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  • #31
    Re: Increasing my prices.

    I understand all that. The sales stuff I mean. I can sell, but its hard for me to charge what I 'm worth sometimes when competing with idiot 'plumbers' doing sloppy work and charging the customer 'bankrupt' wages. Many people are shocked when they find out i cost more than their 'handyman' buddy they usually use.
    Luckily the inspectors are finally starting to get stricter in this area, trying to get rid of all the fly-by-nights that flood the market.
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    • #32
      Re: Increasing my prices.

      Dunbar, I had a similar first year.
      The second year I spent a load of time pointing the first year price shoppers referrals elsewhere.
      One woman called me 4 times during a job, demanding I drop what I was doing and get right over because her religion didn't allow her not to cook and her kitchen sink wasn't working...despite the fact that she'd tried to cut me on the agreed price the last time I'd done some work for her, after the work was done.
      I finally told her flat out to call another plumber.

      Lesson learned, you build a business on repeats, referrals & word of mouth, birds of a feather flock together.
      In other words...
      Cheapy bargain hunters will refer you tons of business, to other cheapy bargain hunters.

      Service guy, glad you found this place, looks like you fit right in...welcome.

      TinMack...ye gads....what an avitar!!!

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      • #33
        Re: Increasing my prices.

        Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
        The second year I spent a load of time pointing the first year price shoppers referrals elsewhere.
        One woman called me 4 times during a job, demanding I drop what I was doing and get right over because her religion didn't allow her not to cook and her kitchen sink wasn't working...despite the fact that she'd tried to cut me on the agreed price the last time I'd done some work for her, after the work was done.
        I finally told her flat out to call another plumber.

        Lesson learned, you build a business on repeats, referrals & word of mouth, birds of a feather flock together.
        In other words...
        Cheapy bargain hunters will refer you tons of business, to other cheapy bargain hunters.

        very wise words, I like your attitude duckbutter.
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        • #34
          Re: Increasing my prices.

          Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
          Dunbar, I had a similar first year.
          The second year I spent a load of time pointing the first year price shoppers referrals elsewhere.
          One woman called me 4 times during a job, demanding I drop what I was doing and get right over because her religion didn't allow her not to cook and her kitchen sink wasn't working...despite the fact that she'd tried to cut me on the agreed price the last time I'd done some work for her, after the work was done.
          I finally told her flat out to call another plumber.

          Lesson learned, you build a business on repeats, referrals & word of mouth, birds of a feather flock together.
          In other words...
          Cheapy bargain hunters will refer you tons of business, to other cheapy bargain hunters.

          Service guy, glad you found this place, looks like you fit right in...welcome.

          TinMack...ye gads....what an avitar!!!
          Tinmack,I love it,reminds me of so many of my vacations.Free food and plenty of time to catch up on my sleep.He looks better than I ever did

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          • #35
            Re: Increasing my prices.

            Originally posted by drtyhands View Post
            Tinmack,I love it,reminds me of so many of my vacations.Free food and plenty of time to catch up on my sleep.He looks better than I ever did

            He looks better than I did some Saturday/Sunday mornings in the past........
            I'm on "The List" and I love it!!

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            • #36
              Re: Increasing my prices.

              A bit of advice. Never, Never try to compete with the hacks and the station wagon plumbers. Do uncompromizingly good work, be on time, be neat and be patient. If you build it, they will come
              sigpic

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              • #37
                Re: Increasing my prices.

                Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
                sorry, not 80 gallon, 40 gallon electric. We buy them 40 at a time for a shade under 200 ea.

                Don't tell me you're buying American mfg. water heaters at that price.

                You can't get me to install one of those; cheap, don't last, their cover names are Craftmaster and Whirlpool.

                Been around the block to know those are the cheapest.

                Hopefully you are mentioning A.O. SMITH or STATE, Rheem or Ruud.


                40 gallon heaters are just not a good application in my area, neither is the 30's. Standard is 50 and up given households with more than 2-5 people on average.

                It seems like people house-pool like they car-pool given the times of economy and the cost of living.

                Condos though keep those lower gallon type heaters in biz though.

                I loved switching out 30 gallon gas heaters; easy to switch out and even if it was full of sediment, still reasonable to pull up steps.
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                • #38
                  Re: Increasing my prices.

                  Originally posted by Dunbar
                  Every job I took with large numbers, I truly did end up working for $20/hour.
                  That may be an unfortunate way to phrase it.

                  Twenty smackers per hour isn't a terrible wage. But did you work for $20 per hour, or did you work for $20 per hour that you could apply to your ever-descending business expenses?

                  Plumbers who do everything (not you!) from new construction to remodeling to service seldom crunch the numbers to realize that they aren't making any money on the service. In fact, they may think that if they charge $65 per hour, they're making MORE than they make on their bid jobs.

                  But since the expenses are so very much higher in service, from windshield time to the number of phone calls per hour of work to advertising and so on, these guys actually throw away some of the money they made on the bid jobs. They do service work at a net LOSS.

                  The money you get per hour, of course, is not your income. Your income is what's left after paying the bills for COGS and overhead.

                  When I hear that local plumbers have sewer machines and cameras and so on and they charge $65 per hour and $65 to clean a mainline, I can only wonder how long they will be around, and hope it isn't too long.

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                  • #39
                    Re: Increasing my prices.

