Use our practical advice to help you avoid deceptive sales traps
There are tons of slick