Plumbing Supply/Marketing Question

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    • #277122

      I was hoping a plumber (or someone familiar with the plumbing indstry) could help me out. I have to do a case review and we’re suppose to contact professionals who may help us out. My question is where do plumbers get their supplies from? Is it the traditional home improvement stores? Or is it contracts with other supply companies? My main premise in asking is this: If I were a “fixture” company and wanted to target plumbers to use my particular brand – how would I do it? Should I advertise directly to the plumbers or their suppliers? Oh and the company is set in the United Kingdom. I realize the market is different, but I wasn’t sure if they obtained supplies differently than in the U.S. Any help and explanation would be greatly appreciated.


    • #295466
      Retired plbg1

      Most of Plbg. go to supplyhouses , some go to box store, send your info to supplyhouses .

    • #295467

      Well down here in New Zealand we do pretty much the same thing as you do in the UK.
      We open “Trade Accounts” with suppliers and play one off against another until we get the best buying deals – then we buy mostly from them. Normally home improvement outlets are designed for the home handiperson and do not offer significant discounts to the trade people. Logically when we buy from a supplier we margin up the price and onsell it to our customers to make a profit for our respective businesses. The greater the buying power we have the greater the profit that is available to us.
      To target Plumbers there are a number of ways – one of the best is to advertise in a Plumbing Journal (magazine), or set up displays at a Plumbing Wholesalers, obtain a list of registered Plumbers from the registration authority in your Country and Direct Mail them with an offer that they cannot refuse.
      The sky is your limit – the only regulator is how high you want to fly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Best of luck to you in your quest.

      Selgas Services Ltd
      Craftsman Gasfitters, Plumbers, Electrical Service Technicians

    • #295468

      You will want to target the suppliers more than the plumbers. If the suppliers do not have it the plumbers cannot get it. Trade magazines and trade shows. Usually the supplier will run specials to get a product going.

    • #295469

      All the above are correct however there is on other issue you may need to address. If your product is similar to others on the market then you may find that the larger supply stores (wholesalers) that are nationally run have what we call trading agreements with existing suppliers and unless your product has significant advantages they may not be prepared to allow you to sell your products through their stores.
      In this case the best idea is to create the demand to force their hand. Again though you product needs to have advantages (features/price etc) as plumbers can tend to be very loyal to products they know work. You only have to monitor the postings here to see that.
      Follow the advise of the others with regard to direct mail and advertising and trade shows but be prepared for a lot of work.

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