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Old 06-12-2014, 09:22 PM
Irrigation Contractor Irrigation Contractor is offline
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Originally Posted by GreenLight View Post
I think it's a bit unfair and unrealistic to keep hammering away while ignoring a few very involved factors. This whole conversation has basically evolved into saying "there are very few of us in this industry that are worth a damn and the rest of you are basically ruining it."

Back to the reality of the world we are living in and a few examples of where I found myself in uncomfortable positions. Unique, Hadco, FX, Kichler, Vista, ETC, ETC,ETC all have this secret contractor only pricing model that seems to be what this conversation is all about. In theory, the average person pays "retail" while the rest of us pay contractor discount prices. Well, as it turns out, if you do a very brief google search of a specific fixture from just about any of these companies, you will find a heavily discounted bargain to buy direct. Contractor or average joe, doesn't matter. In fact, I have even done google searches and found places where joe homeowner can actually get a better price point than I do from my distributor. That's an awfully embarrassing foot in the mouth experience when you put a list price on an invoice and then get called on it by a researching customer.

Right now, the internet is far more of a threat to the old school pricing model of "contractor vs retail" than any of us in the lighting industry. Don't even get started on the LED lamps. You can find Halco, Vista, Phillips, etc, etc littered all over the internet at a highly discounted rate to the homeowner.

My overall point is this. It seems like there is a vocal minority in panic mode right now screaming "save this industry from itself". And while all of us may certainly be concerned about the evolution and direction of this industry, many of us are preparing for how to evolve with it. You have a make believe body called the AOLP that has zero real authority and is really a glorified trade show magazine that I believe creates some of the rabble rousing. Im not saying any of this is good for the industry, but the flood gates are opening and pricing transparency will be the future. Skilled labor, reputation and a great portfolio will be your greatest overhead recovery. People aren't paying me to install a $20 fixture or $200.00 fixture. They are paying me to install a lighting system or install 1 fixture, 2 fixtures, 3 fixtures, 4 fixture additions to their systems. Whether they choose the $20 fixture or the $200.00 fixture isn't of absolute concern to me. Im not marking up by percentage, I basically already have a model that shows exactly what I "install" for 1 or 30 fixtures. Obviously there will always be situations that cost more based on challenging conditions, but for the most part materials are becoming a secondary part of overhead recovery in my operation.
Excellent Post

If anything could help all of us in my opinion would be the architects. They are the link to the customer and they are supposed to be working to protect the customer. In our area, irrigation for just about ALL commercial projects in Design Build which blows my freaking mind.

Some say better codes, but all the government does create more costs and problems. MOST new homeowners will spend 99% of their focus and money on the house and everything inside. By the time we get a chance to meet the customer, ALL we here is they are over budget.

This is our area and our experience, so keep that in mind.
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Old 06-13-2014, 01:41 PM
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Lite4 Lite4 is offline
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Originally Posted by INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting View Post
See, another reason that LED lamps are superior to integrated fuxtures... the end of life costs of disposal and recycling are significantly more with integrated fuxtures.

Light on!
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Don't always assume that the dead fixtures are going into the trash can. I recycle my spent brass and aluminum fixture bodies along with my copper wire scraps so they are being repurposed again. They will live on to see another day and they stay out of the landfill too.

Tim Ryan
Lite4 Outdoor Lighting
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Old 06-13-2014, 02:19 PM
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starry night starry night is online now
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Originally Posted by Lite4 View Post
..... I recycle my spent brass and aluminum fixture bodies along with my copper wire scraps .........
Same here. Plus it puts a few bucks back into your pocket.
Phil Bauer
Starry Night Lighting

"Always look on the bright side of life."
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Old 07-15-2014, 04:10 PM
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AztlanLC AztlanLC is offline
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Many good points here and most by very talented people, many of you are artists when it comes to lighting which hope some day I can mimic, projects on your web sites are breath taking in my 2 cents your talent is the number #1 priority when it comes to profit, not the markup you can get by selling fixtures, I can only imagine Jasper Johns worrying about his customers finding out how much he pays for his canvas, Elton John saying "**** I hope people don't know they can get 100 blank discs for $10.00" why if you price a fixture per say it states $50 for fixture $250.00 for talented installation rather than $120.00 for fixture (with mark up) and $180.00 installation, both scenarios you are charging the same but should make more profits buying the less expensive option since now you gotta pay for your own vacation, I do this if I know I'm offering an equal or superior product to my clients.
Not defending Volt but I have used and still do, I do honestly believe their products are top notch, same or better quality compare to others costing up to twice as much.

I'm in no way as experienced and/or talented like most of you , but since this is an open forum I tough about sharing my view and looking forward learning more.
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Old 07-22-2014, 01:50 AM
Chris J Chris J is offline
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As I promised, this is my update:
I was intrigued by the concept of Volt, only because of all the banter here. In an effort to speak intelligently on the subject, I promised that I would use the products for a couple of weeks in order to have an educated opinion. In that time, I have installed in excess of 50k (gross sales) using their product. I have found the product line to be exceptional in quality (some of them appear to be from the same people who manufacture Unique products). My wallet is extremely pleased with the extra profit as well as I have not altered my pricing structure. I've charged the same, and I have felt extremely good about it because I have been giving my clients an even better product to go with our exceptional talents and business ethics. The lifetime warranty is undeniable as a selling point as well; however, I simply don't understand what the problem is with some of your opinions. I don't sell fixtures, and I don't itemize proposals, and I haven't been cornered yet about internet pricing or asked to provide manufacturer details. I provide a simple proposal accompanied by a rough layout drawing of where the fixtures will be placed and how many units will be provided. I do not list details such as wattage, lamp type, manufacturer etc. I will show samples of the products at the meeting with the client, but who made it is not discussed. Do you find this necessary? If so, I just don't get it but I will not bash your sales technique.
The product is great, and my test over the last two weeks has afforded me the extra cash for that "vacation" pretty much anywhere I want to go..... Therefore, I say: Don't buy it if you don't want to. Keep on telling lies to your customers that you pay ungodly prices for your materials and you have an MSRP to prove it. People aren't stupid, and you should quit treating the general public as if they are.
2 cents.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:23 PM
Irrigation Contractor Irrigation Contractor is offline
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Chris J......well said.

VOLT has been excellent to deal with and increased our profits.
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Old 07-30-2014, 01:28 AM
Chris J Chris J is offline
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Perhaps a little harsh..... My apologies.
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