Copper prices at local box store

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Pat the Plumber CIL

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Don't want to say the name of the store but starts with L and ends with S . Last 6 months M copper pipe 1/2 " x 10 ' 16.48$ and L copper pipe 1/2 " X10 ' 11.68$ well as long as I have been a plumber L was always more expensive than M . I make this point to the plumbing manager , the store manager and some guy at corporate who could care less about my concerns with their pricing . Not a big problem as I buy most through wholesale houses , but occasionally it is much more easy to grab a piece or 2 while I am there anyway . Just aggravates me that they have no clue . Would assume someone up the line made a mistake with pricing but they claim those prices are correct . Menards and Home depot price theirs like everyone else
 

Mitchell-DIY-Guy

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This is funny, but...

The big box stores are somewhat less in tune to pricing than the professional supply houses.

In the early 1990s when I was rebuilding a house, I would run into situations where a run up in steel prices, for example, would cause a spike in the price of electrical conduit. The supply houses would watch this stuff and change their prices seemingly daily. The big box stores would have to get word from corporate. So, routinely, electricians would take advantage of this arbitrage opportunity, and would go in and wipe the big box store out. You'd go in and all the 1/2" conduit is gone. Or tomorrow, it would be the 3/4". Maddening.

The same thing would happen with plumbing supplies. I cannot tell you how many times I went into one, and they may have had 1,000+ pieces of 90 degree 1/2" ells, but no street ells. Or no connectors. A contractor came in, saw a great price, and wiped them out. Those fittings don't age.

Prices are more stable now (or were before this virus mess) then they were in the 90s so this happens less--but trying to predict the intelligent actions of the big box stores is futile.
 

Aloha Mark

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Where should M and L grade tubing be priced? My hardware store is City Mill, and they usually carry 1/2" junk grade tubing at $15 per 4 ft. length. There is so much junk grade imported plumbing parts and tools at the big box stores, that I shudder to think I might have to visit a store to handle a Sunday night repair emergency.
 
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