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I placed a pretty decent sized order for some rebar for our basement pour from a place in town yesterday. I shopped around at all the placed I could find to get the best price ($5.95 20' 10m). DH came home and said he called a place someone reccomended and got it for $1.05 less per 20' length. That's a big difference!

So I called to place an order with them. They even arranged delivery. Perfect.

Called the old place back to cancel. The first thing he says is (insert attitude) "But we allready pulled it all down for you." I can understand the inconvenience, but it wasn't supposed to be picked up until tomorrow. I told him sorry, but we won't be buying it from them. Then he asks me why I want to cancel. I told him I found it cheaper elsewhere, and by how much (and where after some grilling). He starts huffing and puffing and I can hear his keyboard going clackety-clack in the background. He says "Fine." I say, "ok, thanks very much, sorry for the inconvenience." He says "Wait." Clackety-clack in the background agian, and he asks me if it's already been picked up. It goes on and on, he's trying to get my buisiness back but he's obviously p.o.'d, he tells me he can give it to me for 5.45!

And I have to scramble around and get a courier for tomorrow am, and it all comes with a side order of ticked off.

I told him no thanks, and hung up.

I am *not* cut out for this sort of thing.
 

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I see their point too - they get an order & assemble it, then it gets cancelled. That sucks. Put yourself in their position.

I can see why you'd switch for that big of a price diff tho.

In the future, best to do more shopping first, and only commit to the order when you have all the prices. One can develop a reputation & not get good bids from anyone if you cancel orders very often.

--->Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, sure, I'd be mad too. But I did shop around. A lot. The place we went with isn't even in the phone book and 50 cents on 180 units adds up!

But having been in sales, and I don't care if it's rebar, refrigerators or women's undergarments, acting mad doesn't get you the sale. It was actually a little laughable. *They* have a reputation with me now. If this person had been a little more professional, they'd still be on my nice list, even though their rebar prices aren't the best.

And I'm not going to pay someone more for the same thing in hopes of keeping my good reputation in the building materials supply industry of Saskatoon. Sheesh.
 

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It always ticks me off when I tell a business that I have found a better deal elsewhere and then they grudgingly say they will match that price. If you could sell it to me for that price, then you should have said so in the beginning! I refuse to go for that. I will buy it from the company that is up front with me on their best price from the beginning.

Dh found the same problem when calling around about prices for the Kubota tractor he and my mom went together on and bought. Mr. $500 Higher seemed mad when dh wouldn't buy from him when he agreed to lower the price to match the low bid. Dh reminded him that he had the same chance as the other guy to price the tractor lower when asked for his Best Price at the beginning of the purchasing process, and asked him who he thought would be crazy enough to do business with someone that had demonstrated that they would take you for all they thought they could get. (Had more trouble with this same dealer. For Father's Day dd and I were going to buy dh a cup holder to put on the tractor. Mr. $500 had one for $20 that would require CUTTING A HOLE in the fender to install! I told him that dh would rather have a new wife than a hole in the tractor fender. Proceeded to Wally World and bought one for $5.95 that fits great on TOP of the fender and works fine.)
 

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Well personally I would want to see the rebar from each of the places before I would submit an order from either. Rusty rebar causes failure in some projects, probably mainly bridges and I doubt you are building one. Still, if the rebar were very rusty I'd pass and pay the extra. There might be a reason why dealer #2 was cheaper, getting rid of product no one else wanted. Doubt that is the case, but rather more of an example.
 

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IMHO

You entered into a verbal contract with dealer #1 when you placed the order. Your lucky you didn't get hit with a 10 to 20% restocking fee. Don't expect to get a cheap price from them for anything in the future.
 

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Well, i agree, you placed yourself in a verbal contract. then put youself in a duplicate verbal contract with another vender. then you broke the first contract.. the first vender was living up to his side in good faith...he has every right to get huffy. at some point a person's word should be worth something..perhaps even the buck per rod, buts thats obviously your business not mine. .
 

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i can see why he'd be PO'ed but thats business. he will get over it i've been there and i survived. glad to see you got a better price.

dean
 

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I once called a guy about a pressure washer from craigslist that I wanted to buy. Over the phone, we agreed on a price and I told him I was on my way. Took me 30 minutes to get there. When I got there, he said another fellow had offered him more and he took that deal and I was out of luck. Was that right? I didn't think so, I thought we had a deal.

So what's the difference between the two situations that makes it OK for you to back out of the deal?

If I can't trust a person to keep their word, I don't want to deal with them anymore.

Also, in purely legal terms, I believe if you break a contract (verbal or otherwise), you would be generally liable for any expenses they had incurred up to the point of you breaking the deal. So if he had pulled the rebar and had it ready to go, it would be possible for him to recover that expense (labor) from you.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Oh dear,

I felt badly when I did it, but we're pinching pennies every corner. It's not something that I would normally do, but I certainly hadn't exptected him to pull all that rebar two days before someone was going to pick it up. I called first thing, I apologized several times, and he got madder and madder. At that point I was glad I wasn't doing business with him.

He could have charged me a restocking fee, for sure. But he didn't try. If he had I would have ordered it from him as the restocking fee might have made up for the difference in price from the other place. Maybe one of you would have done so, but what do you really gain there? A bit of cash to cover your loss in labour (1/2 hour tops for a forklift operator), and no future business.

And as for verbal contracts, as far as my experience goes you can order something from pretty much anywhere and they'll let you cancel an order. *That's* business.
 

