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Undercut by cowboys?

Do you ever find yourself undercut on price by what obviously must be a cowboy outfit?I just had a reply to a quote I gave for a job saying somebody had quoted around 75% less for the same job and they were choosing them! (also given the fact that a large part of this job was to fix what the previous cowboys had cocked up there is a hint of irony about it..) Now considering the material costs alone for the job in question far exceed what this other person had quoted to do the entire job and in fact less even than I was charging for labour, I can only assume that they are a cowboy outfit who a) Won't do the job properly and b) have a lot of hooky material laying about.How do you deal with this kind of thing? All I have done is to politely warn the customer of the unrealistically low offer and some potential pitfalls associated with the job not being done properly.I personally find it very frustrating when this is a standard bread & butter type job.

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Replies

            • PRO

              These are the same old people asking what time does Tesco's open etc.. :-(

              • PRO

                What is this Facebook thingy I hear so much of ?

                • PRO

                  Accordingly to my lads in the van its all about instagram and snapchat - maybe they don't want me to know what they get up to :-)

                  • PRO
                    Who are they Graeme? With names like instagram and Snapchat they've gotta be hip hop DJ's ? ;-)
                    • PRO

                      You could well be right and apparently I am related to one of them as I'm his Bruv!!! :-( These guys talk in a strange language

    • I didn't overprice or add too much onto the job for certain. Now that's not to say I'm the cheapest or the most expensive around the area either ( I'm not one to cut corners as I'd rather a decent rep) and I could perhaps understand being undercut by a little on the job, as occasionally it happens, but for such a margin it was a bit of a shocker.
  • My son was in privately owned uni halls last year. He said the grounds were maintained by a team of polish who were obviously undercut by another outfit who replaced them and were not exactly out of the top drawer as it were.

  • PRO

    I too use Facebook to keep a "living" project gallery indicating where I have been working (hoping for more jobs in that area) - and something for people that view it - to easily forward to friends as an example of what I do - it has worked for me, and it's free, unless you promote something - which I don't do now.

    But on the subject of Cowboys - I used to get all disgruntled... but I too just smile and drive on by.

    A perfect example came up the other day on FB - I was asked to quote on a job last year as a result of a FB enquiry, at the most it was about a week's hard work, I priced it at around £750 from memory, the person didn't proceed .... (I was apparently too expensive) -

    There is now a public post on all the local FB selling sites (copy below)  it looks to be the same job and as opposed to a wheelbarrow and spade someone has convinced her a mini digger is the way forward to level a small area of ground... it looks as if they have turned it into La Somme and then done a runner, with far more than I was quoting. 

    I'm tempted to go back to her,.... but to be honest I can't be bothered and I don't have the time to do the job on top of which it looks as if she has spent all her money.

  • PRO Supplier

    If the customer doesn't understand or has unrealistic expectations, they're not going to be a good customer to work with. When this happens, consider yourself lucky you didn't start the job!

  • i detail all quotes in fine detail, so client can compare like for like. if at the end of it they say i got someone for several hundred pounds cheaper i dont lose sleep over it and move on... the only ones who grind me are the ones who want work rectified through a cowboy and then when i give them a price they say oh i got a chap off facebook cheaper! serves them right but wish theyd stop wasting my time looking for professional opinon if knowing they are going to go with the cheapest option on the table

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