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  1. #1
    Sheryl Davidson's Avatar
    Sheryl Davidson Guest

    Angry Thief in my town

    I am sorry if this message is in the wrong section. I am very mad about something, maybe it has happened to you all. I would just like any feedback you can give me on this subject.

    Someone (I think my only competitor in this small town) is stealing my business cards that I am leaving at local businesses around town. I place them on bulletin boards, etc. and in a few days, they are gone along with the pushpin. I have not been getting any calls in this area so I am pretty sure this person is taking them. What in the world can I do to stop this? I am sure there is nothing legally wrong with this, so what steps would you guys take to control this situation? I am just p*ssed, pardon my french.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    1,217

    Default Re: Thief in my town

    Do you get permission to put up your cards or are these locations that anybody and everybody can post something? If permission is needed to post something you might tell the owners or managers what is happening and ask them to keep an eye out for the culprit.

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    5,829

    Default Re: Thief in my town

    Quote Originally Posted by suzukini View Post
    I am sorry if this message is in the wrong section. I am very mad about something, maybe it has happened to you all. I would just like any feedback you can give me on this subject.

    Someone (I think my only competitor in this small town) is stealing my business cards that I am leaving at local businesses around town. I place them on bulletin boards, etc. and in a few days, they are gone along with the pushpin. I have not been getting any calls in this area so I am pretty sure this person is taking them. What in the world can I do to stop this? I am sure there is nothing legally wrong with this, so what steps would you guys take to control this situation? I am just p*ssed, pardon my french.
    A good start would be to post your real name and your location in your profile. This helps everyone to know you better and to offer help if possible.

    If it was me I would call the person up and ask them if they were taking my cards. Put it on the table and don't beat around the bush.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  4. #4
    Sheryl Davidson's Avatar
    Sheryl Davidson Guest

    Default Re: Thief in my town

    Thanks for the information. The places around town here are pretty much put whatever you want up whenever, so it is fair game. I just can't believe someone is this pathetic in trying to "hide" the new competition in town. I would never take someone else's cards and info, even if they are my direct competition. Ethics certainly don't mean anything to this guy.

    Mr. Patterson, I cannot find a way to change my username on the website as I have tried before. I made a mistake when I signed up thinking the username was going to just be a log-on name for the website. Do you know how to change this? Thanks for your help and input as well. (P.S. I used to live in Spring Hill. )


  5. #5
    David Banks's Avatar
    David Banks Guest

    Default Re: Thief in my town

    suzukini Top left under Inspection News. User CP. After you enter this page on left is edit profile.


  6. #6
    Michael Fair's Avatar
    Michael Fair Guest

    Cool Re: Thief in my town

    Hello Sheryl, i'm new to Inspection News so I was just reading earlier how you must ask permission from the monitor to change your logon.
    While I'm here, something you may want to consider is that perhaps this person has spouse, or friend or child that's removing your stuff and they aren't aware of it. It may be a good idea, as some of the others have pointed out, to 1. ask permission to post, and 2. aske that person you suspect if he/she is removing your stuff. Too often we jump to conclusions when we can only see red.
    Good luck.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: Thief in my town

    We have such a bullentin board in a hair salon we own and once a week I go through there and remove any business cards, flyers that have been put up without our permission or from non-business customers.

    I can understand why people do so. People will come in and start pulling off someone else's cards and placing them in the trash just to use the push-pin.

    We have had persons place their cards directly over the licenses we have to post on this bullentin board. If a community service type notice or something I might leave it up for a week or so. Anyone else's gets trashed or we use the cards to take notes upon.

    You might ask the owner of the boards your posting on for their permission and explain whats happening.

    If you go asking the suspected person, they are likely to say they are not the ones doing it anyway.

    Nothing good about a conflict.

    Rick

    Last edited by Rick Hurst; 09-04-2007 at 04:27 PM.

  8. #8
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: Thief in my town

    Hey Rick... who does your hair?


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    2,332

    Default Re: Thief in my town

    Is there only one other home inspector in your town?
    Are his cards put up in place of yours?
    Have you really pissed off a Realtor in your area?

