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I did an estimate on a 20x22x9 garage and the customers is haggling me on the price. The homeowner had another part of the garage painted by another painter. The homeowner wanted the floor epoxied but the first painter just rolled out the wall paint on the floor and its now pealing off. I told him i would not be doing the floors because he needed to call someone who can do the proper prep work to remove the messed up floors. here is the bid i gave him for the walls, ceiling, 1 door, attic entrance, and baseboards.

walls- 500.00
baseboards- 63.00
door-40.00
attic- 40.00
total- 643.00

I sent him over the estimate and he asked me if i could do 500.00. I told him i could meet him in the middle at 550.00 he then proceed to tell me that "he believes that 500 is more then fair". I still haven't responded. I pretty much gave him a 20-22% discount. I'm thinking about turning it down unless he wants to do the 550.00 because i felt like the 643.00 was already a fair offer. what do you think?
 

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I did an estimate on a 20x22x9 garage and the customers is haggling me on the price. The homeowner had another part of the garage painted by another painter. The homeowner wanted the floor epoxied but the first painter just rolled out the wall paint on the floor and its now pealing off. I told him i would not be doing the floors because he needed to call someone who can do the proper prep work to remove the messed up floors. here is the bid i gave him for the walls, ceiling, 1 door, attic entrance, and baseboards.

walls- 500.00
baseboards- 63.00
door-40.00
attic- 40.00
total- 643.00

I sent him over the estimate and he asked me if i could do 500.00. I told him i could meet him in the middle at 550.00 he then proceed to tell me that "he believes that 500 is more then fair". I still haven't responded. I pretty much gave him a 20-22% discount. I'm thinking about turning it down unless he wants to do the 550.00 because i felt like the 643.00 was already a fair offer. what do you think?
PT does not allow pricing as a topic, numbers talk is forbidden. But real quick, I wouldn't drop any lower. Your price sounds more than fair, and a guys gotta eat.
 

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i believe its a good habit not to come down on price, single mothers maybe but for some old grumpy retired engineer trying to get his rocks off by playing gordon gekko with the painter no thanks. i would pass on this one unless you need the money
 

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i believe its a good habit not to come down on price, single mothers maybe but for some old grumpy retired engineer trying to get his rocks off by playing gordon gekko with the painter no thanks. i would pass on this one unless you need the money
I agree. I always say we quote our jobs at our lowest price. Nine times out of ten we get the job anyway.

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First painter?

I did an estimate on a 20x22x9 garage and the customers is haggling me on the price. The homeowner had another part of the garage painted by another painter. The homeowner wanted the floor epoxied but the first painter just rolled out the wall paint on the floor and its now pealing off. I told him i would not be doing the floors because he needed to call someone who can do the proper prep work to remove the messed up floors. here is the bid i gave him for the walls, ceiling, 1 door, attic entrance, and baseboards.

walls- 500.00
baseboards- 63.00
door-40.00
attic- 40.00
total- 643.00

I sent him over the estimate and he asked me if i could do 500.00. I told him i could meet him in the middle at 550.00 he then proceed to tell me that "he believes that 500 is more then fair". I still haven't responded. I pretty much gave him a 20-22% discount. I'm thinking about turning it down unless he wants to do the 550.00 because i felt like the 643.00 was already a fair offer. what do you think?
EvanB, you made a mistake in what you posted. You referred to the vandal who rolled wall paint onto the floor as being a "painter." It doesn't sound like he was to me. If the HO wasn't smart enough to realize this and make the "traveler" remove the wall paint from the floor prior to paying him anything, how could he be considered competent to try and chew you down on price?

As far as what you bid on, how much of the garage did the other "painter" do (aside from the floor) and what exactly are you proposing to do? Kind of hard to tell if your price is reasonable without knowing how many sq ft of walls, how many linear feet of baseboards, how much work in attic, then how much prep is involved with each of the tasks you listed. Are materials included in your estimate or not? How many hours/days do you think all this work will take you to do?

futtyos
 

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If I really wanted or needed the work, rather than dropping my drawers by reducing or discounting a fixed price, I’ll offer the incentive of doing it T&M, charging the lesser of the fixed price vs T&M, along with the promise of “trying” to deliver it for less. 99% of the time the client will bite, and 99% of the time it’ll come in less than the fixed number.

