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Old 02-21-2013, 10:08 PM   #16
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customer wants to buy parts on the Internet


I will tell you the problem, - how you are getting your customers. You are attracting that type of crowd to your business. Personally, I am 100 % honest with people. I do not give them every detail of my day, I tell them, should take me x amount of time, cost x dollars. Okay. they want to run the job, I walk away. I am the boss here. Customers try and treat me like someone they picked up in Home depot parking lot. never let them dictate how a job is done. As time goes by, you will weed those people out.

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Old 02-21-2013, 11:07 PM   #17
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I was considering getting a plasterer to repair my bathroom ceiling after a leak is fixed and insisting he install cement board instead of the current plaster and mesh. Guess I won't even try asking and I'll do it myself.
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:30 AM   #18
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I was considering getting a plasterer to repair my bathroom ceiling after a leak is fixed and insisting he install cement board instead of the current plaster and mesh. Guess I won't even try asking and I'll do it myself.
Go for it! With a little research, you can do anything a service guy can, and probably better, because it is YOUR house, and you would pay attention to the little details. I was appalled at the estimates I got to remodel one of our bathrooms. Did my research, did it myself. New tub, toilet, vanity, marble top, sink, floor, and paint. It was easy - no rocket science here. Looks great, no leaks, wife loves it, and I saved more than THREE GRAND.
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:13 AM   #19
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customer wants to buy parts on the Internet


Some of the things talked about in this thread are part of the many reasons that I am a DIY'er.
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:46 AM   #20
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I am the boss here.

never let them dictate how a job is done.
Wow, I guess 'the customer is always right' doesn't apply. You basically want suckers for customers that will believe anything you say.

If we thought like that at work, we wouldn't have any customers using our product.
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:53 AM   #21
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Wow, I guess 'the customer is always right' doesn't apply. You basically want suckers for customers that will believe anything you say.

If we thought like that at work, we wouldn't have any customers using our product.
The problem is that many customers want the job done wrong and then blame the contractor when it fails. I do jobs my way (the right way) or not at all.
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:56 AM   #22
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People have very short memories. They will forget everything you told them, they will forget the paper they signed stating no warranty. They will forget it was the discount part they bought that failed. All they say is you fixed it and it does not work now. I worked hard to build my reputation and do everything I can to protect that reputation. Anymore most people do not have the attention span to be educated. 10 times a day I hear, paint I called you because I need this fixed right.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:02 AM   #23
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I dunno, I can kinda see both ways. On the one hand, if a customer wants something done that isn't safe/up to code/legal, then of course you should try to convince them otherwise, or walk away. But if its a matter of taste, like when pouring concrete if they want an ugly stamp pattern or a dumb color, just do it, don't put your sign out front, and move on with your life. Being either a hard a*s or a shrinking violet will ultimately cost you customers, since most contractors rely on word-of-mouth advertising.

As far as the customer buying cheapo parts, just state in the contract that they will be installed with all proper methods and neither the part nor the labor to repair it (should a failure occur) will be guaranteed in any way.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:38 AM   #24
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Repair people making a profit on the parts is one of the problems. I don't see why the parts can't be provided at cost and the labor fee increased. I understand the bad word of mouth from customers who forget about special terms but I don't see that happening much when a part goes bad and the customer is reminded of the special "CUSTOMER PROVIDED PART - CUSTOMER AGREES THERE SHALL BE NO GUARANTEE" section of the agreement. Certain kinds of "work orders" by the customer are different. For example, maybe you shouldn't use the customer's dirty left over spackle for taping drywall. The wall may fall apart too soon and it looks too much like bad workmanship or something that clearly shouldn't have been attempted.
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:47 PM   #25
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Repair people making a profit on the parts is one of the problems. I don't see why the parts can't be provided at cost and the labor fee increased. I understand the bad word of mouth from customers who forget about special terms but I don't see that happening much when a part goes bad and the customer is reminded of the special "CUSTOMER PROVIDED PART - CUSTOMER AGREES THERE SHALL BE NO GUARANTEE" section of the agreement. Certain kinds of "work orders" by the customer are different. For example, maybe you shouldn't use the customer's dirty left over spackle for taping drywall. The wall may fall apart too soon and it looks too much like bad workmanship or something that clearly shouldn't have been attempted.
Ayuh,.... It's the Standard Business model used throughout the country....

