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  1. #1
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    Default Those wacky e-mails

    Got an e-mail this morning from a potential client. Seems he got hold of an inspection I did on the house he is going to buy and wanted to know if I had an opening soon, and could he get a discount. He even gave me the report number and date.

    July 3, 2001

    Nuff said
    JF

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    Default Re: Those wacky e-mails

    Funny stuff Jack.

    I started thinking about how callers will ask for a discount out of the blue for no reason at all. Actually, I was thinking about it after a client badgered the hell out of me for a discount a month ago. In any event, what I wonder is why do people feel entitled to a discount? Is it because we can negotiate the price of a car, electronics, patio furniture, etc.? Did I do work for you in the past and if so, isn't it up to me to offer a discount as opposed to you asking for it? If you have to bluntly ask for a discount, do you have the financial stability to own a house? Are you expecting me to miss something during the inspection? Are you expecting my work/service to be substandard? Are you asking me to not inspect part of the house? Is there anything about my company that says "discount quality"?

    I personally am not a haggler so people who ask for discounts for no good reason other than just to ask really rankle me.


  3. #3
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    Rockwall Texas
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    Default Re: Those wacky e-mails

    The ones who seem to ask for a discount from me are always fireman. Not to many police ever ask, but almost every fireman I've done either a home inspection or Pest control don't think twice for asking.

    Here lately I've noticed the school teachers have jumped on the discount bandwagon.

    I jokingly tried it one day on pool supplies. Told the youngman at the counter I was a HI and could I get a discount. He said, BFD!

    rick


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Those wacky e-mails

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    The ones who seem to ask for a discount from me are always fireman.
    Rick - Do you think they're actually trying to trade on their status as first-responders to get a price break?
    Reminds me of the police groups that call up and ask for $$. Don't get me wrong. If the cops aren't getting paid enough, that's a problem. But to have the armed people whose job it is to protect me asking for money makes me nervous.


  5. #5
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
    Richard Stanley Guest

    Default Re: Those wacky e-mails

    Just do it like the rest of the world - double your price and give them a 25% discount - everybody's happy!!


  6. #6
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
    Kevin Luce Guest

    Default Re: Those wacky e-mails

    I watched a show on TV where this man and woman went around and asked for things such as upgrading hotel rooms, seats on a plane and other things at no extra charge or adding extras on to a service. Even they were surprised on what they were able to get just by asking. So, I thought I would give it a try and yes it does work to a point.

    My thinking is that this is America and it's great that we have the right to ask for more than what we think is available. It's also nice that we have the right to turn down a person that asks for more. So I have nothing negative to say about this topic.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Those wacky e-mails

    Then there are the folks from different cultures, where dickering over prices is a given, and they assume that the price they are quoted is only a starting point in the process. If there was only some way of identifying these folks when they first call, you could quote them, say, $700 for a standard 3 bed, 1.5 bath, and take it from there!

    Last edited by John Arnold; 01-04-2008 at 08:21 AM. Reason: changing something

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Rockwall Texas
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    Default Re: Those wacky e-mails

    Try this.

    On your next call, ask your client what is the worth of a home inspection to them?

    rick


  9. #9
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    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Those wacky e-mails

    I have been known to ask them this: Yes, I can give you a discount. Just tell me what part of the house you don't want inspected! Most of the time I can hear the crickets chirping in the background and then a stuttering sound from the caller trying to think of what they should say.

    When it is real slow during the winter months and I really want the inspection I will tend to quote my price a little on the lower side, and this all depends on the location and type of house. As I use CRM's for radon testing my cost are minimal so I use this as my "lost leader", so to speak. I might discount my normal test price of $125 down as low as $75. This always sets the hook if they are price shopping.

    Hey, I gotta keep the beans and rice on the table. Roadkill has been hard to come by lately, I think all of the out of work inspectors and Realtors in TN are getting to it before me!

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

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Those wacky e-mails

    Scott,

    People are hungry I guess. Realtors are dropping that 6% commission around here to stay afloat.

    As far as others, I live next to a lake here in the Dallas area, and yesterday with it being 39 degrees there was some guys sitting in white capped water fishing out of a bass boat.

    They are hungry or they were dumping a body.

    Its possible.

    rick


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Those wacky e-mails

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    Rick - Do you think they're actually trying to trade on their status as first-responders to get a price break?
    .
    Reminds me of the police groups that call up and ask for $$. Don't get me wrong. If the cops aren't getting paid enough, that's a problem.
    .
    But to have the armed people whose job it is to protect me asking for money makes me nervous.
    John ,
    Firemen are known to be (shall we say frugal).

    Police Fund Raising does not go toward the Salary of law enforcement but rather a specific fund.

    Benevolent Fund, Operations of a Lodge or Chapter , charity event (Circus attendance for burn children.)

