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Increasing my prices.

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  • #76
    Re: Increasing my prices.

    Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
    Math,
    I'm one of 3-4 other guys bidding each job.
    The job takes 20 minutes each way, $10 in gas and maybe 20 minutes of you picking my brain about how I think it should be done.
    Thats an hour each estimate, plus $10 in gas...for the opportunity to educate you on how I do the job and to afford you the opportunity to shop prices.
    I don't travel for estimates on smaller projects like a water heater..if the customer insists, then I charge with an estimate or trip fee.
    On remodels, most of them are for regular customers, no need to charge.
    But expecting me to give you my time & gas without a fee is unrealistic.
    It also has proven very helpful in weeding out bargain hunters who want things done on their terms, scarefully many folks have no realistic idea of whats involved when they price shop, then settle for the "preferred" price not realizing they may have cornered an inexperienced fella into taking compromising shortcuts on time or stock.
    From your end, if you insist on excluding anyone that charges for their time, you weed out all but those who may be more desperate for work.

    If I've got a job I know will cost me a few thousand at least, and I call on 2 or 3 guys in the general area, and I've never met a guy who wanted to charge for an estimate, but I guess it could happen. I wouldn't be inclined to go with him, but that's just me. I see it as the cost of doing business, and I put in my time "all the time" to put a bid in for work.

    One thing I do use as a "barometer" for whether I'll use a guy is whether he calls me back reasonably soon, whether he's on time for an appt., etc.

    I figure if a guy can't call me back or show up when we've agreed to meet, I wonder how screwed up the rest of his operation is. Just another thought to add to the mix.

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    • #77
      Re: Increasing my prices.

      Originally posted by Vinko View Post
      If I've got a job I know will cost me a few thousand at least, and I call on 2 or 3 guys in the general area, and I've never met a guy who wanted to charge for an estimate, but I guess it could happen. I wouldn't be inclined to go with him, but that's just me. I see it as the cost of doing business, and I put in my time "all the time" to put a bid in for work.

      One thing I do use as a "barometer" for whether I'll use a guy is whether he calls me back reasonably soon, whether he's on time for an appt., etc.

      I figure if a guy can't call me back or show up when we've agreed to meet, I wonder how screwed up the rest of his operation is. Just another thought to add to the mix.

      Vinko you have a croatian name..where are you from?

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      • #78
        Re: Increasing my prices.

        Originally posted by Vinko View Post
        If I've got a job I know will cost me a few thousand at least, and I call on 2 or 3 guys in the general area, and I've never met a guy who wanted to charge for an estimate, but I guess it could happen. I wouldn't be inclined to go with him, but that's just me. I see it as the cost of doing business, and I put in my time "all the time" to put a bid in for work.

        One thing I do use as a "barometer" for whether I'll use a guy is whether he calls me back reasonably soon, whether he's on time for an appt., etc.

        I figure if a guy can't call me back or show up when we've agreed to meet, I wonder how screwed up the rest of his operation is. Just another thought to add to the mix.
        You work from a fixed location.
        I am constantly on the road for my job.
        Gas is $4 a gallon now and climbing.
        You'd have to be in our shoes to understand the sheer volume of price shoppers we get, it gets overwhelming very often.
        If telling someone you charge a fee to go in person will deter them from having you stop by, there is a STRONG likelyhood they will also be deterred by all but the lowest bidder.
        I WILL say this though, very seldom do my estimates need to be done in person.
        I use flat rates on the smaller jobs, and most of my work is small jobs.
        You need to understand, a builder will go out on 10 jobs to get one.
        The one job will be usually in excess of $3k.
        Plumbers jobs are generally smaller ticket than builders, remodellers or, in your reference, a concrete specialist.
        I'd lose my shirt in no time flat if I spent $15 in gas for ten trips to win a $500 average job.

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        • #79
          Re: Increasing my prices.

          Lately, its $50 minimum for my service. Meaning, that gets my mobile tool/parts warehouse (work van) in your driveway and me in your house and professionally assessing the job. Most people have no problem with it at all. If they don't like the idea, they probably can't afford me, so I am happy to let them go.
          Previous clients, I don't even have to mention it, but any new customers get told that a service call is $50 to start and any additional costs will be quoted before the work is done. Its working out great for everyone that way so far. I am happy, my clients are happy.
          Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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          • #80
            Re: Increasing my prices.

            Here's what I said last week on a job I did, and the customer was hustling me,


            "Do I look like Bob Barker?"

            "This isn't a game show, please, I cannot lower a price once I tell you how much it is going to cost."
            Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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            • #81
              Re: Increasing my prices.

              Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
              we use very little electrics here.

              out of curiosity, what does a 40 or 50 gas run you guys.

              with our new lo nox scaqmd (southern calif. air quality management dist.) requirement, they are costing us $430- 460 plus tax. in fact most 30's are more expensive than a 40.

              rick.

              5 years ago i was paying $110-150.
              A bradford standard 40 gas is costing me 270 right now but Bradford just had another 12 % increase so my price will be about 300 shortly

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              • #82
                Re: Increasing my prices.

                PCPlumber, What would you say to close the sale with this kind of cheapo customer, who thinks haggling is the best way to get a deal?

                My closing rate is around 90-95% (which is pretty high in my opinion), I know how to sell. I just give up on that 5-10% that want to haggle about price all day. I know I could probably close more sales and close even higher dollar sales if I worked on it. What do you recommend?
                Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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                • #83
                  Re: Increasing my prices.

                  OK Carl...I'm listening.


                  Great points Jack, I quote rates over the phone, Carl has another approach...all food for thought.
                  You have some VERY valid points there.

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                  • #84
                    Re: Increasing my prices.

                    Interesting viewpoint, PCplumber. I am learning what works and what doesn't work in closing sales daily. Its a good reminder to keep making progress though. I believe we never stand still, either we are progressing or regressing. I definitely am open to trying different things if it improves my bottom line. I'm in business for the money, not just to play in sewers for fun.
                    Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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                    • #85
                      Re: My For Everyone

                      Thanks, you have a good point. I tend to be cynical and avoid certain customers, instead of trying to get a positive spin on the situation and turn it into something with potential. I'll take your advice into consideration.
                      Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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