Did I get taken for a ride - R440 for 47g of Imperial machine screws?





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  1. #1
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    Default Did I get taken for a ride - R440 for 47g of Imperial machine screws?

    I went to a well known Engineering supplies store in Cape Town and got some imperial machine screws, I got a few extras as you do because taking a 20km drive if you are a screw or 2 short is false economy or so I thought..

    I got a big shock at the till, for instance a #2 UNC 3/16" countersunk machine screw, mild steel, this is a screw that's 4.5mm long and around 3mm thick - R9.80 incl vat per screw - that's after 35% discount!

    In total it came to R440 for 42 x screws with a weight of 47g and funnily enough as I was walking in I saw the bosses car, some insane looking BMW sports car and I wondered when I saw it how profitable selling nuts and bolts is, well now I know..

    Is the above rates par for the course for imperial or did I get gouged?


    Attached is a pic of the screw size and cost - the list is excluding vat, the first 3 lines are for 6mm metric

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Did I get taken for a ride - R440 for 47g of Imperial machine screws?

    Well, that is probably 1% towards a new tyre on that car.
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    Default Re: Did I get taken for a ride - R440 for 47g of Imperial machine screws?

    Just to stock those sizes is worth R200 to you.. .
    Imagine driving around looking ?
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    Default Re: Did I get taken for a ride - R440 for 47g of Imperial machine screws?

    You are always going to pay for non standard sizes.

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    Default Re: Did I get taken for a ride - R440 for 47g of Imperial machine screws?

    At the start of lockdown I started with some woodworking to keep me busy and build some furniture.

    I was amazed by the cost of normal Wood screws, 45mmx3.5mm works out to aroun R1,10 per screw. (just zinc coated)

    Also, last weekend I replaced my motorbike`s tripple clamp Bolts with Stainless steel bolts, and 6 bolts cost me just short of R100. (Bolts+washer+nut, it was weighed at BH)

    Next time i walk past a bolt or screws laying around, ill pick it up, clean it and store it somewhere safe.

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    Default Re: Did I get taken for a ride - R440 for 47g of Imperial machine screws?

    About right. When I did some suspension upgrades on ny Nissan, I converted whatever I could to M20 bolts and nuts. From spring attachments, to shackles, engine and gearbox and TC mounts and shock mounts. Its a fair amount of bolts and nuts. Depending on where you buy, expect anywhere between R40 and R60 just for the bolt, nuts are cheap at around R8 toR12 each.
    Then I looked at building an adjustable radias arm, and needed a fairly long M36. Seemed like a great idea till I got the quote from BMG for 2 bolts and 4 nuts at R1600, and I could not even get them in left hand thread, those were special order, so the other side of my radias arm was going to be more than double that cost.
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    Default Re: Did I get taken for a ride - R440 for 47g of Imperial machine screws?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vormoto View Post
    At the start of lockdown I started with some woodworking to keep me busy and build some furniture.

    I was amazed by the cost of normal Wood screws, 45mmx3.5mm works out to aroun R1,10 per screw. (just zinc coated)

    Also, last weekend I replaced my motorbike`s tripple clamp Bolts with Stainless steel bolts, and 6 bolts cost me just short of R100. (Bolts+washer+nut, it was weighed at BH)

    Next time i walk past a bolt or screws laying around, ill pick it up, clean it and store it somewhere safe.
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    Default Re: Did I get taken for a ride - R440 for 47g of Imperial machine screws?

    10mm x 30mm high strength metric fine thread R1.20 at boltfast.
    Same size at Nissan R89.
    I drove for a week with the R1.20 bolt before the Nissan order arrived. It is one of 2 bolts securing the front brake caliper.
    I feel much better with the correct bolt fitter to my brake assy.

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    Default Re: Did I get taken for a ride - R440 for 47g of Imperial machine screws?

    I know the owner of that business and I’m in the fastener business. You never got ripped. You just needed some very non standard sizes there. Don’t forget the business imports those sizes or buys them from an importer who airfreights that size screw into SA. He takes the risk of sitting with the non standard sizes and then sells them in small quantities. Someone gets paid to pull your order and pack it into tiny packets.

    Consider the alternative. The business owner sells the screw for a markup of 50% so eventually after 3 years of sitting on the stock he decides it makes no economic sense and discontinues carrying the non standard sizes.
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    Default Re: Did I get taken for a ride - R440 for 47g of Imperial machine screws?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarioH View Post
    10mm x 30mm high strength metric fine thread R1.20 at boltfast.
    Same size at Nissan R89.
    I drove for a week with the R1.20 bolt before the Nissan order arrived. It is one of 2 bolts securing the front brake caliper.
    I feel much better with the correct bolt fitter to my brake assy.
    Did you ever consider buying that high spec bolt from brake specialists or a parts supplier? Nissan does not make the bolts for their brakes. All are made by the same 3rd party manufacturer. Those that are packed in Nissan boxes will cost far more than those from the same batch packed in non OEM boxes.
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    Default Re: Did I get taken for a ride - R440 for 47g of Imperial machine screws?

    No. You did not get ripped. Imperial sizes! Not standard.
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    Default Re: Did I get taken for a ride - R440 for 47g of Imperial machine screws?