    Like Scott suggested, I would probably place a call to the other inspector, introduce yourself, and suggest meeting for coffee. If there are only two inspectors in town, I would think that it would be a good idea if you at least knew each other. At some point in the conversation, I might bring up the cards - but maybe not. I might wait a while.

    You will probably learn a lot just from the first phone call and introduction. If you get hostility from the get go, then you probably have your answer without asking. An important point is... what is your response going to be when he says, "yeah, I took them down - what are you going to do about it?". You need to have a plan BEFORE you pick up the phone.

    On the other hand, you may strike up a friendship that could benefit both of you, then the question doesn't need to come up.

    Confrontation will probably not serve any positive purpose, and may even cause a bigger problem. It's really hard to do bad things to someone you know, or are friends with. If you work on building a relationship with the other inspector, I think it will pay dividends for both of you in the future.

    That's just my 2 cents and your mileage may vary. Good luck.
    JF


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
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    4,112

    Default Re: Thief in my town

    Good post Jack.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  11. #11
    Sheryl Davidson's Avatar
    Sheryl Davidson Guest

    Talking Re: Thief in my town

    Thanks for all the advice and posts. I have calmed down since last night when I was pretty red hot about this subject. I really hadn't planned on any kind of confrontation with anyone no matter who it may be. That just isn't my nature. I was needing to "vent" my frustrations last night. As far as I can tell, there is only one other person in this town that advertises home inspections. I am brand new and am just thinking that this person may not want any competition. If this is the case, he will just have to deal with the fact that I am here to stay. I do not plan on making this a "competition"; I am simply starting my own personal business and will do the best that I can. If someone tries to sabotage my marketing, I just have to come up with better ideas. In fact, I already began something different today to keep my business cards in the hands of people who may use my services instead of hanging on a bulletin board. Thanks again to you all for giving me advice. I look forward to more conversations and posts on this website. I thoroughly enjoy it.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Rockwall Texas
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    Default Re: Thief in my town

    Sheryl,

    I have a feeling your going to make it just fine.

    Rick


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
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    Default Re: Thief in my town

    Sheryl,

    Perhaps what makes this issue so difficult for you is that you're assuming the another inspector is the culprit. What if by chance he's not?

    Taking the high road, I make a "howdy do" call to him, do the intro routine and then mention your problem and ask if he's had the same experience. You won't be making any accusations and will be asking for his input/advice. The best that can happen is that you'll create a new friendship. The worst, the whole conversation will go down in flames and you will have discovered that he is a moron. But at least you'll have approached it professionally, and if he is the responsible one, you may have sent the necessary message.

    In our area we are overloaded with inspectors. The top drawer inspectors are people that I respect and consider to be friends. And of course there are the bottom feeders who I ignore.

    And that's my two cents!

    Last edited by Eric Barker; 09-05-2007 at 05:55 PM. Reason: Better wording
    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  14. #14
    Deleted Account's Avatar
    Deleted Account Guest

    Default Re: Thief in my town

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheryl Davidson View Post
    I am brand new and am just thinking that this person may not want any competition. If this is the case, he will just have to deal with the fact that I am here to stay.


    Sheryl,

    It gets worse, there are evil-doers among us who spend all of their time organizing, plotting & scheming with other weak-minded inspectors through cabal's, coalitions & PAC's, while burning the midnight oil writing incoherent gobbledygook licensing laws simply to protect their market-share and limit competition. You will know them by their fruit.

    Good luck, its a puppy kickin' world.

    Last edited by Deleted Account; 09-05-2007 at 06:25 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,311

    Default Re: Thief in my town

    Joseph,
    After a quick review of your last all positive 247 post it appears you might have an agenda.

    I've meet similar people mostly connected with the sadder days of organized labor. Paid
    Jaw bones playing both ends. If you would like to discuss this further please email and I
    will send a map quest to my location. Oh and please bring your TAURUS love to see it.


    Billy


  16. #16
    Deleted Account's Avatar
    Deleted Account Guest

    Default Re: Thief in my town

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    Joseph,
    After a quick review of your last all positive 247 post it appears you might have an agenda.

