The red flags to watch out for with dodgy tradies

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The red flags to watch out for with dodgy tradies

By Sasha Karen | 28 February 2018

If you need something repaired or looking to do a renovation, you’ll probably call up a tradie, but you don’t want to get screwed over. Here’s what you need to keep an eye out for.

In order to avoid being overcharged by a tradie, Jeremy Levitt, CEO of ServiceSeeking, said tradies looking to overcharge will come to a price before they meet you face-to-face.

“When you’re comparing quotes, any tradie that’s evasive about pricing, or the way they’ll charge, they just want to get in front of you to do a site visit,” Mr Levitt said to Smart Property Investment.

“Quite often you’ll find that’s a technique to try and get you committed before [meeting] face-to-face [and try to] charge more than they should.

“Other tradies will say: ‘I can't quote a price until I come to your place and see what's involved’. Obviously, that's a technique that once they're there, they can pressure you into getting them to do the job and you haven't really determined how much it's going to cost, and that's where you get stung paying more than you should.”

Therefore, Mr Levitt recommended for investors to find out how the tradie will price their job before the face-to-face meeting.

“The technique for customers is to get the tradie to commit to the way they're going to price the job ahead of coming to see you face-to-face,” he said.

“Many customers, they're conflict avoidant, so if a tradie gets in front of you, that can place some sales pressure on you to commit.

“That’s the main red flag to look out for; A tradie that doesn’t give you a concrete method to calculate what the price is going to be – either an hourly rate or a price by square metre or a fixed price.”

A tip that can assist investors on being undercharged by a tradie and potentially damage a property is to simply check the quantity and quality of online reviews for a tradie.

“It’s looking at the quality of those reviews, how detailed they are, how ... praised they are, the more positive reviews, the better the rating,” Mr Levitt said.

“The better the tradie has been in the past, and past behaviour is no predictor of future behaviour, but quite often, newer or less reputable tradies with no reviews might undercharge to buy the job, and that’s when it can be a bit risky.”

To find the perfect tradie, Mr Levitt recommended to not find the cheapest or most expensive tradie, but one that offers a price point that falls somewhere in the middle of quotes.

“When you’re hiring tradies, obviously, our message is you compare quotes. The more quotes you compare, the better the outcome,” he said.

Previously, Mr Levitt and ServiceSeeking released data on where the most and least expensive tradies are for Sydney suburbs.


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The red flags to watch out for with dodgy tradies
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