Is my plumber exagerating?



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.
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Lunny wrote:

I see.
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 ripped off?
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.
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wrote:

Did you fire him?
Reminds me of my first engineering design job at a major military electronics manufacturer.
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 the arrangement.
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.
--

.andy


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wrote:

Errm, don't know how to break this to you but 1.5% on the transformer at 20 quid IS 30p.
You say your "idiot buyer" saved the same on resistors, what difference does it make?

You should have employed a better salesman and sold more, then that 30p saving per unit might have been transformed into a multi million pound profit :-)
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In an earlier contribution to this discussion,

I think he *knows* that - but is simply saying that the *same* saving could have been made with a lot less effort by going for the transformer.
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Cheers,
Roger
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On Thu, 23 Feb 2006 14:59:05 -0000, "Roger Mills \(aka Set Square\)"

Maybe he does but 25% saving on 1.25 is 31.25p :-)
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Matt wrote:

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.

Tell me about it..
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Not at all. It wasn't his time, but his employer's. But he got the lunches!
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Bob Eager wrote:

And he should have got the sack, I think he did, finally.
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Lunny wrote:

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.
--
Ian White

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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 snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Lunny wrote:

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.
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Cheers,

John.

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John Rumm wrote:

Having just received a quote of £1500 for a replacement boiler that costs £650. The time to fit is approx 6-8 hrs? assuming the additional parts and equipment costs £150 that still leaves £700 profit for one days work (one man) now that is a rip off! I would expect an hourly rate of £20 (still excessive),So where does the extra money go?
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On Fri, 24 Feb 2006 17:08:39 +0000, coolclassic

Are you kidding?
Do you *really* expect somebody to work for 20 an hour and fund insurance, transport, training, accounting,.... out of it?
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.andy


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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 workers.
--
*When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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What's also being missed is the cost of running a business. Assume that the hourly rate is double what will be paid as wages to cover such costs. Is he calling 10GBP per hour excessive?
--
John Cartmell john@ followed by finnybank.com 0845 006 8822
Qercus magazine FAX +44 (0)8700-519-527 www.finnybank.com
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coolclassic wrote:

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.
--
David Clark

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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 and 2) the relevant normative standards and building regs and 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
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coolclassic wrote:

I expect the fitter would be delighted to get an hourly rate of £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 materials - 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 £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.
Owain
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wrote:

Sorry, when I said "do you imagine" I was referring to Mark, not Dave! Bob Mannix
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