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Learning Lessons in business, Business is not always fair

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Forum topic by Jerry posted 603 days ago 675 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jerry

2163 posts in 2145 days


603 days ago

OK, so I posted a recent post related to getting the wrong sized cabinets from a contact I have. Basically my contact’s wife works for a very large cabinet manufacturer. They do semi-custom in increments of 3”.

So we were hired on a job for 10 apt size kitchens. I spoke with my contact about this job. He was real excited as it was a good sized job.

1. I gave the contact the hand written design that was given to me by the GC. My mistake number 1.

2. Contact gave me fair numbers, he STD price is …... delivered and installed’. I repeated his proposed bid and he confirmed I heard him correctly. Boy was I excited.

3. Cabinets were ready for pick up, contact came to me STD needed help picking up 90 cabinets because it would take him too many trips. Being the nice guy I picked up 50 of the cabinets myself.

4. GC needed installation completed in 2 days. BUT my contact works alone, which I don’t mind except for the fact he knew the scope of the job and committed to it. So it was me, my wife, a retired wood worker who jumps in with me from time to time, and our full time guy. And my contact helped a little.

5. The vanity size was wrong. It was written correctly on the design I gave my contact. Oooops! My contacts remedy was for me to pony up 2000 more and let the mfg build new vanities with a 2 week wait. We just handled it internally at our shop and corrected the vanities and amazingly enough, they turned out great and everything installed within my scheduled 2 days.

6. My contact did not even provide me a receipt for the large sum of money I gave him for the cabinets. My error as I forgot to ask for one.

The GC was very impressed with us and has verbally indicated we will get his upcoming jobs. He advised me they are doing 100 more units, but will do them 20 at a time. The GC told me they will begin construction on the next 20 in the next couple weeks and warned they will need those next 20 kitchens fairly soon.

To get a jump on things, I explained my undesirable situation with my contact to the mfg. They are currently refusing to sell to me, adv I will need to go through my contact. They STD they will not get in the middle of anything. Indicated to me they do ‘look out for their people’. I told them I thought it was illegal to refuse to sell to me. They responded that they would have their lawyer call me. I have not heard from him yet.

Oh well. So I have been feverishly hunting for good quality budget cabinets. Looks like we might be stuck with RTA. Hopefully we can work things out.

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net


8 replies so far

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Jerry

2163 posts in 2145 days


#1 posted 603 days ago

Oh yeah, and after the job, I was conversing with my contact when he STD there are 20 more units coming up.’. I had not told him that info so I inquired. The contact STD,’ yeah, I told the GC to give me a call when he needs more cabinets.’.

So the GC is my customer, I hire the contact and thus he works for me. And he openly tells me he is trying take my customer from me. I am not worried about that the, this GC does have morals. This is actually the second job in the past 2 months we have done for him. My first job with this GC was custom and built in our shop. It was a smaller job and he liked our work at that time.

Plus, the contact does not have a shop and has much less capability then we do and would be stuck in a hard spot if any mistakes happened with sizes.

I guess I am just venting some here. Any salty experienced tradesman with any good advise?

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net

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cabmaker

1282 posts in 1407 days


#2 posted 603 days ago

Dreadfull thought Jerry , On the rta cabs that is ! Hows that machine doing ?

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Grandpa

3046 posts in 1274 days


#3 posted 603 days ago

Do your best to get rid of that contact and if you are waiting on the lawyer to call you….that won’t happen. Have your lawyer call them if you need to buy there.

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Jerry

2163 posts in 2145 days


#4 posted 603 days ago

Thanks for the adv grandpa. I agree the contact I have is not worth keeping around.

JB, that shaper is awesome. It works great. I have it set up with the power feeder you sold with it. It is set up to run pattern. So far we have run two small projects that I fit into my schedule as they pop up. So we have run 11 total doors with our set so far and everything works perfect. That power feeder has impressed me and could not be happier. I will take some pics of our new set up and post pics in the next couple of days. Be on the look out for my post when I do.

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net

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Jerry

2163 posts in 2145 days


#5 posted 603 days ago

Oh yeah JB, we have a large mesquite job we are building right now. It will have approximately 80 door panels so, let the shavings fly:-)

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net

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cabmaker

1282 posts in 1407 days


#6 posted 603 days ago

Nice !

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a1Jim

111999 posts in 2175 days


#7 posted 603 days ago

Hi Jerry
I assume your talking about your contractor? I think The title of your post is right ”learning lessonsin business
lesson #1 most of the time verbal agreements mean nothing only written agreements are enforceable.
lesson # 2 You must have a copy signed and dated contract saying exactly what you agree on covering the where ,when,cost,material,design and measurements. It’s also important to state what will happens if the terms of your contract are not met.
lesson#3 never pay 100% of job up front and don’t pay any balance unless all products are what you contracted for.
lesson #4 always pay with check stating paid in full and get a signed and dated receipt.
lesson #5 Don’t pick up cabinets when you paid for delivery.
lesson #6 Never beg a supplier to do more work for you when they did not hold up their end of the bargain on the last job.
As a contractor of 25+ years I’ve learned you need to do business in a business like manner or people will not respect you and may try and take advantage of you. Off course I’m not an attorney so , my advise is based on my experience as a contractor and not as legal counsel. An attorney is the only person who can legal advise.
Good luck with your next project.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Jerry

2163 posts in 2145 days


#8 posted 603 days ago

James, thanks for your input. It is good rules to follow. I am going to notate you rules and follow them on all future work. I typically work with contracts but I guess I spaced it some on that past job. Very lucky we managed as well as we did in the end.

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net

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