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The Business Of Upholstery => The Business Of Upholstery => Topic started by: kodydog on January 09, 2015, 10:27:50 AM

Title: Recliner Estimate
Post by: kodydog on January 09, 2015, 10:27:50 AM
Yesterday we gave an on-line estimate on this recliner. Here is the customers response.

Rosie I received your estimate on my chairs
> and thought it a little high. I was wondering if you could
> possibly do it for 300 a chair as I don't think they
> need new cushions as the beading on the front has slipped
> down a little bit. The material is very expensive more than
> I expected to pay. Was very happy with my dinette chairs
> that you did for me is why I new you did very good
> work. I think the chairs are very easy and not
> complicated to do. Would appreciate it if you would consider
> my offer. Thank you (name omited)


This is what Rose wrote back.

While the expensive fabric can be substituted with another that is of
equal quality--a good upholsterer is not as readily available.

Here is a list of on-line stores who sell high quality fabric at a discounted price.

Fabric Guru       
http://www.fabricguru.com/c-fabric-by-the-yard

Online Fabric Store
http://www.onlinefabricstore.net/decor-fabric.aspx

Silverstone Fabrics
http://www.silverstonefabrics.com/category_s/1933.htm

Toto Fabrics
http://www.totofabrics.com/upskyblwichm.html


It is not that the chairs are too difficult ( we have over 25 years experience)
but that it  takes time and care to do them to our standards.
We will not cut corners and rush out a job
to do it cheaper and we only use the very best materials.

Please reconsider--I have already discounted the chairs from our normal
charge of $395. And we are not charging for pick up and delivery.
This is a very fair price far below what the per hour shop
wage of other comparable upholsterers is.

Please reconsider using us--I know you will be please with our workmanship.


Opinions please. Constructive criticism always welcome.

(http://i1179.photobucket.com/albums/x386/EdwinNorthuis/th_HallRecliner.jpg) (http://s1179.photobucket.com/user/EdwinNorthuis/media/HallRecliner.jpg.html)

Title: Re: Recliner Estimate
Post by: gene on January 09, 2015, 10:41:02 AM
The customer gave reasons why the price should be lowered. You gave reasons why the price will not be lowered.

Excellent.

The only thing I would add is "Assume the sale!"

You wrote:

Quote
Please reconsider--I have already discounted the chairs from our normal
charge of $395. And we are not charging for pick up and delivery.
This is a very fair price far below what the per hour shop
wage of other comparable upholsterers is.

Please reconsider using us--I know you will be please with our workmanship.

How about:

Thank you for your compliment on the dinette chairs we did for you. I know you will be pleased with our workmanship on this chair. Can we schedule our free pick up for next Tuesday at 10:00 a.m., or do you want to see if you can get a less expensive fabric from the internet first?

However you do it, close the response with the assumption that your customer has read and accepted your reply and is happy to have you do the work for them.

Just my 2 cents.

gene
Title: Re: Recliner Estimate
Post by: sofadoc on January 09, 2015, 12:36:29 PM
I've never understood why customers expect me to lower my labor price to offset what they paid for the fabric. Why is it always a one-way street? How come they never ask the fabric store to discount the fabric because the upholsterer's labor is too high?

If they don't buy their material from me, I have absolute zero sympathy for them.
Title: Re: Recliner Estimate
Post by: papasage on January 09, 2015, 07:03:47 PM
if they buy  the  fabric frome some one  beside me i charge a cutting fee of $12.00 or more depends on the fabric .
Title: Re: Recliner Estimate
Post by: MinUph on January 09, 2015, 08:55:54 PM
I know the chair well. Your price seems very fair to me and I wouldn't change it. It certainly looks like the seat could use new foam. People don't know what goes into it. You do. You did good. Stick to your price even if they walk. Seems a bit low to me.
Title: Re: Recliner Estimate
Post by: baileyuph on January 10, 2015, 09:24:38 AM
Good job!  There is more work there than may meet the eye, but it takes times to tear down, pattern, sew, and install (don't forget time for the buttons!).

The advantage of factory work, is they don't pick up/deliver/ and tear down nor spend the time in selling. 

Doyle
Title: Re: Recliner Estimate
Post by: kodydog on January 10, 2015, 10:36:17 AM


The only thing I would add is "Assume the sale!"

How about:

Thank you for your compliment on the dinette chairs we did for you. I know you will be please with our workmanship on this chair. Can we schedule our free pick up for next Tuesday at 10:00 a.m., or do you want to see if you can get a less expensive fabric from the internet first?

However you do it, close the response with the assumption that your customer has read and accepted your reply and is happy to have you do the work for them.

Just my 2 cents.

gene

Gene makes an excellent point. Keep the customer engaged.

