Links being removed

Discussion in 'Tankless Water Heater Forum' started by Terry, Mar 14, 2014.

  1. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,316
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    If you guys continue to make this a "shopping blog" then the plumbers will quit answering your questions.
    I'm deleting all AMAZON links.
    This is not supposed to be a market place web site. If someone wants to advertise, contact me and I will quote pricing for you to place ads here.

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    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  2. CORVAIRWILD

    CORVAIRWILD New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    NY
    Understood...

    I'm not endorsing one vendor or another, just using their page as a reference...

    And I'm impressed/glad that Mr Love is reading these posts.

    On the note of hiring a pro, I live in a very small city, (20k), and most of the plumbers cater to the git er done landlords that want everything done as cheaply as possible. While I can understand that side of the business, my wife and I are also landlords, we own many units, buildings of every age and size and state of (dis)repair. When we started out almost 25 years ago, we lived from credit card to bank overdraft, and I had to do everything myself, or hire a pro under the table.

    Now that we can afford to pay the $100 or so per hour, the work is crappy as the contractor is trying to get the job done quicker if it's a "bid" job, or my wife is hurrying up the contractor cause we're paying by the hour.

    My best work gets done when I pay the plumber or electrician or roofer by the hour, around $15-25, and work side by side, either pro leading and me the helper, or vice versa, and no attitudes. Who-ever has the better idea gets to make the rules.

    The prob with that is that in NY, workman's comp and liability ins, is a MUST, and this thread is going off topic...

    And in the 24+ years, I've installed or repaired all my own plumbing, roofing and electrical from pole hookup to apartment panel, natural gas and propane and oil installs and repairs, and NEVER a problem or violation or incident. And alot of my apts are inspected by the city building insp yearly for the college housing list, and all my electrical by an independent NYS apprvd inspector.

    I understand that pros need to make a living, but this is how I make mine. I also drive a 3o year old truck w 276k, and plow all our props w similar truck I bought 6 years ago for $1000. sorry to rant... :p

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    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
  3. houptee

    houptee Member

    Messages:
    186
    Location:
    Monmouth County, NJ
    If there is a forum policy against posting links it seems to be selectively enforced since many other threads have links to all kinds of sites and products so I assumed there was no harm in doing so.
  4. CORVAIRWILD

    CORVAIRWILD New Member

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    20
    Location:
    NY
    I think it's more the issue that we shop at the plumbing supply just to get free info and then buy at all conquering Amazon.

    On the other hand, how many citys or towns have a little single store family owned business? Think watchmaker, camera shop, heating or plumbing storefront and on and on... Corporate monsters are taking over all... rant rave...

    Back on topic, what's t be gained from a condensing boiler? a little efficiency vs double the initial outlay?

    A couple of the facts Navien notes is that their boiler uses a variable flame ("firing rate, 10%-100%") based on outside temp. Is stainless steel heat exchanger the norm? Do all the Asian boilers offer the same features? Is one more reliable than the others?
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,316
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Jeff Bezos has been making it his job to put the rest of us out of business. That's a monopoly.
    If Jeff wants ads on "my" web site, he will have to "pay" for them.
    On 60 minutes, he was quoted several times on camera saying that he was running at a loss for 7-8 years, with the entire point, that he would put out of business all competition. He is entering the construction business, both labor and material. He's now worth more than 25 billion dollars, and yet he has publicly said, that he intends to bankrupt all of the rest of us. As you can guess, that makes my upset. Check out the video below at the 7:45 point, where he explains how he intends to destroy anyone that doesn't sell through him.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/amazons-jeff-bezos-looks-to-the-future/

    I don't know what you do for a living, but he's coming after you.
    This was a guy that started out delivering groceries to homes. Now he's worth 25 billion, and he wants "everything"
    Twentyfive billion is just a start.
    I watched the "entire" 60 minute episode when it first aired. I haven't met anyone else that has.

    Amazon has contacted me many times over the last ten years. Each time, it was with the intent to get the lions share of any profit I could muster. He wants people like me to do his service and his work, but he wants the profit.
    I was raised in a nice area, the same area that Jeff Bezos is from. I didn't think I was third world, but Jeff is pushing us that direction. There is no way I can continue to run a business at 1/3 the revenue and doing the same amount of work. I have the normal business licensing, and insurance for doing construction, which Amazon doesn't have.
    They want to be contractors and force the "subs" that do his work to cover all the hard expenses of getting the work done.
    Vehicles, gas, repairs, bonding, licensing, insurance, employee expenses, training, pickup and disposal of waste.

    Amazon is enlisting "handymen" to do plumbing work. You purchase what you think is a plumber, and they send out a handyman without any plumbing training. The plumbers work under a journeyman and have to take schooling, and at the end of 6,000 hours of that, they get to take their licensing test. Amazon skips that training for many of the plumbing projects.

