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Old 03-06-2013, 09:26 PM   #1
OrdinaryAvgGuy
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Default Home improvement salesmen rant

I'll have to admit, I am a bit wet behind the ears when it comes to hiring a contractor to complete home improvement or repair.

I purchased my first house 5 or so years ago and almost always performed all repairs and upgrades myself.

One day, I decided that I was tired of cleaning my gutters out and looked into gutter guards. I priced them out at Lowe's and then for the heck of it, let a couple guys come out and tell me how much they would charge to put on their super premium, never clog, top of the line gutter guards over my existing gutters.

I sat through the sales pitch once again when I had to replace the AC unit in another house. Recently, I had some estimates for a new roof.

There is one thing that they all had in common and that is they all have slimy salesmen that are masters at bending you over and attempting to cram a contract with a huge sticker price straight up your sphincter. I mean these guys make used car salesmen look like saints.

In almost every case, I was able to get the initial bid down 50% or more.

Having experienced this, I can't help but wonder how successful these salesmen are at sticking it to folks everyday. They must get quite a few if they continue the same tactics.

I mean, who really pays the full amount of an initial estimate?

I understand these guys have to make a living life everyone else but damn, give me a break here.

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Old 03-06-2013, 09:35 PM   #2
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I mean, who really pays the full amount of an initial estimate?
People do, that is what keeps them doing it this way. Otherwise everyone would pay the 60% or so price and no haggling or salesmen would be involved.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:35 PM   #3
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Idk man....I feel you. Any salesman paid commission is like this. Im a plumbing contractor, we're old school...no flat rate. We don't pay our employees commission either- but we hear/see customer experiences from dealings they've had with companies like youre describing.

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Old 03-06-2013, 09:35 PM   #4
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I mean, who really pays the full amount of an initial estimate?
Probably a surprising number of people. Bargaining is akin to confrontation for most people.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:45 PM   #5
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Truly amazing.

Instead of telling a salesman no and hurting his or her feelings, they would rather pay thousands of (hard earned) dollars more than they have to.

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Old 03-06-2013, 09:49 PM   #6
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The least impressive, least knowledgeable and least helpful salespeople work by the hour imo ... but then again I am a commission salesman so I might be biased ..

If you don't like to negotiate the price (many do like to) just tell the salesman that right from the start ... if he then gives you a price you aren't willing to pay, walk out and tell the next salesman what happened with the previous one. And in this day and age anyone in the market for a large ticket item/service should already know the going price in their area, before they sit down with a salesman

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Old 03-06-2013, 09:55 PM   #7
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as a seasoned car salesman I can tell you first hand we are just trying to make a paycheck. usually we have no control over pricing or profit margins. In my experience even honest salesmen get baraded for being shady by cheap customers who have no idea what the product their buying cost to develop nor produce.

When it comes down to it, it's a chicken and egg problem. Customers demand lower prices due to a lack of trust of the salesmen or company, so the company adjusts by boosting their profit margins (increasing price above cost).

We changed our pricing recently to compete with online retailers which meant that profit margins that used to be in the $3k-$5k range are now in the 1k-2k range or less. however most of our customers still expect the large 2-3k discounts after first pencil. What this proves is that most consumers aren't educated and don't do their research on prices. they just assume we're crooks, even though we have the lowest prices in the local market.

What I have found to be true is that if you are an educated consumer and have realistic expectations (know what things cost, do your research), you can walk away with a good deal. but if you are rude and aggressive to the salesman, they'll wont be inclined at all to do you any favors.

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Old 03-06-2013, 09:55 PM   #8
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Truly amazing.

Instead of telling a salesman no and hurting his or her feelings, they would rather pay thousands of (hard earned) dollars more than they have to.
That isn't it, they just don't know. I am not saying that this a majority. You can also haggle on mattresses, stereos and TV's, refrigerators, most anything.

If you are at sears or best buy, they will probably look at you like you are crazy, but at a mattress store? Almost NO ONE pays "A full pop" otherwise known as "Sticker Price" when I worked that crappy job.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:09 PM   #9
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If a contracting company has a salesman that should tell you something right there,they're bloated and overpriced.Look into hiring a reputable contracter that the owner/project manager/estimator comes down and talks to you face to face.A job like yours is usually estimated on square footage for labor + the cost of material.I havn't done a roof for a while but I think the going rate is $350-$400 a square(10'x10') area.
Good luck!!!

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Old 03-06-2013, 10:21 PM   #10
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If a contracting company has a salesman that should tell you something right there,they're bloated and overpriced.Look into hiring a reputable contracter that the owner/project manager/estimator comes down and talks to you face to face.A job like yours is usually estimated on square footage for labor + the cost of material.I havn't done a roof for a while but I think the going rate is $350-$400 a square(10'x10') area.
Good luck!!!
$350 to $400 a square? Either your a roof salesman or prices are over inflated in Boston. From what I gathered, the going rate here in NC is $175 to $200 per square - stripped, underlay, flashed, 30 year architectural shingles.
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