Pro Guide to Buying Raw Material



Submit an RFQ (“Request for Quote”)

  • Basics:  Quantity, size, material, condition
  • Bars must be deep scratch and dent free (“Manifold Grade”)
  • Price Compare
  • Lead Time
  • Request Mill Certificates
  • Consider ordering as saw cut
  • Saw Cut Tolerance
  • Track Price per lb

Quality & Material Details

  • Extrusion Tolerance
  • Bar versus Plate
  • Bow and/or flatness (plate, extrusion, saw cut)
  • US Sourced / US manufactured!


  • Just-In-Time versus Storing Inventory
  • Deliver on skid (saw cut)
  • Bar: bundle, wood sandwich, wrap
  • Receiving Hours
  • Local Pick up Option

Vendors & Relationships

  • Account Discount / Est. Annual Volume
  • Inside and Outside Salespersons
  • Payment Terms
  • Shipping Costs
  • View a Vendor Relationship As a Partnership
  • Don’t hesitate to ask materials questions
  • Get a copy of their book – e.g. Alro Metals Guide

Sample RFQ:

Qty20  0.75 x 9 x 20.125 (+0.125, -0 on saw cut length)

6061-T6 aluminum bar, must be US material with certs
Material must be free of dings and dents.
Please deliver on a pallet, protected during shipment
No bent or bowed bars prior to cutting (must be flat and straight).