I should start off by saying that I have a distinct bias towards buying from small builders and businesses. I have tremendous respect for the work and creativity that these people have, and their commitment to giving us new and exciting projects despite often having such tight margins that it barely makes their ork worth their time. I've got a few pedals that I'm eyeballing for purchase, and while I typically buy used, this time around I'm considering purchasing new for a variety of reasons. In each case, I could buy the pedal directly from the builder, or I could purchase it from an online (and reportedly reputable and reliable) dealer. I've noticed though that the builders have their pedals priced at a certain amount - lets call it $200 for sake of discussion - and then add shipping on top of that - lets call that $20 - for a total of $220. If I go to the dealer site, I can have the exactly same pedal at a discounted price - call it $175 - and discounted shipping - call that $5 - for a total of $180. Altogether, we are talking about close to a 20% difference in cost out of pocket for two of the exact same pedal. I'm going to bet that the builder had to supply his pedals to the dealer at about 50% or so retail in order to get the distribution, which is why they can cut costs to have sales. Now, I would much prefer the builder to have my money, but I would also like to have 20% more money in my pocket (to buy more pedals with!). It has left me thinking - why not contact the buyer directly and ask if they'd like to sell me the pedal for the same $180 that I'd pay the dealer (as opposed to the $220 it says on their website)? It should end up with more money in their pocket, right? If it was only about the money, I'd just buy from the dealer without batting an eye (or hold out for a lightly used one around here!). Maybe this violates some sort of dealer agreement, or causes too much hassle for builders, or something else that I'm not fully aware of. It would be great to hear from some of the smaller independent builders on this one as to whether or not this is a reasonable thing to do. I certainly don't want to offend or upset any of these guys, but I am interested in getting them more money, and getting a better deal myself.