Why do contractors always try to rip me off

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Onion69420

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Is it just me or does this happen to everyone.
Virtually every company I contact for home repairs tries to rip me off.
Have to call 10 companies to get a decent price on something.
Had a quote for 2 windows for 5 grand.
Paid 4k for tile that the crumbled a couple years later then another company quoted almost 10k to remove
Got a quote for 2400 to spread 2 yards of soil and plant some grass seed.
Had a concrete driveway quoted at 15k and then an asphault quote just slightly under that.
Gutters around my garage? Quote for 4000 dollars, mind you that's only 60 feet if gutter total.
I always have to haggle with people or spend a month getting quotes...and then the contractors don't show up on time or do a half *** job.
What are these people thinking? Are they just looking for idiots that are willing to pay them way too much? These people make me nuts
 

bud16415

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I think you hit on the reason why so many of us take the DIY route whenever possible. Over the years I found guys that were honest and do a good job and are fairly priced and in between my work for them I have steered a lot of others their way. Years back I found a great house painter and he did my home outside. About 20 years later I hired him again and he told me this would be the last time as he was hanging up his brushes. My go to roofer just passed away at 89 YO last month and his kid is taking over the last few years. My hope is he learned from his dad and will keep it going, but I have some doubts. I switched to having the Amish put metal roofing on now and have started sending work their way. The rest I still try and do myself and when it gets tricky I have some younger family that will help and follow my directions.



My problem like yours is adjusting to pricing the guy that works on my cars charges the same as a cardiologist. I can get around the price but the younger generation getting into the building trades seem to want to fake it till they make it. It is very hard to find a truly skilled craftsman these days.



With inflation and being on a fixed income now and living in a town where everyone seems to be older than me and having a lot of equipment I keep kicking around the idea to hire out doing some handyman stuff. My biggest fear is not charging enough because people can’t afford it and then having a full time job on my hands.

You are not alone the world has changed IMO and not for the better in some ways.
 

Steve123

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Had a quote for 2 windows for 5 grand.

I always have to haggle with people or spend a month getting quotes...and then the contractors don't show up on time or do a half *** job.
What are these people thinking?

Frequently, when a price is totally out of line, he is thinking that he really doesn't want your job.
Is it possible you are giving the impression that you are going to be a problem customer ?
 

swimmer_spe

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Cheap
Quick
Good

Pick 2.

That is why you are experiencing the issues. The minute you haggle, you have to give up something for it. Most of the time, they are not going to be quick to return your calls or the work will be bad.
 

DFBonnett

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Frequently, when a price is totally out of line, he is thinking that he really doesn't want your job.
Is it possible you are giving the impression that you are going to be a problem customer ?
I called that a death estimate. When the potential customer was a flaming AH off the get go, I would calculate the price then double it, knowing I'd never hear from them again.
 

Onion69420

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So nice of u to assume I'm a "flaming AH" but I assure you that this was not the case. In fact I wasn't even there, it was a landscaping estimate.
 

DFBonnett

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So nice of u to assume I'm a "flaming AH" but I assure you that this was not the case. In fact I wasn't even there, it was a landscaping estimate.
No one called you that, certainly not me. It's interesting that you assumed I did. I'll not comment further on the issue. Ignored.
 

BuzzLOL

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Is it just me or does this happen to everyone.
Virtually every company I contact for home repairs tries to rip me off.

With so many junkies around these days expecting big money for nothing, there is a definite change in attitude these days... also, it's much worse in the city than in the country... in the city, there is a ton of paperwork involved... hard to get any workers to show up on the job... in the country someone comes out, you talk about what you want and shake hands on it... when the work is done correctly, you pay... the contractor takes care of any paperwork he needs himself...
 

Eddie_T

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Even honest contractors overcharge simply because they can. Many won't call back or show up because they have another job and don't want to bother scheduling. That's why I tend to DIY everything possible.
 

swimmer_spe

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So nice of u to assume I'm a "flaming AH" but I assure you that this was not the case. In fact I wasn't even there, it was a landscaping estimate.

