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Don't you just love....?

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by James Burke, May 8, 2019.

  1. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    Don't you just love it when a customer drops the name of a competitor AND freely shares the lower quote they received?

    For a $550 job, my competitor will travel a total of 200 miles more in his drive than I will (all said, he's traveling a total of 270 miles round trip). He's already lost money with just travel time and mileage alone.


    JB
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
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  2. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Some people are either really screwed up with their math or the guy is lying to you. I wouldn't wanna go that far for anything, unless I was being paid well...... r-e-a-l-l-y well.
     
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  3. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

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    I like when they email you the competitors entire bid sheet to quote against.
     
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  4. fresh

    fresh Very Active Member

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    "would you mind sharing the measurements of the sign?"
     
  5. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    I can't share the nature of the project, but I strongly suspect the customer will be an extremely pushy PITA...thanks to the "Amazon" culture we live in today.

    JB
     
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  6. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    That's an old trick. I know of two sign shops around here, who will put the wrong measurements in their quotes on purpose. Generally 2" too small, especially on electric sign faces. Never go by that stuff, unless it's for quoting purposes only. Go physically check each and every sign for yourself...... or just be prepared.
     
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  7. Stacey K

    Stacey K Getting Back in the Game

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    200 miles? Who drives that far to install a sign? I would be too scared I would mess something up and have to drive back to the shop. I suppose it depends what type of job it is.
     
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  8. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    I've always thought about doing something like this myself, but I'd be too worried I'd get the job and somebody here would use those to f.ck it all up. Like my old man says, I don't need to try to make trouble for anyone else, I make enough for me already.
     
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  9. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    I've done bank hours 90 miles away several times. Since they are paying for drive time at $50-85/hr (pickup vs one man bucket), I usually cut two of everything just in case. Banks can be very loyal, or they can turn on you and you end up quoting installs for some substandard signage out of NC.
     
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  10. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Ya just hafta be careful.

    Here's one from back in the 80's. We had a nice gig going with a complete outlet complex around here. They had literally 100's of stores. We did the signs for the management and they would give our name to the tenants as the new ones would come in. We weren't the authorized shop, but it was understood we gave the best prices, service and quality compared to others in the area. After doing this for about 7 or 8 years, a new guy came to town. I'll never forget the name 'Egan Signs'. Buncha brokers who acted like they did the work themselves. Bob, the owner, had no skills whatsoever, except for being underhanded and the gift of gab. He pushed his way in but never got anything, until he got the ear of the one salesperson and made a deal with him to give him 10% of the job, if he got my bids to him. He then underbid me by a few dollars and got a job here or there. Turns out a guy for whom we did numerous locations for him here on the East Coast, wanted to open a second store in this vicinity and he said, give me a quote real low and I'll give it to Gary, he'll give it to Bob and he'll beat your quote by a few bucks. Well, I didn't do that, but I did do it for another tenant. The job was for around $4,800 which was a good sale back in 1989. So, I actually bid it out for $480. He was awarded the job at $450. Once he got the job and got started on it, he knew instantly what had happened. He didn't even read my quotes, he just told his quote girl to beat my price at any cost. Oops !!! That was the beginning of a great friendship. We never had another thing to say to each other after that. He hadda do the job for what he quoted, but he tried to get even with me. He's been long outta business and is hawking his software wares in the sign industry. It's a piece of sh!t, but he fooled enough people in the beginning it was fantastic. Not.
     
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  11. fastmax

    fastmax Member

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    thats awesome, a good ol rivalry. im surprised he didnt jsut hire you to do the jobs he did get anyway
     
  12. Coloradosigns

    Coloradosigns Major Contributor

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    Alot of competition will do it for cost just do you won't get it. That's fine with me. For us to get in a truck and do a job outside of our location is a 500$ minimum, even if its 10 minutes away and hrs on a door. because no matter what it takes more time than you EST, then the hassle of it is just not worth it unless you charge.
     
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  13. bannertime

    bannertime "You guys do banners, right?"

