It's ripping people off and has obviously become so commonplace that
it's now deemed acceptable. Plumbers get away with it because customers
don't realise what they're doing. It's a hidden cost. I'm obviously
arguing with tradesmen here so I'm never going to win am I?
I always though Cost of Parts = How much the parts cost and not how
much the parts cost and an extra £500 for the plumbers back pocket. I
can now see how wrong I've been and will gladly let myself be ripped
off in the future.
Just want to say that had the extra costs been detailed in labour I
wouldn't have a problem with it. My problem is that it was "hidden" in
with the materials.
I've actually spoken to the plumber about it and told him I could get
the materials @ about 75% and his response to me was to go for it and
save as much as I could and that the labour would stay the same. From
the comments on here on this being acceptable I half expected him to
say - "But that includes my markup so I'm putting the labour charge up,
then" But he didn't and I think that's because he knew he'd been
rumbled. And this suggests it is dodgy.
So by your logic, when you go to currys and buy a TV at 400 quid when
currys online are selling it at 325, you are being ripped off?
When a shopkeeper charges you a 15% markup on a mars bar, you are being
And when a tradesman, who has a wealth of knowledge (hopefully) says he
will deliver to your door, the exact correct boiler for your house,
saving you a couple of days of research, transportation costs and
dealing with uncertain suppliers, its a rip off if he makes 15% on it?
You remind me of an idiot buyer that worked for me once. He spend three
days and several lunches negotiating a 25% discount on all the resistors
in a product we made.
They cost together the princely sum of 1.25 per unit. The total parts
cots was over 50 quid. He had saved exactly 30p ..the mains transformer
itself coast over £20...just 1.5% saved on that would have been
preferable..his wages never even came near to being paid for for the
time he wasted on it.
Did you fire him?
Reminds me of my first engineering design job at a major military
The component manufacturer reps would come round and visit the lab.
The smart ones would find out what engineers were making for "homers"
and make sure that samples were sent to cover them regardless of
whether they were related to the official projects. They would also
arrange the occasional pub lunch. Everybody was extremely happy with
Then there was one who worked for one of the major semi manufacturers
and who had been trying to get his range of CMOS products qualified as
second source. This had gradually happened although not all parts
were suiteble for RFI reasons. However, not only did said rep not
bring goodies, but he would regularly show up mid morning and then
announce that he was taking the buyer for lunch. We knew from the
buyer that these were rather better than pub lunches.
After the third or fourth time, the rate of new qualifications slowed
down. Then "complex technical problems" were found with existing
components and they were dequalified. Eventually, the manufacturer
was pretty much out altogether.
The buyer didn't really care because his original supplier had got
wind of competition and reduced his prices.
There are many ways for everybody to win. The important thing is that
everybody does, according to what floats their boat.
He could easily have tackled the really expensive components firts, or
the ones used extensively.
He chose the cheapest and the least represented.
10% on the transformer would have been worth having. 25% on resistors
was a waste of his time.
Not necessarily. A lot of tradesmen hate paperwork, and especially
dealing with suppliers because it breaks into their own working day. If
you are willing to take on that part of the job, a surprising number
will be more than happy to agree because they can earn more money by
doing what they're good at.
What do you mean 'it's now deemed acceptable'? There have always been
trade and retail prices. Do you think when you get your car serviced they
charge you what they paid for the parts and materials? Have a suit made
and the same applies to the cloth?
No matter what price your plumber has quoted for materials it will always
be possible to find someone selling them cheaper. They may not have them
in stock, however, and you'd need to include transport costs. And maybe
the costs of taking a day off work to accept delivery, etc.
It's hardly hidden since I'd say everyone already knew this is common
practice. It's the *total* sum which matters at the end of the day.
And you asked him if he'd provide the same sort of warranty on his work if
you supply the parts? If he does he's a fool.
*Why is it that most nudists are people you don't want to see naked?*
Dave Plowman firstname.lastname@example.org London SW
If you retail a product you are obliged to provide the consumers
stuteary rights - replacement/fix etc if the product fails etc. It is
the dealer who is duty bound to provide this to you - not the
manufacturer. Some manufacturers may offer warrenty services to the end
user - but this is an incentive to the dealer, not the end user. This
protection and service needs to be paid for somewhere.
It is a question how much... if he is charging 50% more than most
suppliers - then vote with your feet and buy elsewhere. If he is within
the same ballpark as most retailers (or more, but offering better
service and support) but is managing to source the products at 30% below
retail, then good on him.
Having just received a quote of Â£1500 for a replacement boiler that
Â£650. The time to fit is approx 6-8 hrs? assuming the additional parts and
equipment costs Â£150 that still leaves Â£700 profit for one days work (one
man) now that is a rip off! I would expect an hourly rate of Â£20 (still
excessive),So where does the extra money go?
You can 'expect' an hourly rate of anything. Why not the legal minimum?
But the fact remains you haven't the qualifications to DIY - otherwise
most would do to save the thick end of a grand.
I recently paid 475 quid for an hours work from my dentist. My garage
charges 120 an hour for servicing. It's called the free market - the basis
of capitalism - although most capitalists don't like it applying to
*When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane *
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW
That is not a 'profit' When all the costs have been paid: the toolkit,
the van, the insurance, the accountant, the sick days, and the slack
days out of season... When the anticipated annual income has come in,
and is sufficient to make working for someone else seem the poorer
bargain... Then what is left, if anything, might be accounted profit. If
you are not only good at your trade but a good businessman too, and
not too unlucky, it might work out a better option than risking not of
the uncertainties and just being present at a workplace each day.
$message_body_include ="PLES RING IF AN RNSR IS REQIRD"
On Fri, 24 Feb 2006 17:08:39 +0000, coolclassic wrote:
I challenge anyone to fit even a like for like replacement in 8 hours
1) in accordance with the manufacturers instructions
2) the relevant normative standards and building regs
3) correctly complete all the paperwork.
In practice there are usually a number of jobs that need doing to either
for best practice or to comply with the regs not withstanding the
increased difficulties due to the boiler not being a like for like swap.
Ed Sirett - Property maintainer and registered gas fitter.
The FAQ for uk.diy is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk
I expect the fitter would be delighted to get an hourly rate of Â£20,
- most fitters can't bill 8 hours a day, 5 days a week
- several weeks holiday a year
- time lost due to illness or accident
- time lost due to delayed other works on a project
- time lost going to the wholesalers for materials
- someone has to be paid (even if it's the opportunity cost of the wife
staying at home) to answer the phone and take messages
- someone has to be paid (even if ditto) to make up the bills, chase
payments, pay suppliers accounts, keep the books, send in the tax returns
- the van, telephone line, any advertising, has to be paid for every
week regardless of work done
- so does the public liability insurance, employee insurance if he has a
mate, national insurance contributions, insurance on the van, tools and
- so does the training / certifications / equipment calibrations /
professional memberships required to carry on trading
- so does the pension, and if the wife isn't working, so does her pension
An employed electrician or plumber is probably on about Â£16-20 an hour
gross + bonuses. After all the business expenses above are taking into
account, the self-employed is probably on no more, possibly less.
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