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What do you do/prefer?

  • Rent lights to customer.

    Votes: 1 25.0%
  • Sell lights to customer.

    Votes: 2 50.0%
  • Both, rent and sell, customers choice.

    Votes: 1 25.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
SO, was wandering what the best way to do it is, rent or sell or both? I have read there are benefits to both, it would seem that selling is easier on your overhead... but yall tell me...

Which do you do?

What are the pros and cons of each?

What would you suggest now that you are doing it and have done it for some time?

Thanks,
 

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I think either would be successful. There are guys using both methods around here and I think it is just how you sell and approach the customer. In the long run I think either method would work. That being said we rent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
OK, that makes since, we were thinking that there will be people that want the exact same thing as the year before, and people that will always want something different. So each would tend to each person, I guess the renting would allow you to do both and/or have a chance to change things up with out costing them too much more.
 

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wow, the christmas decor folks around here sell.... how interesting....

But he's right, both ways will work fine in the long run.
Some still do sell but that is no longer the preferred method. I will be surprised if they are selling and not renting much longer
 

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I sell to 99% and only rent to a few very large commercial clients. when you rent, you pretty much have to charge 25-50% less the first year, and you still have to buy the product. you may have some used ones left over, but we custom cut all our c-9s, so I'm not a big fan of splicing one job for another job.

Also when you rent, the customer expects free bulb changes forever, as they don't "own" the lights. I also believe the customer that pays 50-65% more in the first year to buy all their product, cords, lights, clips, etc and gets to pay 10-20% less than rental in the 2nd, 3rd, and so forth years, tends to have a more vested interest in their project, and is less likely to elect not to do lights in following years. They are also more likely to buy more new product and bulbs in that year 6, 7, 8 when bulbs start to go out and entire strings cascade out on wreaths and mini's. On rental you have to pay for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I sell to 99% and only rent to a few very large commercial clients. when you rent, you pretty much have to charge 25-50% less the first year, and you still have to buy the product. you may have some used ones left over, but we custom cut all our c-9s, so I'm not a big fan of splicing one job for another job.

Also when you rent, the customer expects free bulb changes forever, as they don't "own" the lights. I also believe the customer that pays 50-65% more in the first year to buy all their product, cords, lights, clips, etc and gets to pay 10-20% less than rental in the 2nd, 3rd, and so forth years, tends to have a more vested interest in their project, and is less likely to elect not to do lights in following years. They are also more likely to buy more new product and bulbs in that year 6, 7, 8 when bulbs start to go out and entire strings cascade out on wreaths and mini's. On rental you have to pay for that.
I am interested to hear what the renters have to say about his post... it seems like with the selling there is more reason to stay with one company rather than jump to the next cheapest one to come along...
 

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I actually pick up a few clients that have bought the lights already and have moved or got fed up with the previous installer. They already have the lights, so they can pay whoever to put them up.
We charge just as much the first year as most other companies that sell, and charge a lower rate the following years just like they do. We just don't up the rate every time something needs to be replaced. That's built into our re-hang price. (price of labor + depreciation of product) I feel it is better customer service to do it this way. The customer never has to worry about buying anything else, or chasing down the installer if they are moving and what thier lights back....

AS far as the argument of which way will keep the customer coming back...well, if the customers wants to have someone else do the lights or doesn't want to pay for them..etc, then it really doesn't matter if you rented to them or sold to them the previous year, you still won't have that customer. The advantage if you rented them stuff, is that you can use it on other projects and it's already paid for. I use all LED, so my light strands should last 15 years as do my C9 bulbs. Wire is cheap, so I don't care if I have to cut new wire because I can use the old bulbs.

Again, rented or selling both work fine, you just need to decide what's best for you.
 

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I liked c-9 cord back 5 years ago when it was 1/3 of todays price. I don't consider wire today so cheap.

hotrod is right, pick a plan and go with it.

I don't agree that led's are going to last 15 years, I have some 2-3000"commercial retro fit c-9s " bought last year that went out at a rate of 1 out of 100. worse failure rate than incandescent in most cases. the led's last a long time in the lab. and they use 1/10 of the power. but they have not been tested at all in the field like old style incandescents, and cannot hold up to weather. at 7-10 times the cost of regular c-9s or mini's, they are a tough sell for me. I gave a 5 year guarantee for them in 2007, but not in '08. they get a 3 year guarantee like everything else.
 

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Ahhh, you all have so much to learn about the LED market! There are so many that make them, but few that make them well. The ones that make them well have field tested them as well as lab tested them. I field test stuff year round to make sure I'm not buying garbage. I'm in Michigan, which has pretty harsh weather, and I don't have issues like that, but my lights also cost a little more than most LED's. But Dave is right, they cost a bit more, so that's why paying $0.20 per foot of C9 wire is the cheap part for me!
I think I found only 1 C9 that was bad out of the box, and had none burn out during the last season. So I was at less than 0.1% fail rate.
 
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