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View Full Version : selling to the do it yourselfer


turfman59
02-04-2002, 10:53 PM
I have always been thinking about selling to the do it yourselfer as a way to generate revenue without additional labor. one way would be sell the do it yourselfer a package with pipe installed, with a vibra plow of course then basically they would get typically 3 visits from a tech as the job progresses. these appointments would have to be flexible of course, and questions would be answered as the job progresses. the package would include tool rental fees, a detailed step by step guide, and a 800 number to get questions that are small answered right away. with as much as 75% of homeowners installing there own systems{ found that number in a trade magazine} it seems to me instead of fight'em join'em Iam sure My company is a whole lot more suited to answering questions on installations than these alternatives ( Home Cheapo, or SLowes. What do ya think??? If I dont do it who will??? SSSSSSSEEEEEEEEEEEEE Ya

trimmer
02-04-2002, 11:08 PM
Never know what people will try.
I would certianly try it and see how it works, never know till you try.

HBFOXJr
02-05-2002, 08:39 AM
Selling with no labor??? Your gonna plow and consult 3x and figure out what they need etc. If they want help let them go to the Hunter or RainBIrd or Toro websites and get help. You don't want to sell as cheap as Home Depot or whatever. The mindset of most DIY is that they know what they ned to do and they'll screw it up the way they want to.

It's a nightmare in the making.

turfman59
02-05-2002, 06:44 PM
Mr fox
I value your opinion and input on issues so how about this to temper it a little bit. How about i do a do it yourselfer workshop with the purchase price have everyone show up with there plans at my facility and walk them through actual installation procedure. and they will have the working product right in front of them. like if you sold 6 systems it would be great to get everyone to show up for this type of show and tell workshop. I am really thinking that this could even be sold to even people that dont purchase a system but plan to. GOTTA THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX.
SSSSSSSSEEEEEEEEEEE YA

HBFOXJr
02-05-2002, 08:36 PM
I really like thinkin' outside the box. Problem is my German/Scots/Irish hertitage with PA dutch influence readily stays within even cardboard walls.

It's just my experience and observation of a couple local guys in the past that DIY's are not good client candidates for contruction and service type folks like us.

Most of them do it for cost reasons and only a few for pride or personal interest.

The time wet nursing these folks could be spent in doing what you do best and make the same amount of money with less frustration. You wann do something warm and fuzzy volunteer for a charity were you would truly be appreciated and you'd probably wouldn't end up cussing your fellow man.

I used to do design/build landscaping, full landscape maintenance, irrigation service and installation and snow removal. Now I just do lawn fert programs and associated stuff, cut grass 1 day with 2 guys and all kinds of irrigation work. Used to be 8-9 of us here. Now there is 3-4 plus me and I sell as much work and make as much money as I did doing more things with twice as many people. I go to the Jersey shore every weekend and stay on my boat May-Nov1. I don't hardly work Christmas to early Feb. I mostly rabbit hunt with my beagles and friends. Life is good and I don't have any DIY!

gusbuster
02-07-2002, 10:41 AM
turfman59

I'm with Harold on this issue. I've been doing this for over 25 years and it never has changed. The classes, I would have to cover so much that client a: and client b:( different municipal codes) would loose interest. HD does these classes and they always screw up.

Problems that I see:
They forget you're the expert.
nickle and dime the project

I either see cheapo systems or the other extreme over kill on dyi setups.

This is where I make most of my repair money on.

John

SprinklerGuy
02-07-2002, 01:47 PM
i don't think selling to the DIY is that far off base. They actually make up the majority of the population......if you can find a way to sell something to them you will be pretty far ahead. At least in my part of the country only the "white" collar types call us. The blue collar types muddle through it. Maybe in areas where you do blow outs and turn ons more blue collar people call because of the need for specialized equipment?

I always thought if there was a way to sell them something, the blue collars, you could make more money. The logistics of it are the problem.

I wouldnt want to get too close to their jobs myself. I might be willing to sell a package that included trenching and layout for a set price. Then they could add on the tough stuff such as....pvb and timer installation. AFter the initial design, I would walk away. Perhaps even getting the parts at a discount rate for them? All of these things would work, but would have to be set in stone so as to discourage people from abusing you. I think it is a viable deal....I am actually working on something like this already......

