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Senior Discounts?

 
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:44 PM   #1
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Senior Discounts?


I bid a job recently, a small job, figured it would take less than a day...

heres the breakdown...

I figured $285 for labor, $115 for material, plus tax, which is $35.

The client, called my refereences and noted to me about how great reveiws we have.

She asks me to put her on the schedule.

Then the next day she calls back and says that she feels my bid is a bit high...

And that she wants to get a cpl more quotes.

Yesterday she left a msg on my machine, stating that my quote is still a little bit higher than the other quotes she received. And do I offer a senior citizen discount.

I am a bit perplexed about this and not sure what I should do. I have already spoken to her about 'how' I came up with the price I gave her... However she still felt that $35 an hour, was just 'way too much'

Thoughts?
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:54 PM   #2
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Re: Senior Discounts?


Gotta realize that a lot of older people think prices should be close to the same as "their day". Not claiming to know the details, but, I remember my Grandma complaining about the price of bananas when they were thirty two cents a pound. The hourly rate can be a tough nut to crack.

Would you be willing to drop it down to $28/hr? I am a softy on these issues, especially with the elderly.

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Old 10-04-2011, 07:57 PM   #3
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Re: Senior Discounts?


Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrPainting
I bid a job recently, a small job, figured it would take less than a day...

heres the breakdown...

I figured $285 for labor, $115 for material, plus tax, which is $35.

The client, called my refereences and noted to me about how great reveiws we have.

She asks me to put her on the schedule.

Then the next day she calls back and says that she feels my bid is a bit high...

And that she wants to get a cpl more quotes.

Yesterday she left a msg on my machine, stating that my quote is still a little bit higher than the other quotes she received. And do I offer a senior citizen discount.

I am a bit perplexed about this and not sure what I should do. I have already spoken to her about 'how' I came up with the price I gave her... However she still felt that $35 an hour, was just 'way too much'

Thoughts?
$35 tax on $115, wow. Where do you live? $35 an hour? Cheap rates high taxes how do you survive?
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:17 PM   #4
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Re: Senior Discounts?


If you have other work going on you can lower it a bit and do it atfer your normal work day. Remeber you need to eat so try to stay with your price.
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:19 PM   #5
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Re: Senior Discounts?


I think it boils down to whether or not you can shave some time off or if you think the customer is worth the discount.

I generally don't offer a "senior citizens discount" because seniors can be the toughest customers. I've offered discounts only to have them come at me with every change order in the book and holding the final payment as a ransom They also aren't as likely to lead to large projects so a loss leader isn't going to pay off later on.

That said, I frequently cut nice old people deals because I want to and I sure hope someone is doing the same to the older people in my family. I usually tell them up front that I'm giving them a deal and ask them to keep it a secret.
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Old 10-04-2011, 11:49 PM   #6
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Re: Senior Discounts?


What bothers me, is first, she tells me she wants us to do the work, I explain it all out for her.. Then, she asks for how I got to the price point. Which I explain to her..But she acts as though I am some how ripping her off, by charging $35 an hour for TWO guys.. Explains that my references are great and all, but she wants more quotes. Ok... then calls back after receiving a cpl of quotes, and asks basically, if I can match the other quotes...

I am very tempted to call her back and tell her I cant do it this year. I just feel as though she is trying to talk me down.

edit: ethan, I am the same way. but the way she has presented me, leaves me with a 'bad taste' in my mouth... Not sure if I should take it... I am seriously on the fence here.

Last edited by angus242; 10-05-2011 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 10-04-2011, 11:54 PM   #7
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Re: Senior Discounts?


Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrPainting View Post
What bothers me, is first, she tells me she wants us to do the work, I explain it all out for her.. Then, she asks for how I got to the price point. Which I explain to her..But she acts as though I am some how ripping her off, by charging $35 an hour for TWO guys.. Explains that my references are great and all, but she wants more quotes. Ok... then calls back after receiving a cpl of quotes, and asks basically, if I can match the other quotes...

I am very tempted to call her back and tell her I cant do it this year. I just feel as though she is trying to talk me down.

edit: ethan, I am the same way. but the way she has presented me, leaves me with a 'bad taste' in my mouth... Not sure if I should take it... I am seriously on the fence here.
At my age I am all for trying to help seniors out

But not when they don't appreciate it or play games

Cut your losses on this one & go to a paying job

Last edited by angus242; 10-05-2011 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:17 AM   #8
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Re: Senior Discounts?


I second that helping out seniors, my biggest clientell has been seniors and we always go the extra mile for them. We just finished up a good sized interior, for a lady in her 80's, got paid, and i told her we would be back this week to change all the batteries in her smoke detectors... free of charge.. I like to take care of people, and go the extra mile, it has paid off for me so far and has set us apart from all the rest.

ugh but this chimney job... I dunno... I think I am just gonna tell her we cant do it this year (which isnt a total lie... doing it now is really pushing it.
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:12 AM   #9
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Re: Senior Discounts?


No offense, but a couple of things come to mind. First, I would never break the job down and tell them the cost for materials, labor tax etc. Just quote the price and be done with it. It gives them less to critisize you for. The other thing is you wouldn't be in this pickle if when she asked you to put her in the schedule, you got a signed contract. Even on small jobs a signed contract is just as important as they are on large projects.

IMHO, FWIW, YMMV, Just my $0.02 and all that.
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:59 AM   #10
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Re: Senior Discounts?


