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Thread: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

  1. #51
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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    Quote Originally Posted by TraditionalToolworks View Post
    What's the fun in that?


    My current job I bill by the hour, and limited to 40 hours a week. However, I'm not at the bottom tier entry level pay, and on top of that the company let's me work from home currently and that will continue most likely until July, at which time they may ask us to go back in the office.

    I treat this like a full time job pretty much, given the circumstances, since my 40 hours are like clockwork.

    You seem to have a good handle on it, and don't worry, WeldingWeb can rattle people like few places on the web. I've had my share of misunderstandings with folks here.

    There's certainly some smart people here, and there's some rude ones also...
    Welders aren't known for their manners and people skills......

  2. #52
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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    What's the fun in that.

    He'll get a education on job qoute and an idea of what material costs are.
    Then adjust his price accordingly


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #53
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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    Quote Originally Posted by BD1 View Post
    What's the fun in that.

    He'll get a education on job qoute and an idea of what material costs are.
    Then adjust his price accordingly
    I guess that's good if you want to be an installer. I rather think about this the opposite way, I would want to do the welding and get someone else to install it.

  4. #54
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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    Welding is the fun part. If the customer's on a budget have them paint it and install it.

  5. #55
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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    Quote Originally Posted by TraditionalToolworks View Post
    I guess that's good if you want to be an installer. I rather think about this the opposite way, I would want to do the welding and get someone else to install it.
    He can fabricate it, this will give him an idea what a proffessional shop would charge.
    Fabricating is fun as long as break even.
    A profit us definitely a plus .
    That's why there are fabricators and installers.


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  6. #56
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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    There are definitely fab jobs that are more cheaply done by a job shop. I partner with a local shop several times a year; there's no shame in doing installations if it lets you get the job and keep a customer which you'd have otherwise lost because you couldn't have been competitive. There are jobs that can be done as quickly or more quickly and accurately in the field, but it's not all of them.

    The way I look at it is that I need to play to my strengths. Putting my weaknesses / shortfalls up against a competitor's strengths is a losing game every time. I want to get my hourly rate every time I go out, I NEVER want to be working 70 hours and billing 40. So I don't build stuff that I can't build efficiently; I farm it out. My partner shop does high-quality work and I rarely have to rework things they produce.

    BUT, if you put those guys out in the middle of nowhere with an engine drive, an oxy-propane torch, a metal-cutting circular saw, some clamps, hammers, and various grinders, would they be faster than me playing on my turf? No, and they know it. Which is why I do a lot of installations for them on jobs they get calls for.
    Applied Fabrications, LLC

    Mobile Welding / Mechanical Repair in VA's Piedmont & Shenandoah Valley

  7. #57
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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    I do a lot of fabrication and my customers install, I prefer it that way, like TBone said, I like to concentrate on what I'm good and fast at.

  8. #58
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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    I'd be thinking about the end product and the actual pricepoint for a bike rack.

    1. is it art?
    - No. Just has to be strong and well finished.

    2. does it take coded welding or any other specialist, marketable skill? Is it classed as structural steelwork?
    - No. Literally any tom, dick or harry can make one with a grinder, drill and welder.

    3. Is it for a corporate or VIP customer? Will they choose your bid over cheaper bids knowing they're paying for a trusted, reliable contractor?
    - No to all of that.

    No to all of these questions means unfortunately, that the market for $2400 bike racks doesn't exist.
    over here, the market for that kind of thing has disappeared altogether - given that you can buy an imported rack for £100, or a better quality one for up to £500... galvanised, high quality etc.

    If you can't justify doing basic stuff cheaper, then you can't justify doing them at all.
    ^that's your first lesson, we all find that out sooner or later when trying to make money from making stuff. I'm sure most of us have had this.

    I've had dreamers asking "can you price up some aluminium ramps for my custom car" or "stainless steel shelving for this or that" - something a bit more specialist that takes a good bit of TIG welding - and it comes to more than a couple hundred pounds, of course, even at CHEAPEST - at which point, they lose interest, and suddenly realise they can get by with cheap or bodged stuff.