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There used to be a time when deals, big and small, were done verbally with nothing more than a handshake. But it was also common that your word was all that was needed. I believe you are a good example of why that is done so infrequently these days.

littlebird said:
And as for verbal contracts, as far as my experience goes you can order something from pretty much anywhere and they'll let you cancel an order. *That's* business.
This speaks more to me about your depth of experience.

Remember the Golden Rule?

Shop around better the next time and when you say "I'll take it", mean it.
 

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littlebird said:
But having been in sales, and I don't care if it's rebar, refrigerators or women's undergarments, acting mad doesn't get you the sale. It was actually a little laughable. *They* have a reputation with me now.

I'm trying to figure out what you are upset about. They thought they already made the sale. They shouldn't have had to try to 'get the sale' a second time.

You sound like you are upset about the way you were treated.

Don't quite get that. You broke your word. Done deed, you have to deal with that part of it.

I've read your first message for 2 days now, & I still don't understand what is is you are upset about? You screwed them, and that is pretty much the story here. Now you are mad at them on top of it?

I don't understand.

--->Paul
 

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She said she cancelled the order two days before it was due to be delivered. I think you guys are going way overboard. Without a written contract of a deal, delivery of the product is the final contract. If it will take them a week to deliver from loading to delivery, that will be in the contract. Sorry...it doesn't take two days or a week to load some rebar. You should be able to cancel an order up till loading time without any kind of restock fee. What does it cost them to retock an item that never left stock in the first place?
 

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A big operation will have very long pieces of rebar in inventory. Maybe 40-60 feet. You tell them what length you need, they cut it and prep the order for pickup. Assuming that they can put your specific order back in inventory and then sell it quickly is somewhat naive of how a big metal operation works. The last time I bought rebar I wanted 500 lbs of 12" long pieces and 500 lbs of 18" pieces. Picked it up 4 days after I ordered it. I'm sure they cut it just for me. That's the way they work. If I had backed out, who knows how long before they would have sold it.

But I've already said too much on this subject. If this is the way y'all want to approach business transactions, carry on. Just don't be surprised if folks call BS every once in a while.
 

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In my town, the rebar in stock is only 20' long and they can fill an order and load it on a truck in one day. They would not tie up a truck longer than that.

And if they were cutting rebar to length for her, and she called to cancel, don't you think they would have mentioned that?
 

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I can understand why the store may have been a little upset, but the price she quoted in the original post was based on 20' lengths. That's a normal stocking length around here, and it doesn't sound like it was to be cut to any specified length. They also were assembling the order two days before it was to be picked up. I don't think that was a good idea on the part of the store either.

I've been on both ends, because I managed a store for 5 years. I've had very similar things happen, and yes it is aggravating. BUT if you're courteous to the customer they will usually come back, and you'll wind up making much more than the little expense that you lose on a cancelled order.

Those things are going to happen. It's just part of doing business. If it bothers you to the point that you alienate the customer then you probably need to find a different line of work.
 

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I don't think we need to get too upset about this post....i think its one of those deals where everyone was just kinda being a human with human mistakes....if her money was tight i can certainly see being forced into not honoring her word.... maybe not doing enough homework up front.. but..and i am only commenting on one side of this insident...........the businessman may indeed be a real jerk....


from a person that has worked metal all my life and owned a fabrication/machine shop for a few decades i know that:

metal is pulled from racks when the labor is free from other jobs, not just before a delivery...you have to plan to use labor when it is best used.

metal workers try to get rebar in 40 or 60 foot length (tractor trailer) for a few pennies off on a price break. it is indeed then cut to 20 or even customer specified length a few days before the delivery date. i have had only a few customers that wanted longer than 20 foot lengths because...if any of you have ever handeled rebar, you willl know, its rough stuff to handle. few people have the equipment to haul 20 foot long rebar safely.

i'll bet the most posting here have NEVER pull a single #3 rebar from a rack. it hard, dangerous WORK its not like pulling a fishing rod from a shelf at helmart.

that a deal is a deal, a contract is a contract. a mans word is a mans word. like the example above on a fellow selling an item to someone else after a deal was made..its wrong. anytime someone agrees to do something and then does not ....its wrong. i don't care what any of you say.

while some of you may be from areas of the country that a person's word is nothing...in more rural areas (you know the homesteading thing this site is about) a mans word is about all he has. it does stand for something and a persons worth is based on the history of keeping it. we are insulted by having to have everything in writting. its an evil that has infiltrated us from parts outside our local culture. its one reason we distrust and even dislike "straingers" that move into the country.

ok with that being said.....this example is a little thing as far as life goes....i live in a part of virginia that there few businesses to deal with. the businesses depend on the population,,,the population depends on the businesses. we have to live with each other. go talk to the fellow, not on the phone, face to face (if you feel inclined to do so) i'm sure that in the future he will want your business (as long as you don't make it a habit of making him loose money)


i've seen people loose their temper on the phone becuase a voice inflection was misunderstood....i've done it.
anyway...neither person acted with mallice in mind. its a bump in the road...

Good Luck with the project
 

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I think the controversy here could have been avoided if the OP had gone back to the store she originally ordered from and presented the opportunity to match the lower price BEFORE she placed the second order. Many stores have price match policies. And stores in competitive markets often set prices based on what other stores prices are not just on what they have to charge to meet their margins. This is especially true of Big Box stores with diverse lines of merchandise.
 

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Hey.

Your word is your bond. That's the way we do it in farm country.

RF
 
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