Thursday, August 6, 2015

Tidbits on how to be the winning bid

I had my house's exterior painted--kind of needed it after 35 yrs.

I used Yelp and personal recommendations from friends to find a contractor. I go into conniptions trying to get work done around here--the weirdest sorts try to play me and rip me off, up charge (uh, ma'am, this is a bigger job than I thought), and overpromise and under deliver.

The first bidder was a very expensively dressed and groomed middle-aged guy with great Yelp pictures and recommendations. He seemed to regard little old me with contempt. Stalked around the house, said do you want this painted, no?, this? yes. He did not send the bid that day and when I called he said he had more important bids to do...So obviously he did not want this job--and his bid, when I got it, was a thousand above the others. In his bid, he listed all the things he would NOT paint for the money.

The second was a friend of a friend...Very handsome gentleman, big smile, eye contact, sent his bid that day...but it was about 25 words long---Powerwashing, primer, paint, etc. He was the low bidder of the three even being considered--the first guy was out. He also said he could do it the next day--whoa, whoa--no other clients?

The third was a woman, and I so wanted her to be the one. She was exotic for Arizona, interesting. She bid a little above the low bidder--but then the "service" that recommended her upped her by $400--wait a second, she said this amount! The guy at the so-called service said no she didn't. Well , that was enough for me--no way on her. She offered to do it for the original amount, but I was not happy.

The fourth was a guy who also had wonderful Yelp pix and recommendations. He came over immediately. He chatted pleasantly, asked me about items on my desk (seemed observant and detail conscious). He also went into a lot of detail on the anti-chalking coating and then on the type of primer. He used the second from most expensive Dunn Edwards paint. His bid was about $400 more than the lowest, and he asked for half on deposit, but I chose him.

It turned out great! The company owner stayed in touch with me and with his crew. He came by 2-3 times a day to check in. They worked 11-12 hours a day, steadily--they did not loaf when he left. They did everything with precision. The company owner never patronized me--in fact, he did some other little chores he saw when he was over here.

So what is the moral? The lowest bid is not always the best deal. And don't go by tattoos--not a good indicator of painting ability.

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