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Commercial bids - do you charge for them???


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So I'm driving home today from a resi job, and was thinking about the commercial bids I've given over the past few years. Since I don't know the rules to that game, I haven't gotten many. Which whatever... I'd rather do resi jobs anyway.

So this one bid I did last summer was about 40 min from me... I went up.. talked to the store manager (who had nothing to do with the bid itself - just that they wanted the windows tinted and got the head office to do something about it) took measurements... which took time since it was an external application and I had to climb up on the roof. (And explain to the police what I was doing when they showed up. :thumb ) I spent a decent amount of time there.... The bid was for about $5k.

Did another one about a month or so ago... this was less then 10 min from me.. same deal. Talked to the manager about what the issues were... took measurements, faxed the bid. About $3k for the job.

Called each of them a couple times... nothing.

Now I'm thinking, since I'm not really into even going after commercial work, if I get a call to charge to go out and scope out jobs. If they decide to go with it, then take that amount off the final bill.

Is that how you all normally do commercial bids?? Or do you not charge??

I have NO problem doing that with resi jobs... and I don't pass up small jobs that are far away cause you never know how many people you might end up getting from the one person. But with commercial - I feel like it's just been a waste of my time, and with gas prices going up and up and up, what's the point of doing something for free and that offers the chances of no return??

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Guest CleanCutter

more than 10 miles, I charge no matter what. Res, Com... whatever.

Some people scoff at the idea and I happily tell them that they are free to call someone else that enjoys working for free. No skin off my nose.

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As far as large commercial jobs under construction, you have to go thru the construction company. They have an open bid policy but you have to fill out an application with them before they let you bid on open projects. They just want to make sure you have insurance and such. As far as older commercial work, its a crap shoot and they pretty much go on price. So maybe you are charging too much. Sometimes if its a bigger job you have to go below your normal per sqft price. And sometimes they get all the quotes and decide to do something cheaper. Go back to those places and see what happened. Talk to the managers again and see what he knows and why didnt they choose you. Seems like with commercial jobs the best way is to go thru blind companies or construction companies. Do some networking. Its all a racket in my opinion. Once a tinting company gets in good with a construction company all they gotta do is throw some money under the table at the construction super once and awhile and they get all the jobs even if they bid a little higher...

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Guest krivera418

I do free estimates either way I try to close right then if I can like................. with a deposit I can go ahead and schedule

you in and on the reciept it states non refundable so if it was a waste of time I got some dough sometimes they figure I might as well

have it done I'm already in the pot :lol2 follow up calls def why not and sell yourself your skills and the product you win some you lose some

but you gotta close :thumb

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Guest calitintdublin

YES, GAS PRICES ARE RISING!!! CHARGING FOR AN ESTIMATE IS ESSENTIAL IN THE CONTRACTING BUSINESS. As professional window film installer/techs WE SHOULD BE PAID A CONSULTATION FEE that applies towards the contract, for any written estimate. It takes time and skill to measure out a job and put it on paper. The benefit for the prospect is that now if the prospect is just shopping everyone in the yellow pages, internet, city, county etc. he/she will have a written estimate ready to fax to any one else they have in mind, without having to waste more time out of their life on setting up appointments with contractors to measure their windows. I used to run into plenty of shoppers every year in my area. Lot's of them never gone forward with tinting their windows, even after shopping 2 or 3 companies. Basically, they just wasted peoples time. I especially charge when I get called for an estimate that is not in my advertising zone. The first feel I get for these prospects is that they already shopped everyone in their area. Perhaps they were not satisfied with the estimates they received. as a result, they are calling out of the area to get a contractor that will offer a better price. Face it, it isn't cheap to operate a business that can be cut throat by low quality, under-pricing companies. Charging a consultation fee gaurantees you won't be wasting your time, and money on gas. Therefore, it will also weed out the serious customers from the "well let me think about it, I need to talk it over with my wife/husban, I will call you" shopper.

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YES, GAS PRICES ARE RISING!!! CHARGING FOR AN ESTIMATE IS ESSENTIAL IN THE CONTRACTING BUSINESS. As professional window film installer/techs WE SHOULD BE PAID A CONSULTATION FEE that applies towards the contract, for any written estimate. It takes time and skill to measure out a job and put it on paper. The benefit for the prospect is that now if the prospect is just shopping everyone in the yellow pages, internet, city, county etc. he/she will have a written estimate ready to fax to any one else they have in mind, without having to waste more time out of their life on setting up appointments with contractors to measure their windows. I used to run into plenty of shoppers every year in my area. Lot's of them never gone forward with tinting their windows, even after shopping 2 or 3 companies. Basically, they just wasted peoples time. I especially charge when I get called for an estimate that is not in my advertising zone. The first feel I get for these prospects is that they already shopped everyone in their area. Perhaps they were not satisfied with the estimates they received. as a result, they are calling out of the area to get a contractor that will offer a better price. Face it, it isn't cheap to operate a business that can be cut throat by low quality, under-pricing companies. Charging a consultation fee gaurantees you won't be wasting your time, and money on gas. Therefore, it will also weed out the serious customers from the "well let me think about it, I need to talk it over with my wife/husban, I will call you" shopper.

amen :twocents

but sometimes you have bite the bullet and do a free estimate because if you dont, the customer has 40 other contractors wiling to give a "free" estimate and you end up sitting on your desk for the next call. you win some, you lose some, the ones you lose are probably not well paid in the first place :twocents

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I provide 'free' estimates, however, Depending upon travel distance, I will figure in this to the price per square foot. On an average 500 sq ft job, I will charge $.10 - .25 more if the distance is long. This will cover fuel for both the quote and installation travel. Prices must reflect increased costs. The fool who does'nt, loses more in the end.

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but sometimes you have bite the bullet and do a free estimate because if you dont, the customer has 40 other contractors wiling to give a "free" estimate and you end up sitting on your desk for the next call. you win some, you lose some, the ones you lose are probably not well paid in the first place :thumb

:beer

If one of the contractors I've done work for in the past calls, I'll go out and do an est. w/o charge... but otherwise... screw it. If they have 40 other contractors willing, then odds are I probably wouldn't end up with the job anyway. lol

What would be a reasonable amount to charge??

I'm thinking One million dollars!! :beer

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I provide 'free' estimates, however, Depending upon travel distance, I will figure in this to the price per square foot. On an average 500 sq ft job, I will charge $.10 - .25 more if the distance is long. This will cover fuel for both the quote and installation travel. Prices must reflect increased costs. The fool who does'nt, loses more in the end.
but sometimes you have bite the bullet and do a free estimate because if you dont, the customer has 40 other contractors wiling to give a "free" estimate and you end up sitting on your desk for the next call. you win some, you lose some, the ones you lose are probably not well paid in the first place :beer

:beer

If one of the contractors I've done work for in the past calls, I'll go out and do an est. w/o charge... but otherwise... screw it. If they have 40 other contractors willing, then odds are I probably wouldn't end up with the job anyway. lol

What would be a reasonable amount to charge??

I'm thinking One million dollars!! :thumb

if its local then yea I see no wrong in not charging for a potential job (estimate)

but if its like a long distance travel you have to work something out with the customer, its a business, they have to pay for your services wether you do the work or not. :beer

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