Tradesmen are an integral part of modern living. They’re involved in the maintenance of so many of the day-to-day things we hold dear — from our homes and cars to heating systems and garden spaces.
At some point, we all end up having to find a tradesman. When we do, the fees incurred can be expensive, but they are often unavoidable. Because of this, we all want to make sure we are getting the best price.
So how do you save money on labourers?
Get Multiple Quotes
All tradesmen services are unique, as they are often run by individuals or a small set of workers. As such, they’ll offer different rates, quotes, and timeframes. The result is you’ll be unlikely to get the same quote for the same job from different providers.
Going to one tradesman and finding a price that seems to work to your budget isn’t going to ensure you get the cheapest deal. The best thing to do is compare multiple quotes from local traders, getting as many as you can, then picking the best value option.
Tips for getting multiple quotes include using tradesmen comparison websites, calling up local providers through trader directories, and getting recommendations for the best traders from friends and family.
Know Your Audience
In most cases, tradesmen are service providers who manage their own pricing. This means they are often open to haggling. However, negotiation is all about knowing what is reasonable. The key to getting the best deal is prior knowledge of your required trade service.
If you go into a discussion on quotes, entirely unaware of what the costs should actually be, it becomes impossible to know how close to fair the price you are being quoted is. The answer? Do you research before you get a tradesman quote?
A general idea of what your improvements/repairs should cost allows you to enter into price negotiations on strong foundations. This means you can avoid those who overcharge, identify potential rogue traders who are looking to undercut the market, and get a reasonable deal out of a trader who can offer you the best service.
Don’t Assume Your Previous Provider Will Be Cheapest
So, you’ve been through it all before when trying to find a tradesman. You’ve haggled, you’ve sourced quotes, and you’ve found somebody who did a good job for the best price. New work comes up, so where do you go?
It shouldn’t be directly to them.
Tradesmen are quite unique in what they offer. They may have specialisms or may be able to gather cheap resources for a particular type of work. This means, while they may be the best choice for one type of job, they may come out more expensive than a competitor for another.
To make sure you are getting the cheapest deal, take steps to seek out the best prices with every new job you need someone for. Being a loyal customer is appreciated by local service providers, but it doesn’t always help keep your bank statement healthy.
Buy Your Own Supplies
It is standard industry practice to markup goods in order to increase profitability. Whether it is a mechanic sourcing a new engine component, or a gardener charging a bit extra for new turf, it’s how these labourers make a living.
However, they don’t have to be the ones getting these goods for you.
You’ll often find a tradesman will allow you to source the resources required for the job you have yourself and then simply charge you for labour hours to install them. This can be a great way of saving money, as you avoid markup and are able to shop around for the cheapest goods, instead of accepting whatever your service provider uses.
If the job is complex, or you have no knowledge of what you really need, this might not be a good idea. Buying the wrong goods is a surefire way to waste money. However, if you are clear on what you need, sourcing the items yourself is ideal.
Choose Your Moment to Find a Tradesman
This practice is not true of all tradesmen, but some industries experience highs and lows of demand. For example, gardeners are often busiest in the summer while plumbers see most work during the colder months.
Those that are in demand are going to be less negotiable and push for higher prices as they have the capacity to do so. If your work can wait, then you’ll be more likely to find a better deal if you wait until your chosen provider experiences an off-season.