Association News

Bargains, Bargains Everywhere

September 1, 2006
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
What with the last year's worth of interest rate hikes, stagnant wage growth and the home-equity coffers running dry, the time has come for that most reliable of consumers to lead the shopping charge: Enter the bargain hunter.

Now, this is not the value shopper I have mentioned in previous articles. The value shopper is unafraid to spend money on quality goods and services; she just wants to be sure she is getting her money's worth. Produce a quality product and back it with good service, and you will always find a customer base willing to pay you for your goods. If this is you - and this is your clientele - then move along, good sir or madam, to the other offerings found in this publication. But if it is not, perhaps you will wish to read on.

The bargain hunter tends to run more of a quantity-versus-quality race, with quantity more often than not taking the checkered flag. More is better: five T-shirts for $10 is a better deal than three for $12. Never mind that the first batch will be shredded in three months and need to be replaced, while the latter will last half a year or more. You actually end up spending more money for lesser-quality goods.

"Well, duh," You say. "But what does this have to do with my business?"

The bargain shopper is all about more for less. So where, in the universe of the professional carpet cleaner, does the more-for-less equation come into play, and in the very worst way? More technicians per job - good one. More water flow - let's be honest, that's not going to do it. More CFM - that puzzled look you see on your customer's face? Expect it almost every time. No, it is a much more insidious monster, a cyclical beast determined to wreak havoc on the carpet-cleaning community each and every time it raises its hideous mug:

More square feet cleaned per dollar.

"Well, your competitor says they'll do it for half that amount." Ah, the battle cry of the bargain shopper. Your years of experience; your technological prowess; your vast understanding of cleaning chemistry, carpet repair, spots, stains, fibers...nothing will stop the madness once the economic ball starts rolling in tighter and tighter circles.

What put me on this contemplative path? Two things: First, Wal-Mart, the mecca of bargain shopping, recently announced its first earnings decline in 10 years; consumers with less to spend are spending less. Second, the Val-Pak I found in my mailbox yesterday had eight coupons from carpet-cleaning companies proclaiming the ability to offer not the best result possible, but the lowest price around.

Batten down the hatches; the bargain bin is open for business.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to i Cleaning Specialist Magazine.

Recent Articles by Jeffrey Stouffer

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

The 2013 Experience Convention & Trade Show

A look back in photos at the 2013 Experience Convention & Trade Show in Las Vegas.

THE MAGAZINE

ICS Cleaning Specialist Magazine

cover_image

2014 April

Take a look at the April 2014 issue with features on air movers, going green, carpet cleaning and new products & technologies.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Social Media

Social media is a good way to regularly keep in touch and interact with current clients and reach potential ones. What social mediums do you use in your cleaning/restoration business?
View Results Poll Archive

THE ICS STORE

Get Paid! book cover
Get Paid! (ebook)
Over 30 authors – over 40 articles…from attorneys, contractors, consultants, instructors and others, both inside and outside the restoration industry. R & R, C & R and Cleanfax, opened their archives and gave us the best they had, other chapters were created just for the “Get Paid!” book and its readers. And every one of them has ideas for how to get paid what you are owed.

More Products

ICS DIRECTORY AND BUYING GUIDE

Director_Buyer.jpgThe premier resource and reference guide for the cleaning and restoration industries.

Click here to view

TRUCKMOUNT EQUIPMENT AND ACCESSORIES GUIDE

Truckmount.jpgEquipment listings and specifications from the leading industry manufacturers.

Click here to view

STAY CONNECTED

facebook_40.png twitter_40px.png youtube_40px.pngcrc logo