WesBell Electronics
Wire and Cable Blog

Posts tagged: copper pricing

Romex and UFB Electrical Wire Pricing Lowered!

Since copper is a daily fluctuating commodity we must keep up to date on our copper wire and cable pricing. Over the last month alone copper rose above $4.20 per pound, came back down to $3.20 per pound and has settled in the last few days around $3.60 per pound.

When buying and selling copper electrical wire such as Romex® and UFB underground cable we have to watch the pricing very carefully because the amount of copper in each conductor can drastically change the price. When copper goes down we have to lower our pricing in order to compete with other wire and cable distributors and when pricing goes up we have to increase our pricing so that we don’t lose money on orders.

With that being said, over the last few days WesBell has lowered all pricing on copper wire and cable in order to show our customers we’re honest and not trying to make “extra money” while copper is decreasing. We’ve heard many stories from our customers that their electrical wire vendor increased pricing when copper was high but didn’t decrease pricing when copper lowered.

We like to keep our customers informed of when copper is increasing and decreasing by showing them on our website. We keep the last 3 years worth of copper pricing online so that when you buy something that you haven’t bought in over a year you can see exactly why there was a price increase or decrease.

The last thing we want to hear is that our pricing is 10% higher than our competitor because we work hard to please our customers in every way and a higher price can give a potential customer a bad impression of our entire company. We stay on top of copper, stay current on pricing, offer free shipping on orders over $250, ship from the tax free state of NH, offer exact cut lengths and stand by our on time delivery as one of our top 3 ISO9001 quality objectives.

As an ISO9001 company we analyze, and document, everything that goes wrong, discuss it, and implement a new procedure to be sure that it can’t happen again. Being an ISO certified company is so much more than “extra paperwork”. It forces companies to do the right thing, take the right steps forward and to, not only look for new customers, but to take a step back and be sure you’re pleasing your current customers even more.

People talk about money multiple times a day so we know how important our wire and cable pricing is to our customers. We look at other websites pricing before uploading ours so that we know we’re competitive. If we’re not please let us know!

Please call if you have and questions or comments about our website.

WesBell Electronics, Inc
(800) 334-8400

Copper Pricing Is Going Down?!

Over the last few days, near the end of September 2011, copper has been volatile to say the least. It’s been from $4.00/lb down to $3.20/lb and today it’s back up to $3.50/lb. We can’t predict what’s going to happen to copper over the next week, month or year but we can help you understand the pricing as it is today.

When copper goes up it seems like pricing changes very fast so it’s important to check competition to keep everyone honest before buying any type of copper electrical wire. However, when copper is going down it doesn’t seem to adjust as fast because of how far into the process the copper already is.

If copper drops $1.00 per pound in one day I highly doubt manufacturers or distributors are going to immediately start selling all of their wire and cable at a loss. Copper is bought by the manufacture, then spends about 4-5 weeks in manufacuring to be sold to a distributor who stocks and sells it in smaller quantity.

That’s about 6 weeks worth of time for that particular copper wire to change pricing up and down nevermind one day. So now that copper has taken a down turn how long will it take to really adjust to the new pricing? Probably slightly less than the 6 week cycle because the manufacturers want to rid of their current stock before charging lower pricing for what they have.

Buying a stock on the NYSE low and selling high is the same thought process for a distributor who buys copper and sells it over time. They like to buy low and sell high whenever possible but predicting that process is impossible. Offering your customer the lowest price all the time is a great thing to be able to do, but it’s not always that easy.

In the business world, companies like Home Depot get better pricing on plywood than a small contractor because their volume is so much higher. In the wire and cable world the big guys get better tear pricing, however if they buy at $4.00 copper and the small business buys at $3.00 copper then they can compete much easier.

Always check around for the best price when dealing with any commodity because companies buy at different times so you’ll never know who might have the best pricing.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400

Current Copper Pricing Update

The price of copper as a commodity traded on the NYSE has a lot to do with the current costs of electrical wire and cable. So far this year copper has been fairly steady in the $4.40 – $4.85 per pound range keeping the wire and cable pricing somewhat steady as well.

If you keep an eye on the current copper price per pound then you can do a simple equation to check your current electrical wire pricing. This is not an exact formula but if you apply the same percentage increase or decrease to the cost of your wire then you’ll have a good idea of the current cost.

Customers sometimes call and request pricing on electrical wire they they plan on buying in a month or two. It’s great to plan ahead but we need to let you know that copper changes daily and that price will most likely be different by the time you call to place the order.

So we like to send our customers to our current copper pricing page on our website to keep them aware of whether their price will go up or down when it comes time to buy. Every 2 weeks we plug in the current price of copper so that you can adjust your quote without having to continuously call back for an updated price.