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    My family used to do vacation jobs. We'd do jobs all over the country and make a vacation out of it. It wasn't for signs, but for our other outdoor event company. I've done a few jobs in other states while visiting family. In fact, my dad regularly drops off orders on his away up to see family. So, if that was the case, I could understand that.

    My favorite thing is when a customer shows me their "artwork" and it's just a picture of the screen with the file open in Flexi.
     
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  14. StarSign

    StarSign Active Member

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    I just sent my crew 300 miles away to do 2 different installs. $$$
     
  15. Category5

    Category5 New Member

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    If I suspect a customer is planning to play me against a local competitor using my artwork, I’ll do exactly that. I’ll give them a photo of the screen taken at a slight angle to make it a royal PITA to copy the design. It’s usually easy to tell when that’s what is going on. I do at least make an effort to not include toolbars and window headers in the photo. There’s a billboard that I drive by every day on my way to work that is a design ripped off from my quote. The only change the guy made was using a different stock photo that came from a different source. Everything else, down to the fonts, is a carbon copy.
     
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  16. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

    I think most of us see these things happen all the time and its a real test of one's professionalism and business ethics. I'm not sure we're unique in these types of actions by competitors. I think way too many of us are too reluctant to turn the tables on a chronic ethics violator, enforce our copyright protections and defend our client base from unethical poaching.

    Our closest competitor tried to kneecap our business for years, actively poaching our clients, punishing his employees who refused to do so or who wouldn't lie to clients of ours who accidentally went there, not using laminate on wraps and signs to lower the cost, etc... He even tried to jake our town's mayor who went there looking for us to order campaign signs, which led to his eventual demise for putting up electric signs without a license or permits. The mayor was told we had gone out of business even though I had just spoke to the mayor about his project at a Chamber Of Commerce function the week before.

    We often get sent the quotes produced by others from angry potential clients accusing us of trying to gouge them and in nearly EVERY case, its a quote from a shop we know acts unethically on a regular basis, uses an outsource for their production and then barely marks the work up, etc... If others want to spend their day quoting banners at $1.50 per square foot and paying $1.00 for them, so be it. We try to explain it to the angry lost customer, but they mostly care only about price.

    We can either be good examples of professionalism, or bad ones.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
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  17. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    Yay, story time! I was just perusing egan signs website, if it is the same one, and if they're still messing around like amateurs that must have done the surveys for the last big bank job I did for another company. It was sad, the sign co out of state got the bid to change 250 locations for a large bank in my state, aka my biggest customer until last year. In any case the out of state guys asked us to quote, but didn't want any help with surveys (which honestly I had 50+ locations that did not need surveys, as I built the signs right here!) they just asked us to quote based on generic art while they had one company survey everything. So our first location that just had a face change, the face didn't fit! Initially we thought it was on us, we must have grabbed the wrong faces, so we survey the sign and come back to find that set. Nothing was jiving. We ended up find out the 'survey' company hired to do all of this was a joke. The individual assigned to my area had so many excuses it was unreal! It was hot that week, he had just started (or stopped?) his medicine, he didn't have a ladder that tall, etc. So he ended up using streetview and software to scale the painted embossed replacement faces! Ended up blowing way more time on every face change to temporarily secure the face to pieces of 063 aluminum to extend the flanges behind the trim, then coming back with properly sized faces. I wonder how much that survey company ended up costing them...
     
  18. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Yep, I just looked, same one. Another trick they use is to get their foot in the door with some very reasonable quotes. However, once they get in, the costs start going up. They do so many change-orders, it ain't funny. They have a core group nowadays and all they do is coast through jobs. The storyline he gives on his website, about how he started is so far from the truth, it's just pathetic. Yep, he's certainly a trip.
     
  19. bannertime

    bannertime "You guys do banners, right?"

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    One thing a recent customer showed me, the guy had clicked an item inside the graphic so that it had a bounding box around it, center guides, and the artboard visible. So I'll be doing that from now on.
     
  20. Coloradosigns

    Coloradosigns Major Contributor

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    we take deposits of the TOTAL JOB before any artwork, these solves any and all problems. If not the deposit will for sure cover our time.
     
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