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Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by bobbygedd, Jun 10, 2002.
anyone ever have customers ask u to buy shrubbery for them, cus u get it cheaper than they can?
I've had them ask...however, I tell them that for me to choose the plants and deliver them, they'll end up paying more than if they bought them themselves.
If they say "That's OK", then I tell them - "because the project is so small and would tie up so much of our time, we wouldn't be interested in it, anyway. But thanks for asking."
had a customer a couple of weeks ago say "how much can you get azaleas for?, I need five and walmart has them for $ 3. 97. "
I usually explain in these instances that yes I can get them for less cost, but thats because that is partly how i make a living and by the time we figure in labor with a guarantee they will get there money's worth.
We have deals with all of our vendors that we will only honor invoices with our PO number on them, linked to a signed purchase order. Been doing this for the last 15 years. We've had customers and subs trying to charge to our accounts for jobs we weren't involved in. Once had a customer go in 30 minutes after meeting with my wife to go over list of materials for her job and try to tell vendor she was one of my employees there to pick up the order and she was to pay cash for it, on orders from me.
I only help people out like this if it's trees and about 10 or more needed. I get my 50% dicount and can deliver them cheap to their homes. At the end they only save about 10% but this can add up when the bill is around $1500 or more.
The worst is a nursery by me that posts not only the retail price on all of there material but also the 'contractor' price. After walking around that place, you get a 'cold' feeling on what may happen you give a estimate to somebody and they say, 'well, we were at XYZ nursery the other day, and..........!"
The second worst thing is at the end of the year when all the nurseries start running 50% off sales on materials and advertise it to death in the papers and with mailers. Then people see prices that even a contractor doesn't get most of the time.
Any way you slice it, it's best to say 'no'. For every person you tell yes too, it's likely word will get around, and get around quick. When I started out, I fell into this rut, and realized I needed to get the hell out of it, and quick! I'm sure Mcdonalds gets one hell of a deal on burgers, but do people go in there and ask if they can get a 'discounted' price on a box of them. I don't think so, but for some reason in this business, we give the stuff out freely.
I get asked the same on sprinkler parts. Backflow bonnets, valves, heads. I just tell them I'm not a retail outlet and give them a place to go better than the Home Depot places.
Set up a letter to all of your suppliers stating that all purchases must have a purchase order number. This will stop anyone from using your accounts.