Trade Card and Trade Accounts

If you are self building or renovating, getting your hands on a trade card or setting up trade accounts will help you achieve the best savings on products and materials.

In addition to the cost savings, there are usually a few additional benefits that can help with your project.

Trade Card

There is really only one self builder specific trade card and as you might expect it comes from self build heavyweight Buildstore. There’s nothing to lose by applying for one as it comes with some useful benefits and it’s free.

Buildstore has partnered with a range of merchants and suppliers including the Woseley Group and merchant co-operative Unimer to offer savings on everything from blocks and cement to plumbing, electrical, flooring and even white goods.

Benefits of the trade card include:

  • Access to savings and special offers on over 400,000 products.
  • A credit account with credit limits up to £25,000.
  • Access to expert advice and a dedicated account manager.
  • Free entry to the National Self Build and Renovation Centre in Swindon.

For a full list of current partners, to find out more or to apply for a card visit Buildstore.

Trade Accounts

Don’t feel that, as a self builder or renovator, you are restricted to Buildstore’s card and partners, and don’t be put off by the word ‘trade’ if you want to shop around. Most merchants and suppliers will happily set up trade accounts for self builders and renovators, even if they don’t seem overly inviting at first.

National builders merchants already embrace self builders and offer credit accounts with discounts and a range of helpful services. Local independent merchants will also be keen to win your business and should be equally helpful.

The key here is to ask. Find out who has what you need, explain what you are doing and find out what they can do to help you.

Remember: “Don’t ask, don’t get”


If you strike up a good relationship with your sales rep or account manager they will do their best to get the best prices for you. We’ve had some terrific contacts who have knocked huge percentages off list prices.

By opening accounts with more than one merchant or supplier you can ensure you get the best price by getting comparable quotes before placing an order.

Advantages of a trade or credit account include:

  • Trade prices and discounts.
  • Credit facilities.
  • Product and technical advice.
  • Local advice, including specialist trade recommendations.
  • Online account management.
  • Estimating services. (Usually for an additional fee)

Maintaining a good relationship with your suppliers is essential for getting the best deals and the best service. Have a look at our tips on organising your material requirements to find out how you can help.

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