On 12/12/2013 11:55 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
You are /absolutely/ not bound to give the customer /any/ of it.
You are the de facto vendor in this situation. You were the one who made
the purchase and your are the owner until you resell it. For you to have
gone through the work of selecting the item you are entitled to payment
for your expertise. At any rate, a reseller is certainly entitled to a
Once you purchased the item and resell it...you are only bound to sell
it for what you quoted the customer.
Let your conscience be your guide and simply charge a /fair price/ for
the job as a whole.
What people really care about is that the appliance works reliably and
was installed properly. If you did that, then you did your job.
If you are bound by conscience on the one hand to do the right
thing...and on the other by being a human being and wanting to keep the
rebate...here is what you can do:
After you present the bill... tell the customer,
" By the way, I got a small rebate on the item, would you prefer me to
deduct the amount from your invoice or shall I simply apply it to an
extended warranty on the installation ?"
On Friday, December 13, 2013 10:58:25 AM UTC-5, philo wrote:
He's not a reseller. The client asked him to pick out, pay for
and install an appliance. We don't know the exact verbal contract
that was struck, but it sure sounds like the expectation was that
the client was expecting to get the same price that client would get
if they went to the store and bought it themselves. I would expect
that he presented the client with a receipt showing what he paid.
In my world, that's not a reseller, it's a person providing a service
and getting paid an agreed on amount for the service that has nothing
to do with the cost of the appliance. Would he have been able to pick
out an appliance for $300 and then charge the customer $350? I
doubt the customer was agreeing to that. IMO, the customer is entitled
to the rebated. And I would have just given the customer the necessary
receipt/paperwork so they could file the rebate themselves.
On 12/13/2013 10:19 AM, email@example.com wrote:
I specifically said "de facto". The OP made the purchase and he resold
it. He is only legally bound to the terms he made with the end user.
That said: I agree there is a difference between what is legal and what
is moral. OTOH: A contractor needs to be fair to himself as well as his
On Friday, December 13, 2013 11:41:08 AM UTC-5, philo wrote:
And do you think from the description of the situation
it's likely that the client said "Go buy an appliance and charge
me whatever you like for it." Or do you think they said "Go
buy me an appliance and I'll reimburse you for what it costs and
pay you $100 for getting it and installing it?" Sure sounds like
the latter to me.
I seriously doubt that the contract struck was one where he can
charge whatever he wants for the appliance. Perhaps the OP can
supply the missing details, but I'm betting the arrangement was
one where he was to be reimbursed for the cost of the appliance.
In which case, I would hope you would agree, the customer is
entitled to the rebated.
And I would have provided the customer with the rebate form
and whatever is necessary to claim it, because sometimes the
rebate never shows up and I would not want it to be my problem.
On 12/13/2013 10:19 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
When I do service work, I charge a higher price than what I pay for any
item I provide because I'm using my resources to pay for it. I'm not a
wholesale supplier and I don't sell material to make money. I sell my
time and will add the price of my time for obtaining any large item. I
keep supplies in stock and I don't bill a customer the same price I paid
for anything, I'm going to make a profit. Years ago, I had a friend who
worked for NCR and they charged a minimum of $1.50 for any
small item like a screw or tiny resistor that may have cost 5 cents.
That is what a business does and it's not stealing and it's completely
ethical. If a customer supplies a large item and not the hardware to
install the item, I will charge for what I supply and it's not going to
be 10 cents. ^_^
That's right, your expertise deserves to be paid.
Here is something I did:
I have a friend who is a professional photographer and I do all of his
computer repair work and I generally do not charge him for my time.
Even though I warned him many times about backing up all his data...on
two occasions I've done major data recovery jobs for him that took me
countless hours...and never charged him a cent.
I told him I was never going to to anything for him again unless he got
a back up drive...so he asked me how much that would cost.
I saw a drive at NewEgg for $100 and told him it would be $100
When I went to order it...I then saw there was a $20 rebate.
I never mentioned it to him but I took it.
The only thing I feel guilty about is not charging him for the data
recovery jobs. A lab would have charged at least $600 per job.
I've found that many people who complain about what I charge based on
what they think an item costs at a wholesale house, are often the same
people who pay a lawyer $150.00 for a few sheets of paper with some
writing on it. They can't seem to understand that I'm selling the same
thing as their lawyer, "My time" and I find it very insulting when
someone thinks my time isn't worth anything and they can just take it
up without paying for my product which is my time. When someone takes up
my time then complains about the bill, I ask them if they would like to
pay my cost? If they say yes, I hand them a bill for $400,000.00 which
freaks them out. I explain that's what my cost over 40 years is to reach
this point. ^_^
Here is where my perceptions changed:
I called a plumber to replace the inlet valve to my house.
Of course he had all the necessary tools and parts with him
and I watched him cut and thread a custom length pipe. He did the whole
thing in 90 minutes and charged me about $450.
