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Old 27-03-2012, 07:24   #31
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
What I'd really like to charge extra for, which I do not, is a whole different converstaion all together. Like owners who want it cheap but ask a thousand questions while I work. Or explaining yet again why I do it this way. Just because I've done hundreds like it, have been trained that way and because I have more than a few years experiance doesn't seem to matter. While the self appointed expert in the boat next to you ...
That part, the being able to ask an expert or at least very experienced worker follow up questions, is exactly why I like get expert help. And why I don't complain about the prices.
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Old 27-03-2012, 14:11   #32
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

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stirring the pot early aren't we Don??
Not me, I've personally experienced CF member expertize in action on my boat!
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Old 27-03-2012, 15:25   #33
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

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Originally Posted by Nemo55 View Post
10% to 20% was always considered a fair markup in retail where i was from, is that not the case anymore????
Nemo, 10-20% by whom???
Coke for a 32 oz drink total expense to us all things covered is $0.065 and the most expensive item is the cup. So is we add 20% it should sell for $ 0.08 by your logic when have you ever been in a McDonald's and seen them sell retail drinks for 8 cents??? Usu from .99 to 1.89.
Own a Dollar store in Canada and if anything cost more than .33 it will never be sold by us. We need to have 300% markup to just make $0.03 cents net on the store for profit. per franchise profile
The total expense of running a biz are very high and few have any real idea of a comany's real profit margins. Did you know that in the US that the govt publishes the info from biz tax returns by zip code and biz code avail to the public but about 3 years behind current year.
Great info if you are considering buying or going into a biz.

Have no problem with a biz making a net profit of 3% which would be high for most small biz. Apply this to cruising. Marina's are high costs items as are boatyards and am in the process of researching this as am currently investigating opening a private boatyard in the Caymans. Have already owned the land and waterfrontage for few years and with no income or property taxes in the Caymans is looking like a pretty good investment.

Believe if more cruisers approached their boat operations as a biz and planned/purchased/bought accordingly they would save or have/make more money and be better able to live their dreams Cruising versus just worrying about paying the bills. IMHO

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Old 27-03-2012, 16:16   #34
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
How much do you think is profit out of $90 an hour? Even for the guy that shows up in a van.
Heaps

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After insurances, liability, workers comp
A couple of grand spread over 1920 hours of work (40hours x 48 weeks) so a couple of dollars an hour
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, tools,
Probably no more than $5000 for a well stocked van, many get away with a $100 angle grinder a $200 sander polisher, a $150 jig saw, a $100 hand plane, a $100 saw and a selection of cheap chinese made hand tools which get thrown away when covered with epoxy
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travel, fuel, licensing,
Who gets paid to travel from home to work every day?
And its probably no more than a few minutes for those who work at the same marinas
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trade education,
4 year apprenticeship for me paid for by my employer.
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continuing trade education
Because its difficult counting to 5
,
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stocking very expensive parts,
What, like some grinding discs and sandpaper?
Who stocks parts? You buy them for the job from your supplier who is a phone call away.

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not to mention all the little nickle and dime stuff that adds up to thousands, like SS nuts, bolts, starboard, BC cable, fittings, heat shrink, little things that are just expected that never finds it's way onto a customers bill.
all the little things that are left over from previous jobs which you charged the owner for but never gave back
Quote:
Vehical purchase, insurance, up keep,
There used to be no shortage of tradies driving around in a $2000 van which can be locked, only a fool needs a $70,000 Malloo ute.
Seems to be plenty of fools these days.
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signage.
On the side of the van? $200

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Shop leasing or ownership that also comes along with more insurance, taxes, regulations, and maitenance.
I thought we were talking about a guy and his van?

