How long do you want to have plumbing in your house?
For some reason, Islamists are the only racist, sexist, homophobic theocrats the media can't summon outrage against.
|safe & sound|
I just quoted a move the other day for a 18 gun, 500# safe, up 5 steps to the driveway as described by the homeowner.
We showed up today to find a 35 gun, 1,200# safe that had to fit through a very tight door and into a restricted landing area, up 8 steps to a yard, then across 50 feet of grass to another sidewalk, & up one more step to the driveway.
Do customers always lie?
Second, or third opinions are the bane of scammers, or confirmation that you’re not up to date on current costs. If you find a good place, you’ll know it. One of our heat pumps is dead and a friend put me on to a guy that said he’d do $5300 installed on a quality 3 ton unit. Including the air transfer unit in the attic crawl. I asked “when”? Fall when it cools off. Knowing what I know, that is a seriously honest dude.
"Live every day as if it's going to be your last, and one day, you'll be right.”
|Telling cops where to go for over 25 years|
I get the reseller tax process. Resold things myself over the years. My point was paying an inflated cost as well as the additional sales tax on that inflated cost. Combine that with usury rates of mark up, and it is adding insult to injury as far as I am concerned.
You then proceeded to stuff my situation full of a lot of shit that wasn’t part of my situation.
The “rest of the story...”
Local appliance shop, Gas range on the display floor, $999.99. Nope, not in stock avail in three days with free delivery. 10% sales tax, makes $1100. It is a step up from the “builder grade” usually used in the house I am having built (indirectly through a third party).
Builder says that range is $1250, doesn’t say where he would be getting it from. Says he can give me a $500 “credit” for deleting the “standard” range BUT needs to add back $250 labor cost for the change/install. The fact he is only offering me a $500 credit for what I know is a $750 range doesn’t bother me. I know he buys commercial in quantity or under a discount so I accept that.
Assuming he would be getting it elsewhere, I say, go to such and such place it’s only $1000. Builder says, yes but with builder doing the pick up and install it adds to the price since free delivery is offered to retail only, not commercial accounts, etc., etc.
Total charge for the “change” would be $1150. The $1250 quoted range price, $250 “change” fee, $150 tax ($1650) less the $500 “credit” for the Range that would have been included but is now deleted. It is what it is, do I want it or not?
I say “That doesn’t seem, right. Install one or the other is the same, plug in the cord and connect the gas line then slide it to the wall.” He goes off about pricing based on standard appliances, additional costs, change fees, etc. change that and that is the way the pricing works.
I say, ok never mind. Just don’t install a range and give me the $500 credit. Electric and gas hook up already done, so not part of the equation. He hems and haws, realizes he painted himself into a corner and grudgingly adjusts $500 for the range delete.
Once house is finished, I have the place deliver the range and they hook it up at no charge. Actual cost to me is now only $600. The $1100 retail price with tax less the $500 range delete credit, or roughly $650 less than what the builder was trying to squeeze me for.
It is only AFTER this I find out the store does commercial account discounts with that builder and he would have been paying even less than the $1000 price I paid for the range (somewhere in the $800+ range if I remember correctly). Now add the $~200 discount to the extra $650 he was hoping to charge and basically he was trying to collect an extra $~850 bucks for a minimum wage worker to spend 20-30 minute going to pick up the range from the store.
He could have charged me the same $1000 the store did and I would have been fine with that and it would have put $200+ dollars in his pocket mark up over his discounted cost. It also would have put the $250 “change” fee in his pocket for a couple of phone calls and 30 minutes of one of his workers time. Nice easy $500+ of pure profit. He was greedy simple as that. Instead of $500 he wanted $800.
I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night...
So yes, in MY situation I think it was shady practices meant to take advantage.Certainly doesn’t mean everyone does it and other situations may be much different (better or worse).
Like anything, “Buyer beware” get multiple bids/estimates and take the time to understand what is or isn’t included, what scope of work the bid includes, what is extra, and whether there is overage built in that might be refunded and under what certain circumstances that would happen.
What part of "...Shall not be infringed" don't you understand???
|The Ice Cream Man|
Guys, as I think I mentioned in the OP, I’m in manufacturing. I have hired various tradesmen for 23 years, on a continual basis.
This is a new to me trend, at least.
|The Ice Cream Man|
I understand inventory costs, etc, and I don’t hire “cheap.”
The 300% markup was on equipment to be ordered in, through the exact same supplier we use. He got “caught” because we thought he spec’d the wrong equipment.
