Where to buy 12-2-2 romex in NJ?

goldstar

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
What's an enterprise zone?
Several years ago NJ established enterprise zones in certain city areas so as to attract business. Instead of paying 7% sales tax you would only have to pay 3.5%. The only down side is you have to go there and pick up the material. If they delivered it you have to pay the full 7%.
 

James L

Senior Member
I think it really depends on the volume you do.

It's easy to have good relationships with wholesalers and their sales staff when you are always buying a ton of material.

For a smaller shop I don't think you get the same level of treatment.
I get the same service, but I don't get the same prices at a supply house as larger shops do.

Wait....shop? I'm a far cry from a shop. Don't want to be a shop, either. I'm just a guy who works.

About 8 years ago I downsized my vehicle from full size van to mini van. Then I downsized again to a small pickup. Last year I downsized again to a Ford Focus wagon. Think...Geek Squad.

It was an intentional downsizing. My work started to shift to more bid work, small stuff like kitchen remodels and basement finishes. I realized that service work was interferring with my deadlines, and had to force myself into a situation where I was not equipoed to do service calls.

I simply don't have the room to haul stock. But I've got plenty of room for my tools, and even a 6' ladder on top when i need it. And the small amount of materials it takes to do each job.

Yeah, I get laughed at by blue bloods when I roll up on a supply house and ask for 1 roll of 12-2 and 3 single gang boxes....but I don't care about that. Counter salesmen still treat me with utmost respect

But the pricing. And the time it takes to go get it.

But sometimes it's not about time, it's about availability. A week ago I added a 30amp plug for a rolling hot cart in a deli. I needed a bolt-in breaker, so I just decided to get everything from the supply house.

2-pole 30a GE bolt-in breaker was $67.00
100ct. 8" zip ties was $27.00

I don't have a frame of reference for the price of that breaker, but I know for sure that I can get 100 zip ties at Home Depot for around $10.00

$17.00 to save a second trip. That's a bargain. But if I hadn't needed that breaker, HD would have had my business
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I get the same service, but I don't get the same prices at a supply house as larger shops do.

Wait....shop? I'm a far cry from a shop. Don't want to be a shop, either. I'm just a guy who works.

About 8 years ago I downsized my vehicle from full size van to mini van. Then I downsized again to a small pickup. Last year I downsized again to a Ford Focus wagon. Think...Geek Squad.

It was an intentional downsizing. My work started to shift to more bid work, small stuff like kitchen remodels and basement finishes. I realized that service work was interferring with my deadlines, and had to force myself into a situation where I was not equipoed to do service calls.

I simply don't have the room to haul stock. But I've got plenty of room for my tools, and even a 6' ladder on top when i need it. And the small amount of materials it takes to do each job.

Yeah, I get laughed at by blue bloods when I roll up on a supply house and ask for 1 roll of 12-2 and 3 single gang boxes....but I don't care about that. Counter salesmen still treat me with utmost respect

But the pricing. And the time it takes to go get it.

But sometimes it's not about time, it's about availability. A week ago I added a 30amp plug for a rolling hot cart in a deli. I needed a bolt-in breaker, so I just decided to get everything from the supply house.

2-pole 30a GE bolt-in breaker was $67.00
100ct. 8" zip ties was $27.00

I don't have a frame of reference for the price of that breaker, but I know for sure that I can get 100 zip ties at Home Depot for around $10.00

$17.00 to save a second trip. That's a bargain. But if I hadn't needed that breaker, HD would have had my business
Bolt on breaker - one breaker on the ticket you were probably in similar price range as many bigger shops.

Buy the panel with breakers on same order, you maybe will get the same breaker for about $6-$12. That is just the way those commercial panels and breakers are sold. I haven't dealt with many GE but other manufacturers are similar on this type of item. Same goes for they 277/480 rated breakers and panels. They hit you hard on individual breakers or even if you buy a small quantity, but about give them away with a panel purchase. I one time needed maybe half a dozen or so three pole Square D NF breakers - my salesman told me to submit a quote for breakers I want plus a panel - the price for a smaller circuit capacity main lug panel with a few spare breakers on top of what I initially wanted was less then if they sold me the half dozen or so i initially wanted. That is how the manufacturers want to sell them - by the job.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I bought a 480v panel board with CBs, all 3 pole 30s vs the 50s that were needed. Replacement breakers were way more than price of combined so I now have a Siemens panel board, can, cover and breakers in stock if anyone is interested. No neutral bar.
But yet to put breakers in it at a decent price one needs to order another panel, you can keep it.:happyyes:
 

peter d

Senior Member
Location
New England
I think it really depends on the volume you do.