In the end, everyone’s happy, even if the final numbers end up being only a small percentage less than the original fixed number.
 

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I virtually never lowered my price based on a customer’s response. Doing so is a slippery slope IMO.
You know the time you will need to put into it to do it right - he doesn’t. If he is such and expert on what the job should cost or what is “fair” then ask him what part of the job he wants you to skip or spend less time on and then see what he says. You already agreed to knock off $93 but he still wants more. It’s obvious he just picked a number out of the air to throw at you and hopes you will cave.

If my response seems a bit heated, maybe it’s because this is a pet peeve of mine.

We are possibly going to have three more trees taken out in our back yard and when getting a bid, I would never respond with, “Oh, your price is too high. I think $ —— is enough.” If I don’t like the numbers, I’ll get another bid or forgo getting it done. Would people argue a price from a plumber or an electrician? Likely not. The last time I went to a movie or got take out, did I try and negotiate a lower price? So why do painters seem to get hit with it? Because many feel unsure of their own pricing, want to please, or are easily convinced they aren’t worth it. Then when someone caves, it just reinforces the perception of many people that painters are not true professionals worthy of respect and the prices they need to charge to try and make a living.

If painters are going out to give bids, they should be giving customers the very lowest price they are willing to do the job for - under the parameters discussed. When customers begin to try and whittle them down to a lower number and the painter reduces it without adjusting the scope of the job, it gives the message that the customer knew more about the value of the work involved than the professional did.

Okay, end of rant.
 

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I did an estimate on a 20x22x9 garage and the customers is haggling me on the price. The homeowner had another part of the garage painted by another painter. The homeowner wanted the floor epoxied but the first painter just rolled out the wall paint on the floor and its now pealing off. I told him i would not be doing the floors because he needed to call someone who can do the proper prep work to remove the messed up floors. here is the bid i gave him for the walls, ceiling, 1 door, attic entrance, and baseboards.

walls- 500.00
baseboards- 63.00
door-40.00
attic- 40.00
total- 643.00

I sent him over the estimate and he asked me if i could do 500.00. I told him i could meet him in the middle at 550.00 he then proceed to tell me that "he believes that 500 is more then fair". I still haven't responded. I pretty much gave him a 20-22% discount. I'm thinking about turning it down unless he wants to do the 550.00 because i felt like the 643.00 was already a fair offer. what do you think?
Seems too low to me but hey I'm in NY where everything is too expensive including the rent. Is he paying you in cash? Might want to consider that.
 

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I'm not one to lower my price. Of course there are exceptions but 99% of the time it is what it is. I tighten up my estimates as much as possible to give clients the best price I can.
IMO lowering the price would imply that I padded the estimate and have room to give. F that.
When I send a proposal I include my COI, WC and anything else I can add to show the client the cost of doing business.
.
 

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I agree with most everyone here; don’t reduce price and value yourself and your business less because some guy wants a cheap job. You are a professional and worthy of your rates if you are a man of integrity.

I have a guy wanting his cabinets repainted, 3 interior doors, casing for 6 doors, 3 interior windows, two stair skirts, two stair rails, 150LF of baseboard, and 3 walls.

Doing the job correctly for an occupied house came in at 3500 for me. I’m no big shot and relatively young and he said if I can come in around 1400 like the “other companies did” he would give me the job.

This week he asked for my estimate again and I restated my estimate number. He said he could do 2500 because 3500 was out of their budget. I politely responded that we could do it in phases if that would work better financially.

FYI this job would have me in the house only during times when someone might be home.

Red flags are important and will save you a lot of trouble and headaches.

Ramus8T,


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I agree with most everyone here; don’t reduce price and value yourself and your business less because some guy wants a cheap job. You are a professional and worthy of your rates if you are a man of integrity.

I have a guy wanting his cabinets repainted, 3 interior doors, casing for 6 doors, 3 interior windows, two stair skirts, two stair rails, 150LF of baseboard, and 3 walls.

Doing the job correctly for an occupied house came in at 3500 for me. I’m no big shot and relatively young and he said if I can come in around 1400 like the “other companies did” he would give me the job.

