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Business Ethics

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by BUFF, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 9,092

    Would you do business with a company that has questionable business ethics even if they offer a better price?
    I try to make it a point to be loyal to small local businesses and willing to spend a few percent more in most cases. With the internet you can get just about anything shipped to your door step for substantially less money in most cases. Some places offer free shipping over a designated dollar amount but most charge for shipping.
    I recently was shopping for a rubber plow deflector for a new plow after seeing how much an OEM kit was I decided I’d just buy the materials and make my own. After searching the internet I found what I thought was a killer deal on the rubber belting, I added the items to a shopping cart and during the checkout process shipping cost was calculated and it was just about the same cost as the stuff in the cart. Granted it’s 9ft of ½”X12” rubber belt and it does weigh 26# but $78.00, really?
    I opened up another window and went to Fed-Ex and UPS to use their shipping calculator to get a cost, both were within cents of each other with a cost of $26.50 for FED-Ex. Once I saw that I jumped back over the website with the Plow Rubber and shut things down.
    How can they justify taking the freight and tripling it, sure you have to stick the product in a shipment worthy box and print a label. A 24X10X10 corrugated box is $3.00-5.00, time to put the product in a box and print the label 10min (label cost $5). With handling cost and box cost being $10.00 what does the $41.50 difference cover?
    I ended up buying an OEM kit online ( new PS Sponsor), for $12.00 more than buying the Plow Rubber, getting bent over on shipping and having to by steel bar stock and SS fasteners.
    Locally I would have spent about $45.00 more (tax included).

    I’m sure some our customers have been mis-lead or blatantly lied to by service providers. I’m sure we’ll all heard stories from customers about how the last guy was a loser, did a subpar job or nailed them with hidden cost, etc……
    This recent shopping online adventure is reminder to me that customer’s do look around, having business ethics is important to stay in business and in building a business. Also to when shopping online it’s the delivered/shipped cost that matters.
  2. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge PlowSite Veteran
    from NJ
    Messages: 3,699

    It would depend if I NEEDED to or not. If they were the only shooting match around, and I was forced to? Otherwise, not being able to conduct business ? Wouldn't I have to ?

    I conduct my own business under the premise that I provide the best service possible, and do it "legally" as possible. This means, pulling permits when required, following call before you dig rules, etc. This way, if there ever was a claim (which I've not had yet) I could stand straight up and say that I followed the rules. I've had lots of clients say that I was "expensive" but worth it, and OTOH, I've had even more clients look elsewhere, as their focus is on cost, and not the service behind the higher rates. I've had these experiences both in plowing and contracting. I've also walked away from dozens of potential customers, as they wanted me to do something either illegal, against my morals or principals, or the ones who've tried to circumvent my company policies. Not worth it to me, as I'd rather not work than do something that I felt was against what I thought was right.

    With reference to your shipping charges? I had no choice, but I had already purchased a ton of parts from a plow supply. http://www.professionalparts.com/

    Right after placing my 5th order or so from them at the time, I was re-assembling my isarmatic pump, when I discovered that the pump lift piston that they sent me was pitted in the center of the shaft. I called them, told them what had happened, that I needed another shaft right away, as a storm was heading towards me. They said no problem, and the part ($70 or so) was to be overnighted, or second day air, or whatever it was at the time, and they would just bill me the cost for shipping. Well, they billed me for the new part and $85 to ship it out, as they had a "handling fee" that they wouldn't calculate prior to placing the order. Needless to say, I haven't purchased a single thing from them since. To think that they sold me a defective lift piston, and then raped me on the replacement. Eventually, I got my $$ back on the part, but the shipping was never received back.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2013
  3. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 761

    I would stick with the smaller company and pay a little more.

    I just ran across an ad for snow plowing.

    The guy used parts of my own ad in his and from my website.

    Last year I ran across an ad from another state and the guy copied word for word my ad.

    What is that saying, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
  4. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 9,092

    Last spring I found signs for lawn care from another company on a few property's I take care of in a business park. I had a good time with that guy........
  5. ducaticorse

    ducaticorse PlowSite.com Addict
    from we
    Messages: 1,426

    Just playing devil's adv here, bu some companies have set rates on shipping through contract with the carrier. I wanted to order a ring that probably weighed 5 grams for a birthday present for a friend. The retailer shipping rate was 20 bucks, utterly absurd, and I let them know that. She basically said, sorry you feel that way, but that's what they are charged b y UPS. I dunno if that is the case here, but it sounds like it may be.
  6. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 761

    Now that's low trying to take credit for the job you are doing.

    That would be like taking pictures of someone elses site after you plowed and salted it and it looked great and they used those pictures in their ads saying it was their work.
  7. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 9,092

    When shipping three things come into play, carton size, carton weight and value of contents. There is a min cost when using Fed-Ex or UPSAs I said in the OP I went to the Fed-Ex and UPS websites to check cost. It was apparent I was getting hosed by the online store.

    I called the number on the sign and talked to the guy, I complemented his work and asked for a ballpark cost for a property similar in size. He gave me a number, then I told him he was talking to the contractor that serviced that property and he hung up.
  8. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,256

    Years ago I ordered a ProTech pusher. I was told that I would have to pay shipping--$600. Give or take. Funny thing is, they can get at least a half dozen on a flatbed, and they charge every single one $600. They waived it for me, but I was pissed.

    It was about that time that I also bought a Daniels. Same deal, they were going to charge me and a competitor about $450 each for coming out of Chicago to GR. I found a flatbed that was deadheading and paid $600 and split with the competitor. Or vice versa, that was 15 years ago, I can't remember a couple days ago.

    Some of the shipping costs are an absolute rip-off.
  9. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 761

    You should have sent him on a wild goose chase to 5 or more different places spread out telling him you manage them all and want a detailed bid outlining cutting grass, trimming, mulching etc...

    Then you get a friend to do the same with different places at the same time so he really is running around.

    He would have wasted a serveral days putting it all together.

    Then at the end, tell him someone beat his price by $100 dollars and your going with them.

    Have your buddy tell him $50 dollars.

    Sit back and enjoy the laugh. :laughing:
  10. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 9,092

    This guy actually had enough stones to stop by to talk one day when I was replacing a sprinkler head. When I stood up he took a step back (I’m 6’8”,285#) and apologized saying his kid put the signs up. He was probably full of “it” but I do give him credit for trying to make amends.
  11. Chineau

    Chineau Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    Is it ethical to sell a product and represent that you service it and fail to deliver service? I do think it is poor business practice.
  12. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 9,092

    Most defiantly, just hope they have nice equipment and it goes low at auction