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-   -   The Troble With Pricing Questions (https://www.painttalk.com/f2/troble-pricing-questions-89769/)

jennifertemple 04-26-2018 12:55 PM

The Trouble With Pricing Questions
 
We should have that "frowned upon" in the rules one reads on joining up! I just went back and reread them. It is not mentioned that I could see. That aside, it is a good rule! people can not know an other's market. Just as an example, in Big Ole TO I was up market in a good up market area. When I moved to my new small city: my rates could drop, I could have moved back to the city or I could commute 125 KM daily. A $5000 job in TO would be a $3000 in my area of Niagara Region. (I did not want to move back, commuting would be to painful so I got with the program, locally.)

If we were to give prices to others based on our own rates we might be killing their business because in their own neighborhood it might be a laughable charge and they would get little to no work, Or if they are in a really up market place they would be inundated as people think they'd found a fool.

We also can not know the caliber of the painter: Are they really at the standard we apply to ourselves? Is it just a roll & run guy or are they prepared to do all the niceties of good prep work. (This IS NOT a comment to reflect anyone on this site! My assumption is we are all pretty conscientious and always looking for ways to improve!)

Quoting and pricing are so different even from town to town in the same region, the differences between NFLD & California....!! If I just go as much as 30 KMs from here, my rates go up about 20%. :wink:

RH 04-26-2018 01:22 PM

Part of the issue lies in what type of questions are asked. For example, questions about how one might bid a job are fine (which actually could be considered a pricing question), and even discussions about a range in square foot amounts are generally allowed to stand. But questions about how much a specific job should cost are not. That’s why the canned response refers to “straight pricing questions” as being frowned upon. However, I tend to agree that some clarification on this in the rules wouldn’t hurt - other than to make the rules section that much bigger.

PACman 04-26-2018 01:29 PM

and don't forget the people that always troll the thread and say "tree fiddy!" to all pricing questions! We won't mention any names.

In my area, the Amish drive down most of the mid to lower end prices. A lot depends on whether they can take a buggy to the job or if they can get someone to take them in a truck. They don't do a lot of business in the town where i have my store because of all the traffic, but outside of town they do a bit. AND they will ALWAYS buy the cheapest paint they can. ALWAYS! They used to crawl over each other at the True Value store i worked at during the bogo sales.

jennifertemple 04-26-2018 01:29 PM

Maybe a separate thread briefly outlining the policy rather than a "rule" might discourage the questions about how much for this job. They do seem to pop up on a fairly regular basis.

thinkpainting/nick 04-26-2018 04:41 PM

Years ago we held a PDCA chapter ( invited non members as well) info and n pricing. The number of painters who had no clue on direct overhead, indirect overhead, break even pricing, profit on a job ie the year. Was mind blowing and still is. Market does bear pricing but certainly doesn’t mean the guys or gals who price what the market will bear are making money. On the contrary most aren’t. Ask me my rates I’ll tell you, ask me how I do an estimate it’s simple. We measure the work to be done and apply production rates and add the variables and wallla... bingo .. And yes I can SG ft a job any job and my sq ft rates come from my I said my rates and costs.

Len Fife seminar should be mandatory for all painters entering the trades.

Gymschu 04-26-2018 10:34 PM

Nick, you are "spot on." It would have benefitted me greatly to have been able to take advantage of a Len Fife seminar, or really, any quality estimating seminar or class. 40 years ago, a painter thought in terms of his hourly rate and gave little thought to "measuring the work." I even remember painters who charged "by the gallon" of paint used. I have survived, but barely. My defense against poor estimating was to keep overhead extremely low. That meant not buying a new vehicle, using equipment well past its life expectancy, and buying mid-grade paint so I didn't have to carry a tab on paint purchases.

Boy, was I stupid.

CApainter 04-26-2018 10:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thinkpainting/nick (Post 1601225)
Years ago we held a PDCA chapter ( invited non members as well) info and n pricing. The number of painters who had no clue on direct overhead, indirect overhead, break even pricing, profit on a job ie the year. Was mind blowing and still is. Market does bear pricing but certainly doesn’t mean the guys or gals who price what the market will bear are making money. On the contrary most aren’t. Ask me my rates I’ll tell you, ask me how I do an estimate it’s simple. We measure the work to be done and apply production rates and add the variables and wallla... bingo .. And yes I can SG ft a job any job and my sq ft rates come from my I said my rates and costs.

Len Fife seminar should be mandatory for all painters entering the trades.

It seems pretty simple, provided all things being equal and above board. Charge according to what is sustainable in your particular region.

Unfortunately, it's the reach of social media that distorts the above, and creates jealousy, hostility, and rules needed to govern pricing questions.

Worker Bee 04-26-2018 10:50 PM

Where thise gets really murky is comparing a 1 income household to a 2 person income household.

For instance, Painter A can charge X, works 2000 hours a year and provides generally good income and some spending money to the household. wife works full time decent job. all bills covered.

Painter B, single income source charges Y (more) because its the sole source of income.

Further, no two jobs are the same. doesnt matter where the job is, it could be two houses next to each other on the same street by the same builder, same floor plan. Damage to house A can be significantly more than house B. House B may have wierd exotic colors, ect...

Can you give a generalization of cost... ya... in some cases... but in most cases you really need to 'see' the job and what it entails (another reason why i refuse commercial work)

Plus, whos doing the work? blow and go ghetto painting? or someone who does level 5 work? that alone can swing the price by thousands based on the job...

and I never under stood price per square foot... how can anyone make any money at that?

RH 04-26-2018 11:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CApainter (Post 1601409)
It seems pretty simple, provided all things being equal and above board. Charge according to what is sustainable in your particular region.

Unfortunately, it's the reach of social media that distorts the above, and creates jealousy, hostility, and rules needed to govern pricing questions.

Or, that variables such as levels of prep, different techniques, working speeds, degrees of thoroughness, and geographical factors (to name a few), makes giving accurate and useful answers practically impossible.

mackhomie 04-27-2018 01:59 AM

26 Attachment(s)
This seems to have been prompted by my thread. I'm actually a little surprised, given that it was almost a charity job and that the request was for what people thought other painters might submit--and a ballpark estimate of that amount. How is that against the rules? Asking how much money a guy might lose at the casino shouldn't get anyone cited for gambling, no?

RH 04-27-2018 02:19 AM

Shouldn’t be any surprise. Any thread asking how much to charge for a specific job will be shut down.
That’s also the last I will say publically about the action I took. If you want to discuss it further, PM me. Or, if you wish to complain, contact admin.

CApainter 04-27-2018 09:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RH (Post 1601505)
Or, that variables such as levels of prep, different techniques, working speeds, degrees of thoroughness, and geographical factors (to name a few), makes giving accurate and useful answers practically impossible.

I was referring to the geographical differences in terms of economy. In terms of competing, as it relates to painting logistics and process, those are generally only relative at the local level. Unfortunately, the reach of social media propagates competition at a global level, which is ridiculous for a mom and pop paint shop in Iowa.

If you're happy with what you earn, keep it to yourself.


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