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Old 08-09-2007, 09:35 AM
Irelands child's Avatar
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Sandpaper & NAPA

I have always been aware of price differentials in wet 'n' dry paper but never so much as in the past week. First of all, I feel that I have just been, again, ripped off by NAPA.

OK - I have been restocking to finish my car as almost all that I had was about gone. I picked up one 5 pack of 400 and two of 600 from an autobody supply - Norton Black Ice, by far my favorite. It was $3.84 per pack or $.77/sheet. I ran out of 220 this morning so went to NAPA for some 3M. It was $5.76 for 5 sheets or $1.15 per sheet . On the way home I decided to stop at our local big lumber company to see if they carried 3M or Norton. I picked up two more 5 packs of EXACTLY the same 220 A Production paper that NAPA sold me. The only difference was the package and a NAPA part number. This was $3.40 a pack or $.68 or 69% more for NAPA (and the so called list price on the NAPA invoice was $7.05 ).

I'm aware that Norton is always a bit cheaper then 3M - and not as available but I do need to drive some to get it. For the life of me, I cannot justify the 3M pricing. Also, I cannot justify going to NAPA any more often then absolutely necessary - they for sure aren't customer centric as I feel that whenever I go in one of their stores that I'm imposing on a coffee or BS break .

Enough moaning - now off to use up some of that sand paper

Last edited by Irelands child; 08-09-2007 at 09:37 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-09-2007, 10:02 AM
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You dont ALWAYS get what you paid for.

I was quite surprised to find my DuPont jobber to actually
be cheaper than any of the discount places on the net
for sandpaper and misc supplies.
It pays to shop around.
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Old 08-09-2007, 10:22 AM
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haha.. where i live.. you got napa in town.. a car parts place.. and thats it for auto supplies.. drive 20 miles.. got.. wally world,napa,o'riley,advance,and numerous car dealerships,car parts places, then about 35 miles..you got the same.. but BIGGER.. and there are some auto shop places, agri supply,..so its better to drive the 35 miles.. but in crunch time .. i get deals at napa
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Old 08-09-2007, 10:23 AM
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Good timing here as just this I morning was looking in my Auto Body Toolmart catalog for paper. I have in the past always just ordered 3M on the assumption that it was top of the line but I have been hearing a lot of good things about Norton and it is cheaper. What about Mirka? It is priced right at ABT but I have never used it. I really had not used enough paper in the recent past to make a lot of difference in my overall costs but if I can get just as good or even better for less money then that makes a lot of sense.
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Old 08-09-2007, 10:38 AM
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sandpaper

hi,back when i was repairing and painting fiberglass boats,i used quite a bit of mirka brand sandpaper, very decent quality. i went to wal mart to buy some spray adhesive (3m),it was $9.74 a can,same brand and size at discount ap,was $15.75. also bed liner paint at wal mart was $44.00 and change,same brand at discount was $55.00 and change. yes it definately does pay to shop around.but,at the price of gas (here in northflorida) at $2.61 (yesterday-race trac in ocala) it would not pay to drive 35 miles to save $3 or $4 dollars.
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Old 08-09-2007, 11:07 AM
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Well, first off, I'm about as much of a penny pincher as anyone, but I do feel that this last experience with NAPA is my LAST. As far as car parts, the independant guy (and also one that lives 4 doors away from me) is more accommodating and competitive pricewise. He also handles mostly name brand parts like Moog, Standard and Walker - but any sandpaper he handles is a convenience item and made "elsewhere", i.e. India or China.

I have yet to see Mirka sandpaper on anyones display to buy, but have heard good things about it - but for ease of my small volume purchases, will stick with Norton first and 3M second. They are consistant quality wise though the Norton seems to last at least 2x as long and maybe more.

As far as internet shopping for things like sandpaper, evilBay has a 50 pack of Norton Black Ice 220 grit for 29.00 plus ~11.00shipping = ~40.00 plus at least a week's wait for shipping. My supplier is 28.00 plus 7% tax(if not a tax free business) for a total of ~30.00 after a short drive (and a chance to visit a coffee pot)

After getting my rip off at NAPA, I went to Ocean States Big Lots - they proclaim big discounts but their prices on many common household items was significantly higher then Wally World. But they sure do have a lot of Chinese made crap!!

But today's 69% difference in price, and only 2-3 miles apart is hard to stomach - and for the same thing!!!!

Dave
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Old 08-09-2007, 11:29 AM
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My wife works at a NAPA Distribution center and I can buy stuff at about anyplace else cheaper.
I use Mirka and it seems to be a quality product. It's cheaper than the 3M stuff for sure.
I have a local jobber who sells the same stuff HF does but with different "brand" names or packaging and they carry some paint & body supplies like Montana & 5* but carry the full line of mirka sheet,roll's,disk.

I've not used too much Norton and mostly disk's, Some is really good like the Adalox beige disk but some is crap which is a white/grayish mix color.
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Old 08-09-2007, 11:36 AM
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The first thing I have to say is for goodness sakes don't by those retail packs of five sheets! Those are HUGELY marked up from the large wholesale style boxes body shops use. They are RIP OFFS, be it NAPA, 3M, Wallyworld, I don't care where you buy them, they a three or four times more than buying them in a large box. Some paint stores (and even NAPA stores who deal more in paint) will have boxes open to sell single sheets out of at the box price. You REALLY need to break down and pick up boxes, you KNOW you are going to eventually use them, leave the retail packs for some lady repainting her flower pot stand or a dad working with his kids pinewood derby car.

Jim, a DuPont dealer in my area (he is also a NAPA autoparts store, ) buys more 3M than just about any store in the whole bay area. He gets a super discount from 3M an passes much of it on to the consumer. VERY few people buy 3M for retail, VERY few, at least around here with all the competition.

