Conservatories Buyers Guide - Tricks of the trade and how to avoid them
is by no means a comprehensive list. These are
just a few of the "tricks" sometimes
employed. If you are aware of them then you will
hopefully not be deceived. I will be adding more
to this page in the future. In the meantime if
you have any "scams" that you think are
worth exposing - please contact
Tactic No 1
The following is referred to as "Sweeping" in the trade.
Quite a number of companies use this tactic on every job in which the salesperson doesn't "close".
Firstly you are offered a price far too high to be competitive (which is followed by one or two hours of further reducing the price/closing with special offers etc). You the customer say, "I'll let you know", or something similar.
A day or so later, the sales manager phones you to say that either you are such a prize catch (show house) or that they have reached their monthly targets, and we can afford to drop the last quoted price. However don't tell the salesperson etc. we'll cut their commission out of the equation. Now you have what you may consider a sensible price.
Sometimes a variation that is used is for the sales manager to call in a "customer care mode". This time the manager enquires on the salesperson's behaviour, appearance and quality of explanation etc. You are quite naturally impressed that the company cares about such things and before you know it the sales manager is approaching you with another great offer!
I only make the above point so that you may be aware of what could be going on during the "sale process". While the above may seem rather odd and the "ethics" are questionable I know that these companies would point out its not unusual in commercial dealings for companies to come back with revised or better offers.
Tactic No 2
This Special Offer only holds good
for one visit only (variations are
offers ending this weekend month etc): This is
often referred to in sales circles as the FCD -
First Call Discount. Basically it is to put
pressure on you to make a buying decision now.
Fail to buy now and you lose the discount! With
very few exceptions I would always recommend
"sleeping" on any buying decision. The
only time a time specific discount can be
relevant is when you are buying an Ex Display
model or something that is End-of-range. That is
the only time I can think of. My suggestion
is don't go for it unless you are truly confident
you are getting the deal of a life time.
On the other hand there is of course a variation
of the above which you can use in negotiating. It
is based on the fact that you are buying in a
very competitive market place, a market place
which you can turn to your advantage. You can
even, if you wish, use this on the companies who
offered you a discount on the first visit only
(although I'm not sure I would want to do
business with them). Now provided you have more
or less chosen the company you want to use,
contact the salesperson or the sales manager and
explain you are just about ready to buy. Explain
that you still feel their price or specification
is not quite as good as you would like it to be.
Put the pressure on them for a change - make an
offer (lets say 3% - 6% - maximum of 10%) below
what they quoted. Or perhaps ask them to include
one of the extras in the base price. Explain you
have the money in place and are ready to make a
decision. You may be very pleased with their
response. What have you to lose? - even if they
do not budge - which frankly is unlikely you will
know you have got the very best deal possible.
Chances are very high that you will save some
money. Please only do this if you are really
confident you want to buy from this company. Also
you must be ready to make a choice. I don't think
it is good to trade companies off against each
other so I would only do it with a company whom I
really wanted to use (that's speaking personally
I know the last paragraph may seem a little
odd for some of us and perhaps it is not for
everybody. If you don't feel comfortable with it
do please, at least, be aware that a lot of
companies will feel comfortable using similar
tactics on you.
Tactic No 3
Discounts of varying percentages and for varying reasons are almost always available if you shop around. Here are just a few of the "reasons for discounts" that are currently doing the rounds.
* Our salesperson could not make it so I - the sales manager/commercial manager/trade sales manager have come instead. Therefore you will not be paying for any sales commission, as I will put order through at a trade price etc. Also can you please make a decision now as I am a very busy person and I will not be able to call out next time? Fail to buy now and we will have to send out the sales person and off course the price will be higher.
* If you agree to an installation board outside we will give a discount. This offer is quite common and while I'm sure there are some genuine offers I have got the impression that there are some companies who make this offer with every sale. Speaking personally I find this offer more "believable" when the discount offered is smaller - for instance I know of one small retailer (who doesn't have a showroom) who offers a discount of a couple of hundred pounds if a client will allow him to use their installation for SHOWROOM purposes. He also "argues" that because he has offered a SHOWROOM discount its even more important that the work he carries out will be of the highest standards.
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