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| | |-+  "But......but....the other guy is cheaper!"
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: "But......but....the other guy is cheaper!"  ( 2820 )
sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« : September 18, 2014, 08:46:58 AM »

 I hear that 5 or 6 times a year. My nearby competitor routinely quote prices on certain jobs that are almost half what I charge. BUT......he follows up that price quote with "But I'm too busy to get to it right now".

I suspect that he does this because he doesn't want the job, but on the other hand, he doesn't want anyone else to have it either. So he give a low-ball estimate, and then passes on the job. This way, he plants a seed of doubt in the customer's mind about having it done for substantially more money somewhere else.

I guess his strategy works a little. Because I get a lot of jaw drops when I quote prices, and then they tell me what "the other guy" was going to charge (had he accepted the job).

He only does this on oddball jobs that may end up being tedious. On "run of the mill" jobs, his prices are very similar to mine.

My policy on jobs that I would really prefer to pass on, is to pass without quoting a price. Some guys throw out a HUGE number just to get rid of the customer. I think this sends the wrong message. The customer then assumes that you are outrageous on everything. And that's what they tell everyone they know.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
chrisberry12
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« #1 : September 18, 2014, 10:09:36 AM »

You get what you pay for
byhammerandhand
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« #2 : September 18, 2014, 02:46:26 PM »

So his philosophy also includes, "IF I don't have anything else on the bench, I'll do it a bargain just to get the work."


Do you suggest that "That's a really good price.  If you're happy with his quality, maybe you should have him do it," and see what their reaction is?   Subtly planting the seeds of doubt in reverse.

Keith

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas A. Edison
kodydog
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« #3 : September 18, 2014, 02:50:06 PM »

I hear that 5 or 6 times a year. My nearby competitor routinely quote prices on certain jobs that are almost half what I charge. BUT......he follows up that price quote with "But I'm too busy to get to it right now".

Yeah! I could charge cheaper too, if I never got around to do it.

I suspect that he does this because he doesn't want the job, but on the other hand, he doesn't want anyone else to have it either. So he give a low-ball estimate, and then passes on the job. This way, he plants a seed of doubt in the customer's mind about having it done for substantially more money somewhere else.

He needs to be carful. The seed of doubt my be, he's a lot cheaper but what's his quality like?

My policy on jobs that I would really prefer to pass on, is to pass without quoting a price. Some guys throw out a HUGE number just to get rid of the customer. I think this sends the wrong message. The customer then assumes that you are outrageous on everything. And that's what they tell everyone they know.

Good point. The thing is you must be doing something right because you have plenty of business and don't need to play that game.
« : September 18, 2014, 02:52:07 PM kodydog »

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
sofadoc
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« #4 : September 18, 2014, 02:56:30 PM »

So his philosophy also includes, "IF I don't have anything else on the bench, I'll do it a bargain just to get the work."
No, not really. He ONLY quotes low prices on jobs that he has absolutely NO intention of ever doing. Kinda like when a teenage girl dumps a boyfriend. She no longer wants him........but she doesn't want anyone else to have him either.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
SteveA
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« #5 : September 18, 2014, 04:16:28 PM »

What's curious is that he does it routinely ? 
Maybe he has a big turn over in help or plays games with guys salaries ?
SA
sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #6 : September 18, 2014, 04:35:22 PM »

What's curious is that he does it routinely ? 
Maybe he has a big turn over in help or plays games with guys salaries ?
He works alone. He only does it on jobs that he really doesn't want to do.

Perhaps I overstated when I used the word "routinely". But since I hear that feedback from customers several times a year, I assume it's only a random sampling of how many times he actually does it.

In an unscrupulous way, it really might be a brilliant strategy. People leave his shop thinking that he must be really good since he's too busy to do their work. And they tell everyone they know how reasonably priced he is.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
gene
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« #7 : September 18, 2014, 05:33:40 PM »

Quote
Because I get a lot of jaw drops when I quote prices, and then they tell me what "the other guy" was going to charge (had he accepted the job).

Here's a suggestion for the next jaw drop: "Wow! Yes mam (or sir). I understand. If I did it for that price I'd have to work so fast just to make a buck that you'd be bringing it back to me to fix what should have been done right the first time. No wonder that guy stays so busy."  :o

gene
« : September 18, 2014, 05:34:18 PM gene »

QUALITY DOES NOT COST, IT PAYS!
gene
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« #8 : September 18, 2014, 05:37:39 PM »

If I might add:

I got a call today. The lady told me what she wanted. I told her what I do. Without having talked anything about pricing, she said, "It sounds like to do really high quality work. Do you know an upholsterer in my area who does less quality? I don't think I need that good of a job."