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I work out of most of the large marina boat yards in south Florida. There are three marina/boat yards I refuse to work in because they want 20% off the top of my bill that IS NOT allowed to be passed on to the customer. Now there is the new trend of charging for parking in a marina on each visit even for that free esitmate.
So you admit that there is gouging?
And where is it written that costs cannot be passed on?
Quote:
What I'd really like to charge extra for, which I do not, is a whole different converstaion all together. Like owners who want it cheap but ask a thousand questions while I work. Or explaining yet again why I do it this way. Just because I've done hundreds like it, have been trained that way and because I have more than a few years experiance doesn't seem to matter. While the self appointed expert in the boat next to you (or God forbid on an Internet board ) who has heard of it being done differently claims I'm ripping you off and charging way to much while he'll do it for beer and chips. This list could go on for hours.
Hmm, what about the afternoons sailing on owners boats, the beers that are bought, the flexible hours
You chose the business you are in, dont cry about it.
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Old 27-03-2012, 16:34   #35
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

The land taxes went through the roof in florida the last several years. A couple of marinas sold out to condo developers because they could not afford to stay in business. As for charging 20 percent on top of a bill several yards do this so the independent contractors do not get all the work. The yard does need to protect it self. If they let all independent contractors in they would go out of business. Yards are expensive to run and maintain.
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Old 27-03-2012, 16:38   #36
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

Personally I just don't understand the charge of "gouging". Where I live and work, which is per capita the boating capitol of the US, at least 50% of the local boatyards have closed their doors in the last five years. Many of these yards were owned or operated by friends or acquaintances, and many of those people lost a lot of money. None of them were getting rich before the crash, but now some are destitute. Only those who have a sector of the very high end market, which was of course not affected, survived intact and continue to make money, with the exception of one or two very high volume yards. I reiterate that the insurance industry and others drove costs as high as they are. My Boss, the owner of our company, does well but is by no means a rich man. We all bust hump all week long, including the Boss, logging countless 70 hour weeks in the last two decades. We will probably all die relatively young as a result of dramatic exposure to extremely toxic environments, and some of us already have done just that. We don't do it for the paycheck, as I and many others could make more money elsewhere without poisoning ourselves so much. In many cases we do it because we love boats and get satisfaction from building and repairing them. If you want to accuse someone of price gouging, there are far more egregious examples to whine about than boatyards. At least you are getting dedicated craftsmen for your money, or should be. If that's not the case then you are simply in the wrong place and should walk immediately.
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Old 27-03-2012, 17:01   #37
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

In every shop i have worked in my 40+ years any parts required to complete the repair job for the customer where charged at cost plus % usually 20% to 30% this was considered standard and i believe it still is in Canada. This was on top of Shop labor costs of $86-$120.00 per hour booked.

Also In Canada each job has a book time that anyone can look up(all part of the fair trade practices) and see for themselves how long a typical job should take by any Mechanic/Service Person.

If i, or any of my employers where on the hook for extra's we would explain to the customer and for the most part, the customer would sign off on it.

I have also worked for a Company ran by a very close friend and old work buddy,,that we had to bring back from the dead because the previous owners had ran it into the ground and Ripped off customers left and Right.
It took us Three long years to regain the public trust for this company(was under the same signage) after all of that, we still could not pull back enough customers to save the business,but we gave it a mighty effort.
Even i went without a pay cheque a few times to keep the doors open for the sake of my friends dream, We provided a solid service and a superior product,but once a town labels a business as a Rip Off then its just a Matter of time,,even for New Owners or management(my friends) The writing was on the wall.
In retrospect my friend should not have bought this business, but he wanted to own his own Biz, and he was one of the best HD Mechanics i have ever met.
To cut a long story short,,,i know all to well the cost of doing business, it is not for the faint of heart as it is plagued with pitfalls and Government types with their hands out all the time.
I have an endearing respect for any trades person who treats his customers right and gives back to his/her community.

I am still forever the optimist.
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Old 27-03-2012, 17:11   #38
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
Personally I just don't understand the charge of "gouging". Where I live and work, which is per capita the boating capitol of the US, at least 50% of the local boatyards have closed their doors in the last five years. Many of these yards were owned or operated by friends or acquaintances, and many of those people lost a lot of money. None of them were getting rich before the crash, but now some are destitute. Only those who have a sector of the very high end market, which was of course not affected, survived intact and continue to make money, with the exception of one or two very high volume yards. I reiterate that the insurance industry and others drove costs as high as they are. My Boss, the owner of our company, does well but is by no means a rich man. We all bust hump all week long, including the Boss, logging countless 70 hour weeks in the last two decades. We will probably all die relatively young as a result of dramatic exposure to extremely toxic environments, and some of us already have done just that. We don't do it for the paycheck, as I and many others could make more money elsewhere without poisoning ourselves so much. In many cases we do it because we love boats and get satisfaction from building and repairing them. If you want to accuse someone of price gouging, there are far more egregious examples to whine about than boatyards. At least you are getting dedicated craftsmen for your money, or should be. If that's not the case then you are simply in the wrong place and should walk immediately.
Thank you for an objective input. While I can't abide genuine price gouging (opportunist pricing etc), most of the time it doesn't happen except in the mind of the complainer.

