I quote customers on a daily basis, in my case for sheds, outside storage and shipping containers but this applies to any large purchase item. For large ticket items most people start local and then take the quote and hunt far and wide for a better price. Maybe there is some glamour in buying a big ticket item from away and not buying locally. If so that is a shame because the customer often pays more in the long run and may not appreciate the false economy of saving a buck.
This practice gives the company from away an edge too. Remember who quotes last usually wins as a price match is easy. Quoting first is harder.
When the purchase from away is successful I hear nothing unless they need (in my business) the container moved again or something. But when the purchase is not successful they look for someone local to fix it and they then pay again. In my case customers have paid as much as $300 to fix a leak depending on distance because the company out of Toronto or Montreal won't come out and fix it. This is a false economy but not just for this reason. I have 5 additional reasons why local business should support other local businesses below:
If you're a local business and you're calling around for quotes buying in your own area has multiple advantages, I would argue paying even a little bit more locally has 5 advantages.
- The owners of that business are more likely to become your customer.
- The relationship is also favourable for business from employees and customers of that other business.
- You are more likely to be recommended!
- Good for the local economy is good for you
- AND THIS IS THE BLINDER!!! If something goes wrong it is far more likely the local guy is going to fix it. The local reputation is at stake. The company out of the big city is far away and your complaints will not reach them or their potential customers. They know this! It's cheaper to pay social media marketers to hide complaints than fix the issue.
In my personal experience: my neighbour asked for a quote for a shipping container. I even gave some good advice on which type to buy and how to cut it to save possibly $2000 on the purchase. Without my advice he was willing to spend $5000. But I didn't want to drive past everyday knowing that he spent too much unnecessarily. He followed my advice to the letter and saved another $100 on a $3000 purchase by going elswhere.
Also my neighbour sells wood, I spend about $1200 to $1500 per year on wood. I have a life expectancy of at least 20 years, do the math. Believe me buying from your neighbour, buying local makes sense in the short term and the long term.