    I've meet similar people mostly connected with the sadder days of organized labor. Paid
    Jaw bones playing both ends. If you would like to discuss this further please email and I
    will send a map quest to my location. Oh and please bring your TAURUS love to see it.


    Billy



    Good read huh, gambling man too I'll bet... About my agenda, thanks for noticing, believe me there are truly some short-bus students of life who hang out on this message board, but I'm figuring your a smart fella.

    Thing is, I really don't play both ends, I work daily against home inspector licensing and home inspectors who work to promote home inspector licensing whenever and wherever I can... I'm a simple guy with a simple plan, make no (jaw) bones about it; can't wait to hear your side.

    Taurus, nice gun, haven't had it to the range yet but the reviews are favorable, BTW is my Florida CCW reciprocal with your state? Maybe you would like to hook up at the range and practice shooting the little yellow outhouse out of the NAHI targets I'm making.

    Last edited by Deleted Account; 09-05-2007 at 08:06 PM.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,311

    Default Re: Thief in my town

    Joseph,

    If you ever punch off the time clock offers still good.

    Y'all come see me.


    Billy


  18. #18
    Peter J Ruddick's Avatar
    Peter J Ruddick Guest

    Default Re: Thief in my town

    Sheryl: Same kind of "stuff" happens here...only my competitor likes chinese food. My cards are down his are up. My thing is that I'm bigger than that and I do get most of the business. He has lower prices and I have lost very few propective customers to the lower price line. I've found that the business boards are cheap advertising, but not much worth the effort. My newspaper ads cost $$$ and gave me nothing. The realtor ads are ok, but 90% of my business is word of mouth. Go for that, Chamber of Commerce, BBB, get active locally and this will work out. Good luck, let's hear from your efforts. Regards,

    Peter J. Ruddick


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: Thief in my town

    Sheryl,

    Was mentioning your problem this morning over breakfast where all the trades guys show up and shoot the bull over breakfast.

    This plumber told me that he used to have the same problem with another plumber pulling down his cards from everywhere he had posted them.

    His printer told him to print on the back side of the cards, "God Loves You"

    He said after he did so, it all stopped. The guilt must have got to the poor soul who was stealing them.


  20. #20
    Sheryl Davidson's Avatar
    Sheryl Davidson Guest

    Default Re: Thief in my town

    Now that is interesting, Rick. Unfortunately, I already have printing on the back side of my cards for a $20 referral. I have changed my route in getting the word out by not worrying about these little bulletin boards in town. There is no way my competition can keep me from going directly to homeowners through the mail.

    As always, thanks for the posts and info everyone. Have a great weekend!


  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    5,829

    Default Re: Thief in my town

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheryl Davidson View Post
    Now that is interesting, Rick. Unfortunately, I already have printing on the back side of my cards for a $20 referral. I have changed my route in getting the word out by not worrying about these little bulletin boards in town. There is no way my competition can keep me from going directly to homeowners through the mail.

    As always, thanks for the posts and info everyone. Have a great weekend!
    Be very careful with offering a referral fee. I think in Alabama it might be in conflict with your state license law. You can offer a discount (which I do not advise), but giving referral fees is a No No in many states. You might want to call and check on that, if you have not done so already

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  22. #22
    Claudia Lawrence's Avatar
    Claudia Lawrence Guest

    Talking Re: Thief in my town

    Unfortunately, this happens much to often to inspectors. Being in the business for over 20 years now I have seen this happen more than I would like to.

    If you have permission and the agents or girls at the front see this happening the inspector doing this has just jeopardized his credibility. It will be self correcting.

    You might just want to make a practice of continually going in to check your supply.

    You might also think of giving first time agents a coffee cup filled with candy and balloons with your biz card. This is a great dooor opener and has staying power. Another hint is drop off some donuts with your biz card on agents weekly meetings. Get your name and the fact that you have integrity out there.

    Integrity in competition has fallen by the wayside. What is really funny about all this those that do it are not very good inspectors. Myself I like agent to call me or my inspectors because they are good and not because I threw away a competitors brochures.

    Good luck, Claudia Lawrence-Cothran, The Home of TWI Affiliates, LLC. Products and Services - Welcome
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