Lowballing: What To Look Out For
Lowballing means different things to different people. Professionals who pride themselves on quality workmanship are not afraid of the low-ballers, but are absolutely frustrated by them and how they can damage the reputation of an industry.
Sometimes, someone is new to an industry and will therefore offer lower prices in exchange for word of mouth advertising and just to get started. Sort of like when a new restaurant opens, they have specials to draw in business. But those low prices are temporary, to increase initial traffic and establish a base.
A true lowballer will undercut other bids by a good amount. But generally their seeming ability to “save you money” comes with risks. Many of them are not licensed or insured. If something happens, you might be liable, not them. Often lowballers will use subpar materials, rush through a job or go with the bare minimum standards. Or worse yet, start and never finish the job. And when there’s a problem afterward, they won’t return your calls. You’re on your own. These lowballers are willing to trade quality, craftsmanship and longterm reputation for a quick profit.
If someone is consistently below what others are charging, the lowballer is going to have to make up the difference somewhere. Either with lesser quality and quantity materials, or not having proper training and licensing, or maybe not utilizing enough employees. We’ve all “rigged” something to get it to work for now. But that is not the approach you want a contractor to take when it comes to your home!
Sometimes you can score a deal or find a bargain. And nobody likes to overpay. But sometimes, you really do get what you pay for. Are you willing to take that risk when it comes to important work on your home? Doesn’t seem worth it, does it?
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