-boat retail+ on everything.)
>What I have to do is get my son-in-law's butt in gear and have him get
>accounts with a few of these suppliers.
>He has 4 laundromats and we have problems buying some electrical and all
>plumbing supplies.
>His uncle has accounts at a few places and we have to use his name to buy

It varies all over the place.  I've had my Graingers account for so
long I don't remember what I did to sign up.  I think you can sign up
on the Internet now.

For smaller places such as an appliance parts warehouse, the procedure
is pretty simple, usually.  If you pay with cash then all you usually
have to do is fill out a form.  Name, address, phone, etc.  If you
want a "net 30" account or the privilege of paying with a company
check then they'll want the standard "bank and 3 trades" info.  That
is, your bank and three other trade references that you do business
with.  For your SIL, his laundry's company name and three of his
current suppliers will do.  I've been strictly COD (cash or check) for
decades and yet they seem to want trade references.  I keep 3 or 4
handy, friends who own businesses and will give me the proper

Some places will act funny if you don't give 'em a purchase order
number.  For those I make one up on the fly using this formula: The
first two letters of the vendor's name plus the date.  For example, if
I ordered something from Graingers today, the PO number would be
GR012207.  Cryptic looking enough to keep 'em happy :-)

All these folks want to avoid pesky-assed "civilians", people who know
little about what they really need, ask a thousand questions, complain
about the price and sometimes write bad checks.  There is also great
pressure from the local tradesmen not to do business with civilians
and "steal the food out of my kid's mouths", as I've heard it said so
often.  They want to deal with tradesmen who know how the system

For example, if I call the local HVAC wholesaler, I'll tell him "I
need a compressor that crosses to a Tecumseh model ##### with a
rotolock suction and sweat discharge lines with POL oil.  This is for
RDS Inc and I'll pick up at the City desk."  That told him everything
he needed to know in 30 seconds.  Another few seconds to confirm that
it's in stock and the transaction is complete.  I will know all of
that either because I work in the trade or I've done my homework with
their catalog or online.

If I know the counter man and have done business with them for awhile
I might waste his time with questions like "What compressor do you
have in stock that is 1 hp, scroll, is for R-134A and has POL oil?"
That requires him to hit the catalogs and do research.  If I'm an
existing customer, no problem, if I don't do it too often.  If I'm
calling in for the first time I'll get labeled a noob and get the
walked-in-off-the-street prices.  Don't EVER do something like asking
"I need to replace the compressor in my refrigerator.  What do I
need?"  If they'll even talk to you they'll nail you in the

Another example.  The el-cheapo point-of-use regulator used on 2 and 5
psi natural gas service to step the gas pressure down to what the
appliance uses costs $55 if you walk in off the street at the local
plumbing and electrical wholesaler.  To the trade the price is $11, at
least last time I bought some.  When the plumber comes and plumbs in
your new gas dryer, he'll have an invoice from the wholesaler for $55
and that's what you'll pay him.  He makes $44 for driving a few blocks
and picking up the thing.

Local wholesalers are a strange breed.  You have to know the game but
it's worth it to learn.


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