HBFOXJr
02-08-2002, 08:45 AM
Ok guys, here is a riddle.

What did the counter man at Century RainAid say this past year when he served 50 or 60 DIY people one nasty summer morning for $700 in sales?

metro
02-10-2002, 09:49 AM
I've been doing residentials in NY for years and I hate dealing with do it yurselfers. For most of them its all about saving money, and not alot of money at that.
In my area the average 6 zone install(4 rots per zone) runs about 2000-2200 complete. When a diy buys the parts themselves it runs around 175.00 per zone or around a thousand dolars. Then u add in the pipe pull, which i hate to do also, but when i do it costs : $225.00 pr 1000 ft plus the pipe. Most of them do not know how to design so i end up redesigning the system for them on the lawn, and flagging it. Another $75.00
Most homeowners also are not licensed to do the plumbing tap so they must pay my plumber 175.00 and the permit fee of 75.00.
total cost: $1550.00 and they have all the labor to do and no warrantty. All to save 500-600 dollars??

The best residential customers are the ones that dont touch a thing and dont mind paying for quality work and good service. Do it yourselfers are the opposite.

just my humble opinion.
(P.S. Did I mention I hate do it yourselfers?)

MikeK
01-20-2003, 11:40 PM
About 80% of our installs are Do it yourself.
We have been doing this for about 2 years and it really works great.
The main thing is that you have to qualify your customer. He/she has to be the person that does not mind working hard and also has the ability to learn.
We do every do it yourself system the same way and doing everything the same really helps us to be really efficient at it.
Her is how the day goes:
We show up with 3-4 guys at the customers site around 8:00 Am.
We flag the system and then explain to the customer how the system is laid out.
We get the customer hand digging across the utility lines, 2 guys start to pull pipe and 1 guy starts the plumbing. Once the customer is done with the locates, we have him/her dig the holes for valve boxes, tees and heads in that order.

By the time the plumbing is done, all of the pipe is in the ground. The guy doing the plumbing gets the valves in the ground and hooked up. 1 guy starts putting tees in, 1 guy starts laying out parts and 1 guy sits down with the customer and we explain head adjustment, wiring, ect.

By the time we leave, the customer has 1 zone of rotors in, all properly nozzled and adjusted, water is flowing through all the tubes and the remaining parts are all laid out, exactly where they should go.
The customer usually has 2 good days finishing up the system bby putting the rest of the heads in, wiring the controller and rain sensor and burying the valve boxes.
If we hustle, we can get 2 of these systems done in a day, or spend the afternon doing repairs, folow up, bids, ect.
We make pretty good money on this and are providing the customers with a really good eucation on how thier system works plus they have the satisfaction of doing part of the system themselves.

PaulJ
01-21-2003, 02:23 AM
http://www.megavision.net/sprinkl/
http://www.megavision.net/sprinkl/
Check out this website.
This is I local company that offers a Do-it-yourself system , and has sold them to poeple all over.
I'll probably have them put one together for me when I figure out how to get enough water (second well?) for my acreage.
I've worked with these guys in the past. very knowledgable and quality work.


I posted that as an answer to a similar ? awhile back. I know the owner and he ssays he has sold quite a few of these systems. He has poeple send him there lot measurements and he plans the system and puts together all the parts they will need in a kit.
I Don't know about troubleshooting or consulting but I'm gueesing that he tries to put good instructions wiht it. It's up to the installer to read them.:D
YOu could contact him he'ed probably be willing to help?

turfman59
01-21-2003, 05:17 PM
Here all this time I thought this was my idea, Thanks for blowing off the dust on that old post. I will never forget the beating I took for posing this idea. I could here Foxes Jersey Accent all the way to Michigan LOL!

BSME
08-02-2006, 08:23 PM
I got a job lined up for Saturday where I'm just going to pull the pipe and he's taking care of everything else...

So I found this thread and another
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=39806&highlight=pipe+pull+service
and was wondering if anyone else had any ideas....

it's 2300' of poly pipe... new construction yard with 11 zones. He's paying me $500 and it shouldn't take me much past noon to get done..

