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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How should Painting Contractors price material (paint) to their customers
1. Free- Charge for labor only
2.Wholesale, no mark up
3.Wholesale plus a __% Mark up
4.Retail: the same as what the paint store would have charge some on the street.
5.Retail plus a __% mark up6.Other way
 

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I dont show my clients my material cost. I add a 10-15% markup in my bid, but I dont itemize that.. I also overshoot my paint estimate, so what I dont buy is $$$!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Woodco
Marking up paint 10-15% seams low when suppliers are offering contractor discounts between 30-40% off retail.
Should customer pay painter closer or above what they could buy it at the paint store?
 

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How should Painting Contractors price material (paint) to their customers
1. Free- Charge for labor only
2.Wholesale, no mark up
3.Wholesale plus a __% Mark up
4.Retail: the same as what the paint store would have charge some on the street.
5.Retail plus a __% mark up6.Other way
#4, retail price. I'm using my time to order and pick up the paint and I will make money off of it!
 

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Retail ... that's the point of a business

Should you charge them labor at cost? NO

What other business sells at cost?


But Sherwin Williams is killing the trade ... paint is on "sale" 80% of the year
for the homeowner ...

That's 1 reason i don't shop SW ... they value homeowners more than contractors
rant over
 

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Woodco
Marking up paint 10-15% seams low when suppliers are offering contractor discounts between 30-40% off retail.
Should customer pay painter closer or above what they could buy it at the paint store?
You're right.. I do like to tell the potential client That i get a good deal, and pass some savings on to them, though. Subconcious sales tactic.
 

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Let the paint stores mark the paint up. You provide a service not a "Product". And technically if you make any profit off of the paint you have to pay sales tax on your mark up. Although i've never seen anyone get caught on that. It could happen at some point.
 

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As a reason to go with us, I offer the customer my discount on any paints, primers, stains used on a job. However, I insist on being in charge of the ordering, pick-up, and getting it to the job. I do factor in a percentage for doing all of that. I also don’t include the cost of any product in my bid (blasphemy). I tell them they will get the paint at my price but whatever the paint costs is what it is. I do, however give them an estimate (usually on the high side) so they can budget for it.

With paint prices being somewhat all over the place, this assures that I won’t be forced to eat any unexpected costs because a customer wants a higher priced used on their job. Ex., customer liked a SW color, fine; Duration at a medium price range. Then she found an accent color she liked at our new BM dealer; also fine; Aura at a considerably higher price. Makes absolutely no difference to me.
Also saves me from having to sweat out the costs for paint down the exact gallon. Sure, I could allow for a higher amount in my bid to cover my zzz, but being able to tell the customer, “We buy, and you only pay, for what is needed for your project, and whatever is left stays with you.”, has sold more jobs than I could ever remember.

Been doing it this way for the last 15 years and only had one customer ( that I know of) who balked at that arrangement. When they got my contract, they said they didn’t know the cost of the paint wasn’t in my bid, which was totally untrue - I made that abundantly clear at several points during the bid process. I suspect they ended up getting a lower bid after they agreed to go with me and used that as an excuse to “go another direction”.

Of course, there are times that circumstances dictate that the product needs to be factored into the bid, but not very often.

Okay, bring it on. I’ve heard it all before and am still convinced it’s an excellent way to conduct business - at least for me.
 

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QUOTE=Woodco;1646853]I dont show my clients my material cost. I add a 10-15% markup in my bid, but I dont itemize that.. I also overshoot my paint estimate, so what I dont buy is $$$![/QUOTE]

...No doubt encourages the "I'll buy my own paint" mindset on the part of HOs. Now I understand where they're coming from!

I consider the materials my advertising cost. My clients pay what I paid and I rarely over shoot amounts. In fact, I tell them they can place and pay for the order on my account and they or I can take it to the work site. This way, they are thrilled to get the paint at contractors rates and all they need to do is show my supplier the signed contract as evidence the material is for my use. They tell their friends and I get more work. I NEVER pay for direct advertising, it's always been a waste of money for me. I rely on word of mouth so I always leave my clients something to talk about.
 

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@RH You tell'em Guy! IMHO, there is no better advertising and I write the paints into the contract that they present to my supplier, he just fills the order as I wrote it. After that, I don't care who picks it up. The client or me.

There is another trick I've been known to pull: I over estimate the job 15-20% and at the end give the HO a rebate for any amount over and above what I actually wanted to make for the job. The HOs are always thrilled and I am well covered for anything that comes up!
 

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Depends on the customer for me. If it's a regular, on-time paying customer, I generally give them MY price but I do remind them that, "It's normally $50 per gallon retail but I'm giving you my price for the paint." If it's someone new, I do tack on a small percentage for any hassles of going to and from the paint store. If it's a HIGH RISK customer, I charge full retail.
 

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They pay what I pay....unless I have to go out of my way to get the paint. Then I simply charge them the time it takes me to get the paint.

Someone told me that in Massachusetts if contractors up charge they are legally required to pay a sales take on the extra amount the customers pay. I doubt anyone has ever had to pay this tax, and there are obvious ways to claim you are not up charging, such as I noted about charging for the time to get the materials, which seems legit to me.

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They pay what I pay....unless I have to go out of my way to get the paint. Then I simply charge them the time it takes me to get the paint.

Someone told me that in Massachusetts if contractors up charge they are legally required to pay a sales take on the extra amount the customers pay. I doubt anyone has ever had to pay this tax, and there are obvious ways to claim you are not up charging, such as I noted about charging for the time to get the materials, which seems legit to me.

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any time you make a profit off of an actual item you are supposed to pay sales tax on it. In almost every state.
 

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If I think I need 10 gal and my price per gal is 31$ before tax I just round it up to 40$/gal when I estimate. I say I think it will be $400 in paint and ***x for labour. Your final price is $4000. If I go over budget on paint I don't charge them and I don't rebate if I go under. I like fixed prices and so do a lot of clients so they know exactly what they will pay. I don't see the reason in charging retail for paint, why not just increase your rates for labor and have higher fixed prices???
 

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"stay in your lane bro, stay in your lane"
 

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any time you make a profit off of an actual item you are supposed to pay sales tax on it. In almost every state.

ehh I always viewed it as a service charge for physically picking up, storing & handling the paint. Come tax time that's how I would expect their accountant to enter it as well.
 

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any time you make a profit off of an actual item you are supposed to pay sales tax on it. In almost every state.
I have a sales tax exemption at SW so I itemize the actual paint usage and yes pay sales tax on it.

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