buy-back program

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Mike M, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,955

    I mentioned this idea a few months ago, and decided to try it out for a current prospective client.

    They have 5 Vista aluminum lights and a 300 watt transformer. After discussing the front and back zones, and their budget, they said they want either just the front or just the back. Three of the Vistas are downlight glares, and it's hard telling people I need to pull out their old stuff, and that I have no use for it. So, on my proposal, I included pricing for each zone, plus a buy-back incentive if they go with both zones at the same time: I will trade three new Unique down lights (which they liked very much in the demo) for their 5 Vistas and their transformer. (The down lights are valued/equated with my installed rate). For me, the benefit includes not leaving their vista "glares" up, plus avoiding multiple service issues.

    They loved the demo, so I hope the incentive helps. I'll post response.

    I am working on my next postcard ad, which I'm thinking of promoting a buy-back or trade-in. The real question is, how much of our potential market is there with people hating their current crappy install, but dragging their feet to call us, since they already spent money on what they have?

    I don't know about you guys, but bad installs (aesthetically and technically) are everywhere around here!!!!

    The campaign would highlight the benefits of a niche lighting specialist, and offer the buy-back/trade-in.

    Here's some ideas: 25 bucks per fixture, up to 10 fixtures (malibu/consumer stuff excluded), and a $75 credit toward a new transformer (1 trans trade-in per customer).

    I can even go with the energy savings/efficiency factor, with Unique's new 24v system. "Trade in you old transformer for a new, state-of-the-art 24V system, and save up to 20% on energy use."

    I may need a larger postcard.

    You can't recycle cast aluminum, can you?
     
  2. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    Mike... I will say this: Your buy back program is novel. I have never heard of such an offer in our biz.

    The way you describe it you have little to loose. I would only suggest that you closely examine your installation price schedule and make sure that the process of buying back previously installed crap does not negate your NET profit on the new replacements.

    As for marketing the program... what the heck, give it a shot. You will know in short order if it motivates people to take you up on it. At the very worst you will be gaining new clients that would have never otherwise called you.

    Have a great day.
     
  3. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 960

    I can even go with the energy savings/efficiency factor, with Unique's new 24v system. "Trade in you old transformer for a new, state-of-the-art 24V system, and save up to 20% on energy use."

    You'll sound just like any other scam artist trying to sell his wares by using false pretense.
     
  4. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    Ahh you have to love that voice of optimism as you sip your coffee in the morning.
     
  5. extlights

    extlights LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 439

    I don't see it as a bad idea, but I'll ask this.....Why exclude Malibu? I'm not sure about in your area, but even highend homes around here have malibu systems that their landscaper or some tailgate slammer installed for them. I would say that if I found 10 homes with existing "lighting systems", that probably 6-7 of them have Malibu lights.

    I would think that this kind of incentive that you are offering would impact those with the cheap systems even more seeing as they didn't shell out a ton of money in the first place, and they will noticeably find a enormous difference in the design and system that you are offering compared to what they have now. They obviously wanted lighting to begin with and went with the cheap guy.....now Mike comes in and shows them what a real design and lighting system is and saves the day! Just my opinion.:)
     
  6. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933

    Just drive around and look at all the crappy lighting systems that people have hacked in. Chances are those homeowners who have pagodas all slanted over, burned out, and broken are just fed up with lighting and dont know it but are waiting to have a pro come knock on their door and beg to replace it with a quality effecient well designed system.

    Obviously I think the 24v is a great way to approach these customers. Not only for the energy effeciency but also for your labor cost in installing less wire. around the existing landscapes.
     
  7. seolatlanta

    seolatlanta LawnSite Member
    Posts: 176

    Hey Mike

    Your idea is good but in my opinnion that is a slippery slope to play on. I mean you could go to a home , price it out , get the job , and then they go to the garage and pull out a couple of dozen old Malibu fixtures that you said in your ad you would give credit for.

    Now I do understand that you have your pricing agreed upon , but this will be a sticky situation for you. I would definitely stay with the green idea though as energy consumption is top of mind these days.

    I was at a class on weds. and got a good look at the Kichler LED and it is some pretty impressive stuff- that is the future of landscape lighting, along with the 24 volt stuff as well. The color of the LED was impressive.

    You could always do a small test card and monitor your results.
     
  8. The Lighting Geek

    The Lighting Geek LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 882

    Mike you might want a disclaimer stipulating (wow such big words..LOL) 'only fixtures currently connected to an existing 12 volt system qualify' or something like that so you don't get the guy collecting old fixtures from his neighbors, and it keeps the solar fixtures out.
     
  9. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,955

    If I give it a go, it will be token numbers. People just don't like the idea and feeling of being wasteful and tossing their last project into the trash.

    It would be what I typically see, "up to" 8 lights from a professional installation, including 1 transformer. I can also stop it if it's a bad idea, by putting a "June Special" on it.

    Maybe 25 per "working light" ? "Solar or DYI not included."

    Or heck, just do it like Ford: push pull or drag or whatever.

    etc.

    Hey, even Jaguar and Mercedes take trade-ins.
     
  10. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,955

    Our cable company did a dish-buy-back program years ago. It was a great way to get the not completely satisfied dish people to let go of their dish. I was one of those people.

    I think people don't even care as much about the exact dollar, I think the would feel good knowing their stuff was being recycled or something.

    By the way, anyone know if you can recycle powder-coated cast aluminum?

    I figure I can get some money for used transformers on e-bay. I could also sell them a kit with 8 lights which I can mix and match and salvage before corrosion, if possible. Heck, I can even include 100 feet of freaking used copper wire. Wait, this gets better, I'll also send them unused Kichler quick clips for each fixture!
     

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