Originally Posted by E39S62
As an aside, HD and Lowes do not have the machinery necessary to cut their own slabs so they contract it out locally
I'd say that the price you git is the average price, even from specialty suppliers. You'll be able to get significant price breaks from larger suppliers if you buy their leftover slabs, that's if you do not require too much sq footage. Most places will also have 'slab sales' at least once per year. Doing so I was able to get the price down to $30sq ft for the 4 bathrroms I did in my own house, rather than the normal $65-90 here. I also found that HD sells only the cheaper slabs. Many of the nicer patterns cost signifcantly more, and are only available from suppliers.
All true. Look in the phone book or online for Granite Fabricators in your area. Depending on what you are interested in and how many square feet you want, you can get remnant pieces at a significant discount over full slab costs. I too used remnants in all the bathrooms in our house and paid ~$35/sq. foot. Slab costs are more of course.
You can find a whole lot of interesting granite at the fabricators as well as in your local granite yards. Ask the fabricators where the granite yards are - most will send you there to pick out a slab anyway.
Finally, HD and Lowe's and others typically subcontract the work out to a fabricator anyway. The fabricators I've used are all willing to deal with consumers directly and a significant discount over what you'll find in the big box stores.