    If you don't think he's coming after your business or your job, think again. He is.

    Looking at the video again, it looks like the web version doesn't have all the content of the television broadcast.

    The television version had Jeff saying that Amazon was running at a loss for 7-8 years.
    The web version edits that out. I was stunned when I sat down in December and listened to Jeff say he was going into "all" businesses, and putting them "all" out of business. I guess somebody in marketing rethought how that sounded, and now we see the edit.
    I wish that I had that on the DVR still.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  6. CORVAIRWILD

    CORVAIRWILD New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    NY
    Well said Terry...
  7. houptee

    houptee Member

    Messages:
    186
    Location:
    Monmouth County, NJ
    I watched the web version interview and yes it is scary how big they have become, and how many products are willing to sell thru them, and hence why they come up first if your search for almost any product made.
    Walmart is now trying to compete with Amazon by building the same type of distribution centers strategically around the country.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/lauraheller/2013/03/29/walmart-vs-amazon-its-about-to-get-interesting/

    The hard truth is the general public has become very net savvy when shopping for products and services and this has permanently changed how we do business forever. Travel websites, car shopping websites, and even home improvement bidding websites are now the rules of the game.

    So if we do plumbing and HVAC type work we need to be prepared for more customers requesting we install items they purchased or plan to purchase online and already know the price of the equipment delivered right to their door. If we refuse to do the work they will call the next guy who will do it, or Amazon will contract with approved installers who will do it.
    This has already happened in the Tire industry where tire rack ships tires to your home and they list installers in your area on their site with the price they charge to install them.
  8. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,316
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    And since Amazon and others like that discount to the worker so badly, you only get companies that can't afford to train.
    Have you shopped at Walmart and wondered why nobody seems to know very much?

    There are plenty of people setting up bidding sites. I get a call every day form somebody with a bidding set that needs workers. When you pay somebody next to nothing, they cut corners. It's the "only" way for them to survive.
    On a bidding site, a contractor can be bidding against dozens of other firms, sight unseen, based on a description of a construction project by someone that has never lifted a hammer.
    Why not just have a first grader fill out the forms?

    The big web site "holds" the money, and they determine, sight unseen, base on a first grader description of what is going on, whether the cheapest bidder even gets paid. Amazon is famous for not paying suppliers if they deem that the service didn't meet "their" requirements. I'm guessing you don't work that way.
    Most of us recieve a paycheck from a physical person we can communicate with. Not some never-never-land that won't ever see our work, and that we never meet.
    No thanks.
    Since the Amazon way would bankrupt me, I will continue working with people that want the best.

    Here is an example of the Amazon way.

    For a sale of $450.00, which includes toilet, seat and installation
    They find someone willing to do all the work, including supplying small parts, pick up and deliver, then install the product. After installation, bring the told toilet to a waste facility and pay the dumpfees.
    for all that time, expense and work, he gets $89.00
    Amazon gets all the profit on the toilet, on the seat, and on the labor.
    Amazon doen't have any construction training, or licensing.

    The customers doesn't save any money with this, all they do is lose access to a local expert. Instead, Amazon picks up more of the sale, and hires the cheapest, least expierenced handyman they can find.
    The plumbing contractor is you contacted him direct would also charge $450.00
    There is no savings for the homeowner. All he did was hand Amazon all the profit and force the handyman to work without a profit that day.

    The "plumber" they list for the Seattle area started his business last Summer and is working with an apprentice card. It's a plumbing company without a Journeyman. Not legal in Washington, but then that's Amazon I guess. Education and proper licensing doesn't look to be at the top of their list.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2014
  9. houptee

    houptee Member

    Messages:
    186
    Location:
    Monmouth County, NJ
    I was thinking of one called service magic where the homeowner posts a job he wants done and within minutes the phone rings and contractors say they will come give you a quote. I used that site for my vinyl siding and had at least 7 guys show up measuring my house in 2 days and even more called wanting the address.

    Its just the times we live in these days.

    In the end if we are fair and honest with people we will earn their respect and trust, but when they know the price of the materials and equipment found easily on many websites nowadays we have to be prepared for the conversation if they say "hey you charged me $X for that and it only cost you $Y, what are you doing marking it up that high, I thought you made your profit on the labor".

    That's how people buy cars now, they get as much pricing info as possible to see what the dealer pays then try to negotiate as close as they can get to that price.

    NJ Governor just recently banned Tesla from selling their cars directly to customers because the car dealers lobbyists pressured him to protect their sales model of adding in the dealership middlemen.
    http://time.com/25946/tesla-nj-sales-ban/

    Doesn't that violate the free market system our country is supposed to be based on?
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,316
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    So you want a guarantee on the material, delivered free to your home and all the waste product removed for free because you're "letting" him work on your home?
    Seven people wasted time?
    Oh brother! I don't bother with customers like you.

