A Lesson In Smart Hardware Shopping

Article - January 31, 2012

Where do you folks usually buy your hardware? By hardware, I mean hinges, screws, shelf pins, handles, drawer slides, etc…. For years, I did most of my shopping online or at the local big box store. I really didn’t think too much about the cost of the hardware simply because I didn’t know any better. During a big job several years ago (a bookstore), a good friend of mine took me to a local hardware supplier called Clyde Hardware. We needed shelf pins and A LOT of them. I expected the cost to be pretty significant, even for something as small as shelf pins. Much to my surprise, the cost was incredibly reasonable. After doing some more research, I realized that I had been overpaying in dramatic fashion for years! Ever since then, big box stores and many popular online vendors are my absolute last resource for any type of hardware. These places really take advantage of people who either don’t know about or don’t have access to a reliable local hardware supplier.

The reason I am bringing this up is because I recently made a purchase at Clyde Hardware and I thought it would be helpful to show you an example of the insane price discrepancies. I made a relatively small purchase of 18 Blum 1/2″ overlay hinges and 100 1/4″ brass shelf pins. At a popular online retailer, the hinges are about $7 each and the shelf pins are about $0.30 each. If my trusty calculator is right, that’s a total bill of $156 before tax. At Clyde, I was able to get the hinges for about $3 each and the pins for about $0.05 each, giving me a total of $59. So that’s a savings of about $97 on small order of 100 shelf pins and 18 hinges!!!

Moral to the story? Pick up the yellow pages and look for a hardware supplier. You might have to find a friend who has a tax ID number (if you don’t have one) because some of these places might not deal with the public directly. The potential savings is significant enough that it’s worth the extra effort to find these places. Spending less money on hardware means spending more money on the stuff that counts……….WOOD!

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