And this after I spent 10 minutes of my day on the phone with her.

gene

QUALITY DOES NOT COST, IT PAYS!
kodydog
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« #9 : September 18, 2014, 07:42:52 PM »

I've told the story before about the upholsterer in town who takes the deposit for the fabric, orders it, and when the customer shows up asking when hes going to do the job he hands them the fabric and tells them to find someone else to do the job.

Drove by his shop the other day. The place is empty with a for rent sign out front.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
Mojo
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« #10 : September 18, 2014, 08:38:56 PM »

Myself Dennis I would be honest with these customers and tell them outright that this is just a game this guy plays with you. I would let them know the truth and let his reputation drive him under.

I am very careful about bashing my competitors and to be honest I really do not have to. Our products and quality not to mention our customer service sell themselves. They can get any canvas guy to stitch up a slide topper or awning but does this guy know the assemblies ? Does he know the installation process ? Can he troubleshoot assembly and operations issues ? Does he know the OEM fabrics and colors ?

I have one competitor that drives me nuts. Everything I post on my website the guy copies and does with his own. He matches my techniques right down to the proper way to measure but the one thing he doesn't tell his customers is he uses substandard materials. He tries to mimmick our operation, sometimes word for word.

I had a customer place an order the other day for two slide toppers. They were a special model used in the late 90's / early 2000's. There are alot of them out there and they are tricky to sew and you only use acrylic fabric. This other company was trying to talk him into using their polyvinyl. It would have never worked and caused the customer nothing but headaches not to mention it would like crap.

I would just be upfront and honest with your customers and tell them the truth without bashing the guy to badly.

Chris
kodydog
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« #11 : September 19, 2014, 12:00:14 PM »

You can promote your business without ever mentioning the competition. We're getting ready to unveil our new web site. On it I point out services others around here don't offer. And some they do but I'm trying to get the reader to think we own these services. And try to use words like you instead of I. This and other info will be on a FAQ page.

WHY USE LADD UPHOLSTERY DESIGNS?

Courteous and professional service.

Convenience, our hours are 8am-6pm. We will also work around your schedule often making pick-ups, deliveries and estimates after hours and on weekends.

Customer's own fabric is gladly accepted and we can suggest outlets and online stores. This will give you unlimited styles and designs to choose from.

Your furniture is striped to the frame. We never cover over old fabric. No "short cuts" are ever taken. This is the only way to check the padding, springs and frame joints.

We are the only shop to guarantee our craftsmanship for the life of the furniture.

Your furniture is not picked up until we're ready to do it. But we will store your piece if needed. We work in a timely and organized fashion. Usually a two week turnaround from pick-up to delivery.

All work is performed by Ladd. We do not subcontract.

No furniture leaves the shop without Rose's seal of approval.

You will receive an estimate before we pick-up your piece.

This is a custom shop. We tailor your furniture to fit you.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #12 : September 19, 2014, 01:36:58 PM »

Your furniture is striped to the frame.
What if I don't want stripes on my frame? (insert smiley here).

BTW I agree. I never bad-mouth another upholsterer (even if their work or business practices are suspect). I think it sends the wrong message about the trade in general. I just keep my mouth shut when a customer mentions another shop. Sometimes they have had a disagreement with the other guy, and they want me to take their side. I won't.

One thing we differ on: While I will accept COM, I never say anything to encourage it. And I'm definitely not going to suggest any online stores, or outlets. I'm going to keep selling fabric as long as I can.
« : September 19, 2014, 04:44:51 PM sofadoc »

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
kodydog
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« #13 : September 19, 2014, 04:55:13 PM »

Stripped. Yeah that looks better. My spell check (wife) missed that one. 4 years of collage for what? When it comes to spelling or grammar I need all the help I can get.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
gene
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« #14 : September 19, 2014, 05:50:44 PM »

Quote
No furniture leaves the shop without Rose's seal of approval.

Who's Rose? I thought your wife's name was Mary.  :o

Quote
Courteous and professional service.
Yes, even Guido, our 'late payment' collector, is courteous and professional.  ;D

Quote
All work is performed by Ladd. We do not subcontract.


How about: All work is performed by Ladd owners and employees. Except for Guido, who we pay piecemeal, by the broken bone.

Quote
Your furniture is not picked up until we're ready to do it.
Can customers drop off their own furniture to save a few bucks? Or is this understood and thus does not need to be mentioned?

Just trying to be helpful.

Great text, by the way, Kodydog. I'm looking forward to seeing your web site.

gene






« : September 19, 2014, 05:51:25 PM gene »

QUALITY DOES NOT COST, IT PAYS!
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