Do you bring yer own parts to yer car dealer, expectin' 'im to install 'em,..??

Do ya bring yer own ground beef to McDee's, 'n ask them to cook it up for ya,..??

If parts were Free, 'n the labor rate increased to cover 'em, everybody'd be Bytchin' 'bout the cost of labor...
'ell,... the cost of Labor is Already whined about now....
As in, "Whatda mean I gotta pay ya to drive here",..??
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:11 PM   #26
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Sorry, but the guarantee waivers don't hold up in court. In several cases the judges have said that the contractor is the expert. That they should not do work wrong even if the customer insists on it.
A friend of mine is a "hired expert" in homeowner/contractor lawsuits.
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:23 PM   #27
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I don't see why the parts can't be provided at cost and the labor fee increased.
So what's the difference to you, the customer?

If I charge you a half an hour (say $40) to run and pick up your $5 part, or if I mark it up to $45 (which I wouldn't...not THAT much), what's the difference?

The difference to me is:

1) I probably wont go buy "your" part, I probably have it on my truck/van already. So if you KNOW I was there for an hour...and I charge you for 1.5 hours because I made a "part run" that I didn't have to actually make, you'll complain (and rightly so maybe) about me milking hours.

2) Since I do stock it, I have MY money invested in it, and use space on MY truck, and use MY gas hauling around extra weight, I can't very well sell it to you for the same price I paid for it.

That would be like going to the bank for a loan and asking them to waive the interest because "well you had all this money just sitting around here anyway".
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:01 PM   #28
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Sorry, but the guarantee waivers don't hold up in court.
I think using a customer provided part that's claimed to be identical to one you would use, and appears to be so, except cheaper, would be OK to the court.



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So what's the difference to you, the customer?
If the part costs $5, maybe you'd currently double the price and make $5 profit from it, plus charge $40 for labor, so the cost to the cusomer is $50. If you change your business model and charge $45 for labor and nothing for the part and the customer pays $2 for the part on the internet, the customer saves $3.

The gas, van cost, etc. is the reason you'd increase your labor cost, or you could bill separately for those things. You probably normally recover those costs by increasing the cost of the parts, so now you'll just increase the cost of the labor and the customer could provide his own parts without hurting you financially. The customer will be paying for the extra gas it costs you to haul parts and he won't be benefiting from those parts, but sometimes the savings from buying on the internet would make it worth while.
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:34 PM   #29
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That would never happen in real life though.

If I normally charge $40 for that job, and the customer wants to provide a (potentially cheap knock-off) part they ordered online, I'm going to charge at LEAST $60 for the same job simply because I don't know if it's the right part and I'm taking risk installing someone elses parts.

The restaurant argument is a good one...you don't supply your own steak at Outback and ask them to "only charge you labor for your meal" do you?
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:45 PM   #30
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After giving this a little more thought, I've kind of came to this conclusion:

If you were insistant on using your own parts, this is basically what would happen.

I would agree to use your parts, then I would go out to the truck "for some tools", throw your off brand part in the truck and grab one that have experience with and know the quality of and use it anyway, and I'd end up charging you the same price regardless for "labor".

To leave it at that is a $hi++t way of doing things, I know, but ultimately I'm going to have to stand behind the work I do, whether it's with your parts or mine. (See post #26)..........

So, since that is the case, I would tell you right up front and quickly to not waste your time or money on internet parts because it'll just end up in the trash.....this is the price for me to use MY parts....take it or leave it.

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