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: What would you do?  ( 918 )
gene
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« : July 08, 2017, 07:27:40 PM »

An ID asked me today if I would guarantee that if I cut the fabric wrong I would pay to buy new fabric. She said the fabric was $1300 a yard. 3 pillow covers only. The repeat is 26"V and 26"H with a 50" bolt width. She had 5 yards of fabric.

I said no.

She had a big company in Texas that was going to do the job and she thought she would check with me so she could save on shipping charges. And she was OK with me saying no.

gene



« : July 08, 2017, 07:28:33 PM gene »

QUALITY DOES NOT COST, IT PAYS!
sofadoc
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« #1 : July 08, 2017, 07:56:41 PM »

So is the Texas company guaranteeing the job like she wanted you to do?

I would probably say no. The risk/reward factor is way out of whack. You only stand to make a few hundred bucks while at the same time you risk losing over 5 grand.

But on the other hand, it's just 3 pillow covers. Doesn't sound like a high probability for a mistake.


"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
MinUph
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« #2 : July 08, 2017, 08:35:57 PM »

Yes it doesn't sound like a high probability of a mistake but I would have said no also. No way. Just not worth it.

Paul
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Mojo
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« #3 : July 08, 2017, 09:07:49 PM »

Risk/rewards.......... Huge risks........payback/margins are minimal.
My big question is who the hell pays that much per yard for fabric that are going on pillows ? Is her customer Michael Bloomberg ? If so then they deserve each other. You did the right thing Gene.

Kind of reminds me of when we get a PITA customer that is seeking a quote. Ingrid and I both have a saying " PITA before the sale.....PITA after the sale ". We give them our competitors phone number and tell them they would probably be better off going with their awnings. This is no joke, we really do.

I have done time studies on PITA customers and found they eat up gobs of time which slows down production which hits our margins. We gladly pass on these $ 200 and 300 dollar customers and send them to our competitors ( all awhile laughing to ourselves ). I let them eat up another our competitors time and margins. I am still waiting to see if they are catching on to our game. :)

I find your situation very similar to auto seats that are heated, have air bags, etc. The risks/liabilities do not match up to the profit margins. I think this is why many auto guys pass on these jobs. We take in many complex and tough jobs and always come out ahead of the game. But after years of being in this industry we know by a customers attitude during initial contact whether to take on the risks.

I think it may have been Dennis who said this, not sure, but I quote " Sometimes you have to fire your customer ". I guess it means kicking the can down the road. :)

Chris
sofadoc
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« #4 : July 08, 2017, 09:33:03 PM »

I think it may have been Dennis who said this, not sure, but I quote " Sometimes you have to fire your customer ".
I don't remember saying that. But it sure sounds like one of my surly, pessimistic remarks.

I don't know if I've ever actually fired a customer. But there's been quite a few that I didn't hire.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
kodydog
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« #5 : July 08, 2017, 10:11:46 PM »

Lets see, 5 yards of fabric @ $1300 per yard = $6500. I'll guarantee the three pillows only if I can charge $2166 per pillow. That way if I screw up the fabric is covered and I make nothing. Sound fair?

Or, I'll guarantee the whole thing but I need 8 yards of fabric.
« : July 08, 2017, 10:58:52 PM kodydog »

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
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SteveA
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« #6 : July 09, 2017, 07:18:44 AM »

Just curious - is this a decorator you've worked for previously ? 
They live in a world where they have to say yes to their customers no matter how abstract the issue is. 

Is there such thing as a CNC machine that could map out the cuts in the Texas facility ?

I'm sure you could have done the job without issue but the risk is ridiculous
SA
gene
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« #7 : July 09, 2017, 07:22:11 AM »

Yes this ID is a long time customer. She asked knowing I would probably say no and she was perfectly OK with me saying no.

Yes, Kasmir in Dallas told her they would guarantee to replace the fabric if cut wrong. She was asking me so she could save shipping costs.

The customer is a guy who owns his own company and the ID said she took him to a "trade only" fabric store and he said "I want that fabric, that fabric, etc..." without even looking at the prices.

Surly, pessimistic remarks are the best kind of pessimistic remarks. I find it amazing Chris that you actually had to think about whether or not it was Dennis that said that surly, pessimistic remark about firing a customer. :)

The perceived value of something you are buying always diminishes when you have acquired that something. That's why we are not as excited to pay our credit card bills as we were when we bought whatever it was that we bought. I think this adds to the truism that when a customer is a PITA at the beginning of a project they tend to be a PITA when it comes to getting them to pay up.

Speaking of PITA, the other PETA, I saw a poster with a native American Indian on it and the caption said, "Vegetarian is an Indian word that means Bad hunter". LOL

gene
« : July 09, 2017, 07:27:49 AM gene »

QUALITY DOES NOT COST, IT PAYS!
baileyuph
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« #8 : July 09, 2017, 07:10:34 PM »

What would I do?  I would have encouraged the job and said provide me a product specification and then I will give the estimated cost according to the responsibility being taken.  Probably ask for a hefty deposit.

Truth probably is, someone was just messing with the upholsterer.  That customer, if like most, wouldn't know how to describe yardage with that kind of cost. Where did the fabric come from?  Jo Ann's or similar retailer would not be likely.

Or just tell her to bring the fabric before I commit to working on a fabric that might be made too cheaply.  Possibility, she didn't even know the fabric content or type.

Two, can play that game.

Doyle 
Mojo
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« #9 : July 10, 2017, 06:46:17 AM »

It sounds like this decorator lady is 2 sandwiches short of a picnic.

She spends $ 1,500 a yard on fabric and is worried about $ 50 in shipping charges ? YIKES.

Did anyone tell her she is shipping 3 pillows and not a 65 ft mega yacht ?

Geeesshhhh...... :)

Chris
byhammerandhand
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« #10 : July 10, 2017, 08:51:03 PM »

I don't know if I've said it here, but I've said it many times, "Sometimes the most profitable job is the one you turn away."

Keith

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas A. Edison
mike802
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« #11 : July 20, 2017, 10:36:45 AM »

As customer supplied fabrics became more common I had to change my billing method.  My shop hourly rate now covers everything and fabrics sales are all gravy.  I also have a policy that the customer gets in writing and must sign that states, customer supplied fabric cannot be guaranteed in any way including yardage estimates and human error.   

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power" - Abraham Lincoln
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