|Forum topic by JoeinGa||posted 11-21-2014 02:18 AM||1171 views||0 times favorited||14 replies|
11-21-2014 02:18 AM
Back in the late 80s I bought a Snap-on Tool Dealership. After a few years owning my own business, I sold the dealership to become a warehouse manager for the company. I ended up in St Louis and my branch manager was a pretty nice guy to work for. Because I had been a successful dealer, he would often take my advice when making orders with vendors.
We serviced almost 100 dealers out of our branch and of course every time there was a sales promotion, the vendor salesmen wanted us to order five (or more) for each dealer. Small items that worked out fine, but some things (like big air compressors and such) we just didn’t have the floor space to stock that much.
One such promotion was with Wilton (who makes the vises for Snap-on). We were running a 6 week promotion and our original order was for 50 vises. These were the signature 6” mechanics vises that sold for around $200 at the time (This bad boy is over $700 now! YIKES! )
Anyhooo, after about a week I called to order some more because the sale was going so well. One of my dealers was working with a new car dealership that was about to open in Illinois and he said if I could get him some help on pricing, he could sell them 100 vises for the new garages. In talking to my sales rep I told him I thought we could DOUBLE our sales numbers if he could get us a better price and make it retro-active to the 50 we already had bought. He asked how many I was going to re-order and I told him if he would get us the better price I’d take 300 of the vises, with a guaranteed sale. (Which meant we would NOT try to return any unsold vises at the end of the promo.) I also told him that I wanted one for myself. But since I had kept one when I turned in my dealership, I told him that I wanted a woodworking vise (even though at that time I didn’t do much woodworking at all)
My deal was made with Wilton on the pricing, and when my branch manager heard what I did, he told me “Those things better sell, or I’ll have your head. We dont want to be stuck with 300 vises here!” I told him dont worry, I’d push them out to the dealers and we’d sell them all. By the time the 6 weeks was over, I had ordered an ADDITIONAL 200, making our total order with Wilton to be a final 550 vises. About 2 weeks later the Wilton Rep came into my branch and he brought with him their VP of Marketing who said he wanted to meet the warehouse supervisor who was ”BALLSY enough to make such a deal without his branch managers consent.” (his words, not mine). We all went to lunch and talked about our NEXT promo…
When they dropped me back at the warehouse the sales rep went to the trunk of the car and handed me this 40 pound box and said _ “Thanks Joe. I made a hellofa commission on this deal. Here’s the woodworking vise you wanted. It’s our top of the line model”
I have carried this factory sealed box around since 1992. And yesterday I FINALLY opened the box. WOW! This thing is fantastic. the jaws are 4” X 10” and without the wood vise faces it will open to 12 full inches. I dont have a “traditional” woodworking bench as you can see in the photos below. My bench is a steel framed, welded base which I mounted 2 layers of 3/4” pressure treated plywood to. So since I dont have a regular bench top, I had to do a bit of cutting and fitting to get the vise mounted to it.
The vise has the slide-up dog and you can also see that because of how the vise mounts I had to add a spacer so it stands about 1.25” away from the frame of the bench in order to get a solid hold on the bench.
I thought the 8” steel handle was a bit short, so I used an oak dowel to make a 11” replacement. I used some maple for the vise faces and it still opens to “almost” 10” at full open. It only takes about a 1/3 turn to unlock the quick release and it slides open and closed like it’s on ice.
All in all.. not bad for FREE, eh? I just wish I hadn’t waited 22 years to open the box ....
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