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    The shop I work for now pays its employees commission only. I get a measly 17% of what is charged. They originally told me they would be taking out large items like a toilet, water heater, whatever.. now I find out that they're going to take out fittings, pipe, etc. Also I'm not full time so now I have to pay over 300 dollars a month for health insurance. I'm not unhealthy, I'm younger, and I have no kids or wife. I'm not sure why it's so high.

    I don't get paid for warranty work. I was told, "well, we dont have hardly any call backs." I had one today because American Standard doesn't bother to check and see if their toilets are properly made. It took them 3 months to get a new tank lid to us. I didn't get paid for replacing the old, improperly made lid. That's how some of these places offer a nice warranty. It doesn't cost them anything because whoever goes back does it for free!!

    It's just bullshit and is all designed to increase profits at the expense of the company's workers and customers.

    Every day that goes by the K-60 working out of a truck setup sounds better and better. Here in the land of finished basements it would be a K-60 and a million drop cloths.

    Does anyone else get paid commission or pay their techs, plumbers, what have yous based on commission?

  • #2
    Re: Commission

    Not plumbing... but I got out of engineering for a time and bought a performance engine machine shop.

    When I bought the place, all the employees were hourly. On the second day I owned it, I gave all the employees a raise.

    They weren't getting vacation, so I gave everyone two weeks paid vacation and 11 paid holidays.

    I sold them all their parts at my cost. And I let them use the shop for their own projects.

    I paid 100% of their medical insurance. And, I added a dental plan to our coverage.

    I replaced several machine tools with state of the art stuff, and paid to have trainers for the new equipment come in to the shop.

    I bought new rollaways stocked with hand tools because every time I needed a tool, I couldn't find it.

    Here's what happened.

    I caught one guy stealing parts out of the stockroom.

    Another guy, the highest paid in the shop, steadily declined in billing. 3-5 jobs per day was normal, he was doing 9-11 jobs. Per week.

    Another guy loafed all day, then stayed until 9 pm every night working on his own engine. Once, he used all the argon gas. All of it. We couldn't weld the next morning. He didn't say anything... I found out when I tried to weld. Customer was pissed when we missed the delivery committment.

    When I bought the place, the guy that did the valve grinds was taking 3 hours to do a pair of V8 heads. I bought $80k in new, automatic seat cutting machines and a new hih speed head surfacing machine. This should have cut the time in half. After 6 months, he was taking 4 hours.

    Another guy asked for an advance on next year's vacation. I gave it to him. When he returned, he worked one day then quit.

    All the hand tools disappeared. Again.

    After 18 months, I put everyone on minimum wage plus commission - 25% on their labor. After overhead, I was making about 10% on their labor. I did all the engine design, configuration, and parts ordering, so I took all the profit on parts.

    I locked up what was left of the tools and told everyone they had to bring their own tools. Half of the crew spent their days complaining. The other half spent it working.

    I got rid of the complaining half. With just the other half working, our gross revenue went up, come-backs decreased to almost zero, and profits were also up.

    One of the guys figured he was making $8 an hour more than he otherwise could have. If we had a slow week, I slipped the guys $100 cash off the books.

    Some guys are suited to commission, some aren't. I liked the system. The guys that I kept liked the system. I remain good friends with them to this day. My best guy was taking engineering classes at night. He finished, got his bachelor's degree and now if we have lunch, neither of us smells like honing oil .

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Commission

      personally i feel a commission based salary creates an environment that is not good or fair for the customer or the employee.

      pay your employees a good wage and give them a nice christmas bonus to keep everyone honest.

      all commission makes the employees sell, sell, sell just to survive. i don't like it

      rick.
      phoebe it is

      Comment


      • #4
        oot get heell out of dodge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        hey rickster. how many employees do you have? if i worked for the man i would like spiffs and commission. most mechanics are on commission. the problem here is that oot thinks he is being cheated. oot needs to move on. when you fish and you ain't getting anything you move to a better spot. the last time i got 40%. owner got 60%. worked for me he sold the jobs collected the money. again richster, how many emploees do you have? what i gather from you on here, it's none. you get adam to help you when you need a hand. i'll bet he's a subcontractor. no book work that way. breid..............

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        • #5
          Re: Commission

          OOT ,Time to start looking elsewhere ! Iguarantee it will happen later! Better SOONER.
          Good luck Tool
          I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: oot get heell out of dodge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            Originally posted by breid1903 View Post
            hey rickster. how many employees do you have? if i worked for the man i would like spiffs and commission. most mechanics are on commission. the problem here is that oot thinks he is being cheated. oot needs to move on. when you fish and you ain't getting anything you move to a better spot. the last time i got 40%. owner got 60%. worked for me he sold the jobs collected the money. again richster, how many emploees do you have? what i gather from you on here, it's none. you get adam to help you when you need a hand. i'll bet he's a subcontractor. no book work that way. breid..............
            not to get into a debate with you, but at 1 time i worked for a shop with well over 100 plumbers. all hourly.