Impact on Electrical Wire Pricing

It’s not uncommon for contractors and businesses to call with a $10,000 to $15,000 order for wire and cable products. So a 10% increase or decrease in copper can be very significant to the job they’re bidding. Remember I said copper has been STEADY so far this year with a 10-12% fluctuation. That’s fairly calm for copper and any other commodity on the stock market, so when copper becomes unsteady you’ll have to keep an eye out every week to be sure your bid is still current. 

$12,000 + 10% = $13,200

Copper has been the new craze for thieves as they go from building to building cutting the electrical cables from the power supply in order to sell it to scrap yards. Keep a close eye on all of your wire and cable and don’t throw any of it away. Keep it in a scrap box and when it piles up bring it to the nearest scrap yard for some extra cash.

How to get Welding Cable at the Best Price

There are a few things you can do to get your welding cable at the best price such as bulk purchases, cut to length purchases and searching for the best copper base price.

1. Bulk Purchases

Buying anything in bulk gets you a better price so why not welding cable? If you buy 3-4 months worth of cable at once you can have it direct shipped to you from the manufacturer which saves freight. Usually if the order is big enough to ship direct then the price will be very low due to the fact that distributors don’t have very much work involved. This is usually very high competition in price between distribution.

So check a few prices which will most likely be current copper because the manufacturers always sell their inventory at the current copper price and you’ll probably get similar numbers along with free shipping.

2. Cut to Length Purchases

If you know that you only need a small amount of welding cable for your home or shop welder then make sure you buy exactly what you need to avoid waste. These prices will need to be closely checked because there could be any mark up involved in this procedure. It brings the cost of waste onto the distributor because if they start cutting lengths off of a 1000′ reel then eventually there will be a lot of very short, difficult to sell, lengths in stock. Those lengths either get scrapped for copper or hopefully sold to customers looking for very short pieces.

3. Searching for the Best Copper Base

In order to sell short lengths the distributor must have stock on the welding cable to cut it and ship it quickly. This means they could have bought the cable any time within the last 6 months to a year. So they could have that particular welding cable in stock at 3.00 copper base or 2.00 copper base which means, depending on where copper currently sits, your price could be very good or possibly very bad. Any business would like to turn a profit on every sale even when copper is down and your inventory is very high so be careful of the price you pay!

Hopefully those 3 points will help you find the best price you can on all of your welding cable. WesBell Electronics will be honest with you about current pricing whether it’s competitive or not because we don’t like our customers to think we are trying to pull the wool over their eyes. The average consumer is very smart these days and we strive for great customer service so we want to help you, the customer, as much as possible.

Romex Cable Pricing

You might wonder how you can call 5 different wire and cable distributors and get a range of pricing for the same product. You’re expecting to get better pricing than Home Depot and Lowes right? Well sometimes that’s the case and sometimes it’s not for multiple reasons.

1. Copper

Copper is a volatile commodity traded on the stock market which changes the prices of electrical wire and cable drastically. Electronic cable and portable cord products have more engineering, jacket and materials in them to affect the price. Electrical wire and cable is mostly made with copper and a small amount of insulation to keep costs down as much as possible.

Copper can go up or down over 10% each day depending on how much play it gets and the supply and demand of the actual product. Normally when contractors call for pricing on large amounts it will come straight from the manufacturer because stocking that much copper can be fatal.

2. Time of Purchase

With copper going up and down daily it’s just as hard to time the purchase of inventory as it is the next big stock purchase. Your hope is to buy at the bottom and sell at the top but that scenario is usually unlikely. So assume you buy 50,000 feet of Romex 14/2 for your inventory at .15/ft and copper drops 10% over the next week. If a customer calls to purchase 10,000 feet you will mark up your .15/ft while other distributors who don’t have stock will mark up a price of .135/ft (10% less). Ideally if that distributor only wants to make 10% on the order they could sell it at your current cost.

On the flip side of that scenario the inventory could work in your advantage. Assume you bought the Romex 14/2 at .15/ft and copper went up 10%. You now have the upper hand to possibly make a little more than you planned because distributors without inventory must buy at a current price of .167/ft (10% higher).

3. Clout/Relationship with Manufacturer

Most people and businesses understand quantity breaks where 1 TV will cost $900 and 10 of the same TV’s might cost $850 each. The same works in the wire and cable industry but relationships are a big part as well because the manufacturers have competition too. They like to see that you trust in their product, price and customer service so much that you don’t call anyone else. That’s worth a better price to them and you can work together at creating new business and opportunities.

Those 3 points are fairly specific to the wire and cable industry but are also standard in the name of business itself. You shouldn’t take advantage of a good customer by saying; “They always buy from us anyways”. That’s a very poor look at customer service and treating you current customers worse than potential new customers is not a good idea.

Some companies offer deals only available for new customers! That’s an outrage! Treat your current customers better than your new customers because they’ve been giving you business for years and deserve that treatment. How would you feel if you’ve been buying TV’s for years from the same company at $850 each and then they offer the same TV to new customers only at $800 each? Probably like you’re worth nothing to them? Then don’t use this technique on your customers or they may feel the same way.