I’m a frugal man who enjoys the challenge of finding a great deal, I’m always trying to entice more out of every seller on everything I buy. Clothes, food, tools, entertainment, you name it! By the way, I once haggled a sales guy in JB Hi-Fi to give me a $500 surround sound system for $250 when I bought a TV in his store, those guys love a haggle! Go hit them up. I even haggled with the chicken counter assistant in a supermarket to reduce the price of a roast chicken which had been cooked earlier in the day, which was refused so I waited for 3 hours until it was nearly closing time and went back and got it for half price! A saving of $4 Kachingggggg!
For the most part it is a bit of harmless fun but deep down inside of me the shrewd Scotsman just wants cheap. But is cheap always better? Well I can tell you that the surround sound system I haggled, although it worked, wasn’t an excellent quality sound system. It had a weird “down a well” type sound coming from it, no matter how we set it. Two months later, we bought a decent one from the same store for close to $1000 because it was driving us crazy. I can also tell you that the chicken that I waited 3 hours to get at half price was dry and chewy by the time I got to it. It being left sitting on the hot plate for almost a full day made it virtually inedible. I got KFC on the way home. It cost me $12 and I probably gained a few extra pounds.
You see the point I am making is that although something that is cheaper can seem like a great deal on the surface, rarely is that the case and more often than not it will end up costing you more. I’m finding that this is the case in my business at the moment too, talk of rising interest rates and housing markets slowing makes people nervous and everyone is looking for a way to save a few dollars. They are comparing quotes with cheap electricians offering cut price rates yet promising top-quality work. It’s easy to make that claim but I challenge you to think it through before you go down that road. Here are a few reasons why-
#1. You get what you pay for! – I’ve highlighted this quite clearly above. 100% of the time, no matter what it seems on the surface, you will get exactly what you pay for. It’s just the way the world works.
#2. Quality – If you hire a half price tradesman, the quality of work will be half as good. It’s as simple as that. No one does work for free or half price, they simply have different business models. The electrician with the higher price will always have the correct tools and equipment to carry out the work to the highest standard and carry it out safely. They will be well presented and have modern clean vans, they will be fully licensed and insured and will offer warranties and guarantees on their work. Try getting all of that from the guy who is half price.
#3. Exclusions – Most quotes come with some form of exclusions from the scope of works. This is pretty standard and is usually because some things have been unclear or that they are undecided yet. Exclusions should be clear and articulated well from the outset. If they are not, it can cause you to have nasty surprises further down the line when it comes to payment. “What do you mean the lights are not included in the quote?” Cheap quotes can often be just a skeleton quote with zero inclusions, only the bare minimum. It can be a nasty shock to the system if you find out when it’s too late and the contract is signed and deposit paid.
#4. Trust – You should always pick an electrician that you can clearly communicate with and that you trust. I don’t mean just trust with the work they are undertaking, I mean someone you can trust with everything! You are after all allowing them to enter your personal space and access your home and everything in it.
#5. After Care – So you did it, you went for the cheapest option and you’re happy with the work, and with the extra few dollars you saved in the process. Winner! Until one night a month after the new switchboard has been installed, you have no power in the house. You try everything you can think of to get power on but nothing happens. What do you do? Call the electrician back of course! But what if you can’t get hold of him or her? It’s late at night so you leave a message, no one calls back. You send texts and emails but no one answers. Or worst they do answer but give you the “I’m too busy” or “I only work from 9am until 1pm” spiel. Not to worry, it was nice and cheap so no harm done…….
Now, I am not suggesting that somehow the most expensive option is always the best option. In fact that would be more a more foolish system by which to choose than by simply using the cheapest is always best model. In every case I would urge you to-
- Get at least three quotes and compare them “apples for apples” ask questions and make sure you fully understand the contents of all 3.
- Do your due diligence on the companies. Check their website and social media sites, these are a good place to look at the reviews other people have given them on their past work.
- Ask to see insurances and licences. Licenced electricians carry copies with them or can show you or send you a copy on a tablet or mobile device.
- Ask to speak to an existing client. There can be legal issues with passing people’s details on to third parties but in most cases existing clients are more than happy to take a phone call from me or one of my guys to share their positive experience with others.
I hope you have enjoyed reading and I hope I was able to provide you with something of value. I would love to hear your feedback and invite you to leave a comment in the comment box below.
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Local Electrician @ Scott Electrics