Often there are two sides to every story.I need to get better with math or just be a better businessman.
A good repeat customer calls and proposes I sell his mower (or his spare mower) because he is downsizing. Like a jack*****, I agree over the phone. The mower is brought in and of course it needs some repairs.
After the repairs, I list it on CL to sell.
What's wrong with this picture? Answer- I take all the effort and the risk to sell it. Also, what kind of commission can I expect to get from 1 lawn mower sale? The mower might sell for $100 or $150 at most. What ? 10% 20% commission? not worth it!
So in the end, either the customer ends up with the residual (after all the expenses, fees) of $30 out of a $100 mower (and he is ****** because all he got was $30!) OR
I feel bad for him and give him the whole $100 basically giving away my time, parts, effort and hassle of dealing with the crackheads that lurk on CL.
Lesson learned-- no more consignments!
I am an idiot. I will be the first to admit it.
Although any customer should be fully willing to pay for any and all repairs that may be needed to the equipment. The act of spending your time and effort otherwise for a "Good Repeat Customer" is just good business.
If you had explained upfront that the repairs were on him, then in my opinion, donating your time and effort to take care of a customer that otherwise spends good money with you is part of being a “Great Business”. I don't think anyone would expect you to go out of your way for every tom dick and harry that walked in the door. But I feel that at least some of the negativity here is on you. Especially if you didn't explain that the repairs were on the customer up front.
Even though you are in “Business” to make a living, that does not mean that every single action you take must necessarily be driven by profit margins. Your efforts in this regard is just good PR, and has the potential to bring profits down the road, not only from the customer in question, but from the people that may do business with you because of the reputation you are building.
Nobody expects you give the farm away. But complaining about helping out a customer because you may not have been clear about the repair costs and who was covering them, and the fact that there is no immediate profit on your end is sort of,,,, well it’s not bound to draw loads of new business in. It may not hurt you per say. But it’s not doing you any real favors either.
Just my 2.