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Unread 03-14-2015, 11:46 AM   #1
Davy
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Negotiable

With all the TV shows on these days that show folks negotiating prices on cars and everything else, am I the only one noticing folks suddenly wanting to negotiate labor prices for tile work? Maybe I've hit a bad luck streak and a few sorry homeowners lately. Not every customer but have had several in the past year that want to haggle.
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Unread 03-14-2015, 01:57 PM   #2
Kman
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I've not had that happen in many years. The last time I did, it was a builder trying to squeeze a nickel out of all his subs....right before he went bankrupt.
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Unread 03-14-2015, 02:03 PM   #3
jcsa
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Haggle

Davy,
They all think our work is negotiable. We are a cost based business with not a heck of a lot of wiggle room. We make so much on the tile, .......not, we are lucky to get 10-15 % on marking the tile up. I had a guy tell me 15 % was too much. When they pull that crap, i ask them do you tell Macdonalds you will give them $ 1.75 on a $ 2.25 hamburger. I tell them i am a hamburger and that generally shuts them up. I tell them i did not pad my numbers to take some off. I have given my best price, take it or leave it. This is a funny video, i have it on my phone when this happens. Generally there is silence and then ask when can we get started. Enjoy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2a8TRSgzZY


You are right these reality shows are for the birds. I am sure every tradesman in other trades feel the same way. It
tv and it sells, we just have to be better at sales to combat it.. John Cox
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Last edited by jcsa; 03-14-2015 at 02:04 PM. Reason: puntuation
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Unread 03-14-2015, 05:05 PM   #4
Davy
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Yep, I've seen that Youtube clip before and it does hit home.
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Unread 03-14-2015, 05:22 PM   #5
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I get that all the time.
  • " Is that MY price"?
  • Hey, I'm a long time customer, how about a break?
  • Be easy on me man, I'm a working guy.
  • Is that the best you can do?
  • You cut me a deal I'll throw you a nice cash tip!
  • Can you do it on the side?
  • Can you do it after hours?
  • I can't afford the normal price, how about a deal?
And my favorite,
  • Go easy on me, I'm on a fixed income.
I asked the owner about him, he said "yeah he's on a fixed income. He owns about 4 deli's and about 10 square blocks of rental property in NYC. I think his fixed income is about a million a month.

Not to be a racist here, but the worst people to deal with as far as the subject here is Middle East people. Their culture is based on beating you to death on the price. Koreans seem to be the same too. Here in NYC the Russians like to beat you up too (on the price). I had one yesterday come into the shop and ask me if I would go to his house and work on his motorcycle in his driveway. Said he would pick me up and bring me back. I said
  • This isn't Home Depot
  • I don't do side work
  • And I'm certainly not going to get in a car with somebody I don't know and go who knows where to work on your motorcycle for cheap?
Not today.
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Unread 03-14-2015, 05:40 PM   #6
Conchobhair
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I submit written fixed price contracts only. As a result, I don't ever have that problem.
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Unread 03-14-2015, 05:52 PM   #7
Bill Vincent
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In the last 13 years, I've noticed that the few times I DID come down off my price, I lost the job. Because once you come down, they figure you can come down some more. Either way, you're devaluing your work. I'll walk away from a project before I'll negotiate my price any more.
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Unread 03-14-2015, 06:34 PM   #8
Motordoctor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Vincent
Either way, you're devaluing your work. I'll walk away from a project before I'll negotiate my price any more.
I've always felt that a man knows what he's worth, and won't work for less. I usually tell them "this isn't the swap meet here"! If haggling is what you want, go to the bazaar and have at it
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Unread 03-14-2015, 07:41 PM   #9
Peerless Tile
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You can always measure the value of something by what you can afford to leave alone is my go to....If they don't like the value I'm offering, I leave it alone and let them decide if it's a value to them.
Like buying a car.....The price they offer me, may be a value to me, and I'll buy it, but the same price might not be to the next guy that walks in the showroom.
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Unread 03-14-2015, 08:31 PM   #10
MNTileGuy
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As busy as I am, I'd tell anybody asking for a break to pound sand. I'm not Monty Hall. Luckily, no one's tried that for awhile.
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Unread 03-14-2015, 09:43 PM   #11
Bill Vincent
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan
I usually tell them "this isn't the swap meet here"! If haggling is what you want, go to the bazaar and have at it


years ago, I worked for a guy down in south Florida. This one job we did was for a friend of his, a dentist. The guy had the balls to ask him on the day we showed up to do the work if he could get a break on the price. My boss told him sure!! Which do you want me to leave out-- the grout or the thinset?

For real.
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Unread 03-15-2015, 01:14 AM   #12
Jim Farrell Tiler
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i get that here as well, basically they say look after me on this job and i will give you all my work, meaning look after me on this one and you can look after me on the next one as well.......a mate of mine just bought a old house, did a big reno on it and sold it i tiled the bathroom for him at "mates rates" it sold last week giving him 100k profit, i asked him for my share he just laughed at me, next job will be full price
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Unread 03-15-2015, 05:07 AM   #13
Executive Flooring
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I will never reduce my price. Explain to them why your price might be higher then the other guys (better thinset, it actually has waterproofing for the shower, Ditra instead of luan etc etc).

I would rather sit home and spend time with my family then work for crap money that leaves you next to nothing for profit. What a lot of guys forget about is that you have to pay taxes on that money still, your going to need to replace tools all the time, your going to have to buy a new truck some day, your going to want money saved up for when it's slow or you get injured and are out of work for a while like I have been. If your not leaving room for profit, your not going to be able to do that kind of stuff.

Also when your giving breaks, your building a client base of a bunch of cheap people. Is that really what you want? Last year every single customer I worked for, with the exception of one, was a repeat customer. Do you think they complained about the price, nope!
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Unread 03-15-2015, 07:26 AM   #14
nelsonkoehn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray
you are building a client base of a bunch of cheap people.
Right on, right there!

I have found the kind of customers you work for are the kind of customers they also refer you to.

It takes constant diligence in the job interview process to weed out those types and work for the type that you want to work for. Really easy to get a string of jobs that want to fix up, do it cheap, skip stuff, etc.
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Unread 03-15-2015, 09:41 AM   #15
TomR
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"I will never reduce my price. Explain to them why your price might be higher then the other guys (better thinset, it actually has waterproofing for the shower, Ditra instead of luan etc etc).

I would rather sit home and spend time with my family then work for crap money that leaves you next to nothing for profit. What a lot of guys forget about is that you have to pay taxes on that money still, your going to need to replace tools all the time, your going to have to buy a new truck some day, your going to want money saved up for when it's slow or you get injured and are out of work for a while like I have been. If your not leaving room for profit, your not going to be able to do that kind of stuff.

Also when your giving breaks, your building a client base of a bunch of cheap people. Is that really what you want? Last year every single customer I worked for, with the exception of one, was a repeat customer. Do you think they complained about the price, nope! "




I couldn't have said it better Ray!

Tom
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