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  • #46
    As for the welders here..

    IMO you guys all undercharge your customers, while the cost of living is going up It doesnt seem like your charges are that high to cover your costs and make money. Before I get flamed here I will tell you I am in the plumbing related field and dont weld for a living but I will charge $250.00 just to write an estimate if I have to crawl under the house.Call me out after hours for an emergency and by the time the job is done you will be looking at at least a grand or more. Before you call me a price gouger, I charge the going standard rates in my area of CA and thankfully we dont have a lot of people trying to undercut each other and ruin it for everyone. As for Cat I if indeed she lives in a 2 Mil + home then she is most likely somewhat financially successful then I cant understand the complaints over a lousy couple hundred bucks to make a customer happy especially with all the frustration they had to go through for the repair.Mike

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    • #47
      Lawyer calls a Plumber- Plumber fixes problem and hands the bill to the Lawyer:

      Lawyer:
      "$400.00!!!!???? You were only here a 1/2 hour. I don't even make that much money"

      Plumber:
      "Either did I when I was a Lawyer"


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      • #48
        Originally posted by Broccoli1 View Post
        Lawyer calls a Plumber- Plumber fixes problem and hands the bill to the Lawyer:

        Lawyer:
        "$400.00!!!!???? You were only here a 1/2 hour. I don't even make that much money"

        Plumber:
        "Either did I when I was a Lawyer"


        I had a surgeon in Orinda tell me the same joke while I was working on a project for them. Instead of lawyer he used the word doctor.I am a believer in charging the most you can for your work,Why should a tradesperson not be able to live comfortably or become wealthy from their hard work? I remember a job I did in Walnut Creek the guy was an Advertising executive,I remember the look and response when he asked how much will this cost? I said about $10,000 his jaw dropped then he said how long will it take? I said about 3 days he shook his head in disbelief and said no one in his neighborhood makes that kind of money.That reaction was priceless and I still get a kick when I think about it.BTW I did get that job it was one of my first jobs when I decided to make a go on my own Mike

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        • #49
          Originally posted by cat View Post
          I have a question for all you mobile welders-what is a typical charge for labor and travel?

          This is the charge: $150 labor (includes $25 travel fee) plus $5 in material costs and this is what they did: grind the old weld, spot weld in 4 spots and spray paint.
          Is this a realistic charge? Seems ridiculous to me.
          cat
          When you asked a question such as this on an open forum, and then state something like saying it is ridiculous right up front before even getting your answer...well let's just say you were asking for it
          I remembered your stuff but couldn't remember if you was a guy or not. And I admit I was too lazy to go back and look.
          One thing you NEED to realize this is the internet not some private line that you own. You ask a question or whatever and you are gonna get all sorts of answers. You are not in charge of anything. Not even the thread you started.
          People can say whatever they feel.
          So your constant referring to thanking those who answered your question and stayed on topic and didn't annoy you with the facts means very little to me.
          SO in light of that I will state that I charge $100 per hr when I begin working...not driving or deciding if I will do the job or not.
          This includes all consumables. I more than likely would have gotten $100 for that job. But I doubt I would have done it.
          Oh and CAT, BTW...I somehow knew you couldn't resist coming back for the encore (sort'a fun ain't it? maybe yer skin is gittin' thicker all the while. Stick around and these guys will toughen you up even more)

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          • #50
            Cat seems to want to disregard the "lost opportunity cost" for doing mobile work. Mobile work is inherently "less cost effective" than the same job done in the shop, with all the right tools, and other work ongoing.

            From what CAT states (lives in a 2M community), I suspect she (and her girlfriend/partner) both "married well". She's not paying the tab to live there charging $1,300 for her work. I suspect her other half (notice I didn't say better half) is a professional and is doing quite well.

            Big difference when you're working for "play money" and when you're trying to pay the bills and keep food on the table for a family.

