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Thread: Old School Sales.

  1. #1
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    Old School Sales.

    Hello to anyone that gives a damn. I am retired temporary, because I broke my damned ankle. This means I will never ever get away from metal the rest of my useless life. I now have a metal plate and pins in my foot. Worked 6 years welding/steel fab/maintenance. Worked 21 years, between 2 companies, Welding Supply Sales/service/delivery/production/management. If anyone is in sales, and having a tough time with a customer, contact me. Perhaps I can help, and perhaps not. I never yet, figured out how a Yo Yo with no string works. LOL

    On the other side of the coin now. I have no loyalties to any supply company any longer, but I know all the little deep dark secrets. If you are having billing issues, contact me. Welding Supply companies I have worked for, do some borderline unethical things. All legal. Hard for the customers I have sold to over the decades to spot until it is too late.
    Just so you know, I WILL NOT name names.
    Eric Sam, I am.

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    Re: Old School Sales.

    Welcome! Enjoy the metal! I have a supply of titanium in my back, & it's not enjoyable, so here's hoping you get along well with it!
    IMPEACH BIDEN!
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  4. #3
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    Re: Old School Sales.

    Welcome to the forum. I have a couple screws in my ankle too. Wish that was the only problem as I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in April out of the blue. I worked in a few welding supplies. Remember having a conversation with the manager at one of them. We were talking about crazy mark ups on some products and how they get away with it. Then the subject of compressed gas came up. He said forget diamonds, industrial gas has the highest mark up of anything. Oxygen is 300% or more mark up. If a big user is getting a large cylinder for $20, they're still making a big profit. It costs a lot to build the air separation plant but after that it costs peanuts to produce oxygen. I toured a $150,000,000 (Cad.) air separation cogen plant. They said they make enough money off of just Argon that everything else is pure profit. Argon is about 1% of the earth's atmosphere!

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    Re: Old School Sales.

    Thank you. Wondered what you do at Airports? The TSA X ray you?

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    Re: Old School Sales.

    The screws don't even set off the metal detector at the airport yet my Dr. Scholls shoes did.

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    Re: Old School Sales.

    Hello Dave,
    I did not work for a separation plant. The store were I worked, was also a fill plant. We supplied ourselves, and 5 other locations in Kentucky/TN.
    CO2, NI, OX, AR, AR/CO2,NOS. Liquid, and Compressed. Other than communicating my sales with the Operations Manager, I had little to do with the fill plant. (provided the Ops Manager showed up for work, and was sober).
    I never felt guilty about the markup on any product.
    One fine day, a customer of 10 years looked at his monthly cylinder rent bill, instead of blindly paying it. I got the phone call. He said, I am paying rent on 30+ cylinders? WTF? You have been to my shop, you know I only have room for ten? WTF?? How long you been charging me rent on these I never had? Ain't paying this bill, come get your tanks, changing suppliers. OK, so I sent a driver, and he picked up about 12 or so. So the next month, he gets a rent bill on the rest of the tanks he did not have. He called me. Raised hell.Told me he won't pay any more rent. I talked to the Branch Manager, Account Manager, and the RVP. The account manager stopped by his shop with a bill for lost tanks. Over $7000.00. The guy gave birth to a litter of puppies. The account manager told him, to return the cylinders to the competition, sign this 2 year contract, and we will make the missing tanks, and the bill go away. He was not happy, but he did it. In the contract was a 15% $ increase on everything. When he realized it, I got a phone call. I had blood dripping out of my ear after that call. From that day on,....my name was, "CROOKED ERIC." He would call every Friday at closing time wanting a delivery. After 2 years was up, he called me, gave me two hours to get our tanks. I liked the guy, until this BS happened. After him, I never got close to another customer. Unethical? I don't know, but I felt low. 21 years of sales, I have more stories than just this one. LOL

  10. #7
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    Re: Old School Sales.

    A friend of mine was banned from a large welding supply. He had a cylinder lease agreement and returned all his cylinders. He kept getting a bill for cylinders because someone at the welding supply forgot to delete the cylinders from his name. The welding supply was threatening to take him to court. He went in and tried to clear it up with the manager but the manager was adamant he still had the cylinders. My friend even showed his copy of when he returned them, showing he didn't take any full cylinders. He's a short guy but don't pizz him off! He pushed the manager's desk back and pinned the manager against the wall shoving his copy showing the cylinders were returned in his face. Sometimes the customers can be total jerks but not in this case. The manager probably needed a change of underwear. I've got a few stories too. One manager I wish someone would have dropped a cylinder on his head. He was a total a-hole and intimidated by me. He used to give written tests to the counter sales people. I had a welding background so had a big advantage. One of the questions was something like what welding machine to use in a remote location with no power to weld aluminum at night. He was pizzed because my answer was correct and his wasn't. It was back in about 1991 so I don't recall the models of Miller engine drives but I suggested a machine that had aux. power while welding because you would need a light to see when not welding. He forgot about the night part and suggested a machine that had to be switched between welder and power plant. It went downhill from there.

  11. #8
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    Re: Old School Sales.

