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What kind of markup do you charge for Sprinkler Parts?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by MowinginEureka, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. GreenLight

    GreenLight LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 521

    I always find this topic interesting. Personally, I have said it before in other capacities (lighting especially), but list doesn't exist if RB, HUNTER, TORO, and all the other so called commercial grade manufacturers don't have some rules. I don't knock you for shopping through irrigation direct or sprinkler warehouse, but the fact that you don't have to have any formal licensing or tax id to purchase there at wholesale is something I blame all the manufacturers for. WTF is list, if anybody can buy it at wholesale with one simple internet search? It's a figment of the imagination.

    That's my rant on that topic, as for markup on parts I play by the rule, the more expensive the item, the higher the % of markup. Im not going to pay $200.00 for a controller and only mark it up to $260.00, then install it in 1 hour and and collectively charge $360.00 for labor and materials. I generally find the more expensive the part, the more knowledge needed to install (not always, but generally) and the more effort it's going to take me to replace it if a warranty issue occurs. Im not going to mark up nozzles and fittings 500% because generally it's brain dead stuff that isn't going to make me much. The labor on those quick ticket items is generally worth it cutting my markup.
  2. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,090

    I needed a new Moen faucet for the mo/ho, called my plumbers. They said "buy it on the Internet", which I did and they installed it. They told me what I paid was $50.00 bucks LESS than they would have paid for for it from the distributor. Go figure. :dizzy:
  3. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    All depends on how I am feeling and if the client is an shitstain or a decent person.
    Normally I charge around 30% over list due to parts being available from the internet, but stuff like submersible pumps which most wholesale places won't sell without a valid irrigation license I'll follow their suggested list guidelines.
    Now, if I know the person and they are of a decent sort even on big ticket items I usually follow the 30% idea. Better vibe, more consistent work since they know I am not trying to "retire" off of one job, etc - basically fostering good will.
    However, if the client is a real butthole I'll jack the price well beyond suggested list.
    Had a client (who isn't one now thankfully) who questioned everything I planned, how I was to install the new pump/controller, came right out and told me any idiot could do my work. So when I priced the pump/controller list came out to something around $2,100 with my cost around $875 total. I priced the components right at $3,400 + jacking my labor rate to one and a half times. When asked why I said I am neither an idiot nor a fool, I heartily dislike you (the client) so if you want me to do the work your attitude is going to cost you more $$$. Then left with the dude's mouth hanging open.
    He called me one week later and said no one else will do the work so my price got met.
    Doesn't happen often but I'm not in this business to be made a fool.
  4. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,090

    45% was my norm. On stuff like RainMaster, it was so pricey, I could not do it.
  5. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,185

    Right in line with me too.

    I had my gas water heater replaced today. The guy gave me a price on Monday for parts and labor, which I was happy with. We happened to be at HD on Tuesday and checked out the heaters. What we were to get was being sold for about $70 cheaper at HD. I thought good deal, not a big mark up on his end. He called me last night and said "Hey I was at HD, and saw the heater that I was going to sell you for $70 less. My supplier was going to sell me in for $20 less than what I was going to charge you. Let's go pick it up and save you $70". So his supply house was going to charge him MORE than we could get it at HD, and he was going to mark it up only $20. I was shocked at that.

    I was happy as a consumer, but amazed as a contractor.
  6. Sprinkus

    Sprinkus LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,296

    Service work is usually 100% markup on most parts, or -100% markup if sig is ridiculously long.
  7. WalkGood

    WalkGood LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,910

    Many times brand name items that are also sold in the big box stores are not exactly the same as sold in regular supply houses. Not saying that YOUR water heater is one of those items, but it could be.

    For example, you could buy a STANLEY insulated exterior door at a lumber yard for $200. HD goes to STANLEY and says, I want you to make us a door to sell that is 85% - 90% the same. The $200 door has an adjustable bottom sweep. The HD version has a fixed non-adjustable sweep. Hinges with 3 screws instead of 4. Steel hinges versus brass. HD sells the stripped down door for $169.

    For a water heater, could be a plastic drain valve versus a brass one. No dielectric fittings on hot and cold fittings. Thinner walled dip tube, plastic versus metal. Stuff like that.

    Just sayin.
  8. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,608

    That is 100% correct. HD will tell manufacturers what they are willing to pay. Many manufacturers will import a knockoff of it just for HD. Found that one out the hard way with a kitchen faucet, that leaked right out of the box. A import knockoff with a Delta tag on it.
  9. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,185

    I've had three plumbers tell me that there are basically three companies that make water heaters, and they are just re-branded to the different companies.

    HD had three models, we took the mid-range model, with the middle warranty of 9 years.
  10. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 1,865

    Dana, did you consider on-demand tankless heaters? They're substantially more up front but I put one in a couple of years ago and with a 15y/o daughter that likes to take showers "until the hot water runs out" my gas bill went down by almost 50%. It was worht it for us anyway though, to have hot water to take our own showers after she finally decided to get out of hers. You can't put a price on no more cold showers.

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