Social Media     

 Connect with us!
Connect with Supply House Times on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn

To Surcharge Or Not To Surcharge?

November 4, 2008
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+

One of the earliest stories I was assigned when I first joined the staff of Supply House Times way back in 1977 was to interview a bunch of New York City plumbing wholesalers who were trying to make “trip charges” stick amid resistance from trade customers.

Now they’re called “fuel surcharges,” but otherwise not much has changed. Skyrocketing fuel prices earlier in the year led to a rash of fuel surcharges among businesses ranging from pizza delivery to package delivery services to our industry's PHCP distributors. The latter still find it tricky to manage, as market leaders in imposing fuel surcharges typically lose business to competitors who pretend not to be charging extra.

That's almost always an illusion, of course, because the customer will ultimately pay one way or another - via surcharges or higher prices with the surcharge built in. One's visible, the other disguised.

Personally, I prefer to see itemized surcharges. This preference has less to do with the pocketbook than intellectual honesty, coupled with practical results. I think the public at-large would be more conservation-minded - and energy production-minded - if we were constantly bombarded with reminders of rising energy prices.

How are you distributors handling high fuel prices? Are you eating them, implementing surcharges, or building them into your prices?

And, now that fuel prices have dropped by about a third from their peak, are any of you rescinding surcharges?

Share your thinking with us.


Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Supply House Times.

Recent Articles by Jim Olsztynski

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

BNP Media's Plumbing Group Visits Grundfos North American Headquarters

BNP Media’s Plumbing Group, comprised of the Plumbing & Mechanical, Supply House Times, PM Engineer (pme) and Reeves Journal brands, recently visited Grundfos’ new North American headquarters building in the western Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, Ill.

5/7/13 2:00 pm CST

How To Use Your Strengths To Fight The Threat Of Amazon Supply

AVAILABLE ON DEMAND A new 8,000 lb. gorilla, Amazon Supply, has taken aim at many of the customers of PHCP supply houses. Supply House Times columnist Dick Friedman, an authority on business planning and the strategic use of inventory, warehouses and technology will present strategies and tactics for you to compete with Amazon Supply.


Supply House Times

April 2014

2014 April

In the April issue of Supply House Times, there is much focus on young professionals in the distribution industry. Find out who is being recognized as this year's Young Executives for the American Supply Association and read who will be taking over Aaron & Co. when it's current owners retire. Read about Central Plumbing Specialties' recent expansion, catch up on the latest news from the distribution industry as well as the latest products!
Table Of Contents Subscribe

Supply House Times Poll

Trade Associations

Are trade association memberships and participation beneficial to your company?
View Results Poll Archive

The Supply House Times Store

2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research

CS-OflRGBhomepage.jpgWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

Premier 125

Premier 125 button

The information SUPPLY HOUSE TIMES uses to rank the Premier 125 is the most accurate we can gather. It is primarily based on responses to a questionnaire we send to the wholesalers in our database, supplemented with information obtained from industry reports and estimates.


facebook Twitter Updated icon Youtube Updated icon    LinkedIn Updated icon