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Thread: It Pays to Shop Around

  1. #1
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    It Pays to Shop Around

    With the needle down to about nada psi, I decided to shop for argon. I called the two local suppliers in Redding, CA, one in Chico and one in Sacramento. Prices are for 80 cu ft. exchange

    Airgas (Redding) $105.13
    Shasta Welding (Redding) $82.44
    MJB Welding (Chico) $56.69
    Barnes Welding (Sacto) $41.41

    I always knew that you had to watch gas suppliers, but this is ridiculous. Fortunately my wife has to go to Chico soon anyway, so....
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  2. #2
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    Re: It Pays to Shop Around

    Airgas is the devil. I was paying $78 for a 200 size bottle of CO2 at Airgas. I had a hired hand with me while getting some and he said that it was too high and he knew Round Rock Welding Supply was cheaper so he called them. It was $16 for the same size. I canceled my account with Airgas that I had for over 30 years and changed it to the other place. You would think they would treat old customers better than that.

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  4. #3
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    Re: It Pays to Shop Around

    Many companies are more than happy to take your money. We needed to have some trees removed and had used one company twice before. The wife called and they gave an estimate she called another and got an estimate that was half the first. Like the OP said it pays to shop around.
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  5. #4
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    Re: It Pays to Shop Around

    Airgas is within 10 minutes of the house and I drive nearly an how to go to the Praxair store (no mom&pop LWS near me). Airgas charging $100+ for an 80 CF argon refill and Praxair $45 for a 330 CF. Full disclosure. - I have to lease the 330 from Praxair but the cost is less than the Airgas 80CF refill and I go thru about 9 - 330’s per year so its a substantial savings.
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  7. #5
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    Re: It Pays to Shop Around

    No big surprise that Airgas is over twice as expensive as another company.
    Now Airgas will buy up the other three and charge you $150 for that bottle
    of argon.
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  8. #6
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    Re: It Pays to Shop Around

    In my experience the only outfit worse than Airgas was Air Liquide.

    In 2016 AL took over Airgas in North America and a few years later also acquired Tech Air.

    I have dealt with Air Liquide ( originally Liquid Air ) for almost 60 years. Only recently has competition improved in my area.


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  9. #7
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    Re: It Pays to Shop Around

    Quote Originally Posted by jpump5 View Post
    No big surprise that Airgas is over twice as expensive as another company.
    Now Airgas will buy up the other three and charge you $150 for that bottle
    of argon.
    ...and double the bottle lease price to $300 per year after one year ... lather rinse repeat.

    Airgas is a joke. I'd sooner quit welding than deal with them again in this lifetime.

  10. #8
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    Re: It Pays to Shop Around

    Ah yes. Another reason to stick weld. No gas? No problem. Run more stick and you'll stretch what gas you do get.

  11. #9
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    Re: It Pays to Shop Around

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyFishn View Post
    Ah yes. Another reason to stick weld. No gas? No problem. Run more stick and you'll stretch what gas you do get.
    Ah, if only they were interchangeable (and my stick looked half as good as my TIG).
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  12. #10
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    Re: It Pays to Shop Around

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrwhoopee View Post
    With the needle down to about nada psi, I decided to shop for argon. I called the two local suppliers in Redding, CA, one in Chico and one in Sacramento. Prices are for 80 cu ft. exchange

    Airgas (Redding) $105.13
    Shasta Welding (Redding) $82.44
    MJB Welding (Chico) $56.69
    Barnes Welding (Sacto) $41.41

    I always knew that you had to watch gas suppliers, but this is ridiculous. Fortunately my wife has to go to Chico soon anyway, so....
    whoop, barnes/fresno oxygen, sac store has a deliv route once a week, i got no idea how far north they go. u probabaly dont have an acct there, but if u offered to prepay it, and talked to the store manager just right, maybe, just maybe, he can come up w/ of one of his stops/destinations, where u could make the swap.

