OK, I was WRONG WRONG WRONG about Stuller’s pricing mechanism. In
my own defense, I was told over the phone that I was getting the 50
oz price on my wire and sheet when I bought it (in fact they went to
considerable trouble to stop and add up total weight until I hit 50
oz), but in fact I did not get that pricing.
So I’ve been leaving a trail of misabout Stuller and now
I have to go back picking up the crumbs all over the Internet.
Here’s the scoop:
Due to a major foul-up in the way they have implemented their
automated ordering system, they price metals according to EACH
INDIVIDUAL ITEM that you buy. E.g., you get 10 oz of 24g wire, you
get the 10 oz pricing on that, but if you get 3 oz of 18g wire, you
get the 3 oz pricing on that.
In order to try to get around this horrendous pricing system (one
which I was flabbergasted to discover in place anywhere in this
country) which is apparently built into their automated system, they
implemented something called the “metals club”, where, whatever you
order in a six month period all gets glommed together for a bulk
discount rebate. In other words, they figure the rate out by hand for
your average purchases over a 6 month period and send you money back.
This is where the "we discount all types of metals at one bulk rate"
comes from. It’s done by hand, up to 6 months after the fact.
However, that doesn’t work for those of us who buy in bulk once in a
blue moon in order to get the bulk rate - divide my 50 oz purchase
up over 6 months and I don’t even get the 10 oz rate. It also
doesn’t work for buying clubs, because even if you do a buy every
month, no buy club member wants to wait 6 months to get a rebate, and
no buy club organizer wants to have to figure out what each
individual buy club member needs to be getting back somewhere six
months down the road. Or how to get the credit to them. It would be a
The fellow I talked to at Stuller (who is on this list and was VERY
nice to me) was very sympathetic to my dislike of this method of
billing, but apparently its been a losing battle to get this changed
at Stuller because its a flaw in their system design that would
require huge changes to their network/infrastructure.
Unfortunately, its not going to change any time soon. Fortunately,
Rio Grande is going to start selling Argentium Silver in August. I
don’t know what other metals wholesalers will be carrying Argentium,
or when they’ll start carrying it, but eventually everybody should
be carrying it.
I didn’t notice this on my invoice because they list pennyweight
prices instead of ounce prices on the invoice. I had to order in
inches but they invoiced in pennyweights (and I’m used to buying per
ounce). Had I done the math, I’d have realized I was WAY OVERPAYING
for my Argentium. But I was going by what I was told over the phone,
which was that I was getting the 50 oz discount. The difference
between what I actually paid and what I THOUGHT I was going to pay
amounted to somewhere around $120. That’s an awful lot of silver I
could have bought somewhere else.
So I no longer recommend Stuller. Sorry, Stuller. Fix your pricing
and I’ll love you again.
In the meantime, I’m switching my allegiance back to Rio Grande.
They’ll have Argentium in August, so I guess I’ll put my next metals
buy off until then.