The "I can rent it for less" rant

Wound_Up

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There is a reason I pay plumbers, electricians and car mechanics to work on my stuff. They're not hacks(usually) like me.

Its funny you mention that. I used to take shortcuts working on my own vehicle when I first started driving. I would put brackets back or wouldn't attach the hoses back to their brackets or whatever it was.

It wasn't until I got serious about it and made it a career that my ugly habits turned around. I'm not in that industry any longer but the "lesson" I learned stuck and I still don't shortcut anymore. It took me doing it professionally for that to change, though. Nothing happened. I didn't have an engine blow up due to something I didn't do or anything like that. I just learned not to cut corners like that because of what could happen.

Somewhat on subject, the only time I ever have given and will continue to give discounted rates to while still giving 100% to the job are for my aging parents when their trucks break down. Because they more than deserve it. I've saved them thousands upon thousands upon thousands of dollars throughout the years because I work for free :D Having a once-certified service tech on a $0 retainer sure is nice for them. Lol.
 
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Matt Sarad

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Some neighbors hired a roofing crew of three people. A month later it's still not finished.

I had mine done 8 years ago with a local company that's even around for 75 years.
I paid them 22k. They took off 3 layers of old shingles and replaced all the fascia wood.
1000 board feet including the sheeting for the roof itself. It took them 3 days longer than anticipated. They even rebuilt the rafters and support beams on the garage. 8 days total.

The smaller companies that quoted me 10k could not have done as complete a job.
 

KokoTele

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I no longer worry about it if someone doesn’t think my fees are worth it. I have an excellent reputation and plenty of work. Someone who wants to go cheap is less concerned with quality, and it’s better to let them learn their own lessons than to argue about it.

I’m also not worried about people under cutting me. Those who can do the work cheaper or not earning themselves a living wage. They won’t be around forever.
 

Old Deaf Roadie

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I get tire kickers every once in a while.
I tell them what the first hour will be and what every half hour after that is.
How long will it take to clear my sink, tub, etc?
I don’t know every job is different.
Oh. Ballpark?
I repeat my rates
I’ll call you back. Maybe they will and maybe they won’t.

I’m busy enough. Actually, I’d like a 1/4-1/3 decrease in my work load. I just don’t see that happening
Every skilled trade in my town is booked at least 4 months out, most are 6 months
 

Nogoodnamesleft

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Quality isn't expensive ..... its priceless .
Yep, especially when the success or failure of an event is down to a skilled individual or small group of them. I wish people saw that. But like working in the IT industry - when things are going well it's often taken for granted. When things go bad though, people have LONG memories.
 

stxrus

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Every skilled trade in my town is booked at least 4 months out, most are 6 months
Luckily I’m not in that position
It’s funny I stay busy and then it’s quiet then it’s crazy again. Feast or famine.
But we are a small market of roughly 50,000

I do know a pool company, 2 home builders, and a remodeler that are not even talking to new customers until sometime next year. One contractor’s phone message says, “If you are calling regarding new construction or a renovation please call back after February, 2022. We will be talking to new clients and booking jobs at that time”
 

Masmus

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I get tire kickers every once in a while.
I tell them what the first hour will be and what every half hour after that is.
How long will it take to clear my sink, tub, etc?
I don’t know every job is different.
Oh. Ballpark?
I repeat my rates
I’ll call you back. Maybe they will and maybe they won’t.

I’m busy enough. Actually, I’d like a 1/4-1/3 decrease in my work load. I just don’t see that happening

My older brother had a friend that did specialized car repair that complained about the same thing. You need to raise your rates until you are working the amount you want, if you don't have enough work lower them a little. It's all about supply and demand.
 

beyer160

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I worked in aviation. No, you can't borrow my tools to do your own work.

That reminds me of the time one of our clients bought all the same gear we used, hired a bunch of freelancers and tried to take it on the road. The problem was that he forgot to buy custom road cases for the electronics. So, he called us and asked to rent our road cases. "Sure!" the boss told him, "they cost the same as they do when there's gear in 'em though".

I’m also not worried about people under cutting me. Those who can do the work cheaper or not earning themselves a living wage. They won’t be around forever.

