Perth, 30th April 2014
Contractors (and suppliers) are a strange breed of people…somehow they and certainly the more experienced ones, have a knack for quoting in extravagance when they feel that you are in a squeeze when it comes to time. I am reviewing contractor tender quotes for one of our projects and because the project will be done as a turnkey project, I am reviewing the lighting as included (you may say hidden) inside the overall main contractor bid. There are four of them bidding and each of them has worked with this client before and hence you may assume each of them is familiar with the “rules of the game”.
What is at times difficult to comprehend is that one contractor quotes say $200 for a light fitting and then the next quotes for the $1000. It is that extreme…and all that for as specified items; so how to make sense of that? Same product but quoted at 5 x times the difference in price! In general there are two main factors that are at the root of these high prices. One is the possible unfamiliarity of the contractor with the product and its installation, so they cover themselves by upping the price a couple of times, because in general once they quote there is no way back later on, once appointed they generally can not ask for additional fees as the tender clearly specifies that they are deemed to understand the nature of the work.
The other reason is protectionism not by the contractor but by the supplier they use to source their lights. If this particular supplier is not the agent for that brand, the official agent/supplier may quote him a blown up price to discourage this supply route and get the contractor to buy from them direct. They may in fact be submitting offers directly as well so quoting inflated prices to potential competitors would help them secure the job.
In the process however we get these extremely different bids that for the uninitiated may be hard to understand…that’s where we come in…
Light Watch 5-70: Some extravagance in new upcoming building designs…