  13. #11
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    Re: It Pays to Shop Around

    Years ago, I ran a supply truck route for a company. When I took it over it was grossing about 5k a month and when I left 50k, I slung some bottles! Gas has the biggest profit margin, I think back then the company had a sum total of 2.00 in a 330 oxygen, so selling them at 13 bucks looked really good. I was a little different tho, if they used a lot, I would sell it for 6.00 and I was assured to get their consumable business, and when you treat people right they want to do business. I would regularrly give out hats or soapstone holders to the employees. Anyway, the point is, I still have connections and its still the same, depends on how much commission the guy behind the counter wants to make, the co. has a set price guideline and some go by it and some don't. In 4 years I only lost one customer, the owner of the business had died and his wife took over and hired a guy that was FOS as shop foreman and made a bunch of dumb changes, and I was one of them.
    Last edited by snoopdogg; 04-17-2021 at 09:21 AM. Reason: another thouht

  14. #12
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    Re: It Pays to Shop Around

    Local, Mom and Pop welding suppliers is where I spend my cheddar. Ive had the big guy's call me, and I say I'm good with Crumptons (SW Florida). been with them almost 20 years and great service!
    It seemed like a good idea at the time!

  15. #13
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    Re: It Pays to Shop Around

    Quote Originally Posted by welding1 View Post
    Local, Mom and Pop welding suppliers is where I spend my cheddar. Ive had the big guy's call me, and I say I'm good with Crumptons (SW Florida). been with them almost 20 years and great service!
    well yea, but, depending where u live, sometimes theres no such thing, also gotta take in consideration, does mom and pop stock what u need in short notice compared to a chain. here in calif, "barnes/fresno oxygen" is the closest thing to both worlds. they are a old co.,based outa fresno (center of calif), and last 15-20 yrs branched n. and s. covering the center valley of calif from bakersfiled to sacramento, and headed west into s. bay, w/ one store. they have kept there mom pop attitude quite a bit, considering how much they grew. there trucks twice a week bring stock ordered items from fresno warehouse to store locations, where theyu are also a lincoln/miller authorized repair center.. for 20 yrs i paid on time, and i been happy w/ them. but u really dont always know whos good or bad people, till theres a problem. thats exactly what happened 2-3 yrs a go. i had a dispute w/ a manager over his screw-up, and i called one of the barnes family meembers in frenso. i think mr barnes straightened that manager out pretty good, and also air/overnighted me my $350.00 33lb spool of specialty wire outa cleveland at his own freight expense to help make it right. naturally ur not gonna have as close relationship as mom/pop, but they were only a phone call away when i needed pop. anyway, we also have a weld web member thats a tech from what i think the biggest lincoln/miller/elect motor shop reapir facility in calif (above la, anyway), (he's a big asset), helping/answering ur questions on in-house machines.
    Last edited by 123weld; 04-17-2021 at 08:13 PM.

  16. #14
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    Re: It Pays to Shop Around

    $89 for a 155 AR in Homer, AK from AG. I only do bottles that I own (and can actually handle without herniation) anymore. The government wouldn't let them have a monopoly here after AG bought out LA and thus we have Matheson, but they are 80 mi. away and about the same. The local AG store is revolving door of people who know NOTHING about anything other than a sale. there is NO 'relationship building' unless you want to talk about guns. And I'm not talking about welding guns.

  17. #15
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    Re: It Pays to Shop Around

    I haven't filled a bottle for at least a year or so and, had a couple that needed filling. After seeing what you guys have been having to pay, I was expecting to get REALLY hosed.
    It turned out to not be so bad. 80cu. C25 and an 80 cu. Ar- $32.77 each.
    I wanted a couple of old tanks for an art project, and have gotten them for free several times in the past, but they can't dispose of them legally in Wa. anymore. Some dumba$$ blew himself up torching an old acetylene tank without completely emptying ,pulling the valve and making it safe first.
    Evolution in action! Of course they sued the company that gave them the tank, and screwed it up for those of us with more than 16 active brain cells(which I have on a good day).

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