Sourcing Cabinet Hardware

      Pros discuss one-stop shopping for cabinet hardware from various manufacturers. August 29, 2005

Question
I am wondering why there aren’t websites with cabinet hardware we can buy like Blum hinges or other stuff we all use. It seems to me that it should have been done by now - just like you can punch up decorative hardware and find ten different sites. This helps drive the cost down, but you don't see a company over the internet selling the hardware we really need. We always have to but it through local dealers. It seems like if a few companies did this it would drive the cost down for all of us. Does anyone have any thoughts?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor T:
I would suggest looking at HDL (Hardware Distributor Limited). They are here in MN, but ship all over. We use them for all our Blum, KV, Feeney, Amerock, Belwith, etc. They have great service and same day shipping. Their web site is backed with a full line catalog as well. Here is their site below.

HDL



From contributor J:
I buy most of my hardware these days directly through eCabinetSystems. You can order hardware from Amerock, Blum, Grass, Hafele, Salice and Wood Technology just to name a few. You can also get doors and drawer boxes, moulding, lights and just about everything else that you need. Plus you get a free cabinet design package to boot.

I especially like the design software because it allows me to set up default hardware for each cabinet I design, so when a job has been completely designed you have a complete list of all of the parts you will need for a job - including costs. This of course makes your bidding a bit easier since you don't have to call your local distributor to get prices for all the hardware and such. When you are ready to order the hardware it's all on a form, so you just press a button and it's done.

The only bad part of the system is that there can be delays do to shipping (most of the suppliers are currently in the mid-west or east coast), so if you need something the next day you will still need to call your local distributor.



From contributor B:
I think the reason we haven't seen anything like that to actually drive cost down is that all the hardware manufacturers use different distributors, many times so that one distributor is not competing with themselves by offering competing products (you don't see Blum and Mepla undermounts sold by the same distributors). These online companies still have to buy through the distributor who sells to them at a mark up, passing that cost on to you. I think the question is, do you want to pay for the convenience of ordering, or save money in exchange for time to call five different distributors?


From contributor R:
Although I use KCDW to design and get cut lists for my cabinets, I subscribed to e-cabinets because it seemed like a good idea about the purchasing co-operative concept for all hardware components. And I have to say that I think that the hardware prices are simply outrageous. The prices are nearly double what I pay through regular local suppliers.


From contributor J:
To contributor R: What hardware did you see that was double the price from your local vendor? I use mostly Blum and Hafele hardware and find the prices to be about the same as I would pay locally, but then again the local vendors many times charge varying prices depending upon the amount of business you do with them. That's why vendors like Louis and Co, and E.B. Bradley have not set up web sites with pricing info.

I know I have seen some items in the eCabs listings that were more expensive than elsewhere (the hand tools they used to list were not a good deal), but all of the prices are set by the vendors, not the eCabs people. If the prices for a product that I need are way out of line I contact the eCabs people and let them know. It doesn't do eCabs or the vendors any good to waste their time posting items that are not going to sell because they are overpriced.

One of the things the eCabs people need to do is to have multiple vendors for the same products and regional vendors as well. This is something that I understand they are working on.



From contributor R:
To contributor J: I just now looked at the e-cabinet price listing and the Blum hinges are 85 cents each, more than I currently pay. The mounting plates are double what I pay and the Rev-A-Shelf kidney lazy susans are $45 each, more than I pay and I have not even figured in shipping costs if any. Now as far as decorative hardware, that costs at least five times what I pay.



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