    It reminds me of a call I got the other day from a woman.
    Can you work on the weekend with my husband on our home?
    Really?
    When I worked as a mechanic, there were three prices.
    The lowest if you dropped it off. A little more if you watched, and even more if you helped.

    If I install anything that the owner supplies, there is no warranty for the product. If the product has a defect, it's all time and material.
    There is on "insurance" to cover those things, it's all on the homeowner. And..........the boxing and garbage can be left there too. We spend quite a bit of time cleaning up and making dump runs in our cube van. Free doesn't pay for that.
  11. CORVAIRWILD

    CORVAIRWILD New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    NY
    Reminds me of a story... In 1978 I was 18, my dad bot me a junk '67 Pontiac, and it needed rear shocks. I bot some air shocks from the local junkyard, they said they would fit. The old shocks were rusted on, so I went to a local garage, and the guy quoted what I thot was a reasonable price to install them. I thot something was wrong when three mechs had to push the back of the car down to put the shocks on the studs. I drove the car out of the shop dragging its rear...

    They were from a Chevelle, and a couple inches too short... The mechs must have been laffing!!!

    Here's some pix of the car after I got the proper air shocks installed, from summer '78, and the engine. It was a Kanuk Pntiac, so really a Chev w Pontiac clothes.. so a 283 PG. I put in a TH350 and had fun all summer long. I kept it in storage until a few years ago...

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  12. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,316
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The days when ragtops were fun.
    I had a Fiat 124 Spyder that I could take the top down. It didn't have a rear seat, so it was a luxury when you had kids. That thing could fly though.
    Now I make sure I have something good for the mountains in Winter.

    I did rent a Mustang convertible for a week in Hawaii. I figured, why not.
  13. CORVAIRWILD

    CORVAIRWILD New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    NY
    I just bot this Cameo Biege '65, just got the '64 painted lavender for Mrs, and I've had the '66 Skylark GS since '1980, it replaced the '67 2+2, but really needs a rotisserie, but runs.. can't wait for summer!!

    the '66 was in my folks driveway just after I purchased it for $800 in July '80, it was in dry heated storage for 25 years, now in a mice filled barn

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    Last edited: Mar 17, 2014
  14. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,316
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    My high school buddy had a corvair with nice wheels.
    My oldest brother did too. I always thought the corvair was a nice car.

    Funny, but my other brother worked with Ralph Nader for years in Washington DC.
  15. houptee

    houptee Member

    Messages:
    186
    Location:
    Monmouth County, NJ
    Nice cars, and its fun to work on them yourself and have that sense of accomplishment when you repair an old car and it fires up and you take it for its first ride.

    As far as the siding guys I posted the job fair and square on that site, and they all called me to come offer a quote, that's how service magic works, its based on competition, they wanted to come out after seeing the posting, I didn't twist their arm. I had prices all over the map how else do you get a quote for a 36 square siding tear off and re-side you get several estimates no?

    I couldn't take it after 3 days of calls still more wanted to come and look.

    I went with the guy who said get in Ill show you 3 houses I did in this area and we drove around for 45 mins and I went with my gut instinct and the job came out great. He even made more when I had 2 neighbors use him for some siding repairs.

    I'm just saying its a different world now since the internet, it has changed everything we do, car parts, travel, etc etc we have to adapt or we wont survive.

    This forum is internet based and it is great.
    I enjoy it and the different members personalities, and backgrounds, experiences, and advice and opinions, are what makes it great.
    And I thank you for creating it, and keeping it going, and I understand it works off ad revenue to survive.

    We have to be prepared for the large big box stores and internet retailers to enter more of the home repair arena its going to happen and is happening.
  16. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,316
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Service Magic was charging all of those contractors for the lead.
    You if you had seven come out, and more calling, all of them paid for the lead, that only one got.

    I was signed up for a bit. I never got any jobs from it. In fact most of the time they weren't even expecting a call back, and were surprised when I called. I had to pay for the "lead" anyway.
    One was a guy that was a forty minute drive away. He had bought his own water heater at a home center, and wanted someone to install it using all of his 15 year old used parts. I told him I only install water heaters with new parts, and he thought I was being ridiculous. After a few calls like that, I quit the service. Just one more "service" trying to take money from contractors.
    Angies List is another. Even though I'm A+ on Angies, they won't show me to their customers. Angies gets 60% of their revenue from the contractors. So like the Yellow Pages, Angies charges the contractors. But then they also charge the customers. They get it both ways. Since I believe that people like you that are fooled into thinking that Angies it legit, I refuse to pay. If being an A+ plumber isn't enough for Angie, then I don't even bother with them.

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