I don't know what type of volume you do so take this anyway you want.
Is LJ going to give you free weekly delivery? If so, your rep is making sense. Why tie up your money in all of that inventory if they will deliver for free when you need it? Sure buying moulding by the box will get you a lower cost and you will have it on hand but you don't want to buy an entire box of their moulding if it going to sit in your back room for a long period of time. Same for mats and foam.
As for their pricing there are different levels of pricing and they will work with you but you have to remeber that you have to work with them and make a commitment.
They have good products, good quality, and good service, very few in this industry can offer all three. They are not perfect but, they will always fix a problem when there is one. Their prices may be higher on some items but you also get what you pay for.
Something sounds screwy. You sure you got the correct info? We usually buy bulk direct from Crescent once or twice a year, mostly for illus & poster bd for our art supply but we will get a couple types of rag mats too. I think we might save $3 a sheet that way, if you don't count trucking cost.
If I figure what I'm saving in frieght because of LJ's free weekly delivery, then the per-sheet matbd/foam etc. price is still cheaper for me than other vendors.
Plus, the early-pay discount (you do keep track of those, don't you?) further reduce the per-sheet cost and is an additional savings that many other vendors don't offer. All those cents/dollars add up at the end of the year!
I guess you didn't price out any of the Arqadia line? It is a box only line of profiles and the price includes delivery by your local driver. I have never gotten a damaged box. I can't say the same for Yellow Freight, Overnight, or even FedEx Freight delivering numerous other vendors I have purchased from.
I know what I pay for museum quality matboard, and I also ask the question, where are you getting quality mat for $2.50 a sheet?
I know how you feel. I was you a couple of years ago. Step back and take another look. You will be glad you did.
Don't get me wrong here, as i said in my first post I don't know anything about your business. If you have been in business for 20+ years then you must be doing something right.
There are ways that you could come out ahead by buying a 10 foot stick or a chop instead of the box but it all depends on your business. Things like how many jobs you do, how many frame choices you offer, what you pay for delivery, what your cash flow is, how often you turn your inventory, what your fixed and variable costs in business are, how much space you have, what your rent is per square foot, and many other things.
Now, you say that your business is in a residential area, is it home based? If so feel very lucky that LJ talked to you because they do not sell to home based framers. If not then I would recomend dealing with them because they are a good company. Don't expect them to bend over backwards right away on pricing because you are new and we all know about our customers that promise us volume. Also bashing them on the Grumble before you start doing business with them isn't goign to help your cause either, they read this forum all of the time.
I know how long you have been in business, but it will still not stop my advice to you:
Do the research on a company before you set up an account with them. Sounds like you spent a while trying to get with them.....you did....now you don't like their pricing and now complaining about the company you tried so hard to do business with. Sorry they didn't work for you.
Should I ignore this whole thing or what? I saw it and was interested, but it is very odd that the poster edited two of his posts...? And there is a question from Tim McCan to a Steve H? This is a bit odd.
Did this get to dollars and senes or was it bashing?
Should I care?
Am lost so just trying to get back on the road and go on my merry way.