Brian
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Old 08-09-2007, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
The first thing I have to say is for goodness sakes don't by those retail packs of five sheets! Those are HUGELY marked up from the large wholesale style boxes body shops use..............
Brian
Brian,
For me to buy a 50 pack of 320/360, 400 or 600 would be like lighting a fire to $20 bills. I'm a part time amateur as are lots of us here. I probably haven't used 50 sheets of 400 in my life. Now, 180 and 220, I can use that for wood working as well - and could stand buying that in $28 packages.

I don't have the luxury of having a friend or relative that works for a parts distributor - so I feel that I get shafted whenever I go into a NAPA store - they are significantly more expensive then the independant guy I noted above and often NAPA doesn't have what I want, "but I can have it in the morning". I want it TODAY. The @##@$%^ vehicle is apart NOW!!! If I wanted it tomorrow, I'd have come in tomorrow. It might just be a local problem - I think the same person holds the franchise for all of the NAPA stores near here.

Dave
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Old 08-09-2007, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irelands child
Brian,
For me to buy a 50 pack of 320/360, 400 or 600 would be like lighting a fire to $20 bills. I'm a part time amateur as are lots of us here. I probably haven't used 50 sheets of 400 in my life. Now, 180 and 220, I can use that for wood working as well - and could stand buying that in $28 packages.

I don't have the luxury of having a friend or relative that works for a parts distributor - so I feel that I get shafted whenever I go into a NAPA store - they are significantly more expensive then the independant guy I noted above and often NAPA doesn't have what I want, "but I can have it in the morning". I want it TODAY. The @##@$%^ vehicle is apart NOW!!! If I wanted it tomorrow, I'd have come in tomorrow. It might just be a local problem - I think the same person holds the franchise for all of the NAPA stores near here.

Dave

And not just NAPA....AutoZone believe it or not, don't even carry/stock lug nuts or freeze plugs (basic car items)

Last edited by fiftyfivegasser; 08-09-2007 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 08-09-2007, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irelands child
Brian,
For me to buy a 50 pack of 320/360, 400 or 600 would be like lighting a fire to $20 bills. I'm a part time amateur as are lots of us here. I probably haven't used 50 sheets of 400 in my life. Now, 180 and 220, I can use that for wood working as well - and could stand buying that in $28 packages.


Dave

Dave, aren't you building that Model A? You WILL use a LOT of paper on that car. No, you may not use the whole box, but again, the stuff is a fraction of the cost in the boxes. A few of those over priced five packs will get you a box. Are there any body shops or other hobbiest near by who you could buy some off of?

Brian
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Old 08-09-2007, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
Dave, aren't you building that Model A? You WILL use a LOT of paper on that car. No, you may not use the whole box, but again, the stuff is a fraction of the cost in the boxes. A few of those over priced five packs will get you a box. Are there any body shops or other hobbiest near by who you could buy some off of?

Brian
Brian,
I'm at 75-80% right now with this car body, just finishing the lumpy doors - tomorrow. The only significant piece left is the main body - the cowl, which is reasonably straight and the rear quarters that are so-so and do need some leveling of lumps. Everything else is straightened, Raged, glazed, epoxied, polyed and/or 2K'd and sanded at least thru 400 with most thru 600(which may be too fine). With finding the $3.40/5 packs plus what I already have will see me done with not much more paper needed. I have gone thru a bale of paper and discs from 60 thru 600 so far, with 1000-1500-2000 and Meguiars #1, 2 & 3 to go

Then vacation - I'm trying to get everything ready before 20 Aug so I can put down the color as soon as we get home.

Later
Dave

PS: If anyone thinks a Brookville body is a deal - read my company review here - I'm not nice to them - and they are well aware of my displeasure.
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Old 08-09-2007, 03:23 PM
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[QUOTE=Irelands child]
I don't have the luxury of having a friend or relative that works for a parts distributor - so I feel that I get shafted whenever I go into a NAPA store - they are significantly more expensive then the independant guy I noted above and often NAPA doesn't have what I want, "but I can have it in the morning". I want it TODAY. The @##@$%^ vehicle is apart NOW!!! If I wanted it tomorrow, I'd have come in tomorrow. It might just be a local problem - I think the same person holds the franchise for all of the NAPA stores near here.


I have a Jobber Discount at NAPA (through work-we buy a lot)-it used to be that they had a 4 Tier pricing system-the little did get the shaft-it still hurts when I walk out of there though-don't know if this is still in effect-
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Old 08-09-2007, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 35WINDOW

I have a Jobber Discount at NAPA (through work-we buy a lot)-it used to be that they had a 4 Tier pricing system-the little did get the shaft-it still hurts when I walk out of there though-don't know if this is still in effect-
Most do have some different levels of discounts - I just don't happen to buy much from NAPA as they treat me like a poor relative that no one want to see. A friend gets a couple of levels deeper but I sure can't impose on him everytime I want a widget or two.

Dave
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Old 08-09-2007, 09:48 PM
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It's not a NAPA thing really, these stores are privately owned and pricing will fluctuate depending on area, owner, and sales volume. I drive 25miles to buy from NAPA because their prices on average are 20% less than my local autoparts stores-at 20% the savings adds up fast. There's one local store that I don't buy anything from-and I have no idea how they're still in business.
Dave, you might want to pull the NAPA manager aside and have a little talk with him(or her). Explain the pricing differences you always seem to find and how you feel you're getting hosed, explain you're having a hard time finding a reason to come back,-maybe he'll open a cash account for you and set it at a competitive-economical pricing level. Once you get the account set up any counterperson will give you the proper pricing if you run the supplies through the account-just an idea...
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