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About HBT Buying Group


An introduction to HBT

Hardware & Building Traders (HBT) is a buying group created for independent timber, hardware, garden and building supplies retailers.

We commenced operation in January 1997 with 13 member stores. Since then we have grown consistently and as at August 2016 our members operate over 610 retail stores located throughout all the States and Territories of Australia.

At the same date we had deals in place with over 450 national and local suppliers and the list continues to grow.

All members are independently owned and operated businesses. And whilst HBT has fostered a strong culture of support and co-operation between it’s members, we restrict our formal role to that of a buying group. We do NOT offer a marketing or franchise system. We do however offer limited promotional and other activities which our members can choose to opt into

We run very lean with a minimal yet highly professional administrative structure.

Our Member Steering committees are composed of store owners/managers (members) who are responsible for approving all membership and supplier matters. They hold a committee meeting or teleconference each month to administer the group.

We aren’t a typical buying group. You don’t have to buy shares or take any responsibility. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy good deals and plenty of valuable interaction with your peers.

There’s none of the bureaucracy or politics that groups like this sometimes suffer from. We hold two member conferences each year.

We negotiate terms with a supplier, which is then included in our online Deal Book.

Suppliers have a status that is either ‘Registered’ or ‘Key Supplier’. Key Suppliers are by invitation of the executive only and involve a package of additional benefits as well as providing the Key Supplier the opportunity to support conferences and other group programs. Generally there is only 1 or perhaps 2 suppliers for each sub-category. Key Suppliers are appointed on an annual basis and all members are encouraged in the strongest possible terms to provide as much business as is possible to them.

Each member is responsible for their own relationship with each supplier. They open their own accounts and are responsible for ordering, payment, account maintenance etc directly with each supplier.

Every deal provides for a 1%* administration rebate together with a member rebate which varies between 1-15%*. These rebates are paid quarterly to HBT. HBT retains the 1% to cover running costs and then collates and pays the stores rebates and any LTIs to each member. (* Based on the value of net purchases).

Other deal terms such as settlement discounts, advertising support etc are agreed by HBT but left for each member to implement with the supplier concerned. Where commercial circumstance requires, suppliers may offer differential pricing to individual members, but under the umbrella of the agreed deal.

HBT does not guarantee payment by members to suppliers and does not place orders. We do offer a limited number of collated buys on selected products.

At the regular member meetings, member support for deals is reviewed and member comments are actioned and fed back to suppliers.

Simply complete our application form and send it to us via email, fax or post.

Once approved by the Executive, you will be sent our plain English membership agreement to sign and a tax invoice. Once the signed agreements and payment have been received by us, we’ll send you your Deal Directory so you can get trading.

You pay nothing further. There are no annual membership fees, as the group meets it’s costs from the 1% administration fee paid by suppliers.


  1. Pay the joining fee.
  2. Be “fair dinkum” in supporting all the deals you possibly can. Minimum desirable purchases per annum are $250,000.
  3. Come to the member meetings (two per year, one state and one national). Ideally you will need to attend one out of every two member meetings.

We have only two mutually reinforcing objectives:-

1. For our members – Lower buying prices and higher margins.
2. For our suppliers – Build volume.

As a not unimportant side-benefit, our regular member meetings provide an excellent informal forum for the exchange of ideas and information between members. Store owners seem to really look forward to the meetings.

Our suppliers also enjoy these meetings as an opportunity to present new products and build personal relationships.

We seek members with a strong retail, hardware, building materials or industrial/tool operation.

Our emphasis is significantly in building supplies and a strong trade customer base. We want to work with our members to assist them in being the dominant force in their immediate marketplace.

The stores in our group are mostly strong, well-established traders whose trade area does not conflict with that of another member.

There is a strong regional component to our membership list and this tends to reflect in a friendly informal approach to the way we work