Good, Better, Best?

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  #1  
Old 05-23-13, 08:05 AM
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Good, Better, Best?

We have a home service company here that does HVAC, electrical, and plumbing repair that in their TV commercials offer, Good, Better, Best. I say how about Right. Got to say the ad makes me wonder about the differences. What do you think? I wonder if good is really just jerry-rigged and best includes things you don't really need.
 
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Old 05-23-13, 08:17 AM
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Doubt it refers to their services. Most likely different grades of materials. Goodman vs Trane vs Lennox for example.

Couldn't imagine someone calling up and asking me to just do an OK job. That would burn a reputation pretty fast.
 
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Old 05-23-13, 08:40 AM
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That's my thinking also. While I prefer to use the best materials, I can see giving the customer an option of picking a lower grade. Maybe even having me do a bare minimum amount of work. I can not see letting a customer being able to choose the quality of work I do. Most small businesses thrive because of customer satisfaction.
 
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Old 05-23-13, 08:41 AM
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Doubt it refers to their services. Most likely different grades of materials. Goodman vs Trane vs Lennox for example.

Couldn't imagine someone calling up and asking me to just do an OK job. That would burn a reputation pretty fast.
I can see them saying "Just make it work".
With every job, the Make it work solution probably isn't the best option. I get this often as budget and time is always a factor. Save a buck up front, will generally cost two in the end.

I'm more a "Better" option guy. Not all the bells and whisles but not a make it work either. Bit of a balancing act between the two.
 
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Old 05-23-13, 08:45 AM
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I prefer to be a "Best" Kind of guy. Everything needs to be prefect and designed to last.
 
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Old 05-23-13, 11:55 AM
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Yes its part of the straight forward pricing these company's buy into. We have it here. Kind of a franchise they buy into. It maximizes their profits.

Basically when you give options to the homeowner there are three levels.

Example: I get called for toilet not working. Toilet 20 years old.

I give her the good....which is rebuild the toilet. Fill and flush valve. But she still has a 20 year old toilet. Price? $350.... 1 yr warranty

Here is the better. Replace toilet with a plumbers grade gerber toilet. Price $580 with 5 yr warranty.

Best... American standard champion 4 toilet. Price $775 with 10year warranty.


Dont forget the $89 fee to come out....LOL


Its a ploy. People want the best, or middle of the road. So if its written that way and the options are given, then you sell more high end stuff. Cost is really similar to the company for all three option. A bigger profit is made on the best... People dont want to seem cheap and go for good......
 
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Old 05-23-13, 12:42 PM
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$580-775 to just reset a toilet...holy crapola....man am I glad I never had to call a plumber for that kind of work. I guess thats pretty common in your area Mike?

Neighbor had a replacement done last year or so....materials plus labor (dunno the toilet, but not a Glacier Bay type) was around $400 as he told me. Even at HD a basic AS Champion4 is about $225. Seems like a lot for labor...though of course costs vary by region...but that much? No wonder I don't like big cities.
 
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Old 05-23-13, 12:54 PM
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Vic, plumbers seem to make big bucks in small towns too.... least ways compared to painters

I hired a plumber once, about 35 yrs ago - cost me $75 for 15 minutes work [including $10 part] I watched, learned and did it myself the next time. Fortunately I've had a few plumber friends over the years that were willing to give me free advice when I needed it.
 
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Old 05-23-13, 02:47 PM
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I try to get the best service for whatever I get done either here or at the rental. Speaking of toilets prices vary for work not just because of the are but because of the type of toilet. Take pressure assist toilets for instance which I both love and hate. The tanks are real expensive so that alone brings the price way up. Personally I would rather have a regular toilet but this just does a better job of getting rid of stuff.
 
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Old 05-23-13, 05:17 PM
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Vic, I'm guessing that includes the toilet, too, plus removing the old one. There's always a markup on things you sell.
It's pretty pricey around my neck of the woods, too.
 
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Old 05-24-13, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45
$580-775 to just reset a toilet...holy crapola....man am I glad I never had to call a plumber for that kind of work.
I've done some extensive plumbing repair work myself (not by choice ) and I can tell you... electric is fun, easy and headache-free by comparison.

You want to know what a PITA it can be... just try replacing the PVC closet flange on a toilet. That entails disconnecting and draining the toilet, unbolting it, lifting it off and carrying it somewhere safe, scraping off the old wax ring, cutting off the flange ring, scoring the flange inside the pipe, breaking it out, cleaning it up, and FINALLY gluing a new flange in place... and THEN ya gotta put everything back!
It's a process that takes a solid hour, if you're GOOD at it.
 
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Old 05-24-13, 03:39 AM
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A "just make it work" comment will send me spinning out the door. Seriously, you must have work ethics. "Good", I send out a high school mentor student? "Better", I send out one of my helpers? "Best", I come myself, assess the problem and attack it with solid answers?

