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Old 01-30-2010, 12:07 PM   #1
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Default "why do you charge so much?"

I just don't get why home owners all assume that this trade is just playing with wires. The last customer said "why do you charge so much i don't even make that an hour"

I'm thinking of making up a business sized card with a bulleted list of what is included in my rate. The heading will say "Why electricians charge what they do" or something like that. Then whenever they ask why i just whip out that card and say here is why.

I remember doing work for this real cheap ass that had a problem with his drains when i was working in the house... He had roto rooter come out and snake the drain took about 25 mins and cost roughly $250 and he didn't say a word just cut the check but my price is too high hmmm

I just play with wires like a cat plays with yarn

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Old 01-30-2010, 12:10 PM   #2
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Show them this list and ask them which line items they think you could cut back on or eliminate:

Building
Building
Warehouse Space
Trash Removal
Lawn Care
Snow removal
Upkeep & Repairs
Office Expenses
Computers
Stationary
Copy machine
Fax machine
Forms
Printing
Software
Office Equipment
Computer maintenance
Files
Postage
Office Supplies
IT
Internet service
Email accounts
Web site
-Initial creation
-Updating
-Maintenance
GPS services
Benefits
Vacation Pay
Holiday Pay
Uniforms
Uniform Maintenance
Unemployment
Bonuses
Incentives
Retirement Plan
Christmas Party
Taxes
Property Taxes
Tangible Taxes
Pay Roll Taxes
Income Taxes
Sales Tax
Training
Management Training
Office Training
In-House Training
Tech Training
Mfg. Training
Training Equipment
Safety Training
Update classes
License testing
Insurance
Building Insurance
Liability Insurance
Employee Insurance
Life Insurance
Business Insurance
Workers Comp.
Utilities
Gas
Electricity
Telephone / Fax lines
Internet Service
Toll Calls
Telephones
Pagers/Cell Phones
Radio Maintenance
Vehicles
Vehicle Maintenance
Ladder Racks
Interior bins
Fuel
Truck Signs / lettering / vinyl
Tires
Financial
Accounting
Loans
Tax Preparation
Interest
30+ Day Receivables
Bank Charges
Travel
Hotel
Meals
Airline / vehicle
Unique to the electrical trade
Permits
Licenses
Bonds
Inspections
Trade Association
Subscriptions
Memberships
Dues
Retainers
Safety PPE
-Lock-out/Tag-out kits
-Fall prevention harness
-Arc-flash clothing
-Hard hats
-Safety glasses
-Hearing protection
Tools
Company Tools
Safety Equipment
Ladders
2-way Radios
Test Equipment
Replacement Parts
Parts Storage
Damages
Tool Replacement
Job site storage
Misc.
Trips to Supply House
Theft
Uncollected Money
Collection fees
Unbillable Hours
Commissions
Call Backs / Warranty work
Shortages
Bad Checks
Delivery
Credit Card Sales
Drug Testing
Legal
Legal advice
Law Suits
Incorporation / LLC fees
Advertising
Marketing
Business cards
Signs
Radio / TV
Newspaper
Flyers / brochures
Material Purchases
Inventory
Labor
Wages
Salaries
Dispatcher
Answering Service

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Old 01-30-2010, 12:13 PM   #3
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Default Those

I hate those people.

Here's a list of ideas. If you make, let us know and i'll buy a 1000 off you.

I tell people our job is like an iceberg. You only see the top. Here is the bottom.

Driving to supply houses
Insurance
Phones
Internet
Vehicle Depreciation
Overhead
Licenses
Paperwork
Restocking/Cleaning up/Purchasing
Designing
Phone calls
Collections
Warranty
Returning items
Talking time with customers
ETC...

Can anyone add some more...
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pawirenut View Post
I just don't get why home owners all assume that this trade is just playing with wires. The last customer said "why do you charge so much i don't even make that an hour"

I'm thinking of making up a business sized card with a bulleted list of what is included in my rate. The heading will say "Why electricians charge what they do" or something like that. Then whenever they ask why i just whip out that card and say here is why.

