by Mark Kline
Having lived here for 10 years now, I have noticed a number of social and business patterns. Here’s one I might be able to help everyone with.
Are you suffering from the Buddy-Deal Syndrome?
Each year, numerous Clear Creek Countians are struck with this debilitating disease. Here’s some advice on prevention.
• Family members or “buddies” are now distant or never heard from again.
• The bank account is usually lighter.
• Your new west wing is just a cement slab.
• Blood pressure medicine has been doubled.
• A day really means a month, a year and often never.
• Your spouse now has exponentially more points than you.
• Divorce is now part of the project.
• It still leaks, doesn’t start, let’s air in, is clogged, isn’t finished, or is worse than before. • “They” now have an answering machine.
• A (usually fruitless) suit in county court is part of the repair/building process.
• Instead of more of something, you now have less of many more things.
• You find out later what a 1099 is.
• Buying anything above what you can afford to own.
• “Sweet” deals. One time offers. Too good to be true. Buy one, get one free.
• The thinking that paying for professional work is too expensive.
• Not talking to the CCC building department.
• Talking to the CCC building department.
• Watching too many do-it-yourself repair shows.
• Commonly associated phrases: “I can get that done for half as much ...”, “I know this guy ...”, “my brother-in-law works for ...”, “psst ... hey buddy ...”, “... don’t worry honey, I can finish it ...”, “Just pay me in cash ...”, “but you have to act now ...”, “take your time ....”, “I need an advance ...”.
• Thinking there is such a thing as “mountain” rules.
• Shopping every time for the cheapest price first.
• The misguided belief that anything of value can be cheap in cost.
• Failure to properly associate value with pricing.
• Thinking that anyone good at something would be happy to charge less for it.
• Thinking that a hammer and six pack does a carpenter (etc.) make.
• Comprehend that the best value for services are not in their price, but in their workmanship and ethics.
• Understand that there is usually a direct relationship between price and motivation.
• Doing everything legal, with a contract, minimum advances and above board.
• If the provider refuses to do it for less, they’re probably good.
• Never deal with a relative or friend as it gets in the way and usually goes bad.
• Afford to own what you bought, no matter how little you bought it for.
• Adapt an “if I can’t afford it new, I can’t afford it used” policy.
• Find the lowest and highest price, and cross them off the list first. Make everyone else explain.
• Never ask for a temporary repair. It never is and everyone knows it.
• Don’t hire them if they ask for more than one process payment.
• In construction, give a bonus or a penalty for either side of the completion date.
• Understand that few professionals would, or could, do something better for less.
• Do it right or don’t do it at all.
Each day my automotive shop turns down more work than we accept. Why? Because the owners have purchased more car than they can afford to own. They barely make the payments, let everything go until it all stacks up and/or have had it butchered by hacks until it doesn’t work anymore. It’s now doomed and a no-win to go there.
This has grown to an epidemic in our society on all levels of the services industry. Ask anyone in a service business. My quality-minded professional business customers are getting less and less work because everyone wants price and not quality... of course until it’s too late.
If this keeps up, few professionals at anything will be left. Multi-million-dollar homes have been built by unskilled, cheap, illegal workers, and man, is it starting to show up thanks in part to building inspections that are absolutely pointless.
Much of the American public has become mentally ill and lost all senses of value, causing their own demise. Why else do you think you’re talking to a service rep named “Bob” from India.
Ask any professional, and they will tell you one of the hardest things to sell these days is quality, honest work. Many have given up. When asked, most people will tell you they hate car dealerships. Does that even make sense? If everyone wanted blue shirts, wouldn’t there be blue-shirt outlets everywhere?
The truth is that what everyone says they want and what they actually buy are two separate things. While most folks are busy pointing at everyone else for the issues with this economy, they better start pointing at themselves first. The buyer sets the value and often that value is only in the price, not the actual product or service.
As a nation, we must return to fewer things of better quality, that is, if it’s not too late.
Mark Kline is a former Clear Creek County commissioner candidate and a KYGT radio personality.