I found this on the net. He breaks it down to these four points.
1.   Is My Customer Being Reasonable In Her Request For A Lower Price?
2.   Is My Customer Ready To Invest Now?
3.   Is Pricing The Final And Only Remaining Issue?
4.   What is The Price Differential?

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140424190037-5060871-your-price-is-too-high-4-key-questions-to-address-the-price-objection

I know the chair well. Your price seems very fair to me and I wouldn't change it. It certainly looks like the seat could use new foam. People don't know what goes into it. You do. You did good. Stick to your price even if they walk. Seems a bit low to me.

The price is low. But we gave her a discount for various reasons. This is why we were floored when she asked for a further discount. Not even the slop shop down the road would do it for $300. And after discussing it with Rose our new price for this chair will be $450. She hasn't written back and at this point we don't care if she ever does. Shes just not in the "best customer" category.

On a lighter note. We deliver these recliners today. This is the customer I spoke about on another thread. She has a fixed income and wanted us to go down on our price. But we stuck to our guns. Funny thing is we were at her house and I told her if she needed more time to save we could pick them up later. Her responce was, no, no, no I need to get them done, I want you to take them now.

(http://i1179.photobucket.com/albums/x386/EdwinNorthuis/th_LandRecliners.jpg) (http://s1179.photobucket.com/user/EdwinNorthuis/media/LandRecliners.jpg.html)

Title: Re: Recliner Estimate
Post by: sofadoc on January 10, 2015, 12:26:34 PM
I notice that you endorse online places like Toto, Online Fabric, Fabric Guru, and Silverstone.

I've never worked with any fabric from Silverstone, but I routinely get COM from the other 3 that you mentioned. And I'm not prepared to give them my endorsement. The quality of the fabrics that I see from them ranges from fair to poor. Maybe I'm just dealing with a class of clientele that is more likely to select their cheaper offerings. But I always assumed that those places only sold seconds.

Are you pleased with everything that you get in from those places? Or does it vary?
Title: Re: Recliner Estimate
Post by: kodydog on January 10, 2015, 02:47:10 PM
I've only done a few pieces from the three you mentioned. The only complaint I have is fabric that comes in pieces. Haven't noticed any more flaws than usual and fabric quality seems to be good. If I do start to notice 2nd quality fabric I'll drop them in a heartbeat.

I put Silverstone in there because he is a member of this board and pops in from time to time. He talks a good talk and his prices seem fair. Like the others, if he ever sends seconds Ill drop him from my list.
Title: Re: Recliner Estimate
Post by: kodydog on January 13, 2015, 10:03:06 PM
She never replied to Rose's e-mail. I guess she couldn't afford the extra $50.
Title: Re: Recliner Estimate
Post by: Stephen on January 16, 2015, 12:19:18 PM
Whenever giving estimates, especially to clients who want a low price, I give what I call a "Comparative Estimate". I think of what the very simplest (cheapest) way that I can do a piece (while still doing a quality job). Then I think of the most complete (costliest) way, and a couple in between ways. Here is how I give estimates, as well as a sample on my website: Giving Upholstery Estimates (http://www.upholsteryresource.com/giving-estimates).

The idea is, "when they pay less, they get less". For example, for the lowest cost option, think of the very quickest and least expensive way to do the chair (make sure it is a way that you feel OK with doing). Make everything plain and simple, for example:
Then add more services or more detailed options for each of the higher priced choices.

Now, about that recliner, the cheapest way might look like this on that recliner.
1. On the backrest: no sewn-in design and no buttons.
2. On the seat: no cording, just make it as simple wrap-around seat with no seams, except perhaps a corner seam.
3. Reuse all existing padding (with a note of "not recommended" by this).

Then follow that with other higher priced options.

I have been doing this method for several years and have found it works   very well. Using this method I become my own competition. Of course, I don't get all the jobs I estimate (some people just don't want to pay that much for upholstery) But all in all, it gives clients a choice. And, they can clearly see what they  get for each price.

Best Wishes,
Stephen
Title: Re: Recliner Estimate
Post by: byhammerandhand on January 16, 2015, 02:55:39 PM
I just started reading this book http://www.amazon.com/Priceless-Myth-Fair-Value-Advantage/dp/0809078813/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1421438028&sr=8-1&keywords=william+poundstone

I'll have to let everyone know if there's any application to upholstery, but it's pretty interesting so far.
Title: Re: Recliner Estimate
Post by: byhammerandhand on January 16, 2015, 03:05:23 PM
"On a fixed income."   -- these words always make my neck hairs bristle.