People who are AH or unreasonable do not usually know they are that way.

Even honest contractors overcharge simply because they can. Many won't call back or show up because they have another job and don't want to bother scheduling. That's why I tend to DIY everything possible.

We had a family member do our bathroom reno. He is a licensed contractor and has been in the business for over 30 years. He is booked out at least a year in advance. So, if he doesn't really want the job, instead of saying no, he will just estimate high hoping they will say no.
 

Eddie_T

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A friend paid several thousand for a zen garden (whatever that may be). I think she could have done just as well with a page out of a magazine and a trip to the Lowes garden dept. My DIL is designing her own courtyard garden on the fly.
 

Hamberg

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Man this is a tough subject. I understand the whole soapbox platform we have here BUT in my opinion (as a GC) and for clarification from a consumer's standpoint being "ripped off" is massively different than an independent business owner trying to make a living in a capitalistic society!

Prices are not fixed and you should expect a very large range of project pricing (non-commodity) depending on the workmanship, expiernece, location (taxes, permitting, etc.), amount of business (future, past), employee cost and a thousand other variables.

Probably not the best analogy but from a non-business owner perspective, it's no different than a person accepting a new job at $75k a year (for which they are thrilled) that replaced someone who was making $100k a year and that employee feels "ripped-off" (and unemployed)

I guess it's all perspective but being "ripped-off" and FEELING like someone was trying to rip you off are vastly different!
 

bud16415

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I agree with @Hamberg. Calling someone in to provide a quote to provide a service is a negotiation process and the person’s job is to provide a quote. The quoting process is not ripping anyone off as it is up to the other party to decide to accept the quote or not.



Just in the same way it is the responsibility of the person doing the hiring to make sure the person they are hiring has proper insurance and bonding to make sure they wont be held responsible if something goes wrong.



In the snow removal business there are many “fly by night” folks out there with no commercial certifications running around with a magnetic sign with a phone number on the sign that are working under the table and they are cheap and most of the time will get the job done. Others follow the rules and have to charge a rate that allows them to make a profit in the process.



Home repair is no different. It is as always a buyer beware situation. I have over the years done much of my own work, but also found a local group of contractors I trust and have worked with and often recommend them to others. Nothing beats word of mouth IMO.
 

Flyover

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I agree with these comments about how sometimes it's not getting ripped off, it's when (putting it into my own words) expectations don't match between customer and contractor.

Can someone here with experience doing this stuff can play devil's advocate and maybe explain why some of these quotes might have been as they were, without them being ripoffs? (@Onion69420 more details are probably needed for most of them, e.g. what size/location were the windows, how many sqft of tile and what sort of tile, etc.)
Had a quote for 2 windows for 5 grand.
Paid 4k for tile that the crumbled a couple years later then another company quoted almost 10k to remove
Got a quote for 2400 to spread 2 yards of soil and plant some grass seed.
Had a concrete driveway quoted at 15k and then an asphault quote just slightly under that.
Gutters around my garage? Quote for 4000 dollars, mind you that's only 60 feet if gutter total.
 

swimmer_spe

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I agree with these comments about how sometimes it's not getting ripped off, it's when (putting it into my own words) expectations don't match between customer and contractor.

Can someone here with experience doing this stuff can play devil's advocate and maybe explain why some of these quotes might have been as they were, without them being ripoffs? (@Onion69420 more details are probably needed for most of them, e.g. what size/location were the windows, how many sqft of tile and what sort of tile, etc.)
Let's start with the fact that most materials have doubled in price. That 2x4 now costs a lot more than it did pre covid.
 

Flyover

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Let's start with the fact that most materials have doubled in price. That 2x4 now costs a lot more than it did pre covid.
Thatis true, though the OP did not specify whether these quotes were given pre-Covid.
 
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