Price vs. Quality?

As I was sitting at my desk today, I began to wonder how many potential pool customers really care about quality when they have their pool installed. I wonder how many of them truly prefer the cheapest possible way to get a hole in the ground and swim. I figure that most people care about price primarily...until a year or two after they have the pool. Then, I imagine that they are either glad that they spent some extra money for ease-of-maintenance packages or regret having been so tight-fisted on the front end of things. Just a rambling thought, perhaps, but because we are quick to push higher price & higher quality, we may be missing out on some customers who don't really care yet.
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  • I will agree with Michael on people's availability to gain more information from the web and perhaps become more educated. Information listed on the web is no always true yet people take it as gospel just because it's posted. I can only recommend with these "cheap" customers is to point out the value of your product and backup your reason for installing certain products and the benefit of using those items. Point out by not adding at the time of construction some of these items it can be more expensive or it cannot be done at all. You have stand behind your methods and products and make it appealing to the customer as something beneficial to them. If you still cannot get through, then I would walk away. I know it's tough but if you work under conditions where you feel uncomfortable going to the site, you will be miserable.
  • I believe we are in a time where people are more educated on what they are buying (via research on the interent). The problem that kevin is talking aboiut is the person that wants the product at the cheapest price. Generally, that is the customer you don't want. From experience (which Im sure is far less than a majority of the people on here), when dealing with the people that want the cheapest price available they tend to be the worst customers possible. From complaining about any issues to nonpayment to just a complete hassel. When the job comes down to price and not quality and references that oyu provide, those are the ones that we let go. Like Justin says educate yourself and your customers and go with that.
  • Kevin , I guess what I am referring to is a commercial pool that was installed in our town. The contract was given to the lowest bidder and when it was filled with water. The spa lost 2 inches a day and the plaster had red mud footprints in the pool. The health dept still to this day has not officially allowed the pool to be opened. I wish there was a way to better educate the public to do better research or have some kind of black list for these people that call theirselves pool builders.
  • I grabbed my copy of the latest Service Industry News today and started laughing uncontrollably. On the front page they often feature "horror stories" of one fashion or another, and this issue was no exception. Right there, front and center, was a picture of a beautiful vanishing edge pool, surrounded by impressive landscaping. The funny part was that there was no trough on the vanishing edge pool, so that water was just pouring over the side. I think there will always be a point where customers are willing to pay for quality, even if they have to find out what low-quality really means first. They will eventually come around. And I do believe that you can have quality products that are cheaper than a lower quality competitor, but that is usually the exception to the rule. I agree with Justin, Education is key.
  • Ultimately overhead expenses will impact the price of the pool -
    educated consumers are fairly good at comparing features and equipment
    and there are plenty of small builders who can build a quality pool for less -
    as long as they have good refernces and a proven track record
  • I disagree, Jimbo. I think it all depends on what the consumer is looking for. Besides, if that was true, we'd always buy products that are the most expensive just because they are the most expensive without any other considerations.
  • It is a proven fact that you NEVER get more when you pay less

    These are the backbones to deal with these.

    First you need to educate yourselves.

    -If you do not put the time in to educate yourselves, how are you going to speak intelligently to the customer about the choices available and why spending a bit more today will save them more tomorrow?

    Then educate your customers

    -If you do not educate the consumer, how are they going to know the difference?

    Then educate your competitors.

    -If you educate yourself and your customer, the competition will be educated in how they are loosing business and you are gaining business.

  • I have found that people nowadays customers would prefer to pay alittle each yr to improve what they have then dump a whole bunch up front. I find that the after market items such as service is what they are after , once they have a product and enjoy it, they don't mind spending for up keep and improvements.
  • It is my belief that if you are are high quality pool builder that you set your standards so high that you can't compete with the competitor who has dtermined how to build a pool cheap because he has figured out how to cut corners to cheapen his product.
    If you choose to build a product where all corners have been cut that product will not withstand the test of time nor will it be visually appealing.
    I prefer not to associate myself with that form of construction and maintain higher standards of service and construction methods which in turn adds to the cost of construction as well as the selling price for the pool.
    I truely believe that most customers desire the best product and if they do their research before buying a pool they will hear the horror stories associated with the lesser quality pools which only reinforces our ability to sell high quality pools.
    When times are tough such as now the only people who are purchasing pools are the ones who are established and can afford them they are the ones who buy the high quality product.
    This should cleanse the industry because the low quality builder didn't charge enough for their pools and hopefully doesn't have the reserve capital to stay in buisness.
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