by Rob Cox November 8, 2013
Swimming Pool Parts - Why Pay Retail?
2 weeks ago, we launched Version 6.0 of poolcenter.com. It was not just a cosmetic change, but an entirely new website, with a fast ecommerce back end, and dynamic information served up from a top shelf relational database.
In the process, we added thousands of new products and tens of thousands in new pool parts, while updating all parts and products with the most recent availability and obsolescence information.
Having a database driven website makes sense when you have over 100,000 items for sale. We were having trouble keeping up with pricing and product changes with our old, static website. We not only had to make changes to the databases, but also to every page that the product appeared on! That's a lot of website maintenance.
Now, we can instantly update product and pricing information, with daily price and availability for all the many pool supplies and pool parts that we sell. This instantly has made us more competitive, and it's what has allowed us to drop parts prices by an average of 9%, by eliminating website costs of over $15,000 per month - more savings to pass on to you!
Swimming pool parts can be expensive when you buy at a brick and mortar store, especially from a smaller chain. And, pool service companies or pool builders typically pay some of the highest prices at pool supply distributors. These high prices are passed on to you.
There is a model of pricing for pool parts that is used widely in many segments of the pool industry. Keystone pricing, which has its roots in the great depression, involves marking up a product by 100% to determine it's retail cost. So, if a pool part costs $5, the typical service company or builder will charge $10. This pricing model is also common for other home or auto repair services. This makes sense, since you have to stock these items on service vehicles, or pick-up the item on your daily visit to the pool supply distributor.
Pool retail stores on the other hand, with more storage room and display space, can afford a lower mark-up, but to pay for all that brick and mortar, they will usually operate a mark-up of 50-80% on pool parts and supplies, with year end sales to move unsold inventory. At the end of the year, a retail store's average pool parts margin is usually around 50%.
For online retail, especially efficient websites that keep their costs low, the average mark-up can be as low as 25-40% (hey, we still have some overhead).
The point is, we now have some of the lowest pool parts prices you'll find online. If you're looking for cheap pool parts, compare our pricing model to our competitors. In most cases, with the exception of websites that are liquidating inventory or close outs on product categories, you'll find POOLCENTER.com to have the lowest prices on pool parts.
Let's see if I can't add some value to this blog post, something other than boasting about our new website and pricing models. Here's a list of some common repairs that homeowners can easily make to their pool equipment, with just a few replacement pool parts.
With the exception of today's modern electronic heaters and control systems, most swimming pool equipment repairs can be easily performed by a DIY homeowner. Using our exploded diagrams, or pool part schematics that poolcenter pioneered in the late 90's - you can quickly see how all of the parts attach to each other, and make a fast determination of the needed replacement parts.
The owner's manual can also be a big help, which is why we list the owner's manual on every piece of pool equipment we sell. Look in the back of the owner's manual for the troubleshooting section.
Our Pool Community, and of course this fine blog, are filled with pool equipment repair information. That's what we do best - show you how to make your own pool equipment repairs, and by the way, we also have the parts you need, at up to 50% off of retail!
Don't pay retail for pool parts - visit our faster and friendlier pool parts department, and have OEM pool parts delivered to your doorstep!