Home>Discussions>TOOLS & PRODUCTS>What's with the price of WASHERS these days?
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dj1
What's with the price of WASHERS these days?

Have you noticed how expensive washers are these days?

They look like coins, with holes in the middle. A guy I know takes a penny, drills a hole in it and uses it as a washer. Same size washer costs a dime...Haha.

A. Spruce
Re: What's with the price of WASHERS these days?

And here I thought you were talking about laundry equipment, which is insanely priced and doesn't work. :rolleyes:

If you need 1/2" washers, I've got a bunch I'd sell ya cheap, the bolts and nuts will cost you an arm and a leg, but the washers are cheap! :p:cool:

dj1
Re: What's with the price of WASHERS these days?

From Spruce: " And here I thought you were talking about laundry equipment, which is insanely priced and doesn't work. "

What happened to appliances is very simple. Three manufacturers bought every appliance maker out there. Whirlpool for example owns some 25 brands, or more, the ones we grew up with. Some kept their names, others became Whirlpool. The same with GE and Electrolux. They eliminated the competition.

That explains the high prices, lack of customer's service and poor quality.

Mastercarpentry
Re: What's with the price of WASHERS these days?

Best gag gift: Inset a paper towel through the hole in a flat-washer and tell them "Here's your new washer and dryer"
Have exit plan in place prior to gifting!

I grabbed a less-than;half a handful of 1/4-20 hardware at the big-box. Probably Grade 4 stuff and $7 later I was shell-shocked. I'm still lamenting the closure of the local nut-and-bolt house where that same $7 would have been all I could hold with both hands.

Phil

A. Spruce
Re: What's with the price of WASHERS these days?
Mastercarpentry wrote:

I grabbed a less-than;half a handful of 1/4-20 hardware at the big-box. Probably Grade 4 stuff and $7 later I was shell-shocked. I'm still lamenting the closure of the local nut-and-bolt house where that same $7 would have been all I could hold with both hands.

Phil

We still have a few smaller places around here that sell bulk hardware, not many. Most places these days are going to prepackaged, i.e. exorbitantly expensive. There is one place that sells in bulk, by the pound or by the case, and cheap, they're called Blue Collar Supply, maybe you've got one in your neck of the woods?

dj1
Re: What's with the price of WASHERS these days?

Fasteners in bins are just about gone around here too. Only small mom n pop hardware shops have them, and we just have a handful of those.

Stores had a hell of a time keeping the bins tidy, too many customers kept mixing them. They found the solution for that problem: pre-packed everything. Plus, they are making a lot more money.

Sometimes I see ripped plastic bags and the content missing. Shoplifters even strike these packages. Shame on them. If you are going to be a shoplifter, do it big time, try shoplifting a luxury car, not a Dollar item. We all pay more as a result.

Mastercarpentry
Re: What's with the price of WASHERS these days?

We've got one nut-and-bolt house left here, Carsons. They are the oldest and largest of the 5 or so we once had. Some of the older hardware stores have bins for bulk, but they are few and their prices not a lot different than the big-box stores. The hardware sold at the big-box stores is low-grade Chinese junk, especially the stainless steel stuff. And they can't get you anything better, even if they understood what a Grade 12 bolt was which they don't.

The torn bags and shoplifting should tell these stores something- it's the culmination of their removing the other options we the people once had and while I don't condone stealing, there would be less of it if they sold a $0.03 washer for $0.03 instead of $0.59. They brought this on themselves and now we get to pay for their mistakes.

Phil

A. Spruce
Re: What's with the price of WASHERS these days?

While i do not condone it, shoplifting has always existed, and the big boxes suffer from it far more due to their inability to provide product or services satisfactory to the paying public. I will bet you big money that any supplier who specializes in customer service and quality of product does not suffer the same losses to thievery that the big boxes do. IMHO, the big boxes deserve every bit of grief they bring upon themselves.

There is kind of a double edged sword here in the way that things are now hermetically sealed in an effort to curb theft, however, this means that you cannot open/inspect said item to make sure that it suits your needs. This leads to people opening packages. Even if the item isn't stolen, the odds that the open package will be purchased just went to zero, which equals store loss and increased costs, security, and even more severely hermetically sealed packages.

There is a mom and pop Ace Hardware here that has been around since 1908. Ace is a national chain, however, the corporate policy has always been about customer service, and this M&P store takes that to a whole other level. Every employee in the store knows where everything is or who to send you to to get your questions answered. They are knowledgeable about their products and can help you figure out what you need for your situation. They are a bit more expensive, maybe, but the level of knowledge and customer service far outweigh the expense. Add to this that you can literally run in, find what you need, and be out in a jiffy, unlike the big box that makes even the simplest thing a complicated and time consuming ordeal.

dj1
Re: What's with the price of WASHERS these days?

There is an Ace store, about 15 miles away from me, and I've stuff there before.

Once I had a job in New jersey and I needed four 2x6x24 - HD didn't have them, but they told me about an Ace store nearby with a lumber yard. Ace had 24' lumber. The help was professional and efficient, I saved a lot of time and continued my job without delays.

Fencepost
Re: What's with the price of WASHERS these days?

What I like about the big box store is that if I know exactly what I want and I know where to find it, I don't have someone bugging me to let them help me.

What I don't like about the big box store is that if I know exactly what I want and can't find it, the help is nowhere to be found. (I've seen customers pick up a phone, hit the page button, and say "customer service in the paint department, please".) And if you do find the help, you have to wait for them to park the forklift, and they have no idea what a 2" roof jack is.

In my old hometown there is a mom & pop store. I knew where everything was, and they knew me. They pretty much left me alone, because they knew that I knew what I was looking for, and if I needed help, I'd ask. I knew the store so well sometimes they'd ask ME where something was.

My hometown is small, and not that far from a larger town with Lowe's, Home Depot, and two Walmarts. The only reason that I can see that the mom & pop hardware store is still there is because it's been owned by the same family for nearly a hundred years. The building was paid for a long time ago, as was most of the inventory. They don't need to carry much debt to keep the shelves stocked and the doors open. They know what they're selling; they know enough that they can help people come up with solutions for problems when the people don't know exactly what they need. The owners are getting close to retirement, and I can't see how it would be financially feasible for anyone to buy the store.

A. Spruce
Re: What's with the price of WASHERS these days?
Fencepost wrote:

In my old hometown there is a mom & pop store. I knew where everything was, and they knew me. They pretty much left me alone, because they knew that I knew what I was looking for, and if I needed help, I'd ask. I knew the store so well sometimes they'd ask ME where something was.

I was that way with Lumberjack, knew where everything in the store was. Handy DIY'rs would frequently ask me for help and it was easier to show them what they needed than to call the department dude over. Guess that's what I get for always having a tape measure on my hip and a notebook in my hand. :p

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