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| | |-+  Number of Upholstery Suppliers shrinking?
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: Number of Upholstery Suppliers shrinking?  ( 314 )
baileyuph
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« : June 26, 2017, 07:26:56 AM »

Question is primarily to business owners:

Does it appear the number of our type suppliers is going down?

I think it has been noticed - in my experiences -  that is true.

If so, I guess there is substance to "business has to get bigger" to keep going?

Doyle
sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #1 : June 26, 2017, 07:47:38 AM »

It stands to reason that as the number of upholstery shops continue to shrink, so will the suppliers that serve them.

But I'm not sure that suppliers have necessarily gone away. Many have just morphed into something else.
Ebay, and other online stores continue to increase. They sell to anyone, not just "the trade". And the price difference between wholesale and retail grows less discernible every year.
 
Many items that I used to buy from a wholesale supplier now arrive quicker and cheaper from Amazon or Ebay. Stuff like thread, scissors, staples, glue sticks, staplers. The only major items that I still buy from a supplier are foam, cotton, Dacron, webbing, decking, dust cover, nail strip, and Pli-grip.   

Back in the day, it was nothing to have 2-3 fabric/supply salesmen in our shop at the same time. Now, I have only 2 salesmen that call on me once or twice a year.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
kodydog
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North Central Florida


« #2 : June 26, 2017, 12:58:46 PM »

We have noticed our supplier prices have gone up drastically in the last 10 years. It has forced us to do something we swore we would never do and buy from 3 or 4 different suppliers who specialize in certain things like thread, zipper and especially foam. Our new foam supplier delivers right to our door and is much cheaper. The old supplier made us drive 5 miles and meet him at Lowes.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
MinUph
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Mainly furniture. Tarpon Springs Fl.


« #3 : June 26, 2017, 01:24:11 PM »

We have noticed our supplier prices have gone up drastically in the last 10 years. It has forced us to do something we swore we would never do and buy from 3 or 4 different suppliers who specialize in certain things like thread, zipper and especially foam. Our new foam supplier delivers right to our door and is much cheaper. The old supplier made us drive 5 miles and meet him at Lowes.
Now that's strange.lol

Paul
Minichillo's Upholstery
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sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #4 : June 26, 2017, 06:18:16 PM »

I used to have a supplier that had called on our family business since the early 60's. He was actually in our shop the day JFK was killed. I was 5 at the time.

He always expected us to buy everything from him exclusively. If he saw something in our shop that came from another supplier, he would act hurt and betrayed. You would think we had stabbed him in the back.

My grandmother bought everything from him just to keep him from whining. When my mother took over, she did the same. When I took over, I had no interest in paying on average 40% more than from other suppliers.  I explained to him that "loyalty" is a 2-way street. If he wanted my loyalty, he was going to have to get competitive with his prices. We parted ways after a 45 year relationship

I buy most everything from out-of-state suppliers. The sad fact is, I can have stuff shipped in from another state cheaper than from nearby Dallas.


"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
Mojo
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« #5 : June 27, 2017, 09:24:36 PM »

When I first started I was dealing with 4 different suppliers. We are down to one supplier and one manufacturer. We still buy other items through many different sources such as shrink wrap, boxes, labels, marketing materials, etc.

Fabric and thread all come from two companies. Our machines of course all come from Bob Kovar.
I will never deal with another machine dealer. Bob has done us right on every machine we have bought from him and him and his son Bobby have always there if I need technical assistance.

I tend to develop close working and personal relationships with our main suppliers.

Speaking of suppliers, Uline box company is one shark infested company. Talking about someone who makes a killing off upcharging on shipping ! Those bastards charge almost as much for shipping as the boxes we buy. I hate them with a passion. They could easily drop their shipping rates by not mailing me 25 big thick catalogs a year.

I am starting to buy boxes online from various sources including office depot who delivers for free.

Chris
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