            Just my .02 (And it didn't cost a cent)
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            • #51
              True, I somehow doubt she is making a mortgage payment on a $2m house with $1300 artwork. Unless shes got an assembly line in her garage.

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              • #52
                to cat

                Hey i didnt know you wasnt a guy, sorry about that just trying to get some of these people who want to act like someone pissed in their cornflakes to calm down a little when asked a honest question didnt see anything wrong with the question asked. sorry if offended

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                • #53
                  "Cat Powered"

                  Originally posted by cat View Post
                  1. I am not a "guy"
                  2. I have been welding since 1987. I quit my engineering job to become an artist full time in 1992.
                  3. I'm on my second mig welder and 2nd and 3rd plasma cutters (am usually too busy to allow down time for repairs). I also have a band saw, pipe bender, drill press and a roller.
                  4. I do live in north Scottsdale in a private golf development where the average home price is over $2 million. Of the 600 lots in the development, I have done metal work for over 50 of them from fixing a broken weld on patio furniture to entry gates, f/p screens, lighting, and art pieces and more. Because I do not screw my "rich" clients, they keep introducing me to their neighbors. I have also made tee markers for the golf course for specific tournaments.
                  5. If anybody was curious enough, you could have looked in the Miller projects section to see some of my work.
                  6. I was a finalist in the Miller Challenge 2 years ago.
                  7. The glass person in the project that started this whole discussion is my "partner". We do a few joint projects with metal and fused glass. Her husband (a retired mover) packed the project and shipped it UPS. It was damaged in shipping. My partner offered to pay half the repair cost because she didn't want the hassle of going after UPS for damage. The piece had been made, handled thru powder coat, hauled around and packed. The weld was fine before it was shipped.
                  8. Thanks to the few who really did answer my question.
                  cat
                  CAT: Troon, Ashler Hills? That's nice you could quit a full time engineering job to pursue an art passion. If you've ever had the need to call an A/C, appliance, plummer or other mobile repairman, you know they have a "base" price for a service call. When one makes a LIVING through their trade, it's a matter of survival. When one elects to SUPPLEMENT their income with a "hobby" (e.g. artwork), economics are not the forefront, but rather secondary to their survival.

                  I'm very familiar with N. Scottsdale, the homes, clientel, etc. I did quite a bit of work up there in the late 90's.

                  Is MIG your only source of machine? You may want to consider a nice inverter TIG for your artwork. Better welds, less apt to break.

                  No one's "busting your chops," here, but as an engineer, you should have a better understanding of "the cost of doing business" than the average "Joe the Plummer." But, then again, "Joe the Plummer," is actually out there doing the work, trying to survive!

                  Have a nice day

                  Dave in Peoria
                  Last edited by davedarragh; 07-22-2009, 11:37 AM.
                  "Bonne journe'e mes amis"

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by davedarragh View Post
                    CAT: Troon, Ashler Hills? That's nice you could quit a full time engineering job to pursue an art passion. If you've ever had the need to call an A/C, appliance, plummer or other mobile repairman, you know they have a "base" price for a service call. When one makes a LIVING through their trade, it's a matter of survival. When one elects to SUPPLEMENT their income with a "hobby" (e.g. artwork), economics are not the forefront, but rather secondary to their survival.

                    I'm very familiar with N. Scottsdale, the homes, clientel, etc. I did quite a bit of work up there in the late 90's.

                    Is MIG your only source of machine? You may want to consider a nice inverter TIG for your artwork. Better welds, less apt to break.

                    No one's "busting your chops," here, but as an engineer, you should have a better understanding of "the cost of doing business" than the average "Joe the Plummer." But, then again, "Joe the Plummer," is actually out there doing the work, trying to survive!

                    Have a nice day

                    Dave in Peoria
                    I know a few Joe the plumbers who are in the upper 5 to to 1% of income earners and thats the way it should be ,Thats what makes our system great if you have the drive regardless of what your occupation you can do very well.Mike

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                    • #55
                      While pricing gives everyone the fits it is one of the most interesting aspects of any business. Some good stuff in this thread.