This week he asked for my estimate again and I restated my estimate number. He said he could do 2500 because 3500 was out of their budget. I politely responded that we could do it in phases if that would work better financially.

FYI this job would have me in the house only during times when someone might be home.

Red flags are important and will save you a lot of trouble and headaches.

Ramus8T,


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
You will get used to hearing what others have bid and getting requests to match. Best to always have a well rehearsed, professional response ready.

My favorites are when the HO would say, “We really want you to do it because... (fill in blank), but you are higher than company XYZ. Can you match their price? “

My response was always to ask why they wanted me to do it, and then suggest whatever the reason was, it might be worth the extra amount. Also, just because another outfit bid it at a certain number, not knowing all of what they were planning to do (especially regarding prep) I could under no circumstances match it. Sometimes I still landed the job, other times they went with the other guy. I figured that over time, getting my price on some made up for losing others.
 

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I always tell people who had lower quotes "You called me because you know my work and reputation. If you like the price of a competitor, by all means, get them." I leave it at that. I will not do hagglers. There is one exception to that rule. In one section of the city, there was an area that ALWAYS had to get a "discount", knowing that I mentally added the 20% I knew was going to be knocked off BUT those jobs always commanded a premium price and once the contract was signed payment was easy and prompt. They never cared about the price but what ever was quoted had to come with a discount. They were always great to work for and the money was great. I always viewed it as a running gag. That said, for low end jobs like the OP's, NOT A DIME LESS!! It would not even be worth my time to argue the case!
 

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Here is a funny one: I regularly work for some HOs and the mother in-law who owns the house and her daughter will not allow any other painters near their house. The gentleman in the situation has never failed, as he hands over the check, to say "You are more expensive than ****" , a painter they hired before getting me in and he broke a lot of stuff, could not cut in worth a hoot, no repairs or fills done, no caulking and left paint all over their floors. Every time he tells me how much more expensive I am I smile sweetly and say "Ah, it's true but I am a professional painter." He cheerfully agrees.
:wink:Remember, when you do a quote, it is her you need to listen to and impress 98% of the time.
 

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I had to deal with this not too long ago. I gave a quote for a quite large bedroom (about twice the size of a normal bedroom) that included crown molding, fixing cracks in the ceiling, grills on 8 windows, and a fire place mantel.
I thought I had the job based on communications from him. After I had not heard from him for several days I ask him what's up? He told me he had misunderstood my estimate (there was also a bathroom involved) and that I was much more expensive than the others.
The cheapest bid, I learned, would have had to paint the bedroom in 1/2 the time I had bid it.
The guy who did it either made very little money for his effort or did a very bad job
..or both.

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You gotta have a shpiel ready about why you're better than they guy who will do it cheaper. A good method is to point out corner cuts that the cheaper guys will do, and that you do not. One thing that worked well for me is saying how Im going to do the job myself, and not drop off a crew of $10 an hour guys to do the work for me. Clients like hearing that.
 

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Anytime a HO thinks he knows "what's fair" or "your price is higher than the other guy" it's time to walk. It rarely ends well if you drop your price to get the job. One, you will feel under appreciated and will be rushing the job to get it done for the lower price, and two, you basically give control of the job over to the HO which means he will nitpick any and all imperfections, question you about the long break you took, etc. and so on. When you get to be an old-timer, well, you rarely give out pricing. Your high quality regular customers call you, tell you to do the work, and then pay you without even questioning the pricing.
 

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I used to try and "educate" the HO on why my bid was higher if they were comparing bids. Got to the point where I would just say: "Then they are who you should have do the job.". And always throw in a thank you for asking for your bid.
Some customers will work contractors against each other. You lower your bid - they show the other guy so maybe he lowers his.

The OP job is one I would walk away from. I know times may be tight but all he's doing is trying to take advantage of the current situation. If you were buying a product, that's one thing, but we're talking your labor here. The guy probably hoarded toilet paper too lol.

The other concern is; this guy just reeks of the potential to be the classic never satisfied customer. He's going to want perfection, probably stand over your shoulder, and come out with a flash light looking for flaws.

Walk.
 

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^^^ Yup. And if down from $643 to $500 is his idea of “more than fair”, I’d hate to think what he feels “fair” is.
 
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