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View Poll Results: Cheap or Good?
Cheap 10 24.39%
Good 31 75.61%
Voters: 41. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-30-2009, 11:45 AM
 
Location: NW San Antonio
214 posts, read 442,940 times
Reputation: 123

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Quote:
Originally Posted by scuba steve View Post
The other thing I've noticed recently is that the more reputable companies seem to be really busy despite the hard times. How are the other ones doing...?
They are calling us to see if we are hiring.
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Old 05-30-2009, 01:42 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
322 posts, read 688,943 times
Reputation: 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reallybigshoe View Post
Which is stealing, of course.
Would you really have taken a $50 or $100 job???? Or would you be the guy trying to convince her she needs to spend 350 or 500$ -- to cover your overhead?

I'm a computer guy. If I teach computer classes in the evening is that stealing too?

I'm really not sure why I continue to post on this thread... you really have a chip on your shoulder about this topic... nothing I say, or anyone else it seems, can change your opinion on it. You won't win every job. You won't always have the right price... and you seem to take it really personal...

don't worry, be happy

-- Sorry, I didn't see the part about "using the boss' tools." I can agree that if they aren't tools that he paid for out of his own pocket then yeah, that's stealing.
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Old 05-30-2009, 04:43 PM
 
29,988 posts, read 47,203,139 times
Reputation: 15886
right now we are considering three different people to do redo our front flower beds for house we bought in December because the beds have some icky plants in them

two of them are landscape contractors--with irrigation sidelines and rock work and stuff-- and one is the yard man from our old house--definitely not a landscaping contractor but knows plants...

two of the people gave us a fairly detailed list of plants/diagram of where to plant them and half of what they gave us were things we did not want--wrong color, wrong size, too many plants in the bed or something we did not want changed---and I spent 30 min to an hour with both people talking to them about colors and plants and what we wanted...

their bids were 4400, 3600 for what they said would be 1 days work or maybe two if one of the guys does do rock edging around the beds--and they did not agree on the best way to amend the beds for better soil than they have now--and neither one took a soil sample to test for PH...

my landscape guy said he would get the plants at his cost for us and just charge us for the labor and we could go to the nursery to pick out the plants together...all I had to do was decide on what we wanted...

why should I pay twice or three times as much as I need to--just to keep somone in business...
that is not MY job...
my job is to do the best I can for me...
just because something is less expensive does not mean it is not good quality...and just because you pay more does not mean it was worth it...
I have had mediocre meals in expensive restaurants and great meals at less expensive ones...
just like other products--it just depends on who/what you buy and knowing how to tell good from bad...
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Old 05-30-2009, 05:50 PM
 
Location: NW San Antonio
214 posts, read 442,940 times
Reputation: 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by deek102 View Post
Sorry, I didn't see the part about "using the boss' tools." I can agree that if they aren't tools that he paid for out of his own pocket then yeah, that's stealing.
Yeah, that was all I was referring to.

I honestly do not have a chip on my shoulder. I do fine and enjoy what I do. I'm not in this for the money, or I'd have 1000000 subs and get real good at pointing my finger.

I would have taken the post job for $125 if the customer approached me from across the street. This would have covered a trip charge and the two hours it would take me to do this properly. $50 for two trips is no good, and it's been proven as the installation was not done right. Luck at best is what's being hoped for as far as how long that post will last.
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Old 05-30-2009, 05:57 PM
 
Location: NW San Antonio
214 posts, read 442,940 times
Reputation: 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by loves2read View Post
I have had mediocre meals in expensive restaurants and great meals at less expensive ones...
This is the best post from the 'other side' of the debate so far. I should note here that I am a lot more like your landscape guy than those companies you're talking about. It's been a long time since I've even hired someone to help me.

The difference between the guy you are plugging and the guy who installed the post for the individual from the other thread is that you previously saw your guy's work and know he comes through for you. The fence post guy was a random worker pulled from the street based on the cheapest price imaginable. I would also say that your guy is going to give you a better price because you have become a proven, paying, good customer in his eyes. First time customers are like first time contractors - you don't know if you can depend on them for their side of the agreement.

Much different.

