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How would you handle this situation?

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by CanuckSigns, Aug 27, 2019.

  1. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

    Nov 11, 2008
    Part of our business is engraving lamacoids and other plastic electrical tags. we got an email from a big company asking for a quote on engraving tags for 40 projects they have on the go right now, we have never dealt with them before.

    Now this job is right up our alley, the files are set up well so there is not much file prep, I really wanted to get this job, so I priced it leaner than I normally would, Our engraver is a little slow right now and I need to keep them busy.

    I quoted the job based on 40 projects like they asked, they come back and say they like the price, but since they have never used us want do a sample run of 6 projects, can we hold the price? I agree because I want the job.

    They come back 3 days later and want to know if I can hold the price if they get 3 projects, I tell them no I can't and send them a new quote based on 3 projects, with a caveat that is they end up placing the large order, I will discount to price difference from the first order, which I think is fair.

    They call back, apparently the boss only wants to pay a certain amount per set ($175 per set less than I quoted) I tell him no and I'm sticking to my final price, he mumbles that we probably won't get the job if we are going to be difficult to work with.

    How much free time do these companies have to nickle and dime on everything?!

  2. signman315

    signman315 Signmaker

    Oct 5, 2015
    Leonardsville, NY
    Can they get it elsewhere for the price/quality they want? If yes then it's your call if you want to race to the bottom with your competitor or if you want to let the job go. If no then lower your price a very small amount to show them you are willing to work with them but that $175 less your price is unreasonable, and if they can't get it elsewhere then they will appreciate your honesty (and can explain to their boss they tried for a better price) and then buy the job. This also shows them that your are in fact easy to work with as opposed to what was mumbled. I know NOTHING about the engraving industry but in general the answer to your question lies in what your competition is offering vs what your are offering, in my opinion....
    • Like Like x 4
    • Agree Agree x 3
  3. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    Better it took place now, before it all went down and you hadda argue to get paid. In my opinion, you did it professionally and fairly.

    I would just send them an e-mail in about a week and ask if there is any update ??
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 3
  4. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

    Jun 15, 2009
    Mesa, Arizona
    This is a window in to the relationship! Address the red flags now to build a stronger relationship later.
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 2
  5. marunr

    marunr New Member

    Dec 14, 2018
    tulsa, ok
    And now you know why they are looking for a new vendor. I bet the old one got tired of dealing with them.
    • Agree Agree x 7
    • Like Like x 2

    BIGMAX New Member

    Apr 24, 2011
    Sometimes, you just have to cut your losses by turning down a job. Just my $.02. Have has similar situations and they wound up calling me back (after a week or so ) and then wanted a "RUSH" on the order..
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

    Oct 21, 2016
    Frisco, TX
    I'd hold firm. Like others said this is a red flag. People know that when the order gets smaller the price goes up. Copping an attitude with you now will let you know how things go in the future.
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Superior_Adam

    Superior_Adam Member

    Dec 13, 2017
    Wichita, Kansas
    You have to stick to your guns. There is a shop in town that prices UV printing so cheap at times I wonder how they are staying open. There are only 2 companies in town that have a cutter/router with us being one of them. I get bids on projects all the time and they come back and ask if I can match pricing and they will send over invoices showing what they paid. I tell them no way can I go that cheap. They always come back with my boss says I need to find a new vendor as the deadlines are not being met, the quality is lacking or both. I just reply simply that sometimes you get what you pay for and if you want better service and quality you will need to pay more.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. Glavin_ID

    Glavin_ID Member

    Aug 1, 2018
    Cleveland, OH
    We do a lot of engraved tags for contractors as well. If they are nickel and diming over the tags, be careful. If they are playing up the fact that they have so many jobs going on, the price of the tags should be less than a drop in the bucket. The contractors we deal with are much more concerned about the lead time and ability to get the job done right the first time. Their time is worth WAY more than the engraved tags they are buying for each project. In my opinion, if they need to pinch pennies on this part of a project, they probably bid them too low and I would be concerned about the health of their company and getting paid in the end. We have been screwed by many contractors over the years who go out of business in the middle of or shortly after a project is over. Contractors that we don't have a long standing relationship with are all 100% prepay prior to shipping or pickup.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. spectrum maine

    spectrum maine Member

    Nov 1, 2012
    biddeford, maine
    The guy you are dealing with is a professional purchasing agent, If he works for a big company, he probably saves them millions a year while ruining good relationships on the way. tell them if they double the order or give you more work now you will discount. The purchaser will get a pat on the back & you will get a huge order* win-win* dont take it personally though.
    • Like Like x 2
  11. heyskull

    heyskull Very Active Member

    Sep 2, 2007
    Stick to your original price.
  12. BobM

    BobM Very Active Member

    May 31, 2008
    Cape Cod
    I'd rather race to the TOP with quality and service that win the race to the BOTTOM of the price war.
    • Like Like x 4
  13. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

    Nov 28, 2007
    Middleburg, Florida
    I would handle it the way I have for almost 40 years. The price is the price. I am not now nor have I ever been in business to be the cheapest in the market. I am also not the most expensive.
    • Like Like x 4
  14. shoresigns

    shoresigns Very Active Member

    Nov 1, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    I don't know if we're just lucky or what, but most companies that we deal with who are large enough to have a purchasing agent, they greenlight 99% of the quotes we give them without pushback on price. The only exception in my experience is general contractors, who thrive on screwing over as many vendors/subs as they can get away with.
  15. Modern Ink Signs

    Modern Ink Signs Premium Subscriber

    Jun 27, 2008
    Waukesha, WI
    You can’t chase pennies and expect to make a buck
    • Like Like x 1
  16. 2B

    2B Very Active Member

    May 5, 2011
    Like stated, you handled correctly. the lower the QTY, the higher the unit cost.
    if they want the better price, need to have a higher QTY per order.

    If they want a sample, great do just that. make a sample with YOUR company information on it.
    They can see the quality, speed and decide from that.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

    Oct 20, 2014
    Hattiesburg, MS
    As Spectrum Maine said, it's a common tactic to promise a huge job if you help them out on the initial order. Not knowing your situation, the only thing I might have offered is they need to pay full price now but if they end up placing a huge order, you will credit the (3) x $175 per set difference to the final order.

    I get that all the time every political season for yard signs "I'm gonna end up getting 2,000 of these if you can get me a better price on the 1st 50, that's all we need for now & we might change them"
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
  18. Baz

    Baz Very Active Member

    I hate those requests. Promise of a big job then they start off with just a small part of it and allot of times you wont see the balance.
    Deal with it how you want but next time be prepared to give two prices.
    I price for one job or a discount to do a larger order.
    And get a deposit for whatever option they chose!
  19. Z SIGNS

    Z SIGNS Very Active Member

    Feb 14, 2009
    Trenton NJ
    I'm old, cranky and have plenty of real work. I would not waste my time that could be better spent going after jobs that you can make money on. Like Modern Ink said You can’t chase pennies and expect to make a buck
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. Alistair1

    Alistair1 New Member

    Mar 6, 2019
    New Zealand
    This is a client that is not good for your business. Let a competitor lose money on them.

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