    Well, If the guy had a copy of returned cylinders, I would have requested an adjustment, sent it to the cylinder clerk. I would have never involved my boss. This guy should have not lost his temper. This one he would have on in court. Most suppliers would have not spent the $ taking him to court for a few thousand. The company I worked for, would rite it off, and report it to the credit bureau. Getting it cleared from your credit report is a huge pain in the A**. Some customers would just pay it.
    When I shipped a customer a full cylinder, I typed 1 full in the full bucket via, order entry. If the customer had an empty, I typed a 1 in the empty bucket. No empty, 0 in the empty bucket. This would add a tank to the account. If a driver was making a delivery, and started talking about the turkey he shot hunting, and forgot to mark empties on the delivery ticket, it messed up the cylinder balance on the customer's account. Delivery tickets were posted after driver checked in his truck.
    This was a pain in the butt to research 4 months later, a lot of inside people would not take the time to. Just show the customer the original delivery ticket, never bother asking the driver.








    i

  12. #9
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    Re: Old School Sales.

    The manager sounded like an ego trip, waiting to happen.
    The welder/generator must have been a Big 40. That unit would run grinders, and lights, while welding. The Big 40 would also make your ears ring for hours. That diesel had a hell of a cackle, even with a good muffler. The Miller 200 had to be switched from weld mode, to plug stuff in.
    A good sales person took returning cylinder as an opportunity to retain the business. I tried hard to teach salespeople this. Some customers quietly go away, never to return. You never get an opportunity to fix his issue, and keep him spending his money with you. A complaint was a good thing. A lot of salesperson, just did not care.
    Eric Sam I am

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    Re: Old School Sales.

    My friend was fed up because he was fighting with them for over a year and they were still trying to charge him for cylinders he had returned. Now that you mention it, I think it did go on his credit rating which is why he was so mad. He went to the head guy at the welding supply. I talked to a lawyer one time about someone putting a negative on my credit rating. He said he would love to go after Creditel and the other company that puts negative stuff on your credit rating. He said they will put something bad on a credit rating without doing any kind of investigating or checking to see if it's legitimate.

    Back in the early 70's a bunch of the welding supplies here were charged with price fixing on gases. The jerk manager was one of the ones behind it. They are trying to do cylinder tracking now but there are so many millions of cylinders out there, they will never be able to account for all of them.
    The machine with welding and power was a smaller air cooled machine. Can't remember if it was a Legend that had power while welding or another model. One of the other counter guys picked a Trailblazer 302 (they had just came out) which would have worked but was a much more expensive option so that was no good. The manager there was just a total jerk.

  14. #11
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    Re: Old School Sales.

    I started out at a Major welding supply 14 yrs.. I know all the ropes. I did learn enough there to majorly boost my career above and way beyond them and I'm thankful for that. I know all the gas costs to fill and how non valuable hardgoods really are to them. I can tell you that not long ago a Large O2 tank cost .13 cents to fill. Most pay $30 for that gas.
    Thermal Arc 320SP ( Lorch )
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    Boxes and boxes of welding crap.

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  16. #12
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    Re: Old School Sales.

    I worked at Air Liquide (the largest gas supplier in the world) and the welding supplies were basically a necessary evil. Welding machines were basically sold at 10% markup. Bonus if you quoted more and the customer was happy. Bigger customers would maybe be only 8% markup.

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    Re: Old School Sales.

    The Cryo repair/installation techs, and Sales guys hung the moon, and then some were I worked. I had little spats with them from time to time. For example, they had an install of a 2000 gallon NI bulk tank, at a customer location planed for over a month. Then would call me the day of the install, tell me to have a driver, and tanker truck on site today? WTF?? The Techs would walk into the store, just start grabbing work gloves and stuff. Then walk out. Played hell on me keeping the inventory accurate. But they made the company the big $, so little I could do.
    Eric Sam I am

  19. #14
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    Re: Old School Sales.

    I have sold machines at 5% G.M. My Boss told me once, give the razor away, charge the $ for the replacement blades!! LOL
    Eric Sam I am

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    Re: Old School Sales.

    The last industrial plant (copper smelter machine shop) had an oxygen plant, it was a 4 stage centrifugal compressor (8000 HP) that sent the air into chilling towers that froze the differnet gasses off at different temperatures, IIRC we only pulled off oxygen for the furnace & converters and for the BOILER SHOP, they also got the nitrogen for instrument air. I never understood why they didn't tap the argon & CO2 for welding gasses also, it would have been so simple on the plant, piping to the shops would have cost, but basically a one time deal.
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    Re: Old School Sales.

    Caveman,
    I would think they looked at it. Just did not want to.

  23. #17
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    Re: Old School Sales.

    Quote Originally Posted by EricSamuel View Post
    Caveman,
    I would think they looked at it. Just did not want to.
    I know it was considered, they just didn't warrant the added expense, they wanted the oxygen for production and didn't care about havig CO2, ARGON & other gasses, they did tap nitrogen for instrument air.
    IMPEACH BIDEN!
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    GOD HELP AMERICA!
    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

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