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Is the Water Feature industry putting us in a hole?

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by tadpole, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    One of the pond associations' trade shows this year is being held in conjunction with an irrigation association's trade show. On the surface this may not seem like anything that one would get concerned about. When the true reason behind this cooperative effort is revealed, it becomes (or should become) a matter of concern for all established Water Feature contractors. It seems that the manufacturers and distributors are using this as a means to recruit new installers from the irrigation trade. In this weakened and shaky economy, this may help protect the bottom line for manufacturers and distributors, it will certainly not help we veteran Water Feature contractors. The current market for Water Features is already weak and has all but disappeared in some demographic areas. Adding "new installers" just dilutes the market even more and could force some skilled craftsmen out of business. At a time that project quality should be improving, this move, if it has any modicum of success, will severely compromise the overall quality of Waterscape installations, especially aquatic habitats.

    What are your thoughts on this industry trend?

    P.S. No disrespect intended for our friends in the irrigation forum, but I think that they can see my point.
  2. Stuttering Stan

    Stuttering Stan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,503

    On the flip side, will this encourage the pond guy into the irrigation trade? Or will shabby pond installations lead to an increase in service calls for you?
    IMO, the pond and irrigation industry are looking for ways to increase revenues in these hard times, hence combining expos to cut costs.
  3. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    I have serious doubts that there would be much of a cross-over from pond to irrigation. The irrigation trade is regulated and fairly standardized, whereas there are are a miniscule of regulations in the Water Feature trade and very little standardization. Also lawns and landscaping are considered a normal part of a homestead. Water Features, of any type, are luxury items, hence the first to be trimmed from any budget in this weak economy.
    While there may be a slight increase in service calls, the majority of homeowners that have purchased a "shabby pond installation" will, once they are hit with the cost to bring the pond up to a functional level, opt to fill-in the pond or attempt to remedy things themselves. This scenario does nothing to improve the image of the Water Feature industry, in fact it will ultimately hurt it. I think that the Water Feature manufacturers and distributors who are advocating this policy are being short-sighted and we veterans in the trade are going to bear the brunt.
  4. Muthscapes

    Muthscapes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Do you currently use these pond manufacturer's products? Maybe we should boycott there products? I know there are manufactures that are dedicated to the industry and work hard to promote it. If a company is only looking at the bottom line than maybe there products and products lines will suffer for it.
  5. ponddude

    ponddude LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    I am concerned about the industry itself. I started selling some product online and it was selling for cheaper then I could get it, from people who are not even in the industry. Hard to compete...

    Seems like the manufactures are doing deals that help them, but leaves the little guy nothing.

    I am somewhat new to the industry..and I love the hobby, but I am having a tough time finding a way to make a living in it.

    Any thoughts on the industry in general tad pole?

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