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Food for thought re pricing and you clients

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Forum topic by HowardInToronto posted 04-18-2014 01:22 AM 1324 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HowardInToronto

41 posts in 448 days


04-18-2014 01:22 AM

You might need to “copy-and-paste” the link to this video – http://goo.gl/Iv4Vfq .

It makes a very good point at the same times using some pretty pointed humour about pricing.

Howard


20 replies so far

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1526 posts in 1221 days


#1 posted 04-18-2014 01:41 AM

Is it only me, or does anybody else here has noticed that a lot of people now use the excuse of a “bad” economy to try and screw you?

The video was funny, specially the slick guy at the video store. It reminded me of a lot of architects here in Mexico that always promise you that if you give them a cheap price this time they will bring you more business, always finishing with “I promise you”... :-)

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View dawsonbob's profile

dawsonbob

386 posts in 502 days


#2 posted 04-18-2014 01:51 AM

Lol! That applies to so many fields. I was a freelance advertising artist for over thirty years, and I’ve seen those scenarios before. Not from ad agencies, but from times I worked directly with the client. Sucks.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

498 posts in 786 days


#3 posted 04-18-2014 02:32 AM

Here’s the one I keep falling for; They start by describing what they want and then ask for a price. I’ll give them a price and they say that sounds great, then start the subtle add-ons as the project gets built that they try and sneak in on you. Can you make this a little bigger, can you use walnut instead of oak, I know I said I was going to paint it, but you can go ahead and stain it and put three coats of polyurethane on it. I am a horrible salesman and usually do these extras without increasing the price, but I have to stop doing that.

-- Mark Smith, Tracy, CA., http://www.markscustomwoodcrafts.com

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7822 posts in 2394 days


#4 posted 04-18-2014 02:35 AM

When you develop your own product line that:

a) is proprietary
b) drives people mad with desire
c) can be returned and sold to another customer

... then you may start to insulate your livelihood from
this issue.

While contractors, architects and designers can be
a good source of work for a custom shop, when you
build your business around them you subject yourself
to the considerable price pressures many of them deal
with as well.

It’s a good idea to look at developing proprietary products
which you can produce and sell at a given rate per hour
and then that’s your minimum rate.

Don’t buy the pitch that a lowball job will lead to better
money down the road. The person offering that job
is usually experiencing a business problem that is not
likely to go away. Often, the designer came up in
boom times and does not have the diverse skills to
navigate the bust times, nor the time and insight to
develop those skills in a meaningful way that will ever
have a positive effect on how that designer treats you.

“Scope creep” is what Mark is referring to.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1262 posts in 695 days


#5 posted 04-18-2014 02:51 AM

I literally had a contractor try to rope me into supplying the labor to flip houses for him, without any payment until the house sold. I looked at him and asked if I had stupid wrote on my forehead.

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7822 posts in 2394 days


#6 posted 04-18-2014 03:04 AM

I had an “event furniture” company contact me wanting
these upholstered boxes super cheap. Turns out their
business model was to “rent” said “furniture” for events
and then throw it away so as not to have the hassle
of storing it.

Silly terms, obviously. They were bummed the supplier
they’d been working with previously had a “health problem”.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4486 posts in 1126 days


#7 posted 04-18-2014 07:23 AM

In my line of business the common line is ‘we will be buying (lots) more in the near future so can we get a quantity discount now?’ or they start by asking for a bid on a high quantity then order a much lower quantity but want the same price.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

15450 posts in 1084 days


#8 posted 04-18-2014 10:07 AM

In the beginning, I fell for those lines. I have hardened up considerably since then.

+1 for Mark Smith and Loren both. I try to be as unique as possible on everything I make. If something changes and they back out, I have been lucky to turn around and sell the items to someone else.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

498 posts in 786 days


#9 posted 04-26-2014 05:16 AM

Monte, I’m actually going to change my business model to trying to mostly make things to sell versus making custom things for customers. I seem to lose the most money (or make the least) on the custom items. I make the most money by doing something such as making a bunch of cutting boards and selling them after their made. I do laser engraving too so that can be custom, but engraving something we the laser is a lot easier than making things out of wood.

-- Mark Smith, Tracy, CA., http://www.markscustomwoodcrafts.com

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7822 posts in 2394 days


#10 posted 04-26-2014 05:27 AM

Mark, check out CabinetmakerFDM. There was an article in the
latest issue that featured a shop making it that way using
Amazon as a major outlet. Lotta sanding involved, but simple
sub $100 sorts of things.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View HowardInToronto's profile

HowardInToronto

41 posts in 448 days


#11 posted 04-26-2014 02:12 PM

Loren -

You just did me a huge favour. Thank you.

My most recent case study centered on the gentleman you mentioned in your post above and it was a real eye opener.

Tyler owns a very sophisticated small business and sells only top-quality goods with pricing to match. His production and setup blend old-school and high tech. And he has a real knack for marketing.

Howard

View Tedster's profile

Tedster

2289 posts in 957 days


#12 posted 04-26-2014 03:00 PM

Funny this topic should be at the top of the forum just as I visit today. I’m dealing with a situation right now, which I did a very small job for a new customer…. told him it’s done, let’s square up… he says “Great! I will have to remit the payment, what’s your address?”

It’s only a couple hundred dollars, so not going to sink my boat by any means, but it’s the principal that get’s me. I like to be straight up and honest in all my dealings, but there are always those annoying parasites who slither their way through doing business by trying to screw anybody who dares to show them even the least amount of trust.

Don’t get me wrong… I will get paid and I will probably continue to do business with the guy. But it just irks me that I have to play these stupid games. I have a few customers who are straight up honest, who “call me” when the job is done, asking how I prefer payment…. check, paypal, cash… and I tell them whatever is most convenient for them. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough of those wonderful customers to fill my schedule.

-- I support the 28th Amendment. http://www.wolf-pac.com/28th

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Tedster

2289 posts in 957 days


#13 posted 04-26-2014 03:06 PM

As for people trying to “swing a deal”, I don’t even waste my time. Just cut the conversation short and walk away. I will never make money from those sorts and they will always be nipping at my ankles trying to squeeze a couple more dollars out of my bottom line.

-- I support the 28th Amendment. http://www.wolf-pac.com/28th

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1526 posts in 1221 days


#14 posted 04-26-2014 03:46 PM

Men, aren’t you a bit old to have the principal after you?

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile

kaerlighedsbamsen

609 posts in 460 days


#15 posted 04-26-2014 07:54 PM

Different business but same problems: http://clientsfromhell.net/

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

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