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"Buy Quality, Cry Once"
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I have recently bid on two jobs that folks thought the price a bit high. One lady was doing a master bath remodel. She was having an existing vanity replaced and a shower replaced. Both are going to be marble. She said she has 15K in the shower and vanity...matierials and install. She wanted a bid from me for a "metal & Patina" faux finish. I was to repair/prep the walls, she was to appy the basecoat. I bid $820.00. The room was 10x10x8. I figured 20 hours on the job.

She ran the qoute by her husband and they decided that was just too high.

The second job was for an art studio that a owner had built on his property. Cedar siding on the exterior. One large studio room interior. Interior measured 20x15x8. 8 windows 2 doors. Matierials alone on this job was $925.00 Exterior Maxlife solid hide stain aint cheap. The exterior would have taken 25 gals. My qoute was $4900.00 incl. matierials. Someone else bid the job at $1900.00 incl matierials!!

While I was submiting the qoute I explained to the owners what was involved in doing the job. They said they really appreciated the fact that I took the time to do that, that I was very professional, and that they had really wanted to go with me, but since they were over budget on the studio they would probably just paint it themselves. These were extremly nice people that gave me a written testimonail just for my presentation and conduct.

They told me next year they would get me to paint the ext. of their home. About 7000 sq ft of cedar. They said since they had no point of referance they had no idea about the cost associated with this type project. But before our talk they were going to go with the $1900.00 bid.

It's unbelievable how contractors in this area will bid jobs at prices that they HAVE to know they cant make a dime on. Either that or the person biding is just stupid. I told the owners that if the guy is operating without GL ins. and happens to burn the place to the ground they have no recourse.

Oh...and he wrote his qoute on the back of an envelope. I spent 1.5 hours putting together the contract. But at least with this customer I developed a relationship of trust and am insured a job in the near future.

Ok,, thats the rant for the day...later.
 

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DGR,IABD
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9,683 Posts
It's never gets any easier to deal with. I suspect that this same scenario is repeated many times a day all over the country. It is at times like that when I think of the quote from the famous sales trainer and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, "It is easier to explain price once, than have to apologize for quality forever.” That's about all you can say about that.
 

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i deal with this on a daily basis.recenty quoted second story addition.could tell customer was thinking i was to high . wife then proceded to tell me about similar job down street. price was to low to be real ,she then told me contractor failed to tarp house after demo of roof,you can guess the rest.
 

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don, I understand you completely. I lost an exterior for less than $200, and I was going to use SW Duration, the other painter used Duron Ultra Deluxe, I could have beat his price, if I switched materials. I have this other bid in for the whole exterior including the deck, and a total repaint inside. I think the home owner is sticker shocked right now.
 

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Custom Builder
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I'm never afraid to flat out ask if there is a budget on the project at first meeting, or even just wrench a guess figure from the costomer, they do it to me. I just tell them it makes my product selection go easier if I know the cieling on the cost.

Having this attitude weeds out some of my wasted time on no sales.

Just thoughts.

Bob
 

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For me the worst feeling would be when awarded a project only to learn that I was the low quote. I always get the feeling that in a situation like that I am doing a dis-service to the rest of the contractor community, I don't ever want to be responsible for effecting the local contractor rates in a negative way. I would much rather be responsible for helping raise the rates overall then bring them down. Anybody quoting a job at 1/2 of what you did needs a wake up call to the fact that first off they are leaving a lot of money on the table which is just plain stupid on their part and secondly they are negatively effecting the market for everybody and effecting hard working peoples ability to make a liveable wage.

It would be ideal if homeowners would choose only contractors who will perform to the same standards which would mean they would end up within $100 of each other in their quotes and the decision could then be made based on reputation, commitment to quality and customer service like it should be.

Instead homeowners sometimes end up with 3 different levels of contrators looking at the same job whos prices will reflect the quality of the finished job and they don't realize that is why the quotes are so different.

Because of these issues I think it is really important for us as business men to recognize that we will be more successful if we match our companies abilities to the right type of customer right from the beginning. In other words if your typical customer lives in a $500,000 home and you go to a neighborhood filled with $30,000 trailers to quote a job, you should recognize that this customer is probably going to react differently to your quote of $20,000 to paint the interior of their house than your normal affluent customer will. You either need a lower paid division of your company to work that range of customer at a reduced cost or you are never going to service that type of customer. That type of customer is never going to appreciate or even care none the less that you are going to prepare custom color boards for them to choose colors from or any of the other high end services you offer.
 

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Stay strong Don..

This happens to all of us.

Last summer, I bid a 1 story ranch repaint of of vinyl siding @ 2150; including power wash and 3 coats of SW super paint.

The customer went with college painters, (a greedy painter using college kids' labor for partial tuition payments at summer's end). Bidding the job @ 1800 with 2 coats Olympic exterior.

I happen to drive by the place this spring, and the winter already forced cracking and bubbling.

But like Glasshouse said, I always ask what the budget is. What are they willing to spend, and what do they want to spend.

One day, cusomters will learn that they get what they pay for.

Peace
 

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Flooring Guru
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One day, cusomters will learn that they get what they pay for
Only to be replaced by another Greenhorn
 
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