Re: Is 2-3 times retail for materials routine?
Simple questions I would pose in return to clients who questioned my pricing was, "how much does your mechanic charge? How much does your doctor charge? How much does your dentist charge?" These professions are NEVER questioned when it comes to justifying their prices, yet contractors are expected to account for every penny.
My hourly rate is what it is, just like all other professions. Material costs are what they are, just like all other professions. My material prices are generally a little higher than what a homeowner might find because I shop at a supply house that caters to contractors and either has what I need or can get it without question when I need it. I do NOT shop sales, I don't use inferior products, and I won't do less that what the job requires to be done properly.
Having said that, my prices are not the most expensive in my area, nor are they the cheapest, and you'll get far more than you're paying for by the end of the job if you treat me with the same respect that you would just about every other profession on the planet.
On the topic of the OP's question, having just recently done some electrical work where I had to run 50' of 12/2 cable, the price of copper and accoutrements is extremely expensive now-a-days. From the sounds of it, you paid the going rate for materials.
I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!