Bartering In The Construction Business

Every once in a while, I go out to give an estimate to a unsuspecting predator who wants to barter for my materials and services. The word predator is probably a little too harsh, but most of the time, these types of people are only interested in bartering, if there going to be getting a better deal than you are.

It was probably about 2003 when I had a well mannered gentleman contact me, who needed a lot of work done on his home. He started to ask me about my investments and how much money I have in the bank. I told him,” I'm supposed to be selling you, you're not supposed to be selling me, what's wrong with this picture.”

I told him that I wasn't interested in his proposition, nor was I about to tell him about any of my finances. He laughed and said,” That's okay, I still want the work done on my house and would love to get an estimate, when can you come out.” I never should've left my home, but I figured that he was sincere and like most contractors, I needed to work.

When I arrived at his home, he greeted me at the front door and informed me that he was eating dinner. It would only be a few minutes, but would I mind waiting in his office, until he was done. I arrived at the time we agreed on, and told him that I would rather not. Actually, I was mad and felt like I was wasting my time.

He rushed me around his house, while continuing to offer me all sorts of deals. He pointed out some items of value in the garage, a used motorcycle, boat and told me that he had some items that I might be interested in, inside his house. Enough was enough, I really couldn't believe that this guy wasn't getting a clear picture, so I told him that I had enough information and would contact him later.

I never called him back, he called me a week later and asked me if I thought about any of his propositions. I said no and gave him an estimate, which I doubled. He proceeded to get mad at me for wasting his time and that I needed some therapy. He was probably right about both of them, but don't forget I'm a construction contractor.

I'm just not a bartering type of person, but there are some who love to do it. If you're going to barter, I wish you the best of luck, but if things don't work out, maybe you could reread the article or write one of your own, to warn others.


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