I had an interesting conversation with a client the other day who’s going to have me install his hardwood flooring here in Santa Rosa, CA. He got several estimates from local Sonoma County hardwood flooring companies, one of which was 30% higher than mine from a larger hardwood flooring company who advertises “Great deals on hardwood flooring.” They called him back asking if they got the job. He told them he was going with someone else. Then they told him they would match my bid, plus give him an additional 10% off! He told them they were almost $1000 higher than I was. They told him it didn’t matter, and that they would still do it.
He told me he didn’t trust them or the job they might do. He felt comfortable with me and the knowledge I had expressed when I measured his floor, and because of that I earned his business.
My question is “Why would anyone in the hardwood flooring installation business match a 30% lower bid plus give another 10% discount? The obvious reason: They were way too high in the first place. They make their money on the consumers that believe their radio and TV ads, and trust that they are telling them the truth about having the lowest pricing on hardwood flooring.
That being said, I still don’t understand how this hardwood flooring company can manage to stay in business. They didn’t know what my price was, if I forgot to measure a room or just don’t know how to make and accurate estimate. My guess is they won’t stay in business too long. The old saying “You get what you pay for” isn’t always true.
Another customer told me that they had a hardwood flooring company come to give them an estimate and the first question, before they measured the job, was, “What is your lowest bid? We will beat it by $50.” My questions would be, “Do you have a license? Do you know how to measure a floor and come up with an estimate? Do you have references and how many days have you been in business.”
You are going to spend quite a bit of money on quality hardwood flooring and floor installation. Make sure you do your homework first, and know who you’re dealing with.