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Bit of an odd question about getting samples7/23
We are in a crappy location where our only local access to finish would be Sherwin where none of our local retailers stock, or know anything whatsoever, about their product line, or at this point we have regained a local shop that has picked up MlCampbell which we lost access to for a long while.
I have tried on a couple occasions to get a quart or gallon of material (willing to be at our expense for the material and shipping) to try of various materials from MLC and its always been crickets. The last two times (this time is one) we've been told they are working on samples (our local salesman) and then we hear nothing for, well, weeks. My default would be to just drop them outright for horrible service, but our only option beyond that option is to freight everything in which we did for a while with other finish suppliers.
Question is, do any of you have first hand experience with one of your MLC salesman or reps being able to get you quarts or test material direct from MLC? Our local distributor is not moving enough product to even inventory material we are using much less fall on the dagger and pour off a quart in-house to get you on the hook so any sample material would have to come directly from MLC. I just cant believe MLC doesnt have a distributor support program where they can UPS a quart, or include a few quarts of new offerings in a regular stock order but maybe thats the case. Or maybe my salesman just sucks. No idea.
We have tried some new product (at a MASSIVE expense to us, thankfully we like it) but Im always in the middle of being the guy who cuts a break, needs/wants the product, but is pained to give my shops hard earned money to salesman who just never get back to you or are flubbs.
Where are you located?
We are in rural mid Atlantic. Our next closest distributor is 160 miles away.
If you are in the mid Atlantic, how far is the nearest Wurth?
I use their Norfolk Virginia Store, and the ML Campbell products and support is great.
I am in South Jersey and have a great supplier, if you like Valspar. Been with them about 20 years. Sounds like you're out of range though.
Norfolk is 700 miles. Wurths KY branch is the closest, 160 miles. They dont service our area.
I wasnt really concerned with finding a new distributor (though I would try one if it were availabe). My real question was just for informations sake on my own part if anyone knew if MLC has a distributor support program for samples or if they leave that up to the individual distributors to provide samples out of their own inventory. These distribution issues are nothing new. We are in basically a black hole for many many things.
When we used Sherwin it was nothing for them to ship us a quart of something as a sample or the rep would come in touting some new finish with a quart to try. Their industrial division would pour off a sample. Other sources offered quarts so we could just add one to an order to try something different.
my experience with mlc is they don't generally provide samples at no charge. we don't do much with them anymore, so i'm not sure if this is still the case. we were dealing with them through wurth.
our new supplier sends free samples out as requested and without hesitation.
I agree with The Google. MLC never provided anything free. Wurth was agreeable to a point on providing a sample. That has seemed to change.
A&M supply (previously Atlantic) provided samples of their Valspar Zenith. Not sure if they still do.
Seems around here, it is usually the Reps who will do that for you.
Thanks guys. Sorry for lack of clarification. Never looking specifically for free. We are more than willing to pay and even pay freight on a quart(s) of material. The issue is most of the material isnt even available in quarts and if our distribution isnt going to stock a given material to even try the product we are forced to buy an entire case (4 Gallons).
It just seemed like common sense that any manufacturer would have a program where they would ship out quart samples (paid for by the customer) to give you an opportunity to spray/test. Realize full well this wouldnt work very well with post cat material.
Im still stinging a bit having to buy a case of material, and a case of catalyst, to the tune of $700.00 just to get to shoot a bit of it. So now we have 6 quarts of catalyst, enough for 24 gallons, on the shelf because they made us buy a full case. Thank heavens we like the finish so we will use it up.
It is what it is. The pains of the pleasures of rural shop ownership. Thanks again everyone for all the input. Its greatly appreciated.
keep looking for a supplier that will let you test stuff for free. our new supplier, ic&s, has sample sized stuff (quarts) that they've sent us without questions.
Explain to them that you are trying to find a standard product. You will need $2k of that product per year. They will find a 1 gallon can. If they don't, then tell them they have terrible service and you can't do business with them.
It's hard being so far away for simple materials. small amounts of timber and ply on short notice must be a pain as well.
Atlantic Plywood is our MLC dist. Their guy in the CT site is excellent. Really good at color matching. He knows the limits of his knowledge and passes you onto the MLC techs. We've always had good success with all of the MLC products. Solvent and w-borne.
Sounds like you have a poor rep.
We were having trouble with our local SW distributor just not caring because they are so busy. They are also gouging everyone around here on pricing. So, I found the next closest industrial facility 1 state away and have everything shipped. I get it quicker and for almost the same shipping price as the freight from the local SW. My new rep. has priced things properly too.
If you are a small-medium sized shop you might want to consider doing business with Conestoga. They sell their paints (Sherwin Williams products, and they are indeed very good products).
Having the option to order your doors prefinished in the same color is rather attractive too if your workload is sufficient to support (or necessitate) the added cost.
I have to confess that I am partial to their stain lines. Most of their stains are fairly well behaved (with driftwood being the biggest pain in the ass by far).