Paying for time to run to stores, etc is very counter-productive. It incentivizes screwing around, and poor planning.
Perhaps this is spill over from residential tradesmen trying to go into industrial/commercial. I still think it’s a very dumb way to do business.
Every straight plumber I know is exceptional busy, and making very good money. It is getting harder to get larger crews, which are good, as so many fellows go out on their own, once licensed,
|Seeker of Clarity|
I've found that some simply don't need/want more work. While they take the time to bid jobs, it's only to fish for the gullible/desperate/rich&foolish. I suppose if one bites on that they squeeze you in and delay other work. Essentially then, people are bidding to get on the schedule.
When you see how far out reputable people are scheduled, you realize the trades is probably a better path than college in many cases. Take that $100k and put it to seed money for a small business and treat people fairly and put in an honest days work. I think you almost can't fail.
I did not see you mention manufacturing in your original post. You said something about a plant but did not say what kind or if it was yours.
Do all manufactures make cheap, shoddy, defective goods? Then sell them at exorbitant mark-ups and refuse to honor their warranties? Do they all give unrealistic delivery dates? Do they all lie about and falsify consumer reviews? Do they all poison they're employees and costumers? Do they all ignore health and safety regulations? Do they all dump toxic waste into the environment? Do they all pollute and poison the atmosphere?
That was real easy, and just off the top of my head. If I was you, I would not be calling Tradesman liars and thief's.
|The Ice Cream Man|
I didn't meant to imply they all do it - we have a great network of ones who do not.
I meant we are getting, on a regular basis, what I consider "crooked" bids, which have the issues I mentioned.
NONE of our industrial fellows did this. Maybe that's why they get industrial work. (Mostly, I think its because they do jobs properly, and promptly, and we have can't deal with the goofballs.)
|The Ice Cream Man|
And, increasingly, I'd say you're not too far off on the shoddy, defective goods, and unrealistic delivery dates.
(By no means all, but it has become more common, as more "serious" manufacturing has been moved to MX or China.)
My dad did flooring and repairs/renovations/etc my entire life and he was very good at it. He never had any down time because his reputation for integrity and quality of work were impeccable. The number of times customers lied outright or by omission of information could fill a library. He had a great sense of when someone was shady or full of shit and the bigger the lies, the higher the price went for dealing with the bullshit. On the flip side of that, if he managed to complete a job under his estimate, he passed that savings on to the customer. The quality tradesmen are largely jaded by all the crap they’ve seen.
|quarter MOA visionary|
When you get quotes you need to compare details.
Unless you compare apples to apples the quotes will vary.
Generalization is not fair, IMO.
|Just because you can, |
doesn't mean you should
"Did tradesman always lie/steal?"
You may want to go back to re-read the title of your post.
That's like having an experience with a crook in law enforcement and calling all cops crooks.
Many of us that have to give prices and are independent businesses can tell you twenty stories about slippery, sleazy, dishonest customers for each of your stories. Independent contractors put up with all sorts of crap too and don't have anyone (like government or a large corporation) guaranteeing their paycheck or benefits.
Sure there are people out there in any business or profession that are less than honorable. It's a free country and you can call someone else too. Painting everyone with the same brush is why you are getting the reaction you see here.
Every single company in world puts padding into their price. They have to make money.
They could list the materials at their costs and then add workers comp insurance, vehicle maintenance, workers health care, wifes car payment etc. to the invoice.
You cant walk into home depot and say you want the refrigerator at cost because you will install it yourself.
There is no cure for stupidity, you either die from it or with it.
|Fighting the good fight|
Not all. Just most.
My moving company was actually relieved when they showed up and the description I had given over the phone of my largest gun safe was actually accurate. They thanked me and said that most people grossly downplay the size/weight of their gun safes. Said they had a job just the day before where the "couple hundred" pound estimate for the safe was missing a zero.
|The guy behind the guy|
This is why bids are not all they're cracked up to be. I'm getting ready to build a new home. I'm in the construction industry. I didn't get quotes. I went to a guy who has a good reputation and who I know a little. We talked, I am trusting him to take care of me. yep, industry insider who didn't get bids. Why?