Any of you do this? I was thinking it could be a profitable service since I'm probably paying $15 for gas and $7.50/hr for labor if I use my cheapest guy to hold the rolls of pipe.

I think a good way to sell these in the future (which sprinklerguy read my mind in this thread already) is to sell a design service, pipe pulling, and get them parts at a discount. I wouldn't do anything else since they are DIY and let them know any extra help is hourly.

I really don't see how this homeowner is installing this system for much cheaper than he could have it professionally installed unless he found parts cheap.

thoughts?

Dirty Water
08-02-2006, 08:37 PM
I've done it before.

I hate doing it. Customers are always trying to save a buck and it drives me crazy.

I had one guy layout his entire system, and have me pull it in, except that the way he laid the pipe out made it hard to pull, lots of pulls into fenced corners etc.

Other guys want us to layout the system, plumb up the mainline and pull the laterals but let them install the heads and backfill.

Most of these people have million dollars homes. It makes me angry.

DanaMac
08-02-2006, 08:38 PM
$500 seems way cheap to me. You're paying you, your guy, fuel, for the machine and vehicle, and it's your machine that should be billed out accordingly. And pulling 11 zones. $500 sounds low to me. BUT I'm also not there to see the conditions. Maybe 11 zones will only take you 4 hours, but I think it will take longer. Just my opinion. Hope it goes well for ya.

BSME
08-02-2006, 09:46 PM
jonny boy... it is a pain in the ass for you who is getting paid by the hour and have to deal with the homeowner... so you'd rather do your own system.. I completely understand that

Dana... i'm not making a killing... but I'd be very happy if I did two of these a day. The machine around here rents for about $400 a day... I figure I need to get at least that. it is an easy yard with no grass... mostly open runs. So I should be able to pull up and pull away from the house in less than 5 hours. (I usually pull 12 zones in about 4 hours if I already have it flagged).

DeepRoots
08-03-2006, 09:05 AM
this situation depends on the customer.

There are many people I wouldn't even consider doing a job with. They are either overly picky (with no experience) or are unskilled to a dizzying degree. (It's amazing how many lawyers can't change a lightbulb).

Recently there was a guy 'Don' who just built a house. He was going to do the job himself and he seemed like a very handy guy, but lacked some confidence since he never had done irrigation before.
The local rental center gave him my number, he called, we met and decided I would spend a day with him to make sure the job was done right.
This guy had gone far enough to have drawn up a CAD plan of his proposed irrigation system.....
I adjusted a few things to my liking, he approved

I gave him a price quote for materials, it was $800 less than what he'd gotten as a quote so I bought the gear.

(since it was a rental) I set him on the trencher and I went to hand digging and laying out pipe.
By the time he was done digging I had 3/4 of the job in the ground and blown out.
I set him to covering up/setting heads/getting the controller wired.

8am - 7:30 pm we had 62 heads in the ground
I charged him $650 for my labor, he reimbursed me for materials/machinery rental plus 10% (since I picked the stuff up friday night)
he offered me more to do coverup, I gave him the ph number for two mexican boys that work for $5 an hour.

and of course I made him swear he wouldn't let other people know I was willing to work with them :laugh:


my take on it:
I made $650 free and clear. In the next 12 months he reffered a dozen new customers to me.

his take on it:
he spent roughly the same amount on the job that he would have if he installed it. He also has a fine understanding on how the internals of a system works, and the peice of mind that it was done by someone that does 4-7install jobs a month (thats me).

Drew

speedbump
08-03-2006, 10:19 AM
I tried it with an install your own well system. I provided the pumping equip to blow the pipe in the ground. Since every job is different, I would get my equipment back muddy, abused and there would be $9.50 cents worth of PVC fittings to give a refund on. Not to mention them wanting to sell me back cut pieces of pipe they didn't need anymore.

All this after spending 2 hours trying to explain how this well drilling is to be done. Then of course after the weekend is over and the well didn't work (due to their stupidity) it was all my fault and they wanted a complete refund.

I'm sure you are all aware of how customers act when they have completely screwed something up due to their ignorance, and how it somehow became completely your fault and you should make it financially correct for them.