    - you can't charge for driving to get paint etc! Most you can do is claim back fuel expenses or mileage on tax return.

    You also can't say you're doing this as a sideline, and also charge top end prices, in the same sentence. Your customers know this, and expect cheaper, that's how it works.

    You can't have it both ways, unless you have specific marketable skills/equipment that justify your premium prices.
    Last edited by Munkul; 04-23-2020 at 06:53 AM.

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  10. #59
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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    To the OP if you are still engaged:
    Over the course of several days, you have adjusted your thinking based on feedback. I think you got your money's worth. Munkul has summed it up nicely.
    I was going to suggest you should differentiate between "overhead" costs and "direct" labor costs. Your customer may need to be educated on the realities of "custom" work. Reading between the lines, I gather you are uncomfortable wearing the many hats of the transaction. Your customer is treating you like a "contractor". You know, as in home building?
    I agree with advice given here, that you should break out the details. Since you are part-time at this for now, narrow what you are willing to do. If you are just wanting to make money, think about teaming-up with an established business. Sell your services to them. Let them negotiate price and delivery and installation. Fix your labor cost and hold to it. There are experienced people on this forum that do that. Others enjoy the whole transaction. They often get their kicks by the job itself. It is like the three workers on the sidewalk. First guy "what are you doing?" Answer: mixing mortar. Second guy "laying brick". Third guy "building a Cathedral". Which guy do you want to be? Just saying.

    BTW you are not an idiot. We all have second thoughts. It is good to evaluate as you go.
    Last edited by CPO_Dave; 04-23-2020 at 11:33 AM. Reason: Second thoughts

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  12. #60
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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    Quote Originally Posted by CPO_Dave View Post
    Munkul has summed it up nicely.
    I agree, and while I'm not bidding jobs for welding, I did learn something from it.

    I have to agree with Munkul, there is probably not a great demand for $3000 (in your case) bike racks when you can buy one for $600 on Amazon.

    I think it's like Clint Eastwood quoted, "A man's gotta know his limitations".

    Seems you did the right thing, quoted what you felt it would cost, and if the customer will pay it all the more power. Somehow life doesn't work out like that though.

    Maybe you could get the $600 bike rack from Amazon and weld a few small plates on it and charge him $800, or $1200, whatever seems fair for your time. You can mark up the bike rack by 30% which is common in the industry. With the plates, Apt 1, Apt 2, Apt 3 know where to park their bike. I'm guessing the plate is to put someone name on the spot, like "CEO designer bike only, don't park your tricycle here!".

    Also, to just get an understanding that if you do want to have a side business of welding, try to understand the industry and make sense of it. That goes for jobbing things out to other contractors that you are not well suited for, or stuff you don't like to do. A great businessman will make it works for both sides to close the deal. Food for thought.

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  14. #61
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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    Quote Originally Posted by Munkul View Post
    If you can't justify doing basic stuff cheaper, then you can't justify doing them at all.

    These are the best words you have heard from this thread. They go along the lines of how I transformed my business. When I went to a customers house to quote a wrought iron railing, and the customer said what's the difference between yours and home depots. I would reply with I use solid posts and pickets, we twist the pickets ourselves, we guarantee our construction and install. If the customer made any hint or reference toward home depot or cheap stuff again, I just walked out. That's why I now do 95% stainless and aluminum.


    Here is another one I have learned over the years. If you are bidding a job to build a house, and you count every nail required for that job, you will never have any work.


    I never include for travel time for myself. You dont get a discount for driving 30 minutes to the grocery store. But it is an added cost no one thinks about.

    Your $75 hour is high. I am in south NJ and I only charge $85 hour and I have full insurance, full fab shop, and work in industrial food processing. I know your area is higher as I have a lot of friends from the CT/Mass border.

    You have no insurance, no references, no past pictures of work, no real drawing of your job to complete, and you are charging as you were a legit company starting out. So the customer is taking a risk on you as well, so why would they pay good rates for that.

    I would say, most people in your position, would do this job cheap as a starter job into more work.

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