Quality of products, I leave that up to the client. If they don't want to spend the $243 for an ASC4 and choose a $99 cheaper model, it's their choice...now and later.
 
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Old 05-24-13, 06:02 AM
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Personally, I rarely balk at a price. Why? Not because I have the money or did not budget for the cost. Because, if I think I can due it myself I do it. Sometimes all goes well but at other times it does not...

Secondly, IMO, what we all often forget is what we are paying for.

#1
Knowledge base.
The contractors knowledge of the job plus all the things that it may require and/or include unknown to us and all that may or could go wrong...

#2
Expertise. When the job requires a work around or additional work based upon what may exist and/or does not exist. Example: Plumber encounters cast iron pipe at the flange that needs to be converted to PVC ... ETC. Another : My electrician had to replace the electrical boxes (4) in the walls just to install new light fixtures in both bathrooms wife wanted!!! Not a simple R&R light fixture job... $$$$!!!!

#3
When a complete job requires all parts replaced. Nick got it all correct. One exception overlooked maybe. Removing toilet for complete rebuild requires the tank be removed from the bowl to replace the flush valve seat/ring. Reinstalling with all new parts, etc. Side Note: Tank removal also makes it easier to carry to another temp location during other work needing to be done first...

Bottom Line:
If any DIY job goes well when done by ourselves we win. When it does not for any reason, we have no one to blame or call back but ourselves.... Very often a professional gets it done right the first time. Expertise does not come cheap. Nor should it.

 
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Old 05-24-13, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Sharp Advice
#3
When a complete job requires all parts replaced. Nick got it all correct. One exception overlooked maybe. Removing toilet for complete rebuild requires the tank be removed from the bowl to replace the flush valve seat/ring. Reinstalling with all new parts, etc. Side Note: Tank removal also makes it easier to carry to another temp location during other work needing to be done first...
Oh, I did give the (two) toilets a full service; they had been installed for 20+ years with no significant maintenance. I was just getting to the point of, IMO, what is one of the most difficult/time-consuming plumbing repair jobs.

What really burns me out with plumbing repair is finding quality SOLID BRASS parts. I'm a "best" guy and that's what I use... plated steel, plain steel, zinc, nylon... those are all compromises for me. It's horrific to see what happens to steel parts in plumbing apps, plated or not.


You want to see what a range there is in product quality, just look at this....

Two ~85 gal pressure tanks, one literally MORE than TWICE the $$$ of the other. It's the difference between a "git-r-done" job and a "let's use the best **** products we can buy" job.

(with the quality of the Util. it's more like "tolerable" versus "best", but hey... )

$447 Utilitech
Shop Utilitech 86-Gallon Vertical Pressure Tank at Lowes.com

$965 Gould
Goulds V260
 
  #15  
Old 05-24-13, 09:35 AM
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I have a different perspective (an slight opinion) then you Nick on this one. (Keep in mind I work for an engineering firm.)

Example:
Client requests a temporary smelter be designed and built that will be used for a 2 year pilot.
(Simplifying the process a bit here)Two firms are hired and given the task of designing. The better of the two gets the construction contracts.
Firm A Designs the smelter to be the best of the best. As green as possible (for the tree huggers) and the best materials. That thing could take a direct hit from a tornato and would never miss a beat.
Firm B designs a very basic (get-r-done) smelter complex with dirt roads, moble office trailers, enough to satisfy the task and local regulations.

Firm B got the contract.
If firm B's smelter collapses in 2yrs and a day, it was exactly what the client requirested and needed. A success.

I've won contracts (sales contracts prior to working here) because I offered what the customer needed (with a bit of buffering) and not what was the best. You don't sell 40yr shingles to a couple that is in their 90's.

I do buy the better stuff when I can. Some critical items, I'll be the best stuff.
 
  #16  
Old 05-24-13, 10:49 AM
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I actually do agree with that, don't get me wrong. There's a time and place for everything. Sometimes overage is great, and sometimes it's just useless, like in your examples. When a client gives a lifetime as a parameter, of course I'll consider it, and not overdo it.

More often, I think it's a happy medium of "not the best" so the customer is happier with the cost, but also "not the worst", so they aren't aggravated by what they perceive as an early failure... done by the installer to get that sooner "return visit". This is my attitude for residential jobs - give yourself a reputation. If the customer asks for the best (which will inevitably happen), I'm only too happy to do that.
 
  #17  
Old 05-24-13, 12:29 PM
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You don't sell 40yr shingles to a couple that is in their 90's.
I wish you would. The 20-30 year-olds who buy the house next will be much better off paying a bit more for the house and putting that extra cost on a low rate mortgage than paying for it a couple years down the road.

The house I bought was done "good enough" after some damage was done. Had it been done well, I would have gladly paid more. Instead, I have to pay even more to redo all the work because insulation wasn't put in, subfloor wasn't repaired, etc.

Now, if it's a house that will be condemned in ten years; by all means, go with the cheap shingles.
 
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