Author Topic: You can't afford this  (Read 22123 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

veronaz

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2225
Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #30 on: July 01, 2013, 09:39:53 AM »
Quote
And I disagree that a comment like this would not be a personal comment. It is very personal...and very presumptuous.

POD


Sterling

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2995
    • Oh Stupid Me- Blogs about Things That Drive Me Crazy
Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #31 on: July 01, 2013, 11:22:29 AM »
Yeah I would be annoyed with the new phrasing as well.  My house is very large and very run down.  It is late period Victorian that has had little updating since then.  The updating that was done was done poorly.  Literally the master bathroom is a former bedroom that they just put a toilet and shower in.  they didn't tile the floor or anything.  Heck the toilet is against a door and they took the door knob off and called it good.

However the house is in a coveted neighborhood and we are remodeling it from the foundation up.  We got the house at a bottom of the barrel price.  Yes on the outside it look crappy and on the inside some of the rooms look pretty bad and some are half torn apart with piles of tools and construction materials spread out.  But we are going room by room and doing a lot of work ourselves.  We do hire people occasionally and if anyone made an assumption about what we could afford we wouldn't work with them.
93 93/93

Oh Joy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1405
Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #32 on: July 01, 2013, 01:16:38 PM »
That was a completely inappropriate assumption, and a poor business decision.  But I will provide the perspective that it's very possible that the past X number of houses in similar neighborhoods that he visited have not accepted quotes for similar work, saying they can't afford it.  And this is probably a busy time of year for him.  If he's allocating too much time to free estimates that don't turn into paying jobs, he'd be better served to change his business model (like free phone consults while looking at a satellite image of the property). 

Just wish he'd said 'folks in your shoes are usually only looking to spend a grand or so for a job like this,' or used similar phrasing, because that's likely what he really meant...not a commentary on your personal net worth.

Can you tell I work with lots of small businesses?   :D

I find that equally insulting. I know very wealthy people who live in simple homes. I also know some people who live in mcmansions who are up to their eyeballs in debt. If any business owner said this to me I'd show them the door, along with a few comments that made my point. And I disagree that a comment like this would not be a personal comment. It is very personal...and very presumptuous.

I'm appreciating the opportunity to read other perspectives on this.

I just don't see any connection between how much consumers usually decide to pay for a particular job and how much money they actually have.    If I were to ask my mechanic about some pricey specialty tires and he told me people usually only want to spend about a grand on tires for a similar vehicle, I wouldn't see it as a judgment of my bank balance, KWIM?

But I'm a financial advisor and have the unique opportunity to see people's complete financial pictures.  It's completely ingrained in me to not equate lavish lifestyles with big bank accounts, or modest lifestyles with small bank accounts.  The Millionaire Next Door series of books is an interesting read as well, with the premise being that folks who actually have a lot of money have that money because, well, they don't spend it on an expensive lifestyle and they make every dollar count.   :)

Mental Magpie

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5727
  • ...for the dark side looks back.
Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #33 on: July 01, 2013, 01:20:06 PM »
That was a completely inappropriate assumption, and a poor business decision.  But I will provide the perspective that it's very possible that the past X number of houses in similar neighborhoods that he visited have not accepted quotes for similar work, saying they can't afford it.  And this is probably a busy time of year for him.  If he's allocating too much time to free estimates that don't turn into paying jobs, he'd be better served to change his business model (like free phone consults while looking at a satellite image of the property). 

Just wish he'd said 'folks in your shoes are usually only looking to spend a grand or so for a job like this,' or used similar phrasing, because that's likely what he really meant...not a commentary on your personal net worth.

Can you tell I work with lots of small businesses?   :D

I find that equally insulting. I know very wealthy people who live in simple homes. I also know some people who live in mcmansions who are up to their eyeballs in debt. If any business owner said this to me I'd show them the door, along with a few comments that made my point. And I disagree that a comment like this would not be a personal comment. It is very personal...and very presumptuous.

I'm appreciating the opportunity to read other perspectives on this.

I just don't see any connection between how much consumers usually decide to pay for a particular job and how much money they actually have.    If I were to ask my mechanic about some pricey specialty tires and he told me people usually only want to spend about a grand on tires for a similar vehicle, I wouldn't see it as a judgment of my bank balance, KWIM?

But I'm a financial advisor and have the unique opportunity to see people's complete financial pictures.  It's completely ingrained in me to not equate lavish lifestyles with big bank accounts, or modest lifestyles with small bank accounts.  The Millionaire Next Door series of books is an interesting read as well, with the premise being that folks who actually have a lot of money have that money because, well, they don't spend it on an expensive lifestyle and they make every dollar count.   :)

There's a difference in "you don't want to spend more than a grand" and "people in your shoes wouldn't want to spend more than a grand".  The second is a judgment statement, the first is advice in general.  The first says that spending anything more than a grand is unnecessary, the second says "you don't have enough money for anything more than a grand and I'm basing that on looking at you because there is no way I know your financial situation."
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Oh Joy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1405
Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #34 on: July 01, 2013, 01:29:16 PM »
That was a completely inappropriate assumption, and a poor business decision.  But I will provide the perspective that it's very possible that the past X number of houses in similar neighborhoods that he visited have not accepted quotes for similar work, saying they can't afford it.  And this is probably a busy time of year for him.  If he's allocating too much time to free estimates that don't turn into paying jobs, he'd be better served to change his business model (like free phone consults while looking at a satellite image of the property). 

