Buying Metals 101 – The Essentials

When purchasing metals – as with any other raw material – there are helpful pointers that can ensure you get what you need for the lowest price possible. As a buyer, it is important to find out what these pointers are, for they can make a significant difference when you consider your business objectives in the long run. Below are some tips to help get you started:

Bulk-buying and the quantity break – many aluminium suppliers Melbourne and other metal suppliers will actively encourage you to purchase metals in bulk. It is common sense to bring down prices by purchasing goods in large quantities, as opposed to buying them once in a while. Since you will most likely need various metals more than once for your projects, it is ideal to buy in excess. And in the rare instances where you only need a small quantity for your project, make sure to buy not the minimum that you require, but the maximum: there is always the possibility of a cut not being up to standard, or the probability of making a mistake. In such cases, running out of raw materials can result in expensive re-orders, which you can easily avoid by buying extra in the first place. In addition to this, suppliers will probably not inform you of the quantity break – or the exact points at which price reductions take place. The sales agents will probably skip from one bracket to the other. As a savvy buyer, you should try and find the exact point of the price break if you want to cut down expenses further.

Specifications – metals come in different specifications and grades. For example, quality 321 stainless steel tubing has a number of series which come in different number specifications (e.g. the 304 stainless steel tubing is part of the 304 series). Besides the actual grade of the metal, there are also different shapes and sizes. These all play an important role in the actual strength and functions of the metal, which is why you should pay due attention to them when ordering the required metals. Sometimes, even a single misplaced letter or number can make a difference, so make sure to be careful!

Sourcing – the sourcing of the metal refers to where it was mined and produced. Most suppliers are in actuality service centres, or mediators that have bought the minerals either from other middlemen or from the manufacturers themselves. It is quite common to have a few middlemen in the chain, but this also means a gradual increase in the price. Finding out the source of the metals you are buying can give you an insight into what the actual price of the metal is, and whether it can be purchased for a lesser price from other mediators.