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: Prices on the net  ( 2787 )
gene
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« : August 06, 2015, 08:51:34 PM »

Howdy,

I'm thinking of putting together a password protected web site that has gobs of pictures of furniture and my prices and fabric estimates for each picture in each gob.

This would be available to my customers who are IDs and the thought is that they could "strike while the iron is hot". In other words, when they are with a homeowner or business owner, they can pull up the web site and see the cost of upholstery and how many yards of fabric is estimated for the job immediately.

My motivation is to help my ID customers sell more furniture upholstery.

I've seen a few other web sites that have posted prices. I may email these folks and see what they think of my ideas.

Any thoughts pro or con would be appreciated.

gene

QUALITY DOES NOT COST, IT PAYS!
MinUph
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Mainly furniture. Tarpon Springs Fl.


« #1 : August 06, 2015, 09:10:24 PM »

Gene,
  Only one mans story but I had a section just as you mention. A price list with full COM pricing (decorators get a discount) along with examples. This was all in a password protected section that they would have to join to gain access. I got no-one even sending in an application for it. It was there for 6 months or so.

Paul
Minichillo's Upholstery
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SteveA
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« #2 : August 07, 2015, 05:25:36 AM »

Can't do any harm but I'd put a range of prices and not commit -
I've seen numerous sites that do it and I've never given them a second look.  The cost posted may not be the actual price for different reasons.
SA
baileyuph
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« #3 : August 07, 2015, 07:54:23 AM »

A question:  Is this idea targeting a general market geographically? 

Locally, it would have the best response, don't you think?

Local reputation, quality work are the drawing cards.

One of the constraints of any marketing approach is supporting labor, two couches a week could swamp a very small shop, etc.

Doyle
sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #4 : August 07, 2015, 08:05:03 AM »

It might largely depend on the type of device the ID is carrying.

A tablet should be fine. But a smaller smart phone might be cumbersome to navigate your website.

Back in the days before we all had websites (but we had computers and printers) I printed up a master price list complete with pics for reference. I gave them to a few select ID's and repeat customers. I don't recall that it ever generated much response. In fact, when it was time to increase my prices, I didn't bother to send out any updates. I don't think anyone even noticed the increases.

I accomplish most of this now through the texting of pics. But like Steve says, the prices I quote are not etched in stone.

One of the constraints of any marketing approach is supporting labor, two couches a week could swamp a very small shop, etc.
That is precisely why I don't really endeavor to market my business.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
kodydog
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« #5 : August 07, 2015, 08:35:33 PM »

Its a great idea Gene and I can see where your going with this. Saves you a lot of time making estimates. We have thought of doing the same thing using one of those fabric charts for yardage. But I can see the ID picking the photo she thinks is smiler to the one she has that is priced $350 when in reality it is a piece that is $600. Just saying.

If you can figure a fool proof plan I sure would be all ears.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
gene
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« #6 : August 08, 2015, 09:12:11 AM »

Thank you for the replies.

Yes, this would only be for local work, and repeat customer IDs.

And yes, I am maxed out with my time right now. I would not want to be getting 2 sofas a week. However, even though I have 'sort of' decided to not hire any full time employees, I find that I am still thinking of what it would be like if I could command enough business to do just that.

When an ID goes into a house they are looking at everything: furniture (re-upholstery or new), carpet, window treatments, paint, etc. Some even get into architectural redesign. Unless they are there for a specific furniture project, upholstery is probably not at the top of their list.

How can I help IDs sell re-upholstery and other things I do?

How can I help them to remember about upholstery? What about new seat cushion covers instead of total re-upholstery? What about new cushion inserts? What about contrast welt cord on existing seat cushion covers to tie the sofa into the rest of the room? What about Custom Fit Slip Covers?

One of my concerns about putting a web site together was what if I did all this work and no one used it. That seems to be some of your experiences.
------------------------------------
Another thought, instead of a web site, would be to let IDs know that I am available during the day to give them prices. Currently I get photos via email and get Estimates back to them within 48 hours. I do all my paperwork in the evenings or early mornings.

