Is a ballpark too much to ask?
Whilst in the market for a new Thingy, I struggled to get a straight answer about cost. I mean, how hard can it be to make a rough guess? Very, it turns out.
Noel: Hi, I’d like an estimate for a new Thingy please
Supplier: Great! I’ve designed tons of Thingies. In fact my tagline’s ‘Cost effective Thingies for businesses of all shapes and sizes’.
Noel: Ah brilliant, so you’ve done a few then?
Supplier: Mate! I used to manage Thingy development for a huge company in Melbourne. Then I moved to New York and headed up the Thingy division over there.
Then the kids came along and I got jack of corporate life, so I started up my own business, Fantastic Thingies! Been making them myself ever since. I make about 40 of ‘em a year.
Noel: Superb, ‘cause I need a new one. Nice and simple, about six sections. What sort of cost are we looking at?
Supplier: Weeelll, no way I could tell you that. I tailor them all individually to precise specs. I’d need a thorough understanding of your business strategy, needs and industry before I could quote you.
Noel: But all I need is a ballpark for budgeting. You said you’d designed hundreds of these things, what sort of range are we looking at?
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Supplier: Each and every one is a unique price.
Noel: Can’t you give me an idea?
Supplier: Well, how long is a piece of string? [Smug look]
Supplier: How long is a piece of string? [Smugger look] Could be any length, could be any price. See what I’m getting at?
Noel: No I bloody don’t. String’s worth about three bucks for a roll of 50 metres. So if you need 100 metres then budget around six bucks – give or take.
Supplier: Ah you see Thingies are very complex. Not like string.
Noel: You mentioned string. Let’s put it this way: I want a simple six section Thingy, nothing too flashy. Can I do anything for $5K?
Supplier: Mate, that’s pretty much the minimum we like to do…
Noel: If I’ve got $10K would that cover it?
Supplier: Oh yeah, we could do something pretty schmick for $10K
Noel: So, I might be able to get away with something around the $7 to 8K mark then?
Supplier: Couldn’t say.