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Job Pricing Issues I'M In a depressed slump.

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  • #16
    If you depend on walkins you dont want to run them off, you want repair to be a viable option vs new but you don't want to leave money on the table either. Pricing takes experience and is both an art and science, not many get it right all the time.
    People are all different, some people with real money are the biggest pizz and moan types and I am not shy with those, some that are poor and work hard don't blink and I am sensitive to that. I used to cut everyone a bit but now often price up a bit even if just to make extra 10 on something, usually don't make much of a deal to them but over several little things it adds up to you as the service provider.
    For side work I really do more auto repair than welding anymore and I pretty much cherry pick customers and do what they need. I don't up sell useless work. One of my good types comes the other day wants some helper springs and new shocks on a pickup. I sell him the springs but tell him the shocks are fine, but I did sell him a broken exhaust bracket repair for extra 25 it took 10 minutes to fix, made easy few bucks but save the man a future exhaust so I don't rob him. They understand this and often drop car off and I make judgments about what it needs.
    Had one other day with bad running, spark plug wire was at fault but didn't even call him and changed out plugs and wire set, while I was there I change out a belt that seen its better days and fix a piece of body trim. Charged 25 for looking at brakes (not a free inspection) and another 25 for general inspection, I just as soon make easy 25 and tell him they good to go for 20K yet, will get it back when it DOES need them. I charge for that look over but the customer benefits, he didn't buy anything he didn't need.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by admweld View Post
      That ball socket job on a trailer is about a 1hr or 1-1/2hr at most.$80-$140 dollars.Travel time not included in that price.
      Ok its like I was saying rite there in price with the other guy's and sometimes a bit higher

      I gave these people a est. of 75.00 just for the ball socket and 25.00 for putting the new lift jack if they need it.

      Now if they want me to salvage the old lift jack and reuse it, it would be 140.00 in labor

      And that is if they bring it to me if I have to go to them then I charge a bit more just depending on the distance I have to travel usually they are some distance from me but usually not more than 50-60 miles.

      But yet 3 out of five moaned and groaned one even e-mailed me back telling me no one could afford to pay that it to simple of a job to do so to speak wont use his way of wording it. But I just chalk him up as an idiot.

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      • #18
        If i had to travel 60 miles thats about 45min.Another 60 on top of the price i said.Could i get this job done in under 1hr Yes if all goes good i could R/R that coupler in 45 min.Still would charge 1hr 80 bucks.Igot to cover my expenses,equipment wear,fuel,rods,"Insurance/liabilty" which many guys have none.And you can not compete with these guys out there in pu trucks with a bobcat welding at $50/hr, don,t even try.I wouldn,t even place myself in there league.I,m equiped a 100 times better for speed and quality of my work,and to look professional not some hack.
        Last edited by admweld; 02-15-2010, 05:09 PM.

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        • #19
          Not to be contrite; but why don't you simply tell the prospective customer that you guarantee to exceed your competitors, both in price and quality. Hard to beat satisfaction guaranteed..I know this is not some psychobabble...but it is how I base my business model. If I feel if I can't do the job better than anyone else I do not take it on. And the word "Better" is a relative term, meaning beat prices, overall satisfaction, higher standard of design, workmanship, time frame, many variables, etc...
          And an also simple question to the prospectus.."what do I need to do to get your business?"

          enough said

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          • #20
            Let me see if I can give an opinion with out steping o toes.

            Everyone is kinda bottom feeding now days.
            Shops had their heads in the clouds and could pick and choose their work.
            Now that the crunch is on, they are doing anything to stay alive.

            For many years I made a good living taking on what big shops turned their nose up at. Yes, I was one of those that had a Bobcat in the back of a pickup truck. I charge $50.00 just to weld and repair. I've had to quit fabing because of steel prices.

            Their is only so low you can go on pricing or sit at the house.
            Lots of times a company will "hunt" someone to low ball something so they can throw it in someones face they want to do the work just to get a lower price or get you to quote a 1,000 peices, then come back and tell you they had to cut the order back and want 10 peices at the 1,000 peice price.

            Times are hard and they are going to get worse for the "little" guys.

            Michael

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            • #21
              Crazy, you said you were in a slump. The telephone sales game is always a crap shoot at the best of times.

              Here's my thought for a slump breaker.

              Claim you are having a blonde day! Tell him your rate is $100/hour or whatever you charge, but, you can't figure out whether it would be 1 hours or 2 hours. Tell him you're in the neighborhood and pop by to take a look and see if it's one that you've 'figured out' how to do it quickly. Look at the project, him and haw, stroke your beard and tell him a 'real' price. You will get 80-95% of those jobs, because your estimate is a 'real' estimate based on viewing the job.

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              • #22
                I agree, hard to quote stuff you cant see over the phone.

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                • #23
                  Dang hard to quote over the phone. Once you throw out a ballpark price they wanna put you in a box. I like to give a high and a low for them to mull over.
                  When and if they show up you have made them and you a gambler....they are betting on the low price and you are looking for ways to make more.
                  It beats not having them show up eve,r but not by much.
                  As for the phone book.....well I kind'a got lucky on that one. I get those calls when no one else does.
                  Aluminum is the "middle" name in the title of my business. Therefore when they look in the yellow pages they go down the list....and I start with "o", and they see aluminum they always call me first out of about 20 some other shops. I am certain of this. I ask new customers every time how they got my name. Most say the phone book if it wasn't a referrral. I found this out by accident but if I every was to start a new biz I would make this a hard and fast rule.
                  If you wanna weld mostly trailers then call yourself "Joe's Trailer welding" etc..
                  My phone was basically dead last month, but I still took in as much or more than I would'a if I had been working a local job for wages doing unskilled labor.
                  It is hard not to cave in and work too cheap when it is slow, but if you do then when it gets busy they will expect you to remain cheap. You are better off to charge more when it is slow (and I am doing just that when I can)
                  Other shops are dying on the vine and who ever is left when the economy breaks will be the first guy to the bank!
                  All that said, I am myself just about 30 days from broke. It's ok to pray for yourself you know

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                  • #24
                    I absolutely will not give an estimate over the phone. No job, or potential job, is that important.