If they send me photos while at the customers' house and I get prices and yardage back to them ASAP, would that be of benefit to them selling more re-upholstery? I've had a few IDs tell me that either a web site or ASAP would be helpful. But, I won't know for sure unless I try it. And I would only do this for IDs. There would be too much interruptions to my work day if I did this for everyone.
---------------------
It's interesting that no one mentioned a concern about competitors gets the prices. I did not have this concern either. I think anyone can ALWAYS find a cheaper price somewhere. So, I don't worry about it. I sell 'quality and service that is second to no one', and folks who want 'quality and service second to no one' like my work. Folks who want the cheapest price will find it somewhere else.
-----------------------
The Estimates I give are always based on the information I've been given. One reason I like Quickbooks is that I can type out all the details of what I am going to be doing. If I put '2 loose seat cushions', and it turns out that there are 3 loose seat cushions, it does not matter if the customer told me incorrectly or if I wrote down the wrong number. The Estimate was for 2 loose seat cushions and if you want 3 I will adjust my Estimate accordingly.

At this point in time my enthusiasm for a web site with prices and yardage has waned a bit. But, if I can figure out a fool proof plan, I'll let you know. Momma always said life was like a Brillo pad.

Thanks again for the replies.

gene

« : August 08, 2015, 09:20:28 AM gene »

QUALITY DOES NOT COST, IT PAYS!
sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #7 : August 08, 2015, 10:20:26 AM »

.........if I can figure out a fool proof plan, I'll let you know.
"Those who think they've made something completely fool proof have underestimated the ingenuity of a complete fool".



"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
MinUph
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Mainly furniture. Tarpon Springs Fl.


« #8 : August 08, 2015, 02:48:02 PM »

Gene,
  A website will work. It does take some time to get indexed well in search engines but it does work. I was under the impression this section you asked about was in addition to your existing site.
  I would never not recommend a web site.
  As for getting to busy. Well that is against all business plans. I use to feel comfortable doing the business on my own with part time help as needed but since having employees I wouldn't go back. Can't get to busy now. A sofa a week and I'd be going crazy. I want as many as I can find LOL.
  Lovin it.
  I like employing people more than anything. The money isn't all that much more but giving someone a steady job is nice.

Paul
Minichillo's Upholstery
Website
SteveA
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« #9 : August 08, 2015, 04:17:05 PM »

All would agree - it isn't  about the money.  You got through the first couple of rounds - no more doubts - right move -
Enjoy - I wish I had tried to do it years ago but no regrets - work is really my hobby -
SA
baileyuph
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« #10 : August 08, 2015, 08:57:15 PM »

Gene,

After reading more about how this information would help the ID(s), I believe it is worth pursuing.  There is some common sense here in that they can get information they need without interrupting you.  That makes a better and more profitable day for you.

At least do this for the ID interest, then step two will be much clearer.

If your business picks up, and will, then part of the next step would be to find the right one at least for part time.  I use assistance in marketing for my specialized jobs I get.  I won't go into what that includes but marketing takes time, it frees me up.

Paul has some good action going and over time it should get better.

Someone who is serious and loves the work like you do make good candidates for a small business.

It won't take too much time to start your site will it?  Can you do most of the work in getting it going?

Share your effors with us, a site like that could free me up and provide quick and informative information to interested customers, in this case your ID.  The more information they have, well the better marketers of you capabilites!

Seriously, get it going, I think it adds a worth while dimension, and specifically; I like the efficiency it renders to the ID as you!

Doyle
Mojo
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« #11 : August 09, 2015, 04:58:14 PM »

Gene:

I have no clue when it comes to working with ID's. Never worked with none and never will since furniture is not my line of work. I do know this, I do not put prices on my website for a reason. There are too many variables and I do not want to get stuck in an argument over a listed price.

I want the potential customer to call us as I can convert 90 % of the phone calls to orders. I am not Amazon and do not want to become one. Our competitors all have online pricing and our customers price shop them and then call us for our price ( which we are always higher ). Mindy or myself then sell the job. We are probably running about an 80 - 90 % conversion rate ( inquiry/quote to sale ).

But then Mindy has an amazing voice and personality and I spent a lifetime in marketing/PR so both of us could sell ice to eskimos. :)

I do believe what may help is to take some pictures of your work, put together a portfolio and then give that to ID's. They can take that to meetings with customers.

Just my thoughts.

Chris
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