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post #1 of Old 10-09-2013 Thread Starter
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Hiring Contractors - Are component/part prices typically higher than online?

I realize that many folks who post here are DIY'ers but for expediency, I'm going to go the route of hiring contractors for most of the bigger projects for the refit of my 1991 35' sailboat, here in Annapolis, MD. USA.

As I begin organizing the various systems contractors and start fielding estimates, I'm curious about normal industry practices. Specifically, is it normal practice for a contractor to make money on the parts/components that they sell you as part of a project?

Using an electronics contractor as the best, and most obvious, example, if I were to hire one to put in brand new electronics on my boat, in addition to paying them for system installation, would they expect to charge me more for the electronics components, (GPS, radar, etc.), than I could buy them for online?

I understand that this is a generalized question and it may be difficult to provide an answer. I ask simply because in the computer industry where I come from, this practice has faded over time. Just looking to minimize any surprises.

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