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                      • #56
                        When I was in the engine building and machine shop business I was always getting the work because I had the reputation and gave a good warranty.
                        I was too cheap. I can see that now. I scoffed at the high priced competition. I literally worked my tail into the ground untill I was sick of it. Never had enuff money.
                        If I had raised my prices according to what I now know, I would be much farther ahead today than I am. I had the business and people would have payed for ME to do the work...I know that now.
                        I wonder just how much of this the teach you in college?

                        www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
                        Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
                        MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
                        Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
                        Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

                        Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
                        Miller 30-A Spoolgun
                        Miller WC-115-A
                        Miller Spectrum 300
                        Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
                        Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400

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                        • #57
                          If your running a business you not only need to be charging enough to add new equipment to your shop and pay the shop overhead.You need to be making enough to pay all your personal bills and expenses without carrying any major debt,On top of that you need to be making enough profit to invest for your retirement whether it be An IRA or real estate whatever you choose.If you cant charge enough for that then you might as well have a job and work for someone else. I would bet there are a lot of welders out there who could raise their prices 25-30% from the current rate and their customers would not even blink.Mike

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                          • #58
                            One more thing I didnt clarify,IMO an advertising budget (included in shop overhead) is an important aspect of a business.You see the shops with the biggest ads in the phone book?If you see those same ads there year after year its because they work for them and they are probably getting the lions share of the work,for a lions share price.Phone books are expensive and there are a whole lot of other options out there,but IMO advertising is a big part of any succesful business.Mike

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by cat View Post
                              1. I am not a "guy"
                              2. I have been welding since 1987. I quit my engineering job to become an artist full time in 1992.
                              3. I'm on my second mig welder and 2nd and 3rd plasma cutters (am usually too busy to allow down time for repairs). I also have a band saw, pipe bender, drill press and a roller.
                              4. I do live in north Scottsdale in a private golf development where the average home price is over $2 million. Of the 600 lots in the development, I have done metal work for over 50 of them from fixing a broken weld on patio furniture to entry gates, f/p screens, lighting, and art pieces and more. Because I do not screw my "rich" clients, they keep introducing me to their neighbors. I have also made tee markers for the golf course for specific tournaments.
                              5. If anybody was curious enough, you could have looked in the Miller projects section to see some of my work.
                              6. I was a finalist in the Miller Challenge 2 years ago.
                              7. The glass person in the project that started this whole discussion is my "partner". We do a few joint projects with metal and fused glass. Her husband (a retired mover) packed the project and shipped it UPS. It was damaged in shipping. My partner offered to pay half the repair cost because she didn't want the hassle of going after UPS for damage. The piece had been made, handled thru powder coat, hauled around and packed. The weld was fine before it was shipped.
                              8. Thanks to the few who really did answer my question.
                              cat
                              Who cares what $ex you are? How is that related to this thread? We are all writing under some pseudonym (most) anyway.

                              You may not be screwing your rich clients but you surely are screwing yourself.

                              You chastise us for not being curious enough to find your Laurel Wreath? This smacks of arrogance of the rich.


                              That the weld was fine before shipping means nothing, it needed to be strong enough to survive shipping not just make it into the box.


                              You received 6 pages of answers that really did address you and your issue. The ones that did not give you the warm fuzzy you were looking for are the ones you should go back and reread. The prickly feeling is that fickle finger of fate telling you to listen.
                              Last edited by FATFAB; 07-24-2009, 12:30 PM.

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by urch55 View Post
                                In Florida west coast $50.00-$75.00 mobile service, based on one hour to do the job with travel time included....

                                Bob
                                I Charge $90/ hour shop rate, and $125/ hour portable.. The guy I learned from charges $100 shop rate, $ 200 portable. Every portable job is two guys though for him....

                                You cant give stuff away anymore, gas is expensive, **** everything is expensive, especially here on Long Island.
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