Simple, bids are worthless. As I mentioned on page one, if you have wild ranges in prices, the contractors did not quote the same job. They just didn't. I don't care what you think, they aren't apples to apples. Easy example, check the specs from a home you had built...oh you don't have specs, yep you made a bad choice and there is no way bids could have been apples to apples. you have specs? ok good, what was the slump specification on your foundation? 2"? Let's say it's 2". My guess is, you got a foundation with a concrete slump closer to 4". Why? because it's a shit load cheaper (faster and less labor) to pour. A high slump concrete will pour around your forms damn near like water. A low slump concrete will take work and time to pour and get the air pockets out of.
one will crack in 10 years, the other will last a couple generations. So, when you get bids for that basement, contractor A says it will be $10k. Contractor B says it will be $20k. OMG you say! Contractor B is trying to rip me off. Was he? or was he actually going to give you a 2" slump concrete pour? If you told him it had to be 4", and that was what contractor A actually gave you anyways, he might have said $8k. So who's really screwing you? Most people have no clue what they're buying and some contractors are willing to give you less than what you are owed because they know you'll never know anyways. that's how you get wild ranges in pricing. Or, they could have shitty labor who they pay like crap because they don't care. by the time your basement starts leaking they will be long gone and the warranty period well expired. So they are cheaper because they don't train and hire well. They won't be giving you the same job as a quality contractor. But in today's word of price comparing of widgets, people have begun to think they can price buy services as well.
That leads some contractors to come in very low on bid day because they think they have to in order to get the job. Then they beat you up on change orders over the course of the project to back to claw back to a normal profit margin. I suspect this could be the case in 911boss's scenario, because I agree, that was a bit steep. They think of it like they gave you a "pre-discount" on the quote so you paying an inflated amount on the CO's isn't ripping you off, it's getting you back to paying a normal price when the project is all said and done.
Knowing all of this, why bother with quotes? Hire someone you trust, with a great reputation and make sure they are the kind of people who will do the right thing. Do business with folks like that, and you'll be fine. Also, ask those people how you can save money. A good contractor will tell you that a 4" slump basement is a lot cheaper and it's what most contractor special type homes are built on anyways. Are you planning on living in this home 30 years? If not, maybe a 4" slump basement is a good way to save some money...etc. At least you'll be making informed decisions on where you are cutting corners/costs rather than a contractor deciding for you. A good contractor can help you decide where it makes sense for you cut costs.
***please note, the author knows jack about the actual slumps of concrete, so if my number of 2 and 4 aren't exactly right per members who are concrete experts, my bad, but y'all get the point.
I'm confused...wait, maybe I'm not.
|Fighting the good fight|
So far, I've been lucky enough to find a plumber and electrician like this. I can trust them to do me right and don't bother with bids. It's a good feeling.
No luck yet in other trades, but that covers most of my non-DIY routine house stuff.
|Low Profile Member |
Often people think it is easier and cheaper to do something but they fail to realize the person actually doing it also has a business to run which includes paying for things beyond simply the cost of parts or materials used. As said earlier, in life you usually get what you pay for.
It sounds like the guy you had is a crook, BUT everyone you deal with is a crook (however he might not get the same price break you do) and has high bids, sounds like something wrong with your company. Does you company pay right when the job is finished, or do they pay contractors 30 days/60 days out, lose their invoices and contractors have to keep calling to get paid?
One of the people I work for takes a very long time to pay, compared to industry standard. For some customers I'll put out $10,000 on let's say FUEL just to make it easy and pass the same $10,000 invoice over to them to pay me, because they pay instantly and I'm getting paid before I even get the credit card statement for it.......but if it's let's say this customer that takes 45 days to pay, that bill is getting a 5% markup because I'm not your free bank. This customers people that hire me also tell me to slightly overbill for my time to make up for the waiting......because they know, if not, nobody will work for this person when they need outside contractors. I know several good people that have worked for this person once, and refuse to do so again because they don't want to wait 45 days to get paid at any price or don't have the cash flow to wait 45 days. So how a company or person pays, is another large part of the billing/estimate process. A lot of tradespeople will charge a customer an inconvenience fee if the customer is extremely difficult to work for or extremely slow paying.
There's also the old saying, everyone charges what their time/expertise is worth.
I just hired a contractor to gut and redo and entire bathroom, floor to ceiling. He's a friend of a friend, but never met him before. He came and looked at the job, said it would be $5,000 labor plus materials. He told me he'd start on the project on 9/8 and did. He didn't want any money up front, until the job is finished even though I offered.
I just had a locksmith out for a job he said would cost 80 bucks. He charged me 45. I asked why, and he said he routinely gave estimates for the worst possible scenario, and adjusted downwards when the job was easier. Made sense to me. He said he gets a lot of people who bitch about a "15 minute job" costing so much, but he has a 45000 equipped truck, has to drive all over, and responds 24 hours a day.
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