The "I can rent it for less" rant

Old Deaf Roadie

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I was actually told by a prospective client for an a Cappella festival that I am too expensive & rentals are cheaper. I would agree that rentals are indeed cheaper, but that's where it ends.

Maybe you can. But...does it come with an operator with 40+ years experience in the craft or will you just find whoever to trust your show to? Can your guy even set it up per Barbershop Harmony Society standards & still get sound to the back of the room? And do monitors? And do a webcast off a 3rd mix? Will your guy travel the 3 hours to the venue & pay for his own room?

You're not paying me for the time I am there. You are paying me for the success of your show, backed by decades of experience and my professional reputation.

So the show went on without me. The client forgot to remove me from the email group & I was able to find out they had a bad experience with the $500 guy and a music store no-name rental system, and that they should have hired the $1500 guy (me) that has a suitable system and understands what's going on.

Thanks for listening. Spoiler Alert: the next quote they get from me will be for even more $$.
 

Peegoo

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next quote they get from me will be for even more $$.

That's called an Expensive Lesson in most businesses.

It's like someone doing their own plumbing work to "save a few bucks." They botch the job and end up having to call in a pro. It would've been cheaper to call 'em in the first place. If you think plumbers, electricians, mechanics, etc., are overpaid, you should try doing that work for a week. Your opinion will change.
 

OmegaWoods

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That's called an Expensive Lesson in most businesses.

It's like someone doing their own plumbing work to "save a few bucks." They botch the job and end up having to call in a pro. It would've been cheaper to call 'em in the first place. If you think plumbers, electricians, mechanics, etc., are overpaid, you should try doing that work for a week. Your opinion will change.

Well said. The most important part of DIY is knowing when to call the pros. I once ruined a car by getting in over my head. I can do most things around the house but I also have a clear limit to what I'm willing to do.
 

beyer160

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"Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted"

It's always best to let these lowball clients do things their way so they can discover the difference for themselves. Often though, I've found they don't come back to me later on because they're embarrassed once they realize they made a dumb mistake. So, I act supportive and tell them I understand the budgetary constraints that led them to use another vendor, wish them well, and tell them I'm happy to be of assistance if they need me. Unless you're down to your last $5 and this gig is the literal difference between keeping the doors open or not, the absolute worst thing you can do is work cheap. Lowering rates not only rips yourself off in the long run, it rips off everyone else in the industry. It's better to let business walk out the door like you did, than to undercut the price structure.

I sometimes tell people, "you're not paying me to push buttons, any idiot can do that. You're paying me because I know which buttons to push, and when."
 

Old Deaf Roadie

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"Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted"

It's always best to let these lowball clients do things their way so they can discover the difference for themselves. Often though, I've found they don't come back to me later on because they're embarrassed once they realize they made a dumb mistake. So, I act supportive and tell them I understand the budgetary constraints that led them to use another vendor, wish them well, and tell them I'm happy to be of assistance if they need me. Unless you're down to your last $5 and this gig is the literal difference between keeping the doors open or not, the absolute worst thing you can do is work cheap. Lowering rates not only rips yourself off in the long run, it rips off everyone else in the industry. It's better to let business walk out the door like you did, than to undercut the price structure.

I sometimes tell people, "you're not paying me to push buttons, any idiot can do that. You're paying me because I know which buttons to push, and when."
Every syllable of this post is spot-on. Well played, sir!
 

nojazzhere

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I was actually told by a prospective client for an a Cappella festival that I am too expensive & rentals are cheaper. I would agree that rentals are indeed cheaper, but that's where it ends.

Maybe you can. But...does it come with an operator with 40+ years experience in the craft or will you just find whoever to trust your show to? Can your guy even set it up per Barbershop Harmony Society standards & still get sound to the back of the room? And do monitors? And do a webcast off a 3rd mix? Will your guy travel the 3 hours to the venue & pay for his own room?

You're not paying me for the time I am there. You are paying me for the success of your show, backed by decades of experience and my professional reputation.

So the show went on without me. The client forgot to remove me from the email group & I was able to find out they had a bad experience with the $500 guy and a music store no-name rental system, and that they should have hired the $1500 guy (me) that has a suitable system and understands what's going on.

Thanks for listening. Spoiler Alert: the next quote they get from me will be for even more $$.
I'm curious about the "bad experience" with the "$500 guy"......was the sound bad?.....was he not punctual?.....was the audience unhappy?
All too often, people don't understand the difference that occurs. Unless they know what "great" sound is like, they don't realize how inferior the "bad" sound is.
Like you, I frequently had situations when I was a neon glassblower with people wanting neon repaired. Yes, there were shops that might be a little cheaper, but our shop not only made the neon "light up", but it would last a LONG time AND be safer. (improperly wired neon causes fires very often) But explaining that to customers sounds like you're just "selling" a higher price. :(
 

Old Deaf Roadie

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I'm curious about the "bad experience" with the "$500 guy"......was the sound bad?.....was he not punctual?.....was the audience unhappy?
All too often, people don't understand the difference that occurs. Unless they know what "great" sound is like, they don't realize how inferior the "bad" sound is.
Like you, I frequently had situations when I was a neon glassblower with people wanting neon repaired. Yes, there were shops that might be a little cheaper, but our shop not only made the neon "light up", but it would last a LONG time AND be safer. (improperly wired neon causes fires very often) But explaining that to customers sounds like you're just "selling" a higher price. :(
As I understand it, mostly the talent was unhappy, & they had to refund $ for webcast viewers. It was supposed to be a major fundraiser for them. One thing to understand about the a Cappella folks is that they can hear a Mouse fart next door and critique it's delivery & likely be correct. The audiences are highly skilled in critical listening, as well. In short, they are tough customers & most service providers I associate with won't touch them. Me? I love a challenge.
 