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Originally Posted by Nemo55 View Post
...................
To cut a long story short,,,i know all to well the cost of doing business, it is not for the faint of heart as it is plagued with pitfalls and Government types with their hands out all the time.
I have an endearing respect for any trades person who treats his customers right and gives back to his/her community.

I am still forever the optimist.
+1 and I lose respect for those who can but aren't willing to pay a fair price for honest labour.
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Old 27-03-2012, 17:15   #39
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

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Originally Posted by Nemo55 View Post
To cut a long story short,,,i know all to well the cost of doing business, it is not for the faint of heart as it is plagued with pitfalls and Government types with their hands out all the time.
I have an endearing respect for any trades person who treats his customers right and gives back to his/her community.

I am still forever the optimist.
It seems that it is similar to having children.

If you have never had any you just can't understand.

Those that have pets that they think are like children (my sister) don't have a clue either.
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Old 28-03-2012, 08:48   #40
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
Personally I just don't understand the charge of "gouging".
It's pretty simple. If someone else charges you more than you think they should, then that is "gouging." Whereas if you try to get as much as you can out of the buyer of your used car, boat, house, or whatever, then that is just "smart business," "fair pricing," "the going rate," or some other term along those lines.
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Old 28-03-2012, 09:12   #41
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

"The reason that a boatyard might put a lien on your boat before they even begin work is that"
Last time I heard, if you put a lien on something befor you were owed any money, that was a separate prosecutable offense for falsely presenting the lien. A contractor would have to be both dumb and bitter (and one might have something to do with the other) before trying that.

Minaret, I suspect d0n is being sarcastic. Gouging usually means taking UNFAIR advantage of someone. Like, after a hurricane all power has gone down, all utilities have gone down, so you sell pint bottles of water for $4 each simply because you can, and you know folks have no option. Even though you sold the same bottles for fifty cents last week.

In fact I know a Sbarro's where they charge about $3 for a bottle of water, that sells for about a buck around the corner. Price isn't posted on the wall, so if you're naive enough to buy a bottle of water with your food...Zing! You been gouged.

Most self-employed people, if they are average to above average in their business management skills, will net 1/4 to 1/3 of what they charge per hour. The rest goes to taxes, overhead, ongoing training, tools and material, insurance, social security, vacation pay and health insurance, just like an employee at a business would get. the numbers may vary and I'd guess plumbers make out the best, not needing new tools and training and mandatory ongoing professional ed classes every year <G> but that's about the way it goes.

As to whether a business can make a profit? Everybody lies. No one wants to reveal their bottom line unless they have to, but there are plenty of real numbers floating around from good sources. For every business that says "That's impossible!" there's another one that says nothing and just banks the profits and gets rich doing "the same" thing.

Sam Walton himself was interviewed and asked how he could make money always selling the cheapest prices, and he said up front HE DIDN'T. The prices get the customers in, the specials in the islands and rack ends often ARE NOT cheaper than the competition and that's where the profit can be made. Forget China, he made money before they dealt with China. Every supermarket has loss leaders for the same reason.

Gouge your customers? You piss 'em off and they go elsewhere. You make money now--but never again, unless you're skinning rubes. AOL did that for years, they churned customers like mad, until they ran out of fresh meat and tanked. But it was a great ride while it lasted.