                    Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
                    A bit of advice. Never, Never try to compete with the hacks and the station wagon plumbers. Do uncompromizingly good work, be on time, be neat and be patient. If you build it, they will come
                    Oh, believe me I don't! I have actually had that conversation before.
                    HO: "well last time I had this done, it only costs X dollars."

                    ME: "Ma'am, if I charged that much I would be out of business!"

                    Funny thing is, it usually works! I guess they like the straight honesty. Either that or they are bluffing just to get me to come down and the 'other' plumber is imaginary.
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                    • #40
                      Re: Increasing my prices.

                      Originally posted by Service Guy
                      Either that or they are bluffing just to get me to come down and the 'other' plumber is imaginary.
                      Y'know - this is a very common thing. People like to scream about how much a previous plumber charged them for a specific job. But if you have ever asked to see that plumber's invoice, they never know where it is, can never find it. I think that more often they had a plumber do something and their memory of the event isn't accurate. Either it was much longer ago than they remember ("I just bought that water heater two years ago!"), or there were a number of things done and they remember only one, or in the case of the cheaper job, it may not even have been a plumber, or not the one they remember.

                      Customer memory seems to be extremely selective.

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                      • #41
                        Re: Increasing my prices.

                        I was at 90 bucks an hour before I closed up shop. To really make money, I should have flat rated. I went to work for a mechanical contractor. For industrial clients he charges the same 90 for me, plus 20 for my service van. The odd residential client we kept, he charges 100 an hour, no van charge. We try and slough off the resi clients though, we tell them they are taking me away from big jobs, so it will be a 4 hour or 8 hour invoice. Quite a few still schedule appointments.
                        Last edited by Bogart; 02-25-2008, 08:40 PM.

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                        • #42
                          Found this out today

                          If I hear of a plumber gouging a customer for $749 to replace a kitchen sink faucet again in my area....I'll spend a few grand to expose his exploitation of customers trusting plumbers to be reasonable in charging.

                          I'm already getting the ripple effect of his stupidity, I also have 2 of his receipts where I scanned/copied his beligerent screwing. That proof along with a nice friendly flyer in his hometown will certainly be his loss, my gain.


                          You want to screw customers over with the classification of being a plumber? Welcome to my world of being vindictive/retaliatory settling the score. I can do that because I'm running with a stellar reputation of being honest, not the cheapest, reliable without needing gauze and bandaids after you write the check.
                          Last edited by DUNBAR PLUMBING; 02-25-2008, 12:56 PM.
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                          • #43
                            Re: Found this out today

                            Originally posted by DUNBAR View Post
                            If I hear of a plumber gouging a customer for $749 to replace a kitchen sink faucet again in my area....I'll spend a few grand to expose his exploitation of customers trusting plumbers to be reasonable in charging.

                            I'm already getting the ripple effect of his stupidity, I also have 2 of his receipts where I scanned/copied his beligerent screwing. That proof along with a nice friendly flyer in his hometown will certainly be his loss, my gain.


                            You want to screw customers over with the classification of being a plumber? Welcome to my world of being vindictive/retaliatory settling the score. I can do that because I'm running with a stellar reputation of being honest, not the cheapest, reliable without needing gauze and bandaids after you write the check.

                            You seem to forget that we live in a capitalist society. Contracting is just that: a contract between two people. you can't control what your competition charges. If their customer's agree to it then its cool. I don't care if he charged a million dollars to put the faucet in. If someone agrees to it, then its fair.

                            If he's much higher than everyone else in town, eventually he'll be out of customers all on his own.
                            Last edited by Service Guy; 02-25-2008, 03:27 PM.
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                            • #44
                              Re: Found this out today

                              Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
                              If he's much higher than everyone else in town, eventually he'll be out of customers all on his own.

                              So if you trust me to cut your grass, knowing me and all from the forum and seeing me in town, that when I tell you I'll send the bill with your head nodding,

                              It's okay for me to make-a-price because I'll spin it as it's ordinary in our capitalist society. You'll pay it, it's your bill because you was trusting your local tradesman, which was really stupid.

                              And you wander why people can't trust service providers. My shining example is why we get brow-beat on price, constantly because a few ****tards in the bunch showboats and produces victims, the rest of us work as hard honest plumbers making a living without causing undo harm to our customers because we have an moral judgement to adhere to.


                              It's in all the professions, they stay around for quite a while because the exposure can't reach the consumer fast enough to protect them. I'm on their side and I always will be. I'm one of them.
                              Last edited by DUNBAR PLUMBING; 02-25-2008, 03:57 PM.
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                              • #45
                                Re: Found this out today

                                Originally posted by DUNBAR View Post
                                So if you trust me to cut your grass, knowing me and all from the forum and seeing me in town, that when I tell you I'll send the bill with your head nodding,

                                It's okay for me to make-a-price because I'll spin it as it's ordinary in our capitalist society. You'll pay it, it's your bill because you was trusting your local tradesman, which was really stupid.

                                And you wander why people can't trust service providers. My shining example is why we get brow-beat on price, constantly because one ****tard in the bunch showboats and produces victims, the rest of us work as hard honest plumber making a living without causing undo harm to our customers because we have an agenda.
                                No, the price should always be discussed beforehand...wether hourly or flat-rate. Its the law. Without discussing price, there is no binding contract.
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