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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    313

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sberry View Post
    I had a bud that was a specialist but wasted his career trying to sell the "has run" parts of his business. He should have focused on his expertise instead of the common labor and got away from the thinking that if he was cheaper they would flock to the door, so sad really.
    One of the biggest mistakes I see new welders, any business for that matter, make is they figure that if they go in cheap then later on they can raise their prices.

    Biggest problem with that is you're going to get the price shopper. That means the next guy who comes in cheaper is either going to get your work or you're going to have to drop your price to keep the work.

    The second problem with that is the quality buyer is going to ignore you because you're not priced competively. They're going to figure you're going after the price shopper and your angle is cutting quality.

    A lot of very smart and very rich businessmen have got there based upon selling it at what you're planning on making from the start.

    I look at ornamental iron fence right now. Most of it is coming out of China and to be honest, the welder working in a small shop can't compete with it price wise and a lot of the time, quality wise. Companys are buying it by the container and it's the box store principles at work. Limited selection and cookie cutter installation.

    The stuff comes in eight feet sections. Anyone with a sawsall or portaband can cut it to fit between posts. Anyone with a 110 volt mig can weld it in with flux core wire. The finish is powdercoat and that's five times more durable than paint, ten times more durable it it's done by a welder in a shop in his backyard.

    A weldor can't pay his living expenses much less keeping equipment and insurance up on what you make at that price doing it that way. If you're making it all yourself you'll find yourself better off just handing the client money and running for your life.

    If you want to make a living doing that then you either have to do it faster and buy in larger quanities or find a product that they can't do. I got sixty five dollars a foot a couple of years ago for three and a half foot fence in between six foot fences that were installed for less than twenty dollars a foot. Mine was one off and the client jumped on it because they could.

    But I can't make a living just doing that kind of fence. That's because most clients don't want to pay four times as much for something that's custom made when they can get ornamental iron from a dozen sources a lot cheaper.

    The welders with a nest on the ground usually have a group of clients that don't want to pay the price of having an in house welding work force. So they hire out the welding to contractors they can depend upon for quality and timely service. A weldor with three or four of these clients can do pretty good most of the time. This isn't a most of the time time but having old clients who need work occasionally comes in handy.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Mpls, MN
    Posts
    464

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    Here are a couple things to think about.

    One is have a friend you trust call these other guys with a job you made up and get a quote from them to see where you are falling in with price. Some might think of this as sneaky but I see it as business. Target, Walmart, Best Buy ect all do this to each other and there is nothing wrong with it. I keep an excel spreadsheet with my competitions rates, so I know what I am playing against. My rates are not the cheapest or the most expensive.

    Second thing is are these big projects with written quotes? If they are you might be missing the work on professionalism.

    I recently got a job where I was the highest bidder because the customer felt I was the most professional and most competent.

    One last thing, I have noticed there are a lot of bottom feeders out there, what I mean are guys (or gals) welding for chump change, recently there was a ad on Craigslist here that was advertising MIG, and ARC welding for $20 an hour and TIG for $25 an hour. You might be loosing some work to these bottom feeders.

    -Dan
    Owner
    DW Metalworks LLC
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    Plus more tools then my wife will ever know about....

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    A State of Confusion
    Posts
    143

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    Quote Originally Posted by engnerdan View Post
    One last thing, I have noticed there are a lot of bottom feeders out there, what I mean are guys (or gals) welding for chump change, recently there was a ad on Craigslist here that was advertising MIG, and ARC welding for $20 an hour and TIG for $25 an hour. You might be loosing some work to these bottom feeders.

    -Dan

    Well I guess every one has their price they will settle for when times are hard!

    So the prices you mentioned does that make people think the lowball bid that the persons work is just that Cheap or not experienced enough?

    My bids are usually right with the other guys and I will admit higher at times
    But at the same time I have had to drop my price in order to have work.

    I have had to work for chump change also don't like doing it because they always expect it if they call you back but then that is also like working for an employer doing the same thing day In and day out for 12.00 an hour also

    Hope that don't make me a bottom feeder when I have to work for CC Iím just trying to pay the bills.

    Ok so with out going through a total break down of cost and hourly rate if any of you want to comment on this I am just trying to get a broad scope of what you would charge
    For letís say replacing the ball socket /tongue on a standard 16í utility trailer?? Just labor only.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    TAXACHUSSETTS
    Posts
    1,483

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    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.
    BB402D
    TB300D
    DIMENSION652
    MM250X
    MAXSTAR140
    S-32 FEEDER W/1260 IRONMATE FC/GUN
    HT/PWR-MAX1250 PLASMA

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    16919 Pole Rd. Brethren, MI 49619
    Posts
    4,395

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    Most people would get a 50$ bill if they cart it in. Its something I could do normally in way under an hour. I cut some people some slack for little stuff if its easy. I did a repair the other day and I talk to this guy while I was doing it, was worked on before I got it. When it come time to pay I said, I get 75 per but this is a 100$ job. He had a grasp of the skill factor in this case, didnt piss a second.
    Last edited by Sberry; 02-15-2010 at 04:20 PM.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    16919 Pole Rd. Brethren, MI 49619
    Posts
    4,395

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    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.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    A State of Confusion
    Posts
    143

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    Quote 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 itís 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 wonít use his way of wording it. But I just chalk him up as an idiot.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    TAXACHUSSETTS
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    1,483

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    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 at 06:09 PM.
    BB402D
    TB300D
    DIMENSION652
    MM250X
    MAXSTAR140
    S-32 FEEDER W/1260 IRONMATE FC/GUN
    HT/PWR-MAX1250 PLASMA

  9. #19

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    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

  10. #20

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    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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