I just put in 65'x6" in stone planter border for $1400. Does this price seem fair? It took me only two days. Does this mean I made $1400 in a 15 hours? Not even at the farthest leap of the imagination. I paid $300 for the stone, $75 for the sand to set the stone in, $50 for the gravel that went behind it to allow the area to drain, and made 3 trips with my truck on material runs, plus the 30 miles to get out there in the first place and the 30 miles back, both days. I used a full tank ($45) plus wear and tear on my truck (the outside of my bed was damaged by the gravel, so who knows what the paint touch up would cost). I did all the work myself and will be warrantying that construction for the next 5 years, so my expenses are not final. As it sits right now I made $50 per hour before taxes, SS, insurance on my truck, wear on my equipment, etc, etc.

It is not anyone's responsibility to keep me in business, it is my own. I therefor charge what I must to stay in business and make it worth while for me to do the kind of work I do. I know that I will not be able to do this work forever as it takes a toll on my body, but for now I am more than willing to work hard out in the sun so that my customers do not have to.

I am getting a lot of PMs supporting my stance on here, but some people seem to think I am whining or complaining about migrant workers and cheap customers. I am here to have a discussion. I am the farthest thing you can imagine from a whiner or complainer. Most people do not understand that.

Last edited by Reallybigshoe; 05-30-2009 at 06:10 PM..
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Old 05-30-2009, 05:58 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
322 posts, read 688,943 times
Reputation: 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reallybigshoe View Post
I just put in 65'x6" in stone planter border for $1400. Does this price seem fair?
there is no way to answer that question
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Old 05-30-2009, 07:26 PM
 
897 posts, read 2,615,883 times
Reputation: 595
Quote:
two of the people gave us a fairly detailed list of plants/diagram of where to plant them and half of what they gave us were things we did not want--wrong color, wrong size, too many plants in the bed or something we did not want changed---and I spent 30 min to an hour with both people talking to them about colors and plants and what we wanted...
That must have been really aggravating to have wasted all that time with these landscaping contractors and have them present you with plans that didn't take into consideration your input. Your landscape guy sounds like someone I'd rather deal with.
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Old 05-31-2009, 12:01 PM
 
29,988 posts, read 47,203,139 times
Reputation: 15886
it was very frustrating to see what they came up with when they were supposed to be the professionals

and actually I have called my landscaping/yard man three times since Friday and gotten no call back--
we went by our old house that is not sold and he did do the yard this week--I am starting to worry that he is either sick or maybe gone to Mexico--voluntarily or un-voluntarily--I have never asked his Migra status...
so because we want to move forward with the beds (it is getting hot in DFW and we can't want too long to plant new stuff)...don't know how long we can just wait to hear from him...

and frankly yes--the 1400 to do what you did seems fair price even if it was just two days of work because you supplied the materials and all labor including transportation costs...but you would have saved time/effort by having the stone yard deliver materials even if it there would have been a charge and I don't know if you did the math on that...frankly if you found some people to work fairly cheaply under your supervision so that you could finish faster and then get more work--that would seem to be more profitable in long run...

we paid our yard guy 800 bucks to remediate spots in back yard at our old house where the people who build low concrete retaining wall had not done proper job of backfilling and we were losing yard to erosion--and they supplied only 1 maybe 2 cubic yards of gravel and used some shade cloth I had...so it was mainly labor costs--he had 4 guys working for him and it took them two days--
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Old 05-31-2009, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Houston
5,372 posts, read 2,726,765 times
Reputation: 3329
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reallybigshoe View Post
I need to add here that obviously pricing is going to be affected by convenience for the contractor. The guy that was hired for the post was already there. I would have taken a $75 trip charge off for this. If the home owner didn't want me to wait to set the post (which I would have advised as improper) then that'd be another $75 off for not having to come back, but I would have dropped my warranty on that installation.

Where I am going with this is that you do get discounts for convenience, but after that you start edging into quality and care. I will turn people down when their price goals force me below a certain level of quality, but I'm not going to work for free - so if the price is going down, it's 50/50 that we are negotiating an easier, hastier process. I do everything I can to inform my customers of the effects of downgrading, but not all contractors have that courtesy - especially the hungry ones that are hurting for work.
$75 trip charge? Really? And labor on top of that? Does it really take $75 to drive over to someone's house to do a job? I don't think so. That's the biggest ripoff I've seen in a while.
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Old 05-31-2009, 12:39 PM
 
897 posts, read 2,615,883 times
Reputation: 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahzzie View Post
$75 trip charge? Really? And labor on top of that? Does it really take $75 to drive over to someone's house to do a job? I don't think so. That's the biggest ripoff I've seen in a while.
I was thinking the same thing. I know some businesses charge them, but I never would have thought of a landscape business doing this.
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