My current full time job is in the roofing business. We often get calls on our prices. You can tell those that own a house and want our services vs those that want a price so they can turn around and charge it to someone else. Of course those people don't identify who they are, but when they ask you questions using the 'lingo' you get clued in. Or when we say that we don't give estimates over the phone but we'd be happy to come out and measure 'their' house they quickly get off the phone.
It frustrates us, because we are a business that is going into it's 27th year. We are fully insured. Our crews are our employees year round, we don't go pick up labors for a day or two, taxes are removed from their checks and we pay our part and offer health insurance.
Generally those calls that we get seem like they are coming from the average joe that has decided he can get a few people together, go to Lowes for some shingles, and pay the people he uses in cash and pocket the rest.
Is calling and getting a price from someone else really doing the research or is it taking the easy way out? Why don't they figure out how much the singles are going to cost them, and how much the labor will cost and so on? I don't want to get in a legal issue here (don't we all love when we read that) but those that just want to be a roofer when a storm comes through or when they need some extra cash usually don't do the best work and do things cheaper because they don't have the over head we have. As we tell our customers, we aren't the cheapest out there, but we will be here when you have a leak or a problem with your roof.
So my question, if you made it this far, those of you that do have a business how do you feel about people calling you for price information. Not just a regular customer but someone that knows the lingo and seems like they are just fishing for a price.
Do you give them the prices and go about your business?
Do you call them out on it in some way and refuse to give your prices?
Would you be more willing to offer your pricing information if they were honest with you about who they were and exactly why they are asking?
I'm not really asking about the price per serving questions. More like a what would you charge for a 3d santa claus cake that serves 50 made from this and this pan and has these details or a what do you change for an 8in 2 layer cake that has been torted and filled with ganache and iced in IMBC and how much would that same cake be if you covered it in fondant and then if I added a bow? Someone using terms that 'cake muggles' usually don't know.
I'm just curious how the the advice to price around the people in your area is taken from those that have to answer those calls?