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Thread: Now, how much is that going to cost?

  1. #1
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    Now, how much is that going to cost?

    As I gain more experience doing repairs as a business, I've discovered that there's a distinct type of potential client, the type that calls you up, repeatedly, asking questions, particularly, "Now, how much would you charge to _____?"

    I've also noticed that these people tend to be the least likely ever to hire me to do actual work. But they seem to love to talk on the phone...

  2. #2
    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    HaaaHaaahaha... Ohhhh

    I'm a painting contractor by day. I get these calls ALL THE TIME. "How much to paint a room?" Followed by every question about what they'll end up expecting from the scab contractor they end up hiring. For a sheer novice (at anything) to ask a question like that is absurd. Anyone with a brain knows that if you DON'T know the in's and out's of a matter then any such question is like asking "How much water does it take to fill a swimming pool?"

    caller: How much water will it take to fill my pool?
    contractor: What size is your pool?
    caller: Well, it's about average size for a pool.
    contractor: Do you know the dimensions?
    caller: It's kind of round... And one end is twelve feet deep.
    contractor: I really need to know more to give you an answer.
    caller: Well... It's blue... Do you use hose water or some special water?
    "I've heard magic defined as "a technology you don't understand". By that aphorism, the folks in this forum are practicing wizards, able to summon AND control the lightning demon, and make charms to allow others to use the demon in certain ways." R.G.

    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

  3. #3
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    What I've managed never to do is to allow myself to get caught in the trap of giving an estimate sight-unseen, especially because I work on Hammonds and Leslies. You never know what kind of condition you're going to find them in or if the owner even really knows what model he has. Until you look inside, you don't know whether or not someone else had turned it into some kind of Frankenstein mess.

    Thus, my answer is always, "I need to see it first."

  4. #4
    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhodesplyr View Post
    What I've managed never to do is to allow myself to get caught in the trap of giving an estimate sight-unseen, especially because I work on Hammonds and Leslies. You never know what kind of condition you're going to find them in or if the owner even really knows what model he has. Until you look inside, you don't know whether or not someone else had turned it into some kind of Frankenstein mess.

    Thus, my answer is always, "I need to see it first."
    I get that same deal on Pickups.
    How much to rewind my pickup.
    I usually tell them about $10 more than a new one.
    They say well I got the old one all you have to do is rewind it.
    They say I would rewind it but I don't have the winder, wire, or the know how.
    Most of the folks that really buy something tell you wnat they need then at the very end want an estimate.
    Good Thread!
    B_T
    Technicians Run the World, but Bankers, Lawyers, and Accountants, Take All The Credit!
    Keep Rockin! B_T
    Terry

  5. #5
    Senior Member Enzo's Avatar
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    I always tell them to bring it in so I can see what it needs.


    "How much will it cost?"


    "I dunno, how long is a piece of string?"
    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

  6. #6
    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    caller: Can you tie four knots in my piece of string?
    contractor: I don't know. How long is it?
    caller: About average length...
    "I've heard magic defined as "a technology you don't understand". By that aphorism, the folks in this forum are practicing wizards, able to summon AND control the lightning demon, and make charms to allow others to use the demon in certain ways." R.G.

    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

  7. #7
    Senior Member Enzo's Avatar
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    I know I have told this before but...

    Caller: Hi, is my amp ready?

    Me: Um, which amp might that be?

    C: It's a guitar amp.

    M: Can you be a bit more specific? Can you describe it?

    C: It's black.

    M: OK, Maybe like the brand?

    C: Fender.

    M: Ah. Let me try a different way. What is your name?

    C: Bob.


    I swear on a stack of Bibles, I had that conversation with someone once.
    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

  8. #8
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    I'm note sure if it's just the current state of the economy, but I seem to be getting more "shoppers" than I used to. I've been working by myself again, (my daughter helps some). I tell people it will be 3 weeks before I could look at their vehicle, can you have it down that long? "Well no, but they would still like an estimate", I tell them it takes time to figure one, and if I'm not going to see the car, I don't have the time to waste.
    From the comments, you would think I just insulted their mother!

  9. #9
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    I often find that most people just want a general idea on how much something is going to cost, I always say I`m going to need to see the item but will also give them an idea of the price range. If they ring up and say "my amp doesn`t work, how much will it cost?" I`ll tell them it will range between 30 and about 200, most seem happy with that and then send over the item.

    Just be honest and straight forward with them and if they are not time wasters and actually want the amp fixed they`ll respond positively.

    emailers are by far the worst time wasters, quite often you`ll respond and they don`t even email back, I think they want all there repairs done for a few pence.

  10. #10
    Ted
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    And then you get the "my mate says it just needs a new valve" callers who get annoyed when you won't quote a price without actually seeing the amp.

  11. #11
    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted View Post
    And then you get the "my mate says it just needs a new valve" callers who get annoyed when you won't quote a price without actually seeing the amp.
    Necro thread, but still a good one and a funny point to make. And it's like that in every service industry. People often seem to think that just because you're trained you are also clairvoyant. As a painting contractor I get this sort of thing on many levels. "It's a 1400 sq ft ranch style house. How much to paint it?" Yeah, right. Likewise with schedules. If it's an exterior in, say, the month of October, when it rains off and on... "How long will it take? Can it be done in two weeks?" Well, I don't know because a God like command over the weather didn't come with my contractors license.
    "I've heard magic defined as "a technology you don't understand". By that aphorism, the folks in this forum are practicing wizards, able to summon AND control the lightning demon, and make charms to allow others to use the demon in certain ways." R.G.

    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

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