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Old 06-07-2019, 09:26 AM
 
Location: SC
8,793 posts, read 8,157,503 times
Reputation: 12992

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I have a feeling that the cost of many services and merchandise in America would be much lower if people here were a little more DIY minded. But it seems that most don't want to be bothered - until they see the bill.

As an example, I was in the car dealership waiting for a part when I overheard a customer complaining about a $500 service charge for having a bulb changed. "I didn't expect it would cost this much!"

The more people are willing to have services "done" for them, the more service providers will increase prices. IMO, the cure for many price increases is to force service people to complete with "almost free" labor.

What is the last project or task around your house that you normally would have called a service company for, or an item that you could have purchased for a high price - that you actually ended up doing or making yourself?


How DIY are you?
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Florida
7,770 posts, read 6,376,660 times
Reputation: 15770
Agility becomes an issue as one ages. At 85 I no longer will get up on a ladder or strain to lift heavy objects.

In past years I replaced toilets, installed ceiling fans, light fixtures, outlets, etc.

Since our last move 4 years ago I have had plumbers and an electrician in for some jobs.

I still do some of the lighter jobs like replacing the door knobs with lever handles and changing light switches to rocker type.

In a condo apartment there is less of a place to work. I do miss having a garage.
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
8,712 posts, read 6,751,934 times
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What merchandise would be cheaper if we DIY'ed more? I can't make more than a tenuous connection.

But services - from cooking to basic maintenance to the easier levels of remodeling etc. - absolutely. I recently got a quote of $400 to trim a bush back from a sidewalk - big, as such jobs go, but even with inferior tools (I left my heavy gardening tools behind on the last move) it took me about an hour, and getting rid of the cuttings is taking some time, but I'm still $390 better off, counting the reward six-pack.

Life is expensive for other reasons, most of which have to do with that "merchandise."
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:51 AM
 
Location: The Triad
34,088 posts, read 82,920,234 times
Reputation: 43660
Quote:
Originally Posted by blktoptrvl View Post
I have a feeling that the cost of many services and merchandise in America
would be much lower if people here were a little more DIY minded.
But it seems that most don't want to be bothered - until they see the bill.
Some. Most though have done the math and believe it costs LESS to hire the help.

Even those who really do have the skills required would rather do something else
with that time off from work or are working and earning MORE than the help will.
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:59 AM
 
12,022 posts, read 11,562,088 times
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Why would you form any opinion based on what you overheard someone say? You don't have all the facts. If you're naive to accept the limited information on its face, it sounds like you also have limited experience with having your car serviced.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
8,712 posts, read 6,751,934 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lchoro View Post
Why would you form any opinion based on what you overheard someone say? You don't have all the facts.
Can I politely ask what color the sky is on your world?
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
23,656 posts, read 13,964,967 times
Reputation: 18855
Quote:
Originally Posted by blktoptrvl View Post
I have a feeling that the cost of many services and merchandise in America would be much lower if people here were a little more DIY minded. But it seems that most don't want to be bothered - until they see the bill.

As an example, I was in the car dealership waiting for a part when I overheard a customer complaining about a $500 service charge for having a bulb changed. "I didn't expect it would cost this much!"

The more people are willing to have services "done" for them, the more service providers will increase prices. IMO, the cure for many price increases is to force service people to complete with "almost free" labor.

What is the last project or task around your house that you normally would have called a service company for, or an item that you could have purchased for a high price - that you actually ended up doing or making yourself?


How DIY are you?

Was the bulb in the dash board? Those things usually do cost a lot because it takes so much work to get in there. Hence, I won't have any of those bulbs replaced until it is time for something really major to be done there.


AS IT IS, I learned the hard way, too, when I asked them to come fix the door bell.......and it was $100. Once burned, twice shy, and now I know.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
8,712 posts, read 6,751,934 times
Reputation: 13503
Quote:
Originally Posted by TamaraSavannah View Post
Was the bulb in the dash board? Those things usually do cost a lot because it takes so much work to get in there. Hence, I won't have any of those bulbs replaced until it is time for something really major to be done there.
OTOH, I had a Volvo XC90 that needed one of the two center brake light bulbs replaced. One worked fine and I wasn't concerned about the functionality of this entirely secondary indicator. Every time it was serviced, the writer tried to push me to have it replaced... for something like $67 or $107 or such. I had it on the list to do myself when... well, the car went to the ex.

A year later a service writer terrorized her into replacing it and I was b*tched at about it, halfway across the country. I told her, "[Our son] could have replaced it in five minutes with a $3 bulb."

So it goes both ways - some small jobs really are costly in time, but things like this, and the typical $60-75 charge for replacing the cabin air filter (which took me fifteen minutes on my Odyssey only because I didn't have a flat screwdriver at hand to pop the retainers easily) are simply gouging. Often high-pressure gouging. A kindly grandmother could replace either one.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:13 AM
 
1,914 posts, read 2,241,772 times
Reputation: 14573
I would rather maximize my own income and net worth by focusing my efforts at learning and doing on the things that interest me and for which I have the talent to accomplish.


I hate mowing the lawn and all the little tasks that go into maintaining attractive landscaping, so my yard always looked a little ratty until I reached a point where I could hire professionals to take care of it.


I have no interest in working on my car. I'm happy to pay trusted professionals to take care of it for me.


I understand how my car, my tools, and my appliances work, but I really have no interest in fixing them myself, nor do I have any desire to undertake home renovation projects myself.


I do not like most household DIY projects, so increasing my income and assets to be able to pay someone else to do all of that for me was a great motivator during my career.


My dad always said the best benefit of having money was the choices it provides. He was right. I focused on what I was good at so I could have the money to afford to pay others to do all the things I'm not good at and don't like doing. I'm grateful to be living in the present when there are people who are good at doing the things I cannot do or do not want to do, and I am happy to be able to make the choice to pay them for their skills.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
8,712 posts, read 6,751,934 times
Reputation: 13503
So there's no gradient between doing simple routine maintenance that costs you thousands a year, and doing major service or remodeling work? Your income-time is so precious that ten minutes to replace a bulb or fix a light switch is best done by someone else for an hour to several hours of your income?
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