Years ago, a competitor opened shop in our area and sought to establish himself by undercutting the market. The owner of my company just shrugged and said, "he can do whatever he wants, I'm not racing him to the bottom". Two years later we were as busy as always, and the other guy was out of business.
 

cometazzi

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Yeah it's a newer trend in society.

Growing up, we learned about high quality.
Quality goods and services.
Goods that lasted decades, and service providers that could be trusted to do what you paid them for.

Then Wall Street and corporate boardrooms decided they could make more profit if they went with cheap manufacturing rather than quality.

Combined with marketing Amazon style that repeated over and over cheap price and replaced high quality with free returns of the crap if it didn't work or you noticed it was cheap crap.

Consumer society has been brainwashed into wanting buying and liking cheap disposable crap.
As a kid it was clear that consumer society valued high quality, reliability, long lasting, and American made.

We also got things like Angies List telling home owners that tradesmen could not be trusted.
To some degree there was some concern about who you hired for home renovation, but Angie made money using scare tactics and badmouthing working tradesmen and women.

I'm struggling with this so much right now. I've been especially frustrated with the 'race to the bottom' trend whenever I buy anything. I don't need 15 variations of $5 pliers that break in my hand, I want one $25 pair of pliers that I'll use for the rest of my life. I've shifted positions and will start working from home soon, so I'm trying to set up a space to do so. I need to buy things like a desk, a power strip, a coffee maker, a second humidifier, maybe a lamp, and a bunch of other stuff. All I can find is absolute crap. It's all cheap (relatively) but complete garbage. Just as many bad reviews as good. If a $20 coffee maker makes coffee that tastes like plastic and is prone to catching fire, where's the $90 coffee maker that doesn't?

Yet, on the other end of things, I can buy an $800 desk that doesn't look like it's made any better than the $80 ones. All laminated particle board.
 

Maguchi

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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 $$.
Right on. There is so much work and knowledge involved in putting on a great show. It's refreshing hearing about someone who knows his craft and takes pride in making sure the finished product is great.
 

Blackmore Fan

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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.

That's an excellent idea, seriously.
 

stxrus

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My older brother had a friend that did specialized car repair that complained about the same thing. You need to raise your rates until you are working the amount you want, if you don't have enough work lower them a little. It's all about supply and demand.
I have more work than I can get to in a timely manner.
Raising my rates will just hurt the folks that don’t have the money to pay more. I make a very comfortable living and have respect on the island

My business is for sale. I’m ready to retire. I tell folks interested that you can do 6 one hour jobs a week, or 5 one and a half hour jobs a week, or 4 two hour jobs a week and make $50,000 a year. That’s a decent living wage here.

Im not looking for the whole pie, just my portion. My competition has children in school, He charges more than I do. That’s ok because I pick up those that can’t afford my competition
 

Mike_LA

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I was actually told by a prospective client

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 .

On a similar note Hollywood and the associated national crafts recently took a strike vote to get our employers to come to just those terms.
Please note that of the members of my local ( Grip / Marine / Craft Service / Medical) voted 99.3% in favor of the strike.
The nationwide strike vote was over 90%.

Screenshot_20211006-213214_Chrome.jpg
 

SRHmusic

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I'm struggling with this so much right now. I've been especially frustrated with the 'race to the bottom' trend whenever I buy anything. I don't need 15 variations of $5 pliers that break in my hand, I want one $25 pair of pliers that I'll use for the rest of my life. I've shifted positions and will start working from home soon, so I'm trying to set up a space to do so. I need to buy things like a desk, a power strip, a coffee maker, a second humidifier, maybe a lamp, and a bunch of other stuff. All I can find is absolute crap. It's all cheap (relatively) but complete garbage. Just as many bad reviews as good. If a $20 coffee maker makes coffee that tastes like plastic and is prone to catching fire, where's the $90 coffee maker that doesn't?

Yet, on the other end of things, I can buy an $800 desk that doesn't look like it's made any better than the $80 ones. All laminated particle board.
Yeah, that cheap tool trend started a few decades ago and drives me crazy. It has since then happened to just about everything else. So I keep a list of good quality stuff we've come across.

(Coffee making? Baratza's burr grinders are great. They're based in the northwest, I think. I bought one years ago for not too cheap, but it is still going strong. At one point, they provided an improved replacement for a the main gear and clear instructions, too. Not sure about coffee machines, but a Technivorm might be in order. :D)
 




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