Choose 2 out of 3 when choosing granite countertops: Price, Quality, Service

March 07, 2013

Everyone knows there is some correlation between the cost of something, its quality and service; ie: the time of delivery; generally, the higher the cost, higher quality is inferred and the quicker the installation. Sometimes it doesn't matter - if the difference is less than a dollar between two similar products. Or quality, perhaps - if you are going to use it only once, say a plastic fork. But when it comes to a renovation in your house, all of these - cost, quality and service - play a major role in your decision making for what type of materials and which fabricator you plan to hire when pricing granite countertops.

If you skimp on the price of installation, you may end up with really poor craftsmanship, and not even the best product would hold up to that. The lowest price in a fabricator could mean the installation may take a very long time, causing your renovation to be that much more inconvenient, especially if it is in your living space. Or, perhaps the installation could be shoddy, with unsightly seams or shortcuts taken, degrading the overall appearance. It is best to shy away from the folks who give the very lowest bid when pricing granite countertops, even though they are initially very tempting. You may be unhappy with the final result. Feel free to visit our blog for ideas and more tips.

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Understanding Countertop Fabrication Costs

March 10, 2011
After reading an article about countertop pricing, which begins on p. 74, in the January 2011 issue of Stone World, we want to offer this advice to countertop fabricators:

Taking the time to relay important details to your customer is a key factor in selling your service.  The Home Depots and Lowes of the industry sell their countertops as a SKU, so competing on price is not a competition at all.  Also, break down an ad that lists multiple offers because the listed items are not always relevant (they might already be included in the service and are not really a deal.)

There is a need to determine fixed costs (business costs that do not change) and variable costs (business costs that change with level of production.)  Direct costs such as freight, materials, power, tools, commissions, labor, etc., do not change.  “Indirect costs” are things such as administrative staff, insurance, marketing, and safety programs.

There are various pricing strategies in the market:

  • Square-foot pricing: not very effective when differentiating businesses

  • Good/Better/Best pricing: varied pricing for different market segments (retail, k&b, designer, contractor, etc.

  • Bundle pricing: encourages the use of a product in quantity by offering a discount   for volume, allows for profit maximization

  • De-bundled pricing: encourages customer to upgrade and choose

  • Premium pricing: geared towards unique and high quality, maximizes profit

  • Penetration pricing: for use in new and different markets

Tools such as software, time sheets, and job cost sheets help determine the level of cost in a fabrication business.  Detailed pricing sheets that list cut-outs, edgework, radius corners, bump outs, lamination, seams, etc., are itemized so you are able to break down every detail of the customer's particular job. This is where you can possibly negotiate details with the customer if they do not like the price.

In a competitive market where price is always the first topic of conversation, it is important to outline the details and importance of your service. Check out our post about the factors affecting the price of granite.
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