Whether you’re a first-time homeowner who is planning to purchase rock salt for the first time this winter, or are simply looking to up your rock salt game this year, it’s extremely important that you know where to go to make your purchases.
Although there are certainly plenty of retail locations that sell rock salt and other ice melting materials, not all of these options are wise for your budget or your well-being.
So how do you begin to sort through your prospects and narrow them down to just one superior bulk rock salt supplier? This tell-all guide will reveal all of the characteristics of the best supply companies so that you can make the best possible decision.
8 Traits of a Superior Bulk Rock Salt Supplier
It’s always in your best interest to seek out a bulk rock salt supplier that has been in operations for an established length of time. You’ll find that, throughout the winter, there may be certain vendors that seem to pop up “overnight”, setting up shop to sell seasonal items.
Because these are only temporary businesses, there’s no way for you to have any guarantee whatsoever regarding their quality or reliability as a vendor. In addition to being a well established business, you should also be sure that the company is established within the industry.
Although your local grocer might offer the convenience of selling bags of rock salt, these businesses aren’t familiar with which products are best for specific property types. You’ll get the best results when you go to a landscaping supplier that has built a solid reputation for offering high quality ice melting materials at reasonable prices.
2. Locally Owned and Operated
Staying local with your rock salt purchases is ideal. Although it’s possible to find and purchase rock salt and other ice melting materials online, this isn’t the best option. First, it will take longer for the materials to get to you which could leave you in a bind, should the weather pick up before you’re ready for it.
Secondly, you’ll end up spending extra money on shipping or transportation. Major chain suppliers are another no-no for buying rock salt. The large, nationally recognized vendors like Home Depot and Lowes are often stocked up for the winter, but because they are such major brands, you are likely to find that they inflate their prices in order to maximize their profits.
3. Large Inventory
A good bulk rock salt supplier will carry a wide range of products so that you have plenty of ice melting materials to choose from. Different property owners and contractors have different needs for the winter.
Whereas some are more concerned about the safety of pets and children, others will need to think about sheer melting power or the amount of residue that could get left behind by the deicer.
Numerous products have been formulated to cater to very specific demands, and your rock salt supplier should be able to address your unique requirements by selling a material that is designed with you in mind.
4. Knowledgeable Staff
We cannot stress enough the importance of seeking out a bulk rock salt supplier that employees knowledgeable and professional staff members. When you walk into your supplier’s store, you may initially feel overwhelmed by the many different types of ice melting materials that are available.
It’s the supplier’s staff’s job to narrow down this selection to one or two products that would best suit your individual needs. This can only happen when every team member is familiar with the specifications of the various ice melting materials on offer. Never hesitate to ask questions of the sales representatives who are walking the floor.
Make note of how confident they appear as they address your questions and how much information they are able to provide you with. This is a strong indicator of whether or not you can trust your supplier.
5. Excellent Customer Service
Knowing it all really only goes so far. In fact, having information doesn’t mean that much if the supplier’s staff are rude and difficult to work with. Customer service is everything, and you should expect the very best from your bulk rock salt supplier. One of the best ways to learn about your prospective supplier’s service reputation is to do a quick online search for references, or even to ask the company for a list of references from satisfied customers.
Other key indicators of quality customer care and service are an honest desire to answer all of your questions and work with you to ensure that your needs are met, a commitment to helping you accurately calculate how much ice melt to purchase and helpfulness throughout the process of scheduling any bulk order deliveries.
6. Purchasing Options
Every different individual, company or contractor will require different volumes of rock salt based upon the size of their properties, the type of ice melt selected and the weather conditions associated with their locales. This means that your bulk rock salt supplier should offer various means of purchasing ice melt.
Typically, you’ll find that the best suppliers will offer materials by the bag, by the pallet and by the truckload. Your supplier should help you to calculate how much rock salt you’re likely to need to get through the winter months, and then help you to determine whether you’d be better served to buy by the bag or to order a bulk quantity.
Keep in mind that the majority of suppliers will offer discounted pricing for bulk quantities, which can add up to big savings.
7. Fair, Competitive Pricing
The last thing you want is to find out that you’ve overspent on your ice melting materials. If you take the time to select a fair and honest bulk rock salt supplier, you will never need to worry about this. Be on the lookout for customer reviews about your prospect’s pricing.
Do a little research of your own to see how upfront and open the supplier is about its rock salt prices. Lastly, shop around and see how much competitors are charging for similar materials. Suppliers with prices much higher or lower than average should send up a red flag that something isn’t quite right.
8. Bulk Delivery Services
If you’re purchasing your rock salt materials in bulk, you obviously need to have a bulk delivery service available to get your order to your property or storage facility. Look for an ice melt supplier that offers low-cost bulk delivery services. Make sure that the company is fully licensed and insured to make deliveries and is flexible in coordinating drop-offs.
For years, Braen Supply has been recognized as NJ’s leading bulk rock salt supplier. We carry a massive inventory of rock salt and ice melting products which are formulated to suit the needs of all of our customers. Our team of experts is happy to point you in the direction of the right deicer for your property’s unique demands.
We offer the lowest, most competitive prices around. Our rock salt can be purchased by the bag, and in most instances, can be purchased in bulk quantities for pickup or bulk delivery to areas throughout NJ, NY, PA and CT.