            then when i went into business with my uncle. we had 7 plumbers, all hourly.

            i can tell you that all the big name companies here that are well know for ripping off customers are commission based companies.

            tell me this. if the plumber has a choice of fixing a perfectly good faucet or replacing it, what is the commission based plumber going to sell? the $2. washer and seat or the $200.+ faucet?

            it only makes sense that when you get a commission on everything, your going to become a salesman more than a plumber.

            i'll let others chime in and see where they stand

            rick.
            phoebe it is

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Commission

              I see Rick's point on the rip-off potential. There's a difference between employees that work in the shop all day like mine did and guys that are out in the field selling to customers. In the right environment, a skilled guy that likes to work can make more money on commission, and it's more fair to him because hus skill and effort is rewarded over the lazy guy. But after reading RIck's posts it could be that a gig like plumbing isn't the right environment.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: oot get heell out of dodge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                not to get into a debate with you, but at 1 time i worked for a shop with well over 100 plumbers. all hourly.

                then when i went into business with my uncle. we had 7 plumbers, all hourly.

                i can tell you that all the big name companies here that are well know for ripping off customers are commission based companies.

                tell me this. if the plumber has a choice of fixing a perfectly good faucet or replacing it, what is the commission based plumber going to sell? the $2. washer and seat or the $200.+ faucet?

                it only makes sense that when you get a commission on everything, your going to become a salesman more than a plumber.

                i'll let others chime in and see where they stand

                rick.

                I understand where your coming from Rick but at the same time it all depends on the person and their ethics. I am commission paid, any of you ever been pushed into something you didn't need from me.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: oot get heell out of dodge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                  Originally posted by DanLawrence View Post
                  I understand where your coming from Rick but at the same time it all depends on the person and their ethics. I am commission paid, any of you ever been pushed into something you didn't need from me.

                  dan, you're a salesman, selling a product. typically to plumbers who need and want your product.

                  we're plumbers that are suppose to guide the customer into what's good for them. not good for us

                  most salesmen are on a commission.

                  hopefully my doctor is not

                  i do compare a plumber to a doctor all the time

                  rick.
                  phoebe it is

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Commission

                    The trouble is that the commision guy will sell anything to anybody, even if they don't need it. I guess I am old school, I had rather fix or repair to start with. Ultimately it is up to the customer what they want to do, BUT they need to know all of their options and cost, not just "your facuet is shot and need to be replaced for $200. They should also be offered a rebuild option of $50 (or what ever). It is easy to spend someone elses money for them, especially when they don't know what is going on.

                    Commission should only come above and beyond your hourly wage.

                    ooter is a service tech, why is he also being asked to be a salesman. I hate to say it but you are getting the shaft .

                    G3

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Commission

                      we're plumbers that are suppose to guide the customer into what's good for them. not good for us
                      I agree completely but I believe that is what a good salesmen will do as well.

                      Well they both can do plumbing, it's just one does it differently then the other and require a lot more schooling.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Commission

                        Of course everyone has different values and ethics but when you work on commission you benefit by what you sell. That in and of itself creates a conflict of interest. It does not mean everyone on commission is dishonest but it sets up a scenario for the commissioned worker to increase his earnings by increasing his sales.

                        For a short period of time I worked for a shop that paid a 20% commission. I knew if I wanted to make an extra $40 all I had to do was charge the customer and extra $200. The whole idea of my boss profiting an extra $160 so that I could make an extra $40 convinced me to run not walk from that shop.

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

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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Commission

                          You are in a tough spot. As others have said, can you go into a house and upsell something so you can make a decent hourly wage? If you cannot, then you need to look for another company.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Commission

                            Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                            Of course everyone has different values and ethics but when you work on commission you benefit by what you sell. That in and of itself creates a conflict of interest. It does not mean everyone on commission is dishonest but it sets up a scenario for the commissioned worker to increase his earnings by increasing his sales.

                            For a short period of time I worked for a shop that paid a 20% commission. I knew if I wanted to make an extra $40 all I had to do was charge the customer and extra $200. The whole idea of my boss profiting an extra $160 so that I could make an extra $40 convinced me to run not walk from that shop.

                            Mark

                            I had to think about it for a while, I know what I do and what a plumber on strictly commission does is very different. Even with an honest plumber I can see the conflict of interest there, to make money you have to offer products or services they don't necessarily need. I think an honest plumber would offer all the options. Fix $xx upgrade to better $xxx.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Commission

                              Originally posted by DanLawrence View Post
                              I had to think about it for a while, I know what I do and what a plumber on strictly commission does is very different. Even with an honest plumber I can see the conflict of interest there, to make money you have to offer products or services they don't necessarily need. I think an honest plumber would offer all the options. Fix $xx upgrade to better $xxx.
                              It can actually be even worse than that. What if you have an unscrupulous plumber who charges $200 over the real price of a job just so that he makes an extra (insert %) X $200?

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

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

                              Comment

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