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Austin, TX
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    Default Re: Those wacky e-mails

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    Then there are the folks from different cultures, where dickering over prices is a given, and they assume that the price they are quoted is only a starting point in the process. If there was only some way of identifying these folks when they first call, you could quote them, say, $700 for a standard 3 bed, 1.5 bath, and take it from there!
    John,

    Just as you say I too have found that people from other cultures/countries are more likely to want to haggle over the price. From my own experience in travels overseas I agree that this is a given in many cultures. In fact, I have saved quite a bit of money over the years when in foreign lands by haggling over things I am purchasing there.

    That being said, I rarely give discounts to anyone unless they are a previous client or I have distributed a marketing piece with a coupon. In my opinion haggling over the price of a tangible object that you can see and know what you are getting is one thing but haggling on a service like ours where you have no idea of the condition of the house and how much effort the report and inspection will actually take can come back and really take a bite out of profits.

    One of the problems I have seen personally with haggling and giving a discount is that if you do and that person who recieved a discount refers you to their friends or family, then the friends and family will want a discount as well, and anyone they tell will want it, and on and on...
    In some cases this is not that big of a deal because business is being generated but in some cases the discounts wanted are toolarge or once again, the house is total P.O.S. that takes forever and you end up working for peanuts.

    I will give a discount say, if I do a pre-drywall inspection and a final inspection for the same customer on the same property. Sometimes if I can do two or three end of builder warrranty inspections on the same street on the same day I will also offer a group discount.

    That's my partial take on it.

    Eric


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Those wacky e-mails

    As far as others, I live next to a lake here in the Dallas area, and yesterday with it being 39 degrees there was some guys sitting in white capped water fishing out of a bass boat.

    They are hungry or they were dumping a body.
    Rick, you must not be any more of a fisherman than I am
    I have fisherman friends that won't think twice about going out in just about any weather. Me, I have a hard time enjoying fishing on the best day. I did have an opportunity to go on a Stripper (Hybrid bass) tour up on Lake Texoma a few years back and enjoyed that, but the guide took us all over the lake chasing fish and I actually caught a couple. Not something I would pay for on my own, but great experience when somebody else is footing the bill!

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Default Re: Those wacky e-mails

    Recently I got a call from a first-time buyer buying a new home. I quoted her my fee. She asked if I gave a military discount. I thought about it and told her, yes, I would knock a little off my fee. (Colorado Springs is a big military town.)

    A couple of days after the inspection her Realtor called me asking if I could fax a copy of my receipt because closing was the next day and the builder would not reimburse them for the inspection fee without a receipt.

    So I essentially gave a discount to the builder. I truly think some people simply love to haggle and get a discount, even if they are not the beneficiary.

    Last edited by Bruce Breedlove; 01-05-2008 at 01:54 PM. Reason: spelling
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  15. #15
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
    Nolan Kienitz Guest

    Default Re: Those wacky e-mails

    I received a call a little before Christmas from a "potential" client. After learning a bit about the property she was wanting to have inspected so I could provide a price she told me:

    • Her RE Agent said I would provide a discount.
    • She is a school teacher and wanted a discount.
    • She was also a single mom and also needed a discount.

    I'm guessing after all those 'discounts' I should have just given her the inspection along with a new washer, dryer and toaster wrapped in a ribbon/bow for Christmas.


    Goes without saying I didn't book the inspection.


  16. #16
    Kevin Barre's Avatar
    Kevin Barre Guest

    Default Re: Those wacky e-mails

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Rick, you must not be any more of a fisherman than I am
    I have fisherman friends that won't think twice about going out in just about any weather. Me, I have a hard time enjoying fishing on the best day. I did have an opportunity to go on a Stripper (Hybrid bass) tour up on Lake Texoma a few years back and enjoyed that, but the guide took us all over the lake chasing fish and I actually caught a couple. Not something I would pay for on my own, but great experience when somebody else is footing the bill!
    Uhhhh.....Jim -- I doubt your wife (if you are so equipped) would like to find out that you went on a "stripper" tour on Lake Texoma or anywhere else. I suggest you change your story to reflect that you were actually fishing for hybrid "stripers."

    A lot of guys WOULD be out on a lake in almost any weather if there were strippers there!


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Osceola, AR
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    Default Re: Those wacky e-mails

    [quote=Billy Stephens;29104]John ,
    Firemen are known to be (shall we say frugal).

    Yep, we are a cheap bunch all right. 20+ years as a firefighter and I'm always lookin for a deal. Most of us are just used to working for a paycheck that isn't worth much more than a good laugh, so we get into a habit of trying our best to "get a deal".
    Hopefully the HI biz will continue to get a little better for me and will help support my ex wives, ex dogs, etc., retirement is just around the corner.....


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