For most of my life, I would have welcomed a "fixed income" (and by the way, Social Security usually goes up every year).  Anyone who has owned a business, been self-employed, been on commissioned sales, or had an extended illness without pay might welcome a "fixed income."    For many years, I worked for a company that had periodic financial issues.   We had reduction in pay, pay and (so-called) raises diverted into a discretionary bonus pool that never paid out (we called it the bone-us pool), wage freezes, reduction in hours worked (to 4.5, 4, or 3 day work weeks), "rolling layoffs" , wholesale layoffs of groups that you didn't want to be in at the wrong place and time, and just about any other imaginative scheme they could come up with.

WOOF   = well off old folks
Title: Re: Recliner Estimate
Post by: sofadoc on January 16, 2015, 03:35:07 PM
I do offer low-cost options, such as the ones that Stephen listed above.

But I only make them available to certain longtime customers. RV dealers, antique/junk store dealers, rent property owners and the like who have been very steady customers over the years.
But they want a low-budget job, and they aren't real particular about all the details. We have worked together for so long, that we know what to expect from each other.

I won't make these options available to the general public though. There are too many of them who have a firm mental grasp on the "low-cost" part of the deal............but they're a little fuzzy about the "no frills" part. They're happy with the beer price......but they still expect the champagne taste.

There are some customers, that if I offered discounts for each little simplification of the job, they would choose ALL of them, and then be disappointed with the finished product. Sometimes, you have to protect customers from themselves.
Title: Re: Recliner Estimate
Post by: byhammerandhand on January 16, 2015, 03:46:11 PM
for those that don't know it, Gene spent most of his employed life as a salesman.  Can you tell?

One of the early chapters in that book is an "anchor point."     If you follow that advice, give an extraordinary high "deluxe" estimate.   For the sake of argument, say $1000, then outline all the things you get with that.   Then your $395 estimate seems like a bargain.   I  read somewhere (which led me to this book) that a store was selling an appliance for $495 and no one was buying until they showed one next to it for $900 (which they didn't sell any of), but then the $495 seemed like a bargain to the "anchor point" price of $900.

The book talked about the strategy of the lawyers in the McDonald's hot coffee case.   They asked for "one or two days" of McDonalds' coffee sales.  That seemed reasonable the the jury, who were later told that McD sold $1.35 million of coffee a day.   They should have asked for a month's worth, or a year's worth.
Title: Re: Recliner Estimate
Post by: papasage on January 16, 2015, 08:13:41 PM
 (and by the way, Social Security usually goes up every year).HA HA HA HA HA HA when it goes up  they increase  your insurance and  any  government assistant .
Title: Re: Recliner Estimate
Post by: Stephen on January 16, 2015, 08:14:24 PM
I give low cost options of MOST of my estimates, as shown on the Giving Upholstery Estimates (http://www.upholsteryresource.com/giving-estimates) page.. However, it's a low-cost option that I can live with. Even so, I am surprised at how many people choose the highest price, and are glad to pay it. (of course, this usually applies to high quality, special purpose, sentimental, or antique furniture.) People won't pay a lot of  they have junk furniture, unless they have a lot of sentiment attached to it.
Best Wishes,
Stephen
Title: Re: Recliner Estimate
Post by: kodydog on January 18, 2015, 10:43:16 AM
Big surprise last night. The customer e-mailed back and wants us to do the job. Full price. Rose wrote back and said we would love to do it, when can we pick it up. Perseverance prevails.

I give low cost options of MOST of my estimates, as shown on the Giving Upholstery Estimates (http://www.upholsteryresource.com/giving-estimates) page.. However, it's a low-cost option that I can live with. Even so, I am surprised at how many people choose the highest price, and are glad to pay it. (of course, this usually applies to high quality, special purpose, sentimental, or antique furniture.) People won't pay a lot of  they have junk furniture, unless they have a lot of sentiment attached to it.
Best Wishes,
Stephen

Interesting concept. We all have to figure out what works for us. I've found in the past when I give a low ball estimate, thinking I'll do a less than quality job, I always end up doing the higher quality job anyway. I've come to realize if my name is going to be on the piece I want to preform the absolute best job I possibly can. No mater what type of piece I start out with. I leave it up to the customer to decide if its worth the price I charge.

Just finished this pair of side chairs. Originally bought at Pier 1. I'm sure between my price and what she paid for the fabric the total cost is above the original cost of the chairs. But she now has two custom made chairs. It was her idea to cover the legs. Looks neat.

(http://i1179.photobucket.com/albums/x386/EdwinNorthuis/th_DSCN0488.jpg) (http://s1179.photobucket.com/user/EdwinNorthuis/media/DSCN0488.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Recliner Estimate
Post by: papasage on January 18, 2015, 07:33:55 PM
if i can`t do i right i rather not do it . give a price  you can  do it  right and  make  money  .