This job has red flags all over it, based on your statements. Everything appeared to be ok until the client "thought about it". It seems like the old ploy of: I have a commitment and a price, now I can go out and shop this thing using the information I have.

This is this person's normal way of doing things that has worked for them over the years. Remember that they have had many years of practice. They do what works for them, not what doesn't work ( of course that is true for most of us)

I would walk. You don't need a reputation of being "an easy mark" who lowers his price at any objection or request for a "better price".

I do little extras for good clients and seniors too. But it is after we have a contract and the work has started. Plus they have to be reasonable and nice, not PIB's or lowballers.

PS: I read that you gave her your hourly rate, ouch ! In my business I never do that.....cus some hack job will always focus on that and beat you out every time. I give project and job prices, no breakdown. If they want line items or parts-labor-tax then I know they are shopping my bid/estimate around.

Last edited by cwatbay; 10-05-2011 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:40 PM   #11
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Re: Senior Discounts?


I would not consider coming down from 35 an hour for two guys
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:17 PM   #12
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Re: Senior Discounts?


$35 for two guys and they want you to drop your price? WALK you gotta eat too.
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:21 PM   #13
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Re: Senior Discounts?


Remember even if the job only takes you 4 hrs with two guys probably 6 hours will actually be taken up out of your day to do it. Travel etc. plus fuel cost to get to and from the job.
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:29 PM   #14
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Re: Senior Discounts?


I read something here a while back that I always refer to, "You don't lose money on the jobs you don't get."

You sell your job at what it costs you to do the job. If you have to sell it for less, then you have to take things out of the job to fit the new price.

This sounds like a small job, you are thinking too hard about this.
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:38 PM   #15
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Re: Senior Discounts?


This looks like it is only a $400 job anyway. If the HO can't afford $400 they peobably shouldn't be doing the project in the first place. Exactley what is the project anyway?
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:20 AM   #16
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Re: Senior Discounts?


20-25 years ago I used to try to accomodate seniors if asked---with a discount---------------------

then one day something interesting happened.

i was standing in a customers driveway as the husband asked me for a senior discount on a roofing repair." we are retirees on a fixed income,blah,blah,blah"

un-fortuneately for that "senior"- I was able to see over his shoulder and into his garage where TWO, brand new Toyotas were parked-still with temp. tags.
also unfortuneately for that senior------ I suddenly realized that the property Mr. Fixed Income was living in-abutted one of the most exclusive golf courses in town.

I was newish in business then-and probably made $15 OR 16k that year and was the sole support of 4 people as I struggled to get established. It's not my responsibility to subsidize a seniors retirement at my childrens expense.

since that time I have come to observe that a lot of seniors are MASTERS at milking the system and spend their days drinking discounted coffee, going to discounted movies, eating discounted meals, take several vacations a year and frequently have HIGHER incomes than the working schlubs they demand discounts from.

I am much more likely to help out a young blue collar couple with kids- than a retiree demanding a discount
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:28 AM   #17
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Re: Senior Discounts?


Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrPainting View Post
I bid a job recently, a small job, figured it would take less than a day...

heres the breakdown...

I figured $285 for labor, $115 for material, plus tax, which is $35.

The client, called my refereences and noted to me about how great reveiws we have.

She asks me to put her on the schedule.

Then the next day she calls back and says that she feels my bid is a bit high...

And that she wants to get a cpl more quotes.

Yesterday she left a msg on my machine, stating that my quote is still a little bit higher than the other quotes she received. And do I offer a senior citizen discount.

I am a bit perplexed about this and not sure what I should do. I have already spoken to her about 'how' I came up with the price I gave her... However she still felt that $35 an hour, was just 'way too much'

Thoughts?
Seems like she wants you to do the job, otherwise she wouldn't be calling you all the time. Listen lady, the price is fair, i stand firm, if you want me to do the job you need to schedule me, discount is already included in this price and that's the lowest i can go. If she think you are a bit too high that means she already has other cheaper estimates, but she wants you to do the job for the price of those lower estimates.

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Old 10-10-2011, 04:03 PM   #18
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Re: Senior Discounts?


I'm still trying to figure out how you pay two guys on 35 bucks an hour.

Anyway, I give discounts for good customers and even occasionally for the family or friends of good customers, as I find it helps keep me in steady work. For normal folks, I look at the job and adjust as needed. I know what I need and have to get. We are building clientele for now, so I am willing to take it a bit in order to get jobs and our name out there. that being said though, I still need tools and equipment and food on the table. Also making good money is a lot more fun than making short money.

I also think that situations vary. If it is something that is just a want for themselves, I won't be as flexible. If it is a broken window, or something that might endanger or cause discomfort for a family member living there, I am willing to bend more, though I still have my minimums.
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Old 10-10-2011, 05:21 PM   #19
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Re: Senior Discounts?


different areas, I have found require different pay rates... And I mean that in all sincerety. I already told her, that she waited too long, and her best move at this point would be to wait till spring. My 'little show' and the fact that my truck is out there all the time plus my glorious reveiws sold her, but she wants it done NOW! And I cant do it now. Shes looking at 3=4 weeks before we can get to it...

$35 an hour for two guys, its nothing more than a loss leader. It puts a little spending money in my pocket. Does it 'pay my OH' for the day? not really.... but, then, neither does sitting on my ass at home watching my dog chase his tail. At the price point i quoted her I am not 'losing' money, but I am not making any money either.

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