It's easy to have good relationships with wholesalers and their sales staff when you are always buying a ton of material.

For a smaller shop I don't think you get the same level of treatment.

Precisely, I have almost always operated in the small shop world and I think most supply houses regard small EC's as a nuisance they have to tolerate while serving the big contractors. Pricing for a low volume account is just marginally below cash price on quite a few items. The big shops definitely win in the supply house game.
 

curt swartz

Electrical Contractor - San Jose, CA
Location
San Jose, CA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I purchase some things from HD do to convenience. There is a store about 2 miles from my house and they are open in the evenings and weekends.

I have run a small shop (myself and 1-3 employees) for 30+ years. Started off dealing with wholesale suppliers and have always had better service and pricing compared to the big box stores on most items.

I think one problem is most new small shops buy most of their material from the big box stores and just the odd stuff from the suppliers. The suppliers have no incentive to give better pricing if they are only going to see very small amount of sales. You have to find a supplier that is willing to work with you. Tell them what kind of pricing you need if they want your business. If you start buying from them they will be willing to work with you even more on the pricing.

Earlier today I sent an email to my salesman with an order so he could enter it tomorrow morning. One of the items on the order was 14-2-2 which reminded me of this thread. He called my a little while ago (7:30pm Sunday night) to let me know he released the order. You don't get that kind of service from the big box stores.

My price for 4SQ boxes is about about half what HD sells them for. EMT fittings are also about half the price. Wiring devices (switches, receptacles) are about 30-40% less than HD's prices. Halo recessed lights are typically 10-20% less than HD.
 

peter d

Senior Member
Location
New England
I purchase some things from HD do to convenience. There is a store about 2 miles from my house and they are open in the evenings and weekends.

I have run a small shop (myself and 1-3 employees) for 30+ years. Started off dealing with wholesale suppliers and have always had better service and pricing compared to the big box stores on most items.

I think one problem is most new small shops buy most of their material from the big box stores and just the odd stuff from the suppliers. The suppliers have no incentive to give better pricing if they are only going to see very small amount of sales.
That is true but many small shops still deal almost exclusively with wholesalers and still can't touch the high volume account pricing and service. In my area, it really depends on the supplier. The big regional and national suppliers tend to have the biggest selection of products but some of the worst pricing and service for the small contractor.
 

James L

Senior Member
I really doubt you get the same service either but as long as you feel that way you will be happy.
Well, sure. Same service across the board at every supply house? Not a chance..

Remember, I pay cash. I do not have a credit account, and I don't desire one. At most supply houses, everything hangs on whether you have a credit account. Try getting materials delivered on a cash ticket, for instance. Nope, sorry. I've also been told by numerous supply houses that if I only had a credit account I could get a better price.

I'm like...wait a minute ! !
If I pay now, I pay more than if I pay next month?
If I pay now, you won't deliver. But if I pay next month you'll bring it to me today?

That's retarded if you ask me.

But the one supply house I do deal with, a lot hangs on money....at least it appears that way. I can pay over the phone with my debit card and they'll have it on a truck to me at the next delivery interval. If I need it right now, they'll "hot shot" to me for $20. I think they're probably gonna eat the 20 for a high volume customer, but they still do provide the service to me.

I'm sure it's somewhat subjective, but as it appears to me I get the service I need - for a price. If I bought more stuff, my price would go down.
 

James L

Senior Member
....My price for 4SQ boxes is about about half what HD sells them for. EMT fittings are also about half the price. Wiring devices (switches, receptacles) are about 30-40% less than HD's prices. Halo recessed lights are typically 10-20% less than HD.
Sure, there are select items. I can get a Juno IC22 can light for less than $6.00 from supply house, versus $7.65 at Lowes. But other prices I've paid....

1,000 romex staples, they charged me $36.00 - HD is about $6.00
100 zip tie, they charged me $27.00 - Lowes is $8.00
500 wire nuts they want $70.00 - HD has 150ct for $7.00 (just over $20 for 450ct.)

But like I said, price is not 100% of the issue. I buy materials for each job, usually the morning I start. Which means I'm showing up in person to get it. Most generally, a drive to the supply house is inconveniently out of my way. But HD and Lowes are 4 minutes from my house.

