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Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by NickN, Apr 27, 2005.
Ha Ha Workink With Doody Kinda Like Daddy
That may be somewhat true, to a real basic extent. But, anyone with a supply of PVC is NOT a plumber, same as someone with a micrometer is NOT a toolmaker. Besides, you didn't call a guy with just a supply of PVC pipe, you called a plumber....and he also has a van, tools, inventory, office, phone line, inventory, insurance, taxes and so on (same as any of you 'pros'). I wouldn't be surprised if he has more than $40,000 worth of tools in that van. A professional power drain cleaner will be a lot more than $400 or $500.
Let's put the shoe on the other foot. I have a patch of grass 2' by 2' that I want professionally cut, that's it. How much would you charge, should only take you 5 minutes. And that should be extremely generous for time, unless I'm mistaken. Oh, and to simulate the fact that you dug your hole instead of him, once you pull up, I'll drop the tailgate on your enclosed trailer, fuel up your machine, start it and unload it for you. Would you do it for $5????(Oh and, it's 35 minutes on the other side of town, and you have to stop in the middle of a huge new install because I say it's really an emergency.)
My brother in law is a plumber and I have spent some of my days helping him. Most of the emergency work is very simple, the projects are slightly more technical, but are not overwhelmingly difficult. With that said... you were paying for the following:
1.) Emergency service. These guys are available on call 24 hours 7 days aweek. You paid for him to be there in a relatively short amount of time. If he were out to eat with his family, he would have drove to your house as soon as he was done eating.
2.) Van. If he was at the other end of his territory, he would have to drive all the way to your house. There is no such thing as a "route", let alone a "tight-route"
3.) Tools. My brother in law had three rooter machines in his van. The cheapest one costed $1500. The biggest one costed $3500.
5.) Yellow page ad.
6.) You paid for his know-how. It was only his know-how that got him in and out in 5 minutes from the point you left the project at.
7.) Most jobs are stinky and disgusting (I threw up more than once working with him).
8.) You paid for his off time and job related non-billable. The amount of time they spend on-site doing work probably only totals about two hours per day. The rest is spent driving too an fro, giving estimates, writing invoices etc. for every hour billable there is probably 2 hours job related but not billable.
9.) This is their only way to make a living. If you are in this business you have to be available 24 hours, you can't work a second job, you can't do it part time. This means your paying for all the time that he doesn't have any work. There is very little "maintenance" schedules.
10.) That emergency visit could be his only call for the week, or it could be one of dozens per day. There are severe peaks and valleys in that business and you have to plan accordingly.
I know you guys are talking about plumbers, but recently I locked my keys in my truck.
Took locksmith less than 2 min. to unlock my truck - bill $135
tools used 2 plastic wedges, 1 pump up bag, 1 snake clamp thingy
I'd rather be a locksmith than a plumber