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Landscape Illuminating
08-03-2007, 06:04 PM
Hi guys,

I just returned from a local Cast distributor that I just discovered. They're actually a masonry/hard-scape supply store. I was happy to find that the Cast line could be had locally, rather than traveling 45min. or even ordering it online when needed.

I was under the impression that cast had strict restrictions on retail and contractor pricing. Was I under the wrong impression? I thought that anyone and everyone who wasn't a contractor had to pay actual retail pricing for the Cast line which is set by Cast. I can't seem to recall the actual marketing plan that I'm thinking they have in place.

At any rate, the contractor pricing at this location is 10% less than retail. The part that I find interesting is that the final contractor price is the same price set by Cast, which means that retail at this location is much less than Cast's actual retail price.

I guess my point here is; how can I charge full retail price for cast products if the general public can get them for less than retail? Yes, I have the option to charge less and make less, but who wants to do that right? I also have the option of using any any other brand available, of course.

Sorry for the long post......just venting I guess.

Cheers,
-LI

NightScenes
08-03-2007, 07:25 PM
Steve should be able to fill you in on this. I was under the same impression as you.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
08-04-2007, 09:16 AM
I would suggest that most lighting products are available to the public at less then the MSRP that the manufacturer states. I dont know many distributors who would turn away a sale over the counter and most will offer the public some form of discount.

That being said.... Who Cares? So What! We all know that a great lighting systems is much more then the sum of its parts! I have never come across a DIY system that even comes close to a professional system in terms of design, and installation.

You will never stop the DIY market from DIY-ing. I would also suggest that you don't want to try to discourage or stop it. The DIY market is our friend. To know that the DIY market is now buying professional grade materials at near to full retail prices is great news for all of us. Imagine the disappointment when that customer installs all the pro grade materials and it doesn't look any better then malibu. Imagine their disgust when after installing a bunch of pro grade materials their system fails to work after a year or so. They want great lighting, they have tried (possibly a few times) to get great lighting, now who are they going to call?

Focus more of your energy on perfecting your craft and developing an iron clad marketing strategy and less about what prices materials cost. You will sleep better and have a better, stronger, faster company in the end.

Have a great day.

steveparrott
08-04-2007, 02:37 PM
James makes some good points about the fact that the DIY market is here to stay and doesn't really directly compete with professionals.

Retail pricing issues are a separate concern. Unfortunately, some consumers will get an estimate from a lighting contractor and then do an internet search to get a reality check on what fixtures cost. This is why it's so important that proposals are not presented as a cost-per-fixture estimate.

The best proposals I've seen emphasize the design component. An in-depth presentation is given of design objectives and strategies to achieve them. Also the value of professionalism is stressed; such as: Workers have been fully trained, that all electrical codes are followed, that there will be minimal disturbance of property, that the system will be maintained, etc.

In short, the value of the professionally designed and installed system is spelled out. After reading such a proposal, the homeowner should understand why the estimate is so much higher than the equipment cost.

NightScenes
08-04-2007, 06:20 PM
But Steve, what about the pricing question that LI asked?

anthem
08-04-2007, 10:54 PM
I think everyone needs to look past the 'contractor' vs 'retail' pricing. I'm on the fringe of landscape lighting as I'm in automation, but in most industries - many people can get accessibility to 'contractor' pricing. Until you get to true 'authorized dealers' you aren't going to be able to control the pricing that many people get. Yes, the distributors are 'authorized' in a certain sense, but since 'contractor' status is a very loose status in the construction/landscape space - it will be extremely difficult to enforce.

I think the value is in the expertise, design, implementation, and follow up service. The DIY will continue to DIY, and while some may achieve the same level as a professional - the majority will be just that - DIY. With that in mind, there are bad professional jobs as well, but thats another story. If the concern is over pricing and whether the homeowner can get lower pricing that is available to you - well then you're probably chewing on the low end of the totem pole. Not only is that type of customer the one that will beat you up over pricing, but may DIY by acquiring the products, and/or just be that type of customer.

Landscape Illuminating
08-04-2007, 11:09 PM
I think you guys are missing the point here. This really isn't how it affects me and how to deal with it. I really do understand the whole retail vs. contractor pricing bit, as I deal with it on a daily basis. In reality, for the most part I'm only using the tree light anyway and am a big fan of it.

This is more about Cast and what their marketing strategy has been stated as in the past. It seems to have taken a turn at some point. I was just looking to get some clarity on the subject is all. Here's a tid bit of what I'm referring to:

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=192394&highlight=cast+price



Cheers,
-LI

steveparrott
08-06-2007, 05:23 PM
LI, the CAST policy hasn't changed. All we can do is strongly encourage distributors to follow our pricing recommendations. Legally, we can't force them to adopt the pricing guidelines.

It is a challange for some distributors to weed-out the homeowners looking for contractor pricing. Some are better than others.

10% above contractors seems unusual, most are much higher.

irrigation man
08-08-2007, 02:47 PM
i think you need to understand you are dealing with a hardscape dealer that has cast as a sideline to push with their primary business which is rocks! go over the border to nh and buy your cast from a dist that will treat you with the proper pricing as a installer and sells to the diy at list price,and they dont raise list and then give u 10percent off plus free delivery and NO SALES TAX. they also have on staff people who will go out and get you out of a jam with a problem and help with your first install.just check out the cast dist list and you will know where im talking about,