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DIY'er - To give or not to give?

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  • #91
    Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

    Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
    Thought you were done with water heaters?


    Times are tough, can't produce enough body fluids cuz they tell me all the mags are glued shut.



    I'm paying down some massive outside debt from the second biz that must be taken care of before the first of the year.

    Damn mother nature I'm gonna beat her ***!
    Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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    • #92
      Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

      Good lesson BigJim. You master of the Kohler Nickeldickelpickel valve.

      J.C.

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      • #93
        Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

        Jim, you bring alot to this forum, thank you.

        There are usually at least two extremes to every scenario.

        I see guys go into business believing they are doing customers a favor by offering low prices, then wind up having to cut corners to stay afloat or go out of business.

        I also see customers that get soaked by their own ignorance, or laziness to get more estimates.

        Neither is a good thing.

        I could "get medievil" and start reaming customers for the one time hit, I don't...I sleep at night.

        I could also lowball every plumber in town and be busy 16 hours a day until my body gives out, or my credit is maxed with every supplier, I won't.

        When I see detailed information for DIY being offered, I think there's a plumber out there who lost a job.

        When I see the internet overwhelmed with DIY plumbing sites, I wonder if the balance of supply/demand is going to be affected.

        I also think about flippers, handymen and unlicensed "contractors" who dabble in things they shouldn't while peddling goods that are sub-standard at a profit, thanks to some plumber that might feel it's venerable to help strangers on the internet.

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        • #94
          Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

          Originally posted by DuckButter View Post

          What REALLY has my curiousity in your case is in lieu of the transient demograph you service...how the heck do you guys generate new business without advertizing?
          very simple, referrals from exisiting happy customers.

          i get 1-5 new customers a week from referrals. i've never,ever advertised. the only thing i have is a magnetic card i made about 5 years ago at a trade show.

          i turn away jobs that are more than 5 miles away for new customers.

          rick.
          phoebe it is

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          • #95
            Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

            There has been a lot of discussion on why DIY has exploded in the last couple of decades and a lot of it has to do with the box stores and advertising, etc. One thing I haven't seen touched on is the fact of 2 income families. With the price of cars, homes, etc. being what it is, calling a plumber to change a faucet is horrendously expensive, when you factor in that someone has to take a day off work to do it. I only get 2 weeks vacation (10 days) per year, and I hate to burn it waiting for a contractor to show up. My situation is not unique. A lot of people don't get any vacation their first year so a day off for a dripping faucet costs them a couple hundred dollars on top of the plumbers bill makes it out of reach. And from what I have heard on this site, many of you aren't interested in doing a non-emergency repair on a Saturday. I am not faulting you - just stating facts. I cannot blame you for this. I am not interested in going to the office on Saturday as I have kids and a life too! I wouldn't mind paying 250 for a plumbing job, but I hate paying 450 for the same job because I lost a days pay. That is probably a big driver in DIY. I know how to sweat copper, glue PVC, and all that stuff and have never had a problem with any diy job I have done come back to bite me because I research anything that I have not done before and plan it well, and do it right. I research codes, and commonly accepted practices, and make every effort to do first quality work. I guess being a machinist by trade maybe makes me a little more anal than the average joe (working with tolerances of .0001" will do it to you!). I know my limits and if it goes inside a wall I will pay someone more experienced to do it. Maybe I am the exception, I don't know, but don't lump all diy'ers together as cheap hacks. Sometimes it is just a matter of timing and economics.

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            • #96
              Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

              i work saturdays to accommodate people just like you and don't charge anything extra for this scheduled work

              rick.

              p.s. a good friend of mine is also a machinist and i know what you mean by being anal
              phoebe it is

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              • #97
                Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

                There are a lot of things a 1-man shop can do which others cannot. If I had a guy who did not mind working Saturdays I would give him Mondays off and Saturday was at straight time. However, if you are going to pay your guy premium for weekend calls you have to charge premium to the customer.

                Almost 30-years ago a guy sent a letter into our local paper and it was printed in the "Letters to the Editors" section. He complained that he had called a local company (me) who refused to come work on a Saturday to replace his kitchen faucet as it was not an emergency but had it been an emergency it would have been time and a half. Because the company would not come out he called a (franchise) company from out of the area who came out and did not charge overtime. At the time I had 5-kids in Littler League and one working the snack bar. Unless someone had an emergency my place was at the Little League field. Anyways I looked into the company that would work for straight time on Saturdays and it turned out their "base" rate was double my hourly rate so I guess we know why they could afford it. I then wrote my own letter to the editor which included that information and added that the guy who wanted me to come out and leave my kids would have felt the same as I did had his boss called him in on a Saturday to sort paper clips.

                We were always there for emergencies but we chose when to do non-emergency work on weekends.

                Mark
                "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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                • #98
                  Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

                  Mark you really do have your priorities straight!!!

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                  • #99
                    Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

                    jim exactly as me. except some also leave a signed blank check

                    same reason why a handful of my customer wanted to come to joey's and my wedding.

                    rick.
                    phoebe it is

                    Comment


                    • Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

                      Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                      i work saturdays to accommodate people just like you and don't charge anything extra for this scheduled work
                      Originally posted by Big Jim
                      I also schedule service calls after hours & weekends for those who work and can't take off..
                      Well, I wish you guys were in this marketplace! I have had service contractors who were recommended to me call me 4 hours after they were supposed to show up and say that they cannot be here that day. Different trades, not just plumbers. The plumber I use is actually an HVAC contractor who will do plumbing for his existing customers, but does not advertise it, as he prefers HVAC. He is licensed, etc. However, he does not carry much in the way of supplies, so after he looks the job over, he is on the clock while he runs for parts or schedules another visit. That is why I do so much research and ask a lot of questions, so I can try to have anything he needs on hand when he arrives. His work is beautiful but he is not the most convenient to use. However, he does show up when he says he will and calls if he is more than 10 min. late so that is why I use him. I just wish he carried more supplies.

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                      • Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

                        I shift my schedule to an almost 2nd shift, I seldom leave the house before 8:am unless I'm doing a big project.

                        I make it easier on my customers so that they either only have to leave work early, or I can get there after they get home as often as possible.

                        I do Saturdays, and when necessary, Sundays.

                        If I'm there for one small job and I finish early, I will look around to see if there's anything small I can throw in at no charge...a benefit of flat rate.

                        There is the flip side, all too often customers demand I show up on a Sunday, then complain when I quote a price.

                        Other people seem to think it's my pleasure to drive out and price jobs they have no intention of doing, or offer in-depth information on how to do the job and what stock to use.

                        This is happening more and more frequently with first time calls...which is why this topic is so important to me.

                        It's one thing to help a homeowner who might be hurting for money, but what happens when the trade as a whole starts to hurt?...When newer shops can't get off the ground?

                        A lapse between supply/demand will usually incur a pay drop overall.

                        When I object to DIY, I'm not trying to hurt broke homeowners, I'm trying to keep my trade from going broke.
                        Last edited by DuckButter; 09-09-2008, 01:50 PM.

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                        • Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

                          Saturday work is usually just spill over from jobs that didn't get done during the week. If I'm already in the truck downtown I might as well hit a few other calls and just charge our regular rate. I will only do this for a existing customer. No new customers on Saturday otherwise they will come to expect it.

                          All the profit is lost when you have to pay the technician overtime after 40 hours but only charging regular rate to the customer

                          No calls on Sunday unless your house is on fire. I decide what's an emergency not the customer.

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