Home – New Forums Tell me straight… One question for tradespeople

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  • #995248
    Kami
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    Hello,

    I’m a student and just registered here. Currently, my team and I are working on a small project related to plumbers and other tradespeople. We would really appreciate an answer to this question:
    Would you advertise your fees publicly (for the most frequent problems you have to fix)? If not, why?

    Thank you and have a great day,

    Kami

    #1200814
    Greg_M
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    The short answer is, no I wouldn’t.

    Firstly, I preferred “fixed” pricing rather than a rate…so I would get an accurate scope of the job before pricing, and rarely were any two jobs exactly the same. Also a clients opinion of what’s required is often little better than a hopeful guess.

    I always declared my hourly rate if asked, but didn’t advertise it, again often the client is fishing on price and assumes cheapest is best, when in reality a good tradesman on a higher hourly rate may be far more productive than an also ran who’s rate is cheaper.

    All of the above is avoided in my experience with a lump sum price and a scope of works.

    Some trades like plumbers and electricians are more commonly “called out” to more urgent tasks where they need to charge for their time (and often a call out fee). But in my experience few if any openly advertise these rates, probably for the reasons I mentioned earlier, but usually declare them when they get a customer enquiry.

    #1200815
    bb1
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    No, to many variables in a job.

    In my industry even two 1000 Sq Metres lawns next door to each other could take different amounts of time to mow.

    If you display your rates consumers will expect you to charge that rate, even if it is obvious that their job is more complicated.

    #1200816
    Easysmb
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    Agree with Greg and Bert
    Tradie services’ scopes are very hard to define, if you publicly quote fees, there will be consequences when billing client, the expectation is very hard to manage. More likely you will have a unhappy customer simply because of fee charged. Like most trade persons, free quote for work scope defined is the normal practice.

    Not sure what kind of project you are working on, but good luck.

    #1200817
    shart
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    No,

    Because it varies from customer to customer and the rates would change accordingly and if there is a set price that we listed, then customers would not be happy coz the said price is now different.

    #1200818
    Azyrus
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    I’d say no from my experience, you’re selling yourself on price which is never a good idea it leads to competitors undercutting you and customers seeking a cheaper price elsewhere using you as their reference. My recommendation is to sell yourself on service.

    #1200819
    gingerbeardhs
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    I’m going to have to buck the trend here: I have very recently started to advertise my rates. I have done so for a couple of reasons:

    1. I want to knock out the people who are price shopping.
    2. I don’t give out free quotes (estimates are another matter).

    A big caveat for this though, I limit my work as a handyman to things I would expect to take less than a day. I’m generally pretty good at estimating the things I can do in this amount of time and I have set prices for certain kinds of jobs. I even give examples of things that are covered by my pricing tiers. If something is not quite straightforward, I explain this to the client.

    My time is valuable and I don’t want to discuss with people how I’m going to do a job and why until they are asking me to do the work for them. This is something I get a lot of when I was getting phone calls beforehand.

    As stated, another thing I don’t do is give out free quotes but do estimate freely on the phone or via email. I don’t state this though, I just don’t advertise free quotes. Again, I’m lucky because most of my work is less than a day and if I underestimate then I typically eat the difference. Generally I’m more right than wrong and when I’m wrong the difference isn’t large.

    I also sell myself on service. People are always going to be undercutting me no matter what I do. So far I’m not having any problems getting work and if someone out there can do it cheaper than me (but better than me?) then good on them.

    This was not something I did lightly though, I tried to consider all the pro’s & cons of it and to me, I’d rather be in contact with clients booking work instead of quoting it. I’m also not adverse to removing the page with my rates on it if I find it is not working in my favour.

    #1200820
    Kami
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    Thank you for your opinions! My team and I are trying to find out if tradies are willing to advertise their fees publicly because we want to create an online platform where tradies can advertise their services and fees for free. As soon as the service seekers input the job they need done, they will see price estimates based on the information the tradies provided. Of course, the price estimates will be just an indication of what the customer will pay. It will be absolutely free for everyone. The idea is to save time for both service seekers and tradies. Any opinion (positive and negative) is highly appreciated. Thank you!

    #1200821
    gingerbeardhs
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    Hi Kami,

    I probably should have specified. My approach is based on more than price. I’m very hesitant to advertise my rate in a bidding environment. It’s the primary reason why I am not on Airtasker for example. I’m not really interested in seeking clients whose primary deciding factor is price.

    My rate is advertised so that potential clients know what to expect, not because I want them to think I’m the cheapest. Quoting systems usually have people looking for the cheapest option.

    An approach you might like to take instead is one that focusses on providing as much information as possible. A big factor for why I don’t respond to a lead is that there is not enough information.

    #1200822
    Greg_M
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    I’m with [USER=84763]@gingerbeardhs[/USER] on this one. IMO this “get prices” model can get plenty of action from those seeking services…but they’re all chasing the lowest price…a very poor way to generate work, if you’re on the other side of the transaction (tradies).

    My gut feel is that you’ll struggle to get good trades to register:

    1. good trades are generally busy enough from other sources (usually demand for their skills is what sets them off on the contracting track in the first place).

    2. good tradesmen don’t need to compete solely on price.

    Possible exceptions to this are new trades entering the market for the first time and a little bit “green”…will they deliver a quality service that generates repeat customers? Or, poor tradesmen that rely on chewing through the numbers to keep turnover happening (you see plenty of horror stories in the media about these fellows).

    Some trades will register because it’s free and they have nothing to lose but some online exposure, but I wouldn’t hold my breath expecting competitive pricing…imo no one’s going to be keen about driving the hourly rate down apart from potential consumers.

    I’ve mainly worked in a different sector of building services than [USER=84763]@gingerbeardhs[/USER], and rather than hourly rates I’m a strict practitioner of fixed lump sum pricing where possible…my experience has been that for larger jobs clients prefer it (I do too)…in your model I see too many possible variables to do this accurately (or even close) online…your potential client will drop off half way through the input forms you’ll require.

    Also I’ve seen similar services online already, not sure how well they do, but you’ll have plenty of competition straight up…but maybe you guy’s have an “angle” that everyone else has missed.

    Good luck

    #1200823
    bb1
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    Kami, post: 239714, member: 84397 wrote:
    It will be absolutely free for everyone. !

    Ok my red flag radar just went to high alert, another website offering everything for free. Yes and Santa Claus is bringing me a huge bonus this year as well…

    Kami, post: 239714, member: 84397 wrote:
    Of course, the price estimates will be just an indication of what the customer will pay.

    Yesh yeah, Santa Claus is coming to town tomorrow. I stopped giving out estimates even within a ball park range years ago. Say said client rings me and says I have an acre to mow, I can virtually tell you site unseen how much I will quote, but I wont, because you turn up to look at the job, and its really 2 acres, its 10 foot tall, and there are 200 objects in your way. Oh sorry kind potential client I know I said $190 to $350 on the phone, and you did say it was only 1 acre, and that it was on 2 inches tall, but It will really be $420. Because of XYZ. Of course clients coming from your free website are all price driven, so the only thing they understood from everything said is $190, and then expect to negotiate downwards. Not upwards.

    Kami, post: 239714, member: 84397 wrote:
    The idea is to save time for both service seekers and tradies. Any opinion (positive and negative) is highly appreciated. Thank you!

    It definitely wont save tradies any time, they will be running around turning up at jobs, which have gotten prices estimates from your ”free” website, and having to discuss (argue), with clients why they cant do the job for the price quoted.

    The number of associates I know that are giving up on sites like service seeking for this exact reason is ongoing.

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