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Old 02-19-2013, 08:07 AM   #1
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customer wants to buy parts on the Internet


hey what are y'all doing for customers that want to buy parts on the Internet? this happened to me twice today. the first customer went to the attic with me and heard me say that the igniter was bad. I only was going to charge them 180 dollars to replace ignitor. by the time I get back with the ignitor he has found it online for 15 dollars, and now wants to know what I'd charge just for labor to put it in; but he's been to my website and knows what I charge per hour. it's not like I was making a fortune on this, I always try to give my customers the best deal possible. Any other company would charge 300 to 350.00.

same thing happened with the next customer for a pressure switch, I was going to charge him 100 dollars for the pressure switch and 60 dollars to put it in. Any other company that is a 250 dollar minimum.

So now of course, the customers are calling me wanting me to do it cheaper, and of course I could do it cheaper, but not really worth my time. if I tell the customer that, I will not have a returning customer next time.

what is everyone else doing?

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Old 02-19-2013, 08:15 AM   #2
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customer wants to buy parts on the Internet


If I needed the work I'd install it at my regular labor rate but have them sign off on the part warranty.

If I dont buy it, I dont warranty it.

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Old 02-19-2013, 08:43 AM   #3
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customer wants to buy parts on the Internet


all I can say is what my service manager says to these people. tell them you don't walk into Dominos pizza with your own pizza fixins and bottle of wine and expect them to bake it and you use the restaurant facilities and pay them $5 because they think thats all the electricity the oven takes. tell them the industry standard is to mark up parts 2-3X if they are under $100 plus they have to pay for travelling time to their house and pickin up the part. if they don't like it too bad. I think charging $40-60 for the switch would be better but the customer needs to know the cost of travellin time for and pay for pickin it up. Same with the igniter job. people are not stupid they just pretend to be and want somethig for nothing. as long as you explain what is the industry standard and stick to your guns that is all you can do. the industry is not going to change and the internet either so you have to decide if you really want to stay in this business or you got to get real good at explaining your costs before going to pickup the part and getting skunked. I could of owned my company years ago or been a service manager but decided not too for all those reasons.
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Last edited by yuri; 02-19-2013 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:09 AM   #4
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customer wants to buy parts on the Internet


And what happens and who's going to pay you if you get there and it's the wrong part, you know it will not work or it fails?
Funny how people memorys get real short when something goes wrong.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:18 AM   #5
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Your first mistake was mentioning what the problem was. Its your knowledge that they are paying for not your labor or the part. Its that old joke re the dollar for the screw and $999.00 for knowing which screw it is. Kapeesh?
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:20 AM   #6
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Damn Yuri, now what am I supposed to do with all this pizza dough and sauce. I know what to do with the wine................
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:31 AM   #7
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Your first mistake was mentioning what the problem was. Its your knowledge that they are paying for not your labor or the part. Its that old joke re the dollar for the screw and $999.00 for knowing which screw it is. Kapeesh?
Bingo. If someone wants to learn how to do it themselves and is capable, then they can do it themselves, otherwise they're just trying to get your knowledge for next to nothing.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:40 AM   #8
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customer wants to buy parts on the Internet


We have a set minimum of $90. So if a person wants me to diagnose the problem and come back a second time to install a part they ordered it would be 180
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:33 PM   #9
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customer wants to buy parts on the Internet


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Your first mistake was mentioning what the problem was. Its your knowledge that they are paying for not your labor or the part. Its that old joke re the dollar for the screw and $999.00 for knowing which screw it is. Kapeesh?
So what do you tell the customer when they ask what was wrong, or if they dont ask; what do you write on the invoice.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:19 AM   #10
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customer wants to buy parts on the Internet


i guess the customer will either get heat today for more money or have to wait a few days for their order to arive then schedule a time for you to come out and install it
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:14 AM   #11
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Sounds like two service calls with no guarantee----

I doubt if I'd want to make the return service call-----
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:01 AM   #12
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customer wants to buy parts on the Internet


Wetbar, you tell them that the finnegan pin was worn out and it was interfering with the curniflow of the uptakes.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:32 PM   #13
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First, never go to a parts house to get a part, unless the customer has already signed the invoice that they approve you to do the repair at the price you wrote on the invoice. That way you have a contract. And you don't waste time.

If you want to install their parts(they got off the internet), thats fine. Your normal hourly rate, plus plus what ever you charge for the original diagnostics, and your return trip fee.

EG:

Diagnostics, $60.00
Install customer provided part, $60.00
Return trip fee, $35.00

Total $155.00

Just a suggestion.

If you want to talk about business things. Our sister sites, Contractor talk, and HVAC Pro sites are the places to do it, as this has nothing to do with DIY.



PS:, I moved this to the Off Topic forum.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:26 PM   #14
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Wetbar, you tell them that the finnegan pin was worn out and it was interfering with the curniflow of the uptakes.
This is why service people get such a bad name. With guys like you, I am glad I can fix most anything, myself.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:48 PM   #15
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I hear the same thing. I just reiterate my base price is $250. and goes up from there, not down.
That said, if I can somehow do it 'right then' and with a minimum of effort, AND I was nearby to start, I may give a discount when finished. Say, travel time there, and completion was less than 30 minuites, I may only charge $150. to $200. instead.

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