I remember doing work for this real cheap ass that had a problem with his drains when i was working in the house... He had roto rooter come out and snake the drain took about 25 mins and cost roughly $250 and he didn't say a word just cut the check

I just play with wires like a cat plays with yarn

I laugh when people ask that. I say I dont I charge a fair price to make a very dangerous thing that will kill with indescrection and no mercy safe for them to use and enjoy. With out my training tools continued education etc you are putting your family in possible danger. Why does the mechanic or hooker charge sooo much right?
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:14 PM   #5
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Ignore my puny list now...shrugging shoulders walking away
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:15 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by pawirenut View Post

I remember doing work for this real cheap ass that had a problem with his drains when i was working in the house... He had roto rooter come out and snake the drain took about 25 mins and cost roughly $250 and he didn't say a word just cut the check but my price is too high hmmm

I just play with wires like a cat plays with yarn

Good point. Same people willl take thier car to a garage and not blink when paying $75.00/ hour.
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:18 PM   #7
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Good point. Same people willl take thier car to a garage and not blink when paying $75.00/ hour.
Dealers here are over 100 hour!
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:19 PM   #8
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Good point. Same people willl take thier car to a garage and not blink when paying $75.00/ hour.
Or call The Geek Squad from Best Buy and happily write a check for $125 an hour.

Last time I went to the doctor, he spent 5 minutes with me. I was charged $180. Does that mean the doctor makes $2160 per hour? No.
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:23 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by pawirenut View Post
I just don't get why home owners all assume that this trade is just playing with wires. The last customer said "why do you charge so much i don't even make that an hour"

How many times does this happen a week, or month?

Have you tried to keep track somehow?
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:25 PM   #10
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I verbally tell some customers a short rundown of why i charge what i do and some say "well that's part of running your business we shouldn't be paying for that"

The only things customers want to pay for are materials and labor they don't want to pay a red cent for anything else. It's "our responsibilty" for the rest of the overhead.
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pawirenut View Post
I verbally tell some customers a short rundown of why i charge what i do and some say "well that's part of running your business we shouldn't be paying for that"

The only things customers want to pay for are materials and labor they don't want to pay a red cent for anything else. It's "our responsibilty" for the rest of the overhead.

Show them their own car in their garage or drive way. Point out the sticker on the back from the dealer. Tell them they paid for that sticker.... like it or not.
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:49 PM   #12
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I think I pay to many taxes, some folks complain about the cost of gas, food, school and on and on.

It is what it is, about the best you can do is try to educate them some, but with some folks it will be a lose lose.
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Old 01-30-2010, 01:38 PM   #13
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we charge so much because we like houses and cars and boats and chicks and beer and guitars and amps and cds movies and when i get all that im raising my rates so i can work less while making the same ,,so i can enjoy my stufff,,,,,so you should get it done today before the price goes up,,,thats what i tell them.......
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Old 01-30-2010, 01:45 PM   #14
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i will argue that not only does the average electrician not charge too much, he probably doesn't charge enough...

but the reason you get asked that question is because too many guys don't charge enough...they are comparing your pricing to the guy who thinks profit is a dirty word...
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Old 01-30-2010, 01:59 PM   #15
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we charge so much because we like houses and cars and boats and chicks and beer and guitars and amps and cds movies .......
And all we need is just a handful of people who are more than happy charging $8/hr., live under a bridge, eat CheesyMac and drive a '76 Yamaha dirt bike to 'train' the public that's all we're worth.
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Old 01-30-2010, 02:09 PM   #16
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we charge so much because we like houses and cars and boats and chicks and beer and guitars and amps and cds movies and when i get all that im raising my rates so i can work less while making the same ,,so i can enjoy my stufff,,,,,so you should get it done today before the price goes up,,,thats what i tell them.......
I spend my on wine, women and drugs, then there is paper, gas, rent, trucks, accountants, lawyers, HVAC, utilities, phones, internet, secretaries, a desk and on and on, oh did I mention I like to eat.
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Old 01-30-2010, 02:17 PM   #17
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I do nothing but commerical, so it's the general contractors we work for that say....why do you charge so much. They think 5% over head with 2% mark up should be plenty to run my small company. When I say my overhead is 22% and I need to make 5%, they say well we can run our company one the 5% and 2% why can't you. I say your $10 million dollar volumn allow's you do to that, my 1 mil. vol. does not. They say will I'm not using you if you have to have that much % to run a business. How can some running a 10 mil. business not know the difference?
P.S. I know that most of you guy's are not involved in this part of the business, but you need to know how hard it is for the employer to make money.
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Old 01-30-2010, 02:18 PM   #18
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oh did I mention I like to eat.
Yes, you mentioned women.
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Old 01-30-2010, 02:19 PM   #19
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Dealer are chargeing $120 per hr here.
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Old 01-30-2010, 02:30 PM   #20
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I just copied and pasted 480's list into a Word document (with some modifications) and noticed profit wasn't even on the list. 3 full, single spaced, columns of expenses and profit wasn't even there! Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!!! (For 480: Alpha Zulu Four Eight Niner.)

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