As a plumber you’ll have to get your supplies – taps and towel rails, valves and vanities, pipes and plumbing products – from somewhere, and an increasing number of professionals are choosing to buy their plumbing supplies online.
There are a number of reasons why switching your traditional visits from a brick-and-mortar to an online supplier is a great idea:
- you can restock from your the comfort of your desk
- compare prices easily, by simply switching tabs on your browser
- easily check product reviews throughout the web
- browse and buy 24/7, with no closing time
The question for many plumbers isn’t whether to buy plumbing materials and bathroom products online, but which plumbing supply company to buy them from.
So today, let’s take a look at how to choose an online plumbing supplier.
The seven major considerations that will ensure you get the highest quality plumbing parts, materials and products, at the best price, from the most reputable source possible.
The first and most obvious consideration for any professional plumber or plumbing company shopping for supplies is price.
The good news is that shopping online makes comparison simple – you can open two tabs in your browser, find two comparable products from two different suppliers, and see which is more cost-effective.
You’ll likely find that online-only plumbing supply companies offer competitive pricing versus traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
This is largely down to the low overheads of running an online store; without a physical showroom to maintain and fewer staff to retain, these streamlined operations can pass their cost savings onto you!
If you haven’t bought plumbing supplies online before, you might wonder how you can check the quality of plumbing fittings, fixtures, plumbing pipes, hot water heaters, shower screens and laundry tubs without seeing and touching them.
But quality checks are every bit as easy, and in some ways more reliable, when done online.
You can check the quality of a supplier and their products in two main ways:
Customer feedback: Use ratings and reviews to check what customers have to say about the supplier or item.
Warranty: The warranty essentially represents the confidence a supplier has in their own product. If they offer something like a 25-year guarantee, you can rest assured it is high-quality.
Efficiency is key as a plumber: in order to please your customers, you need an online supplier who works as quickly as you do.
So, if you put in an order at the end of your workday, will it be sent out on the same day?
The best online suppliers will offer a same day despatch service that stretches well into the afternoon.
Speaking of despatch, how quickly can you expect to receive your order?
This is often more important than how quickly your order leaves the warehouse.
Be sure to check the expected freight times from the supplier to your location – the best online plumbing stores will be perfectly transparent about travel times.
Another key question is how much this freight will cost.
Ideally you’ll find a plumbing supplier that never charges for any order, no matter the size, so you don’t have to worry about including freight costs when you quote a customer.
If you order the wrong thing, if you no longer need an item, or if you find that a particular product isn’t what you need, you don’t want to be stuck with it (and the associated cost).
This is why the very best online plumbing suppliers will not only allow you to return any unused items, they’ll also pick them up for free!
And as long as the item is unused, it also shouldn’t matter how long you have had it for, provided you can show proof of purchase.
A major concern that plumbers have when choosing an online supplier is the level of support they can expect to receive.
Many modern online businesses can take the ‘streamlined’ model to the nth degree, hiding contact details and forcing customers to interact with (very unhelpful) bots.
A quality online plumbing supplier will make it simple to get in touch with a human.
They’ll display their phone number loudly and proudly on their site, and will offer a live chat feature that connects to a real person.
It’s also wise to look for a plumbing supplier that offers extended opening hours (10+ hours per day).
Perhaps the simplest way to directly compare one online plumbing supplier to another is to look them both up on a review platform like Google Maps or Facebook and see what their customers say about them!
Forge Plumbing: your online plumbing supplier
At Forge Plumbing we pride ourselves on being an online plumbing supplier that ticks every one of the boxes listed above:
Price: We only deal with plumbers and offer the same low price to every customer.
Quality: Our products are backed by our famous 25-year warranty.
Speed: We offer same-day despatch on all orders until 3pm AEST.
Delivery: We offer free delivery (regardless of order size) to all Australian capitals within three days.
Returns: You can return any unused items for free – we even take care of shipping!
Support: Call, email, live chat or SMS us from 7am-5pm Monday to Friday.
Reviews: We think they speak for themselves!