Just wish he'd said 'folks in your shoes are usually only looking to spend a grand or so for a job like this,' or used similar phrasing, because that's likely what he really meant...not a commentary on your personal net worth.

Can you tell I work with lots of small businesses?   :D

I find that equally insulting. I know very wealthy people who live in simple homes. I also know some people who live in mcmansions who are up to their eyeballs in debt. If any business owner said this to me I'd show them the door, along with a few comments that made my point. And I disagree that a comment like this would not be a personal comment. It is very personal...and very presumptuous.

I'm appreciating the opportunity to read other perspectives on this.

I just don't see any connection between how much consumers usually decide to pay for a particular job and how much money they actually have.    If I were to ask my mechanic about some pricey specialty tires and he told me people usually only want to spend about a grand on tires for a similar vehicle, I wouldn't see it as a judgment of my bank balance, KWIM?

But I'm a financial advisor and have the unique opportunity to see people's complete financial pictures.  It's completely ingrained in me to not equate lavish lifestyles with big bank accounts, or modest lifestyles with small bank accounts.  The Millionaire Next Door series of books is an interesting read as well, with the premise being that folks who actually have a lot of money have that money because, well, they don't spend it on an expensive lifestyle and they make every dollar count.   :)

There's a difference in "you don't want to spend more than a grand" and "people in your shoes wouldn't want to spend more than a grand".  The second is a judgment statement, the first is advice in general.  The first says that spending anything more than a grand is unnecessary, the second says "you don't have enough money for anything more than a grand and I'm basing that on looking at you because there is no way I know your financial situation."

I must be genuinely misunderstanding or miscommunicating something here, because I don't think I'm talking about either your first or second examples.  To me, it's providing a piece of information based on the perspective of working on similar jobs, and also clarifying the direction...I personally just don't see the judgment.  But I am reading in this thread that others read a lot more into it than I do.

Thanks.

NyaChan

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4107
Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #35 on: July 01, 2013, 01:38:12 PM »
No I see what you mean - for example, we had someone come out to check out our sun porch which is elevated but the support looked to us to be lacking, especially after 10 years or so.  If he said "Folks in your shoes are looking to spend $X on something like this" it would have been meant in the context of "You aren't in any danger of a collapse until maybe 50+ years from now, but usually people will spend $X with us to shore it up anyways"

Very different from if we called him to look at it and said "We want to put in large decorative columns instead and also expand the sun porch, what do you think" and he responded "Well folks in your shoes are usually only looking to spend $1000 on sun porches." It is different because we would have made it clear that we were looking to spend more by the description of what we had asked for and he is implicitly refuting our ability to do it or implying that we shouldn't.

Mental Magpie

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5727
  • ...for the dark side looks back.
Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #36 on: July 01, 2013, 01:46:31 PM »
My first example came from your text when you said if you asked your mechanic about specialty tires.  He is talking about the tires and about how much they should cost; he's not telling you what you can or cannot afford.  In my second example, it is a specific statement about how much someone can afford and that's where the judgment comes in.  The person saying it has no way to know what someone can or cannot afford unless they have direct access to that person's bank account, so they must be using something else on which to base that assumption.  What else can it be but appearance (of the person, of the house, of the car, et cetera)?

I'm trying to explain it a different way for your just in case I'm the one miscommunicating.  If you'd rather I not, that's OK, too.


NyaChan - In your first example, I wouldn't see it that way at all because I don't know how long it will hold up.  If he explicitly said, "It will actually probably hold up for 50+ years, but in your shoes (as in someone who wants to repair it just in case), you can spend about $1000 to fix it a little now and it will hold up longer."  It's without context of what the person means by "your shoes" that turns it into a judgment statement.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

NyaChan

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4107
Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #37 on: July 01, 2013, 01:52:33 PM »
Should have been clearer - he had explained that before he told us how much he would expect people to spend on it.  My very point was that because he gave that context, it was clear that it was meant as advice on what the typical job would be.

kherbert05

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10532
    • Trees downed in my yard by Ike and the clean up
Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #38 on: July 01, 2013, 01:53:40 PM »
I get that contractors/landscapers don't want to spend a bunch of time creating a bid for someone who has no idea of the expense involved and is going from Discovery Channel shows and magazines.


I think they are better off asking either


1. What is your budget range for this work? or


2. I'll have to do a more research/check current prices for a detailed bid, but my back of the envelope ball park figure for this is $XX,XXX and it will take Y time frame are you comfortable with that?. That way if the customer sputters and says Discovery Channel show can do it for $x,XXX over 3 days the contractor can walk away. 

Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

Mental Magpie

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5727
  • ...for the dark side looks back.
Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #39 on: July 01, 2013, 01:54:58 PM »
Should have been clearer - he had explained that before he told us how much he would expect people to spend on it.  My very point was that because he gave that context, it was clear that it was meant as advice on what the typical job would be.

I understand and agree, that makes a difference.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Outdoor Girl

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 14498
Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #40 on: July 01, 2013, 02:04:34 PM »
What I've done before, with contractors, is asked them to give me a ballpark figure so I know whether or not I can afford the work I want done.  I've even done this part over the phone.  If the ballpark is reasonable, to me, I then get them to come out and give me a firm quote, with a breakdown of all the expenses.
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.
Ontario

Margo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1734
Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #41 on: July 01, 2013, 03:43:31 PM »
I *really* hate the whole "you can't afford it" attitude (and the "if you have to ask, you can't afford it")

I had a client who was a multi millionaire (I was dealing with his (very amicable) divorce) Looking at him, and his wife, you would not have guessed they had money at all - and they lived in a pretty understated way, too - their kids went to non-fee paying schools, and were expected to get Saturday jobs.

I would find someone telling me, based on my appearance, that I can't afford something to be very insulting. I know exactly what i can and can't afford.

Cami

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1307
Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #42 on: July 01, 2013, 05:19:17 PM »
When we bought our home 11 years ago, the assessor came out to do the assessment. Our home is in a middle-income suburban neighborhood of -- at that time -- all new houses. We had hardwood put in our upper level. I happen to know from visiting my neighbors that a LOT of them put hardwoods into their homes, so our flooring choice was hardly unusual. The assessor came in and said, "I can't believe you put in hardwood in a home in this sort ... sniff... neighborhood. Why didn't you buy a house in [more expensive] neighborhood if that's what you wanted? Oh let me guess, you couldn't afford a house in that neighborhood. heeheehee."

I told him that our choices were none of his business and he'd be wise to stop making assumptions about people's income or reasons for making their choices.

He later went on to run for local  public office.  Our local paper gave a synopsis of one of his Q&A sessions and apparently I was not the ony one he offended with comments like that because person after person got up and said, "Why should we vote for you for this position given how you behaved in our home when you did the assessment - making all sorts of rude comments?" He didn't win that election.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2013, 05:22:43 PM by Cami »

shhh its me

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7066
Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #43 on: July 01, 2013, 05:33:56 PM »
This is a classic error made by many salespeople and contractors. I had it happen to me when I was buying a new car many years ago. The salesman flat out told me that the car I was interested in was expensive and wouldn't I be interested in these other (cheaper) cars? I bought the car I wanted... from a different dealership.

When I was remodeling my kitchen, DH and I did about 9 months worth of shopping and researching before we even talked to the first contractor. I got several quotes and I would hand them a list of materials, a list of tasks they were to complete, and a layout drawing. So it was pretty clear that I knew exactly what I wanted and that I'd done my homework.

And yet I still had a couple of these guys say "do you realize how much this is going to cost?" or "wow, that's a lot. It's going to be expensive to do all this."

Ummm... yeah. I kinda figured that out when I was doing all this research and shopping.

What gets me is they bothered to show up, they bothered to listen to everything I had to say, they bothered to take notes and ask quesitions, and then, without the benefit of actually giving me an estimate, they threw away all that time and effort by making my decision to not hire them for me.

I did do the remodel. It did cost me a bundle. I had saved up for it and paid for it all at that time. And the contractor I hired never once doubted what I told him or asked for.

Why throw away business before you even have it?

I think in part because you can be a great contractor but a lousy salesperson or you can just be both a lousy contractor and sales person.

People really underestimate how much of a skill qualifying customers is and how important and difficult it is.  But there is no way " you cant afford it " is effective.

"whats your budget?" rarely works as people often think whatever number they say will end up being the price even if its 10xs more then it should be.

"people in your shoes" I would find offensive but if someone was way over typical, I would ask " this will be around xxxx are you willing to spend that much" very quickly.

delphinium

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 351
Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #44 on: October 16, 2013, 02:49:21 PM »
This reminds me of a time about 30 years ago when my sister and I were on a trip to England.  It was sponsored by the local Friends of the Public Library and was quite reasonable.

We decided to buy our husbands pipes and went into Dunhill's, a tony tobacco shop.  The guy who waited on us was extremely snotty and actually NEVER spoke a word while he sneeringly brought out pipes from the case for our perusal.  Either he didn't like Americans or he only wanted to wait on Lady Smythe-Rivington or he thought we couldn't afford any of the merchandise.  When we asked the price of one of the pipes my sister said, "What is that in dollars?"  which was a dumb thing to say.  (It's not his job to covert pounds to dollars.)  Of course he ignored the question and just stared at us like we were scum. >:(

I would have liked to complain to the manager but I don't think it would have been of any use.  Needless to say we left and got a laughing fit when we got outside. ;D