Other companies? Well, there's Benelli, the Italian firearms firm. They go back to a family business in the middle ages. And LLBean, a piddling hundred-odd years young. Neither one is cheap, but they make customers feel VALUED and RESPECTED.
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Old 28-03-2012, 13:45   #42
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

It looks to me as if someone wants more for his work then some of these folks are willing to pay ! Thats Gougeing to them ! when in fact it's a PRICE that you can negotiate or go to somewhere else !! I charge what a job is going to cost with parts included, if something else not covered by my estimate comes up during the job the customer is informed and a new or additional charge is agreed apon ! Thats the way Ive done Bizz for 40 + years Ive had a few folks who were unhappy about prices over the years but nobody ever complained about how the equipment ran or lasted !! So maybe the GOUGEING is in the mind of some of these folks ! If ya don't like the price WALK ! Thats the answer! not Crying on a site like this !! Theres fine craftsmen on here like Minaret, who have said it all !" a workman is worthy of his Hire !!" maybe you folks never heard that statement growing up but it was what folks felt when I was growing up !! and it's the way Ive done Bizz all my working life !! again if ya don't like the price go down the street or water way as the case may be !! justa workmans 2 cents
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Old 28-03-2012, 14:09   #43
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

I completed a 4 year apprenticeship in Australia.
I backpacked around the world and worked in USA. I was highly praised for my reliability, honesty, competence, and broad area of expertise. I didn't think much of it at the time. Everyone I knew was like that.
I returned to Australia and an employer in NYC flew me back and provided free accommodation in Manhattan.
But, when I got out of that business, and into retail and had to call tradesmen - I discovered what they were talking about.
Most tradesmen I dealt with were unreliable, dishonest, and incompetent.
I developed the axiom "never chase someone to give them your money".

Same applies to Boats - seems the less competent a tradesmen is - the more likely they are to be dishonest. At the very least they will have to return many times to get the job done. Mostly - simply because they don't know what they are doing.
And they always make more money. I call it gouging.
Not that any tradespeople here are like that.
But it is common - far too common. And I agree with the op...
The guy I worked for in NYC 25 years ago was the worst - lack of skills in the trade but non in dealing with people. He lied cheated and ripped off everyone he dealt with - (except me). The only gripe he had was I could repair things quickly. "Sell parts, sell parts" he used to yell at me. "Can't make money on a minimum charge service call". But often that was all I needed to fix the customers problem...And I would not lie for him...
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Old 28-03-2012, 14:20   #44
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

What allezcat says is true, but the OP wants there to be government intervention to solve his problems. What I disagree with is not that there are scam artists and exhorbiant vendors out there, but someone else should be liable to police the spending habits of people like the OP. If the OP is in an all inclusive marina......move. If not, shop around. If the OP likes the services included with an all inclusive marina, shop around for another one, or negotiate with the one currently being dealt with. Issues are raised about the cost of a bilge pump and fuel pump costing $4k, what was the scope of work???? Is this a $50 rule pump and a yanmar lift pump? or is this a complete rewire and rehose of the bilge pump and a replacement injector pump on an older volvo.
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Old 28-03-2012, 14:23   #45
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

An honest & expert, though perhaps apparently “expensive” tradesman, might pay for a “quick” service call by charging an “apparently” expensive minimum service charge.
The “quick fix” was only quick, because he/she knew what they were doing; also the reason they were worth their “rate”.
Often, when I performed a "minor" fix, customers said: "I could ave done that myself" ... leaving out the all-important, if I had of known" ... which was why they'd called me, in the first place.

A Joke (with a hint of truth to it):

There was an engineer who had an exceptional gift for fixing all things mechanical. After serving his company loyally for over 30 years, he happily retired. Several years later the company contacted him regarding a seemingly impossible problem they were having with one of their multimillion dollar machines.

They had tried everything and everyone else to get the machine to work but to no avail. In desperation, they called on the retired engineer who had solved so many of their problems in the past.

The engineer reluctantly took the challenge. He spent a day studying the huge machine. At the end of the day, he marked a small "x" in chalk on a particular component of the machine and stated, "This is where your problem is".

The part was replaced and the machine worked perfectly again.

The company received a bill for $50,000 from the engineer for his service. They demanded an itemized accounting of his charges.

The engineer responded briefly: One chalk mark $1 Knowing where to put it $49,999 It was paid in full and the engineer retired again in peace.
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