Question since taking new job

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Avalon3, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. Avalon3

    Avalon3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67


    First of all, I'd like to thank you for not just 'deleting' this thread or continuing an atmosphere of censorship. I have expressed this, as well as others that it is a problem that seems to be governed primarily for the benefit of those who sponsor this site.

    I would agree with you and I believe that I have been "civil" in this sensitive exchange of commentary. I am not here to bad mouth individuals, but I am here to voice my concerns over the 'practices' and 'behavior' of companies and/or individuals. This should be voiced even if it is "uncomfortable." Should it not?

    I would like to ask you, as are we to openly discuss sensitive topics that are a concern to a trade or industry?

    I realize that this individual and this company (not trying to mention names) are feeling the pressure to not answer or to hide from the very things they have said or have done. I am trying to bring public exposure to these issues, so that the whole can choose for themselves what is right and what is wrong. Like you said, these are my views, my opinions, and they are based upon truthful actions. If this is an "open" forum, how are we to discuss these things effectively when a specific person or company has done them?

    There is obviously a lot of interest in this topic. This type of conversation has an educational quality to it--it's an insightful debate.

    I am setting this down (likely) for a while, as the person in question here has told me that they are going to be doing some big things to help contractors later in the fall. Why the delay.....who knows? We'll see hopefully in the next several months if this is true or not. I will continue to pick this back up at that time and especially so if there is no real plan of action.

    Thank you for the opportunity to ask questions.
  2. RLI Electric

    RLI Electric LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 381

    Mark, we have talked for years about this topic and you know where my thoughts are on all of this. However, it is not only the products that make something "high end". It is the craftsman that put the system together that makes it "high end". The usual suspects here are going to use the fixtures they know that gets the results they are happy with. 3M Wirenuts sold at the Depot or Amazon are no better or worse than the ones I get at my supplier. The 1/4-20 bolt that is holding the widget on my watzit in my car is simply a 1/4-20 bolt. It is the assembly of the structure that makes it high end. Maybe this is a battle to be fought but as I said before, open pricing has always been the case in the electrical field and as in electrical, we are selling a finished system. Or at least I am. I am not focusing on fixtures because I have researched what I use and I am more than comfortable placing these in my systems and charging what is necessary to do so.
  3. Irrigation Contractor

    Irrigation Contractor LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 424

    IMO, focusing so much energy on trying to tell VOLT how to do business is not fair and to be honest, the OP is really in no position to do so.

    We have used VOLT for LED lamps; we have found their service and products to be good quality. OUR new install customer base is NOT a VOLT customer, so it has no influence on how we do business. Any potential customers that would mention online pricing or purchasing their own fixtures will never be a customer of ours.

    We install irrigation and charge retail plus for repair parts which anyone can find for close to contractor cost online. What is the difference here with VOLT?

    When installing a quality and professional lighting system for our customers, price shopping or a price difference of a few hundred dollars does not make any us at least.

    We provide the customer with a proposal that contains one number showing the total estimate amount to do a complete system. We do not breakdown labor versus materials......IMO, it leaves too much out there for the customer to question labor or material costs.
  4. Avalon3

    Avalon3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    Well, it looks like this is a dying thread now. So, it is or has been what it is. I know many do not appreciate or understand the position I and a few others are taking in this, but I have been at least willing to take up the charge. I've been in PM discussions for the past 3 days with Steve P., as he no longer wishes to openly debate these things. I understand and respect his stance there. Do I agree with it..."no." I believe that this will hurt him and his new company's image because they are unwilling to openly debate about it. To me, this is hiding from the issues. It's also a means to allow it all to dissolve or to sweep past actions under the rug. Whatever....that's their choice.

    My intentions are and will always be to expose the truths to what is going on in our specialized trade. It's unfortunate that only a handful are willing to do this.

    There's also not much use at beating a dead horse. Many contractors in this industry choose to see things in a short-sighted view. Maybe they don't understand how the actions or lack of action around us today will greatly impact us in the future. All I can say is that I would love to talk to each of you 10 or 20 years from see how thriving and successful you are working with your business models. Time will tell the truth. I can't, nor can anyone prevent this from happening. I'm sure that is the point that most of you are thinking too. order to be successful at your business (financially), you have to surround yourself by successful people, methods and practices, and principles. If you believe that this company in question is going to bring you the success you are looking for, then 'best of luck.' You should just really understand the dynamics of these actions.....this company is an importer/manufacturer that is not a professional contractor/installer.....they are out for one make money off of you however they can. Are you surrounding yourself by like companies or individuals (professional contractors-designers) that have proven experience? Most likely not, especially if you are going to allow a company like this to mentor to show you how to run your business. It's no different than me going down to the local distributor and letting them show me how to be "successful." Yikes!!

    Best wishes to all...hope this activity did help some.
  5. indylights

    indylights LawnSite Member
    Messages: 179

    Mark, just curious. What products do you use and where do you buy them from? Thanks
  6. Avalon3

    Avalon3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    Indy....I'm using Gambino's products, which are exclusive and no one can shop them....the best of all of these situations. And in other, lower budget scenarios, I've been utilizing some of the CopperMoon line. I do this because Doug honors the contractor profession and does not allow consumers to buy direct from him. I've used a couple of other products on occasion to perform add-on's or whatever on past customers from years ago. Most of my early days were spent using FX Luminaire. Over the years I've tried quite a few different things, to help me to learn the good's and bad's of particular lines, especially early on.

    Also, I am not a fan of the distributors....I've tried many. If I'm going to work with one, then I tend to go for the smaller operation because they offer a better service. I just hate the idea of giving them almost 30% more for something that I gain little in return for. Most don't know the products....most have poor service and don't follow up or follow through....and most don't stock like they used to. What's the benefit?
  7. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,323

    Let's see. We can't use the exclusive line from Mike Gambino like you do.
    We aren't suppose to buy from Volt because you don't like their sales plan. And, if we follow your advice, we shouldn't buy from distributors because they take away mark-up that we ought to be able to put in our own pockets.

    No wonder no one wants to debate you on a public forum. It's a no-win for us. I'm certainly not going to try anymore.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2014
  8. Richie@

    Richie@ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 187

  9. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,573

    That's exactly how I've felt.

    I don't care about volt because I don't use them. It's just like sprinkler warehouse. If you have to justify you're pricing you have the wrong customers.

    I always tell them they are welcome to do installs their self but it's going to cost you when I fix it. I'm not a fan of price shippers

    And I don't generally mark fixtures up. I make my money in labor costs. But then again I don't itemize estimates either
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. Avalon3

    Avalon3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    Come on Phil....missing the point here again. And towards these options there are ways you can make these things work. True, it's almost impossible to get Mike's products....however, Mike will sell to those who are professional, who act and perform in the best manner, and who understand the dynamics of all of this.

    As far as other can use what you wish. I never said Volt was a bad product did I? You are missing the concept of this whole thread.

    And towards distributors....if you or any other contractor is struggling to pay for common business expenses and you are having to find the lowest priced products, then do so with a company that will give you an edge! This company has taken one of those edges away from you. Why does someone go to this company in the first place??? Isn't because they are the low-priced leader for a decent product? There are several lower-priced companies out there....they just don't blatantly sell at the same price to the consumer....for the most part. My comments towards not throwing away the ~30% in added cost to the distributor is to understand what you are getting for that addition. If a company is struggling to be profitable or they do not see a benefit in working with them, then why go this route? I don't benefit by using them, so I try to limit it or avoid them.

    Phil....again, spin this how you's a matter of understanding what and why I am standing up for these things.

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