And I buy much more than what I need because I hate not having a part I need. For instance, if I'm changing out a 100amp panel, I show up with 60 - 70 breakers, every conceivable configuration of twins, quads, you name and I bought it. I spend $400 on materials to swap out a panel. Then I return everything I didn't use.

Try that at a supply house. About the second or third time you pull that on them, they're gonna tell you to get lost. But not only that, I don't want to have $280 in limbo for a month and a half. By the time I wait out a check in the mail, I could easily have 5 grand tied up in red tape if I took my unorthodox style to a supply hoyse every day.. I pay cash, i want to walk out with cash when i return what i don't use.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Sure, there are select items. I can get a Juno IC22 can light for less than $6.00 from supply house, versus $7.65 at Lowes. But other prices I've paid....

1,000 romex staples, they charged me $36.00 - HD is about $6.00
100 zip tie, they charged me $27.00 - Lowes is $8.00
500 wire nuts they want $70.00 - HD has 150ct for $7.00 (just over $20 for 450ct.)

But like I said, price is not 100% of the issue. I buy materials for each job, usually the morning I start. Which means I'm showing up in person to get it. Most generally, a drive to the supply house is inconveniently out of my way. But HD and Lowes are 4 minutes from my house.

And I buy much more than what I need because I hate not having a part I need. For instance, if I'm changing out a 100amp panel, I show up with 60 - 70 breakers, every conceivable configuration of twins, quads, you name and I bought it. I spend $400 on materials to swap out a panel. Then I return everything I didn't use.

Try that at a supply house. About the second or third time you pull that on them, they're gonna tell you to get lost. But not only that, I don't want to have $280 in limbo for a month and a half. By the time I wait out a check in the mail, I could easily have 5 grand tied up in red tape if I took my unorthodox style to a supply hoyse every day.. I pay cash, i want to walk out with cash when i return what i don't use.
If your primary work is residential - cash method likely works for you. If you did a lot of non residential work - you start to get into the situation of you not getting paid immediately, the larger the business, further away the accounts payable dept is the more likely you will wait at least 30 days to get an invoice paid.

I have a supply house that would let me buy all those breakers you mentioned and then return what I didn't use, as long as they were normal stock items anyway. Sign ballasts once was something I used to get three or four potential ballasts I might need, go fix the sign, and even return every one of them if a ballast wasn't needed.
 

James L

Senior Member
If your primary work is residential - cash method likely works for you. If you did a lot of non residential work - you start to get into the situation of you not getting paid immediately, the larger the business, further away the accounts payable dept is the more likely you will wait at least 30 days to get an invoice paid.

I have a supply house that would let me buy all those breakers you mentioned and then return what I didn't use, as long as they were normal stock items anyway. Sign ballasts once was something I used to get three or four potential ballasts I might need, go fix the sign, and even return every one of them if a ballast wasn't needed.
I do mostly residential,and 80% of my work I wait 40-50 days or so to get paid anything - no rough in draw or any payment of any kind til the job has been fully complete for a month or better.

I'm supposed to collect a check today for a kitchen I wired in December and billed on Jan. 2

I did a commercial job last year that was 3 weeks of work, and waited over 4 months to get paid.

That's one reason I don't want my returns tying up my material money for a month and a half.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I do mostly residential,and 80% of my work I wait 40-50 days or so to get paid anything - no rough in draw or any payment of any kind til the job has been fully complete for a month or better.

I'm supposed to collect a check today for a kitchen I wired in December and billed on Jan. 2

I did a commercial job last year that was 3 weeks of work, and waited over 4 months to get paid.

That's one reason I don't want my returns tying up my material money for a month and a half.
Why is your returns going to tie up your material money?

With credit account that is paid monthly, if you return something before end of month you won't actually fork any payment over on those items as their credit will cancel out their purchase.

If you are paying cash at time of sale you did fork over cash, then either get it back when returned or at least credit toward other purchases.

If you return something three or four months later, and assuming you paid on time, then you needed the funds regardless before ever making the return.


just because your vendor sends you a statement monthly doesn't mean you can't pay bills weekly, bi-weekly, or even daily if you want to, they are not too likely to refuse a payment even if it is only a partial payment on any one invoice. Payments for future purchases are usually accepted as well if within reason - they are not in the banking business and don't want you to dump a bunch of money into your account and leave it in there long term expecting they pay you interest on it, but a large amount for an expected near future purchase is fine.
 
Top