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Frequently asked questions about FastenersClearingHouse, the FCH Network

What is FastenersClearingHouse.com?
Is it FREE to search for inventory?
What is the transaction charge?
How many members list inventory on FCH?
What is a SourceFinder™ inquiry (formerly called an RFQ) and how does it work?
How do you promote FCH?
How do I contact FCH?
If I list my inventory with FCH, how do I work with the buyer?
Is all of your inventory really surplus?
How much does it cost?
How do I join?
If I list my inventory with FCH, do I have to list my prices?
How do I load my inventory?
When I sell my inventory how is this reflected on the web site?
How do I get my banner ad on your search results page?
The Search feature isn't working. What's wrong with it?
Where do we get our fastener definitions from; why are Cap Screws listed with Bolts?


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What is FastenersClearingHouse.com?

FastenersClearingHouse.com is an independent, online exchange for the fastener industry. Our one and only objective is to provide a place on the internet where buyers can find hard to locate fasteners and related inventory, and where sellers can list and sell surplus and overstock inventory.

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Is it FREE to search for inventory?

There is no charge to search our database and make contact with sellers.

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What is the transaction charge?

There is no transaction charge. Buyers and sellers interact directly and there is no charge or commission paid to FCH for transactions.

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How many members list inventory on FCH?

FCH is now over two and a half old years old, and we're growing every day. We sometimes hear that there are only a handful of companies listing with us, but this simply isn't true; we passed the 200 member mark months ago and now we're well on our way to the 300 member mark.

If you search our database you will see that some companies do appear more frequently under certain commodity types. This is true for two reasons. First, some companies simply list lots of inventory. As a paid member, you can list up to 10K lines at any one time. Second, some companies have lots of stock in one or another commodity. If you are considering listing with FCH, you should view this as an opportunity! Search around and you will see that there are several companies competing for your business in almost every category.

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What is a SourceFinder™ inquiry (formerly called an RFQ) and how does it work?

When someone searches the database for a specific fastener but that fastener is not listed, they can create a SourceFinder™ inquiry. FCH members have the option of receiving SourceFinder™ inquiries for the various commodity types. When a user creates an SourceFinder&trade inquiry, it is instantly sent to all members who have signed up for that commodity. Members can reply or not at their option. If a member has an item a user is searching for, they can work directly together with no FCH involvement to make a transaction. Members can receive unlimited SourceFinder™ inquiries at no extra cost under the terms of their membership.

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How do you promote FCH?

Traffic is very important to our mission. Our goal is to bring value to the fastener industry by helping companies like yours move surplus and overstock inventory. To do this, we spend lots of energy working with the internet search engines and using email marketing to welcome users to our database. We also use traditional advertisements and direct mailing techniques to introduce users to our service. And of course, we are always thrilled when we hear about one of our members recommending us to an associate. FCH is a work in progress, and we intend to keep working to build a brand everyone in the industry knows and respects. We'll do this by bringing value to our members.

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How do I contact FCH?

You can always submit an inquiry to us by clicking the Contact Us link on each page of our site. We pay close attention to inquiries, and we will respond to every one we receive. You can also contact us by phone at 877-332-7836.

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If I list my inventory with FCH, how do I work with the buyer?

Buyers and sellers interact directly with each other. If a potential buyer locates an inventory item of yours in our database, we provide them with your contact information.

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Is all of your inventory really surplus?

Some of our members do list first run inventory. Our view is that buyers and sellers are free to work with one another if and when they are prepared to exchange value, and only then. FCH is an exchange, and sellers will only continue to list here if they sell inventory. This will only happen if they bring competitive prices and fair value to the market. Buyers can compare from lots of items from many vendors all in one place, so first run items will only sell if they're priced to sell. This is good for the industry and good business, period.

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How much does it cost?

FCH is free for buyers. To list inventory on FCH you purchase a one year membership which entitles you to list up to 10 thousand active items for $495.00 for one year. You also receive unlimited RFQs and complimentary banner advertising with a link to your web site in rotation on our search page.

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How do I join?

To join, simply click the Sign Up/Sign In link in the upper righthand corner of the home page and follow the instructions. You can also click here.

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If I list my inventory with FCH, do I have to list my prices?

The decision to list your pricing information or not is yours. Do what suits your business model best.

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How do I load my inventory?

Once you login to the Member's area, you click on the Fasteners link. From this page you can perform a variety of inventory management tasks, including uploading new inventory.

You can upload Excel files or you can add one line item at a time manually. If you upload an Excel file, it's best to use our model file format, which you can get here. This is the preferred method because buyers will have the easiest time finding your listings in the database if it's formatted like the sample file.

If you cannot format your inventory in this way, don't worry, you can still upload your Excel file. We've developed an advanced program that we call 'The Scrubber' that makes short work of most inventory spreadsheets. You might have heard about it already. If we have questions with your inventory upload, we'll contact you.

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When I sell my inventory how is this reflected on the web site?

You have two options. First, you can login to the FCH database and modify your listings, either removing the sold items or reducing the current number on hand. The other alternative is to upload the latest comprehensive inventory listings, overwriting your existing listings with your new lines. The beauty of FCH is that you have complete control over your inventory, 24/7.

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How do I get my banner ad on your search results page?

All FCH members are entitled to have their banner ad display randomly on our search results page. Just contact us when you sign up if you have any questions, or look at your account page for instructions. Ads must be 220 x 100 pixels. We will be releasing a premium banner ad program in the coming months, so stay tuned.

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The Search feature isn't working. What's wrong with it?

The Search feature is working, but it may not be working as you expect, or finding what you are looking for. We now have over 1/2 million fasteners indexed, and we have tried to ensure that the fasteners loaded conform to general standards for size, description etc., but it is possible that a particular fastener is still not standardized. We have tried to reach a middle ground between a search screen that is so complicated that you only find exact matches or nothing, and one that is so loose that you can't narrow down your search. It is best to start broad and narrow your search. In all cases, use the drop-downs rather that the description to define your search; you can use the description to define the head type if needed. Enter part of the size first to see how these fasteners have been entered. Based on how users use the Search, and the results, we continue to fine-tune the search engine. We monitor the searches carefully to check what people are searching for.

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Where do we get our fastener definitions and why are Cap Screws listed with Bolts?

Good question! The fastener industry has survived numerous attempts to introduce standardization. The result is that there are still no universally accepted definitions and there are exceptions to every rule. We use the "Fastener Reference Guide" as our reference guide. This book is consistent and it makes sense to us to help spread some form of standardization across the industry.

And the answer to the second question...?
According to the Fasteners Reference Guide, a Bolt is a fastener that requires a wrench in order to be tightened. Since Cap Screws require either a wrench or a socket for tightening, they are listed with Bolts.

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join fch and list your inventory
"For us, FCH works. Our sales of surplus inventory have increased, it's a good service, and we're going to stay with them."
Bruce Darling
Porteous Fastener Company
 
VARVIT USA. LLC
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