O- Fender

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There are many jobs where people forget you are paying for the knowledge and experience.
For the most part, they are not paying for what you do, they are paying for you knowing how to avoid problems and knowing what to if things start to go wrong.
I feel your pain.
Years ago I was trying to run do wedding videos. I would give a quote and for the most part, people thought I was way too high. One guy, a friend of a friend, wanted a wedding video and went to great lengths to say my quote was way too high, I should be ashamed of expecting that much, etc. He gave the job to his nephew. I heard through the grapevine how it went. The nephew set up the camera, hit record and sat back. He left the auto focus on. The video had some flowers in focus. Worse, the guy set up the video so he was shooting toward a window. Just as the bride got to the altar, the sun came out. The result was a nice video of two slightly fuzzy silhouettes getting married.
 

G.Rotten

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I was actually told by a prospective client for an a Cappella festival that I am too expensive & rentals are cheaper. I would agree that rentals are indeed cheaper, but that's where it ends.

Maybe you can. But...does it come with an operator with 40+ years experience in the craft or will you just find whoever to trust your show to? Can your guy even set it up per Barbershop Harmony Society standards & still get sound to the back of the room? And do monitors? And do a webcast off a 3rd mix? Will your guy travel the 3 hours to the venue & pay for his own room?

You're not paying me for the time I am there. You are paying me for the success of your show, backed by decades of experience and my professional reputation.

So the show went on without me. The client forgot to remove me from the email group & I was able to find out they had a bad experience with the $500 guy and a music store no-name rental system, and that they should have hired the $1500 guy (me) that has a suitable system and understands what's going on.

Thanks for listening. Spoiler Alert: the next quote they get from me will be for even more $$.
While I 100% agree they deserve to be charged extra if they ever get in touch with you again I would suggest you actually just charge whatever you would normally charge and provide the service you normally provide.

They posted about their terrible experience without you and with luck they'll also post about their awesome experience with you next time. Can't beat that for advertising.
 

Obsessed

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As an engineering consultant for about half of my career, we would be brought in to “right the ship” after engineering teams doing stuff that they knew little about. Typically, very expensive lessons and people getting fired.
 

wrathfuldeity

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Way back in the day 70's; former sound board guy. Though we were a garage/bar band, we had our own equipment and sound guy was considered a full-share member of the band. Some how even being young and dumb we had an awareness to be marketable you had to sound good live. Noise is cheap...good sound is crafted. Crapsman vs craftsman appreciates and understands it is alive, dynamic and crafted.
 
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Preacher

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I have seen it happen more than once, and it happened to me.

I had a minor landscape job that I needed done. Dead plants pulled, new plants put in and new mulch put around the pool and flower beds.

My realtor recommended me a guy and he came out and quoted me $1500 to do the job, everything included. I balked at that price thinking it was too high. I mentioned it to a person at church who said that their room mates brother's sister's boyfriends parole officer knew a guy who did that. They would have him get in touch with me. Four days later I get a call from a number I don't recognize and it goes to voicemail. I checked the VM and it was the landscape guy, he actually said, "yeah I hear you are looking for a landscaper, I am the landscape guy your friend told you about".
So he comes over, decent looking truck, clean shaven guy and he looks around at what I want done. I told him that I had another company that bid it and it was too high so that was why I called him in. He says, "we can do it for $800, probably take a couple of days." I said deal, when can you start.

He tells me he will be there in two days and be done by the weekend. Two days later he did not show. I called and he said a job ran long and he would be there tomorrow. Tomorrow comes and no one shows by noon and I call him back. He says the guys are on their way. Two guys in a beat up truck show up about 2PM and start working in the flower beds. I go to check on them and they don't speak English so I try to explain what I needed as best I could. I go back out after 5 and the guys are gone and all they have done is pulled the dead bushes leaving huge holes in the flower beds.
I called the dude that night and left a message as I had a weekend party coming and I was worried they would not be done. He assured me it would be done before the weekend.
The next day the same two dudes show up at 10AM, they shoveled a bunch of mulch into the holes, they spread new mulch around the flower beds and then left. No new plants, no trimming of the existing shrubs, nothing.
I called the dude back and explained that I was not happy as they had not done everything that I had asked him to do. He said he would come over the next day and look which was Friday.
He showed up Friday afternoon and said he was running short on men and that he had to pull these guys off another job but he needed to pay them so could I pay $500 of the total and they would be back the next week to add the new plants and such. As a fool, I paid him his $500 and I never saw him again.

I figured I got a truck load of mulch (maybe $50) and a couple of hours of labor (maybe $150) for my trouble.
I ended up calling the original guy who came and made it right.
 

Preacher

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Great thread. We would do a software demo for prospective customers and they would say "That looks simple, we'll just do it in house." Simple and elegant design is not simple, it's state of the art. An expensive lesson indeed

I can not tell you how many times I have gone into a place and the sound was horrible. I spend ten minutes on the board getting the EQ where it needs to be and setting the system to the room for it to sound good. At least a half dozen times the owner or the Pastor or whoever is in charge will walk up and take a picture of the board. I ask why he is doing that and they say so they can save the settings...
 

mfguitar

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As I understand it, mostly the talent was unhappy, & they had to refund $ for webcast viewers. It was supposed to be a major fundraiser for them. One thing to understand about the a Cappella folks is that they can hear a Mouse fart next door and critique its delivery & likely be correct. The audiences are highly skilled in critical listening, as well. In short, they are tough customers & most service providers I associate with won't touch them. Me? I love a challenge.
Knowing this you really have to wonder why they would attempt to cut corners and go with an unknown. Me; I would send them a follow-up note stating that "I hope your event went well and if you should need us in the future..." In other words, ask for the order.
 




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