Yeah well you told me this, or well you should have known I am an idiot and couldn't do this by myself. Why did you rent me this stuff knowing I would fail.

Never again. I'll sell them the product, they are on their own after that. If they smoke a motor hooking 230 to a 115 volt winding, oh well!

bob...

Mdirrigation
08-03-2006, 04:20 PM
I got a job lined up for Saturday where I'm just going to pull the pipe and he's taking care of everything else...



it's 2300' of poly pipe... new construction yard with 11 zones. He's paying me $500 and it shouldn't take me much past noon to get done..

Any of you do this? I was thinking it could be a profitable service since I'm probably paying $15 for gas and $7.50/hr for labor if I use my cheapest guy to hold the rolls of pipe.

?


You can come and plow all my pipe for that kind of money. We install pipe for $ 1.25 per foot labor , no materials.

BSME
08-03-2006, 07:56 PM
You can come and plow all my pipe for that kind of money. We install pipe for $ 1.25 per foot labor , no materials.

I think I might ... you'd charge $2,875 to pull the pipe? A lot of companies around here would do the whole 11 zone job for that and they are paying for the materials, labor, and permits.

Dirty Water
08-03-2006, 08:25 PM
I think I might ... you'd charge $2,875 to pull the pipe? A lot of companies around here would do the whole 11 zone job for that and they are paying for the materials, labor, and permits.

I don't know how you make any money.

$3k will get you a 4 zone system here.

BSME
08-03-2006, 08:27 PM
I don't know how you make any money.

$3k will get you a 4 zone system here.


I dont make any money... on new installs... that's why I only do about one a week... I usually only win one at the price I want because I was referred... I don't even want to show to to give an estimate if they found me in the yellowpages

Dirty Water
08-03-2006, 08:34 PM
Funny, we barely make any money on service.

Hank Reardon
08-03-2006, 09:23 PM
It is interesting to see how market conditions vary nationally with both pricing and profitability fluctuations between service and installations.

We've been fortunate as our numbers are showing strong in both areas. (Albeit this is our first year in this industry so I don't have a benchmark as to what a "normal season" will be). Most of the competition around here is close to what plumbers charge (roughly $80/hr for service).

That may sound good but try and find a house for under $500k! :laugh: Then there's the health insurance and the...

jeffinsgf
08-04-2006, 12:24 AM
I know this is a dredged up thread, but if anyone is still interested in the original concept, I would have been interested in something like this last year. You guys walked me through a few problems, and the counter guys at Ewing were very helpful, but I would have been willing to pay someone a few hundred to go over my design, tweak it, and walk me through one or two of my 11 zones. I would have paid even more to have my pipe pulled instead of spending a day with a trashed out rental trencher.

It's all good though. I got the system in and working like a charm. My yard is starting to come around and it is definitely turning some heads in the neighborhood. For some of the naysayers re: DIY -- we're not all cheapskates and we're not all inept. Guess that wasn't really necessary. The comments I am referring to are a couple of years old, and I don't recognize the handles as folks that regularly contribute here these days.

PurpHaze
08-04-2006, 08:46 AM
The comments I am referring to are a couple of years old, and I don't recognize the handles as folks that regularly contribute here these days.

That was probably Jon. He's changed his forum nickname. :laugh:

Mdirrigation
08-04-2006, 09:32 AM
I think I might ... you'd charge $2,875 to pull the pipe? A lot of companies around here would do the whole 11 zone job for that and they are paying for the materials, labor, and permits.


Eleven zones would be $ 6600.00 installed with 3 gear drives per zone. And we are middle priced . But a 3 bedroom house in a working class neighborhood will cost you $ 425,000 . Rent a 2 bedroom apt and it will run $ 1500.00 per month . Million dollar homes arent too impressive around here . A laborer with no experience starts at 12 dollars per hour , somebody with experience is 20 dollars per hour.

Dirty Water
08-04-2006, 10:35 AM
All this time I thought you guys were so much faster than us, doing 11 zone systems in a day.

But if your 11 zone systems only have 33 heads, then it makes sense. We average about that many heads per day.

Perhaps we have better water supplies out here, but we usually get zones that are 4 360's or 8 180's each.