I explained in my column in LBM Journal that we work very hard to show respect and fairness to our loyal deck builder clientele.
However, in some respects, I expect this to work both ways. There are a few deck builders in our area who send their homeowner clients in to our lumberyard to look at our displays, to check out colors and qualities of different product, and generally shop the aisles, but all the while, those deck builders never have any intention of buying product from us.
Instead, that deck builder is going to get a wish list from his homeowner client that they've put together by looking at our displays, and then he is going to go to a big box store to get product more cheaply. He simply wants his clients to see our beautiful displays to help them get ideas.
That can be a very dangerous strategy, because if we find that out (and we do) we see that as an excellent opportunity to chat with his potential customers in person while they're in our store, and with luck, we'll wind up building that deck for them.
We're not a public service company, nor are we a nonprofit corporation.
Contractors who buy from our competitors but routinely use our showrooms or want to tap into our expertise to help them make sales to homeowners are fair game, as far as I'm concerned.
- Bob "The Deck Guy" Heidenreich