    Nice supplier to deal with it seems? I see on the invoice it's 15 % charge if you change your mind and decide to return anything. I am sure the consumer protection act made that illegal a few years ago?

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    Default Re: Did I get taken for a ride - R440 for 47g of Imperial machine screws?

    “Virus” prices. We have the same problem here. All depends where you shop.

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    Default Re: Did I get taken for a ride - R440 for 47g of Imperial machine screws?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Knipe View Post
    Nice supplier to deal with it seems? I see on the invoice it's 15 % charge if you change your mind and decide to return anything. I am sure the consumer protection act made that illegal a few years ago?
    I hate being klapped by a handling fee, I have learned that besides the hassle of going back and expenses of travel and time lost it also has a financial aspect. I plan mu jobs better and buy mmore careful to avoid the hassle. I can understand the handling fee, it cost time and wages for an employee to draw and process the order and the same to refund and return to stock. Most probably the payment was by card and the banks will take their share as well. I don't like it but I can understand it.

    As for the OP you were fortunate to get your stuff most places do not carry those sizes. Imperial and amf are not fast movers and are more of a service to customers than a bread and butter line
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    Default Re: Did I get taken for a ride - R440 for 47g of Imperial machine screws?

    Assume this was Top Fast? I have bought specialist nuts and bolts from them over the years, and they seam to be the ones that stock the odd ones I needed, so was happy to pay.

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    Default Re: Did I get taken for a ride - R440 for 47g of Imperial machine screws?

    you pay a premium for the convenience of being able to walk into the shop and buy odd sized stuff over the counter. The supplier has to keep significant stock in order to do this and that costs money. In this case it probably costs more to hold the stock than the stock itself so you are paying for the convenience.

    We have a fastner supplier in Edenvale - Reliable Bolt - more expensive than any other supplier in the area but you are pretty much guaranteed that if it exists they will stock it. Standard stuff we buy elsewhere, non-standard or urgent stuff we suck it up and buy there.
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    Exclamation Re: Did I get taken for a ride - R440 for 47g of Imperial machine screws?

    We used to have a shop called Hydraulic Design Services, more commonly known as HDS, OR "The Robber of Randburg" It was run by a very precise German guy, Gunther, who knew his stuff, and stocked just about everything engineering you could want! And for this privilege, you paid!
    If you were silly enough to buy your standard M6 nuts and bolts there , then you kakked and betaaled, BUT when you were looking for that exact size ally washer, or a left hand thread 17mm nut, he had it and you paid!
    I used to like going there, I always met people I knew, I was always treated with respect, I always got what I went in for, and yes my pocket was lighter, BUT Gunther had had to take the chance of putting on the shelf, all the odd items, that someone might one day want!
    My one thought always is, YOU have the freedom to NOT pay and leave! But if you got what you needed, was it expensive?
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    Default Re: Did I get taken for a ride - R440 for 47g of Imperial machine screws?

    For sure you have to pay a premium for odd sizes that aren't in high demand but to my mind the prices I paid are past the point of reasonable.

    To illustrate this the screws weighed in total 47g, the cost of R440 for those screws is just below the cost of that same weight(47g) in silver bullion, which is currently at R10/g
    Last edited by Skylark; 2020/07/13 at 06:24 PM.

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    Default Re: Did I get taken for a ride - R440 for 47g of Imperial machine screws?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skylark View Post
    For sure you have to pay a premium for odd sizes that aren't in high demand but to my mind the prices I paid are past the point of reasonable.

    To illustrate this the screws weighed in total 48g, the cost of R440 for those screws is just below the cost of that same weight(48g) in sterling silver, which is currently at R10/g
    The manufacture cost of the screw is irrelevant to the debate, if you were in hardware shop in the US you would probably have paid cents for what is a standard stock item.

    I get that you feel shafted but as many pointed out you paid for the convenience of getting non standard screws over the counter. If you were unwilling to pay premium you could have ordered the screws over the internet and waited a month or so for them to arrive and possibly saved yourself some money.

    Edited to add:
    You can get quality
    You can get it cheaply
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    Pick 2
    Last edited by mullerza; 2020/07/13 at 01:41 PM.
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    Default Re: Did I get taken for a ride - R440 for 47g of Imperial machine screws?

    Quote Originally Posted by mullerza View Post
    The manufacture cost of the screw is irrelevant to the debate, if you were in hardware shop in the US you would probably have paid cents for what is a standard stock item.

    I get that you feel shafted but as many pointed out you paid for the convenience of getting non standard screws over the counter. If you were unwilling to pay premium you could have ordered the screws over the internet and waited a month or so for them to arrive and possibly saved yourself some money.

    Edited to add:
    You can get quality
    You can get it cheaply
    You can get it quickly

    Pick 2
    The thing is how long is a piece of string, would you still be saying that if I paid R880 for the 47g of screws or let's make it R1320 where do you draw the line?

    The shop definitely needs to be reimbursed for their goods and services but the price I paid just seems a bit absurd.

    And though imperial is relatively rare for the average layman, the general service and manufacturing industry whom the engineering shops actually serve still has a fair need for imperial fasteners to service old equipment or current US imports that still come standard with imperial, which was the case for me.

    If those are the prices for machine screws, like the UNF #10 1¼" at R17 a screw, I would hate to see the price on decent sized bolts.

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