                    About the OP's pricing questions, you have to price yourself according to your capabilities and abilities, both your equipment and your skills. Also consider the type of work you want to get ....

                    Personally, in 20-something years of being in this business, I never worried or cared much what the competition was doing, I always based my price on what some of my suppliers were charging, both in-house and outside work. At least two of these suppliers, all the outside work is done by me, so THEIR price is based on my price. Don't have to be sneaky to find out, prices are posted right inside the door. Also, if any question, I just have to ask, straight out.
                    Last edited by JSFAB; 02-16-2010, 01:04 PM.

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                    • #25
                      I shot my mouth off over the phone a while back, didn't need to and the guy didn't bite. Its a job I had courted a bit but now he likely found it cheaper before he got the chance to see my genius in action,, hahaha

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                      • #26
                        Berry, don't get mad, get even.

                        Case in point, last grape harvest had to redo the belt-drive on one side of a grape harvestor,,,, Did it in one day, had to improvise a bit, but it's all fine, harvestor was ready to go that night. Customer called me a few weeks ago, need to do the other side (same hours), I put him off for now .... so he had somebody else help him. Fine, except for the fact it cost him a $400 hydraulic motor, that was destroyed in the process. Believe me, if there is a problem with that side in the middle of harvest next season, and he calls me, the price goes up.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by JSFAB View Post
                          Berry, don't get mad, get even.

                          Case in point, last grape harvest had to redo the belt-drive on one side of a grape harvestor,,,, Did it in one day, had to improvise a bit, but it's all fine, harvestor was ready to go that night. Customer called me a few weeks ago, need to do the other side (same hours), I put him off for now .... so he had somebody else help him. Fine, except for the fact it cost him a $400 hydraulic motor, that was destroyed in the process. Believe me, if there is a problem with that side in the middle of harvest next season, and he calls me, the price goes up.
                          Not to hijack the thread...
                          I had a contractor call one time with some loose shoes on a big frontend loader.
                          Didn't think a thing about it, drove to the sight (one hour each way) and got informed that he was only going to pay $20.00 a shoe to get them welded back on.
                          I was their and into it for fuel (had to get that back) Hmmmm 3 loose shoes $60.00 bucks. Cleaned up the shoes, reached into the rod box pulled out the box of stainless steel, welded them back in. Harrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!
                          Three weeks later, he shows up on the front porch yelling and screaming about it costing him $200.00 to get the shoes cut out (carbon arc) and another $200.00 to get new shoes welded on.
                          1st question, Did the shoes come loose. Welllllll no.
                          2nd question, How come you didn't call me. Welllllll, I let a buddy do it.
                          Their's the street my friend.
                          Moral of the story, more than one way to skin a cat, errrr rat.

                          Michael

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                          • #28
                            That is a good one, worth remembering. I am not pizzed I didn't get the job, it was my own fault, I really didn't need to say anything, I had already said I couldn't quote it till I saw the thing and then it just kind of popped out of my mouth.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Michael Rogers View Post
                              Not to hijack the thread...
                              I had a contractor call one time with some loose shoes on a big frontend loader.
                              Didn't think a thing about it, drove to the sight (one hour each way) and got informed that he was only going to pay $20.00 a shoe to get them welded back on.
                              I was their and into it for fuel (had to get that back) Hmmmm 3 loose shoes $60.00 bucks. Cleaned up the shoes, reached into the rod box pulled out the box of stainless steel, welded them back in. Harrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!
                              Three weeks later, he shows up on the front porch yelling and screaming about it costing him $200.00 to get the shoes cut out (carbon arc) and another $200.00 to get new shoes welded on.
                              1st question, Did the shoes come loose. Welllllll no.
                              2nd question, How come you didn't call me. Welllllll, I let a buddy do it.
                              Their's the street my friend.
                              Moral of the story, more than one way to skin a cat, errrr rat.

                              Michael
                              I love it!

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Well Guys I wanted to say Thank you to all of you who chimed in on this

                                I do the leg work as well as the phone work to try to keep work coming in
                                It has been really hard in the last couple of years for me going through a lot of transitions
                                With health and financial issues not to mention starting over.

                                Welding really is not something new to me but all have enlightened me as to how the welding industry has changed in the way people think and do business how they pick who they will hire for a job as well as how to decide on the type of jobs a welder will want to take on. And that I should stick to my price but it’s ok to bend within reason
                                To keep the work coming, with out taking a job that would just be nothing more than free labor I mean I know I’m an ok guy and skilled enough to make any customer happy with my work and I always try to exceed their expectations, but I’m not so ok I can afford to give my skills/labor away for free. Well enough about that for now.

                                The good thing is I have had a few people call me today who have decided to accept my bids on work they were needing, “all in house work” which will make me some $$ hopefully it will help keep the mortgage company off my butt for a weeks or two I Hope!

                                So thanks Again Guys your input has been helpful.

                                CH!
                                Last edited by CrazyHorse!; 02-17-2010, 06:21 PM.

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