Wow, I said, that's a lot of money.
He told me he was charging me "by the book" and that particular job was
a $450 job. I was paying for his expertise not his time.
When I realized I would have taken all day and countless trips to
hardware store...and it would have leaked all over hell when ...I
realized the $450 was actually pretty reasonable.
Your plumber is no doubt successful - in part because he does know what
he's doing, and in part because he was able to make you understand
exactly why you were paying a high price for his services and not feel
ripped off or offended. The latter is a skill that is no less important
than the technical skill.
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
Context is everything. If the customer asked you to get the best price,
that is one thing. A bait and switch is another. Charging more than you
paid for something is to be expected, yet does not have to happen if you
are not putting yourself in a financial hole to accomplish this.
People will treat regulars differently than an out of thin air customer.
A repeat customer will get better deals. A new customer, unless work
is grim, will get the standard quote with expected mark up. I worked for
a man that high-balled all new installations. He did not care. He did not
want the work. He made his money off of fixing other people's mistakes.
He would tell his customers to put the job out to bid and that he would
come in later and make the system work.
In the end, the customer paid around the same price, but my previous employer
did not have to mess with the hassle of a new installation, change-orders, time-
lines, and the usual cost overruns associated with getting a facility up
and running, either as a gen or sub-contractor. I care not to explain the
entire process, but he had a niche market for himself, and that was beneficial
to me at the time.
Well, most of the people I repair computers for have very little money
so if I charge at all, it's typically just $25.
Only once did I get a job for a very wealthy business man but since it
went over 5 hours, I gave them a 20% discount.
Nothing wrong with that. I suspect that you have a love of what you are
doing, too. I had a love of what I did, but my body did not. Well, with
the exception of the last year and a half with one employer. That was all
TS&R. Once my employer wanted me to wear multiple hats again (be a one man
work crew), I went elsewhere. My body no longer liked digging trench, laying
out/lifting heavy things, pretty much entire projects, all by myself.
It felt good to wake up in the morning and not feel like I had been rolled down
a hill in a barrel full of rocks. I do, however, have an urge to further my
PLC skills and work in a pure motor control environment. Nothing like toting
a laptop instead of all the other crap. That, and my wallet might stop bitching
at me. :-)
I was in the industrial battery business for 38 years...the large ones
found in fork lift trucks. Two years ago my knees went and had to get
them replaced. I am glad to be retired now.
Although even after the knees were replaced they are not as good as
new...my back sure feels a lot better now.
I have been sort of forced to learn how to repair laptops now...as
towers and desktops are not as prevalent as they once were.
I look at laptops more as watch repair though.
I fix computers all the time and replace screens in laptops. I picked up
three broken laptops from a pawn shop for $100 and was able to get two
of them working right away because they had software problems and dead
batteries. Another thing I do is get batteries and chargers for folks
who have dead laptops. Of the three laptops I bought one is a 17"
Toshiba with a full sized keyboard having the numeral keys on the right
side. I got it so I could watch movies and surf the web while I was in
my hospital bed. The Toshiba has Win Vista and the smaller HP has Win 7
the third laptop has some sort of BIOS problem which prevents it from
accessing the internal hard drive, It runs fine off a live Linux CD.
I've got quite a collection of different laptops and desktops now and
have a lot of fun with computers. ^_^
Yea, the HP Win7 laptop has an HDMI port that I've thought of hooking up
to our 55" LCD TV. I have a remote control that plugs into a USB
port on a computer and was thinking of using it for the big screen.
My roommate has an HP Win7 laptop too that has an HDMI port and we've
hooked it up to the big screen to watch some movies I downloaded for
him. I rarely watch the big screen or TV in general because I have
vision problems and it's easier for me to watch everything on one of the
desktops we have around here that have 23" LCD monitors. I do have
a ton of desktops that I could use for the big screen but I have no
urgent need to do it. ^_^
I worked one day last month with JH and Stinky, installing a computer
and VoIP network. I was installing jacks on the Cat5 cable and testing
the cable to verify proper operation. The Cat5 cable tested almost as
good as Cat6 so I knew we did a good job. I had been getting up and down
to install jacks and test the network so I put a lot of stress on my
joints. It took me two weeks to recover from that job. I spent part of
two days this month helping install a wireless IP camera system for
a guy and I remarked to JH that I couldn't understand why I was in so
much pain while we were driving home. I finally realized that while I
wasn't climbing a ladder or running the power cable, I had gotten under
the desk a number of times to get the computer, the DVR and KVM switch
working. The house also had a flight of stairs going out back that I had
negotiated several times while testing the system. I tend to concentrate
on what I'm doing and before I became very ill and was working on big
installations, I would look down and see that I was bleeding wondering
where in the hell the blood came from and when did I get cut. I only
hurt when I stop working and the pain gets my attention. o_O
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.