For those who have seen my tweets this evening, you’ll know I am writing this post in sheer frustration at this industry and how it operates.
My frustration stems from earlier on in the day, when I went to go deliver a quote to a customer for a composite door and side light. I was quoting the door at £1350 for rosewood both sides, fully glazed side light with obscure glass. About right I thought. When I dropped the quote off, the customer thought we are rather expensive as they had another quote from another company for £900. NINE HUNDRED POUNDS! And this apparently included VAT and fitting!
Just to state right now. My frustration is does not come from losing the job. Business is brisk at the moment and one door isn’t going to make or break our year. My frustration is the sheer stupid pricing of some companies in our industry.
Our margin was less than a fifth on that contract. I kept costs as low as I could because I knew we were up against local competition who are renowned for undercutting. But there was no way we would have been able to match that. By the time you have taken away material cost, fitting, ancillaries, sales commission and VAT, what money is there left to make?
This industry really does make life difficult for itself and is intensely hypocritical. One the one hand we are all complaining about the lack of any decent profit margins on jobs, yet on the other hand there are companies that are STILL clearly pricing without any profit margin whatsoever! You either want to be in business or don’t! Do not play with the careers and jobs of you and your workforce and business in such a reckless and stupid manner.
These are come of the reactions to my tweets earlier on this evening:
@peterdoran01: Can’t be a recognised company. Is the customer getting a IBG ? I would suggest not. It’s a joke
@ChristopRussell: dirty. They just want to get the money in! Companies selling too cheap are the ones in trouble
@NigelGrantUpvc: Door stop int, door ? Far to cheap, ever for me. With low overheads !
So clearly, there is more than just me who thinks £900 for a door and side light with fitting and VAT is too cheap. Come on industry, get your act together! Stop being scared of 4 digit figures, grow a pair and get selling properly!
lets hope they go bust and dont phoenix. not good for the consumer or our industry but sadly most are price led.
i lost a job to a rival company the price they quoted was less than my trade prices they have greater buying power, but i know the price difference isnt that great, said company has phoenixed twice.
The only line to take here is that you get what you pay for, proper fitting and decent after sales service is more important than bargain basement pricing. What happens during the guarantee period is what you are remembered for, not whether you supplied and fitted a “cheap” product, people tend to forget how important a door is in terms of both security and energy efficieciency. They also forget that if the door fails to lock or unlock they are locked in or out of their own house. From the other side of the fence when you have paid £900… Read more »
We are quoting on a 10 x 5 double hipped with box gutter, in cluding 1 x bi-fold. The customer was moaning about the cost espeacially the cost of the groundwork which we sub out and put nothing on top. He came back a few times and then said he will get a quote on the base as he thought it may save him money. So i gave him a really really good price( we still make a bit of money) he then asks if we can trim a bit of to get it in his budget . And as… Read more »
going back with a written q for a door is beyond me why not q there and then with cost of petrol/time also too many sales people take customer word re other q cost i would have asked to look at the q and then tried to sell the difference you may be surprised i know its not as easy as it sounds but try it works
Lambretta1 – I was going back with a secondary quote. They rang me asking for a price for a different variation of a door I had already quoted them. Not a brand new quote. Anyway, we find a lot of our customers find our approach to not quoting on the night refreshing and feels a lot less hard-sell.
Will this industry never learn that to survive you need a margin! selling the Composite door and side panel at £900 is plain suicidal, with a 10 year guarantee it is obvious that you will have to attend at least once during the warranty period to repair or adjust, the average cost of a service call must be approching £70.00 with fuel and travel. I am sure that the company offering this ludricous price will probaly be unlikely to survive in this difficult market.
We’d want at least £1800 for that, and even then I wouldn’t be getting too excited about it.
To be honest, I don’t believe that was a genuine quote. Did the customer show you a written quote?
We get customers forwarding us quote emails from other companies and they sometimes change the amounts. We sometimes check these by contacting the other company (posing as a punter) and ask them for a price for the same product.