From one perspective, metal is just one more material in a long list of possible materials that we can use to build our society. From another perspective, there may be no other material on earth that has provided as much value for our society as the different varieties of metal.
Maybe that is why the industry for metal wholesaling in the United States alone is worth more than $229 billion every single year!
Of course, with an industry that big, there are a lot of choices to consider if you want to choose a metal supplier. In fact, there are more than 9000 metal wholesaling businesses in the United States alone.
So how are you supposed to figure out which of these metal suppliers is the right choice for you? There are some simple principles you can apply to help you distinguish between the average and the best metal suppliers out there.
Read on to learn all about the most important principles to apply when you are choosing a metal supplier!
Write Down Your Metal Supplier Options
The first thing to do is generate a list of candidate metal suppliers for you. You might base your list on the metal suppliers that are nearest to you. Or you might decide to generate your list based on which metal suppliers provide some unique thing that you need.
In general, the more options you consider, the better the metal supplier you will end up working with. If you only consider two or three options, you may not find the metal supplier that you will get the most value out of working with.
Ask Around for Recommendations
You can also add to your list by asking around for recommendations. Depending on their level of knowledge about metalwork, your friends and family may or may not be able to give you recommendations for quality suppliers. In most cases, you are more likely to get good recommendations from acquaintances and peers who work in the same industry.
In many cases, the recommendations that you get from people you know will be the best candidates on your list of options. The people you know will usually be able to provide you with a lot more information about what is good and bad about working with any given metal supplier that they have personal experience with.
Spend Some Time Reading Online Reviews
Once you have your list of options, you were going to want to start narrowing it down. One great way to do that is to spend some time reading online reviews. Most reviews are accompanied by an overall rating.
One quick way to make your process go as fast as possible is to only look at the companies with the highest overall ratings. On the other hand, you might want to consider companies that do not have the highest ratings. There are many quality suppliers who have had bad luck with getting good ratings.
Regardless, you should spend the majority of your time reading online reviews. They gave a much more detailed picture of why a company has a high rating or not.
Spend Some Time Comparing Metal Costs
Of course, cost is always an important concern. You want to make sure to account for how different businesses calculate costs. One company might be the most affordable if you are buying a single item, whereas a different company might be the right choice if you are ordering a long list of items.
It is also important to ask each company you are considering working with if there are any other costs that you should know about. There may be extra fees and taxes that you should consider in your calculations.
Look at Rejection Rates
Some suppliers have high rejection rates. That means that they deliver materials and parts that are of low quality. In many cases, you can send them back for a full refund.
Getting a refund is better than not. However, the hassle of dealing with a high rejection rate is a cost as well. If at all possible, you definitely want to find a company to work with that has a very low rejection rate.
You may be able to find out how many claims a company has against them for providing materials of low quality. You will find that many companies have some claims. However, if you see that a company has an unusually high number of claims, that is a strong sign that you might want to avoid working with them.
On the other hand, if you are not in a rush, you might decide that it is OK to work with a company with high rejection rates. As long as they refund your money, providing you with poor materials simply means slowing your process down. For some people, that is acceptable.
Adjust Your Approach if You Are Buying Custom Metal Products
Not every supplier out there provides custom metal products. If you are looking for custom metal products, make sure not to waste time investigating a company that cannot provide them.
Of course, there are a lot of different kinds of custom metal products that people want. You need to be very clear with each company you are considering about whether or not they will be able to provide the specific kind of custom product you are interested in.
Understand How to Choose a Metal Supplier
We hope that some of the ideas in this brief article about how to choose a metal supplier have been helpful for you. The better you understand how to distinguish between metal suppliers, the better the metal supplier you can end up working with.
That makes understanding how to choose between them an investment. To learn more about how to pick the right metal supplier for you or to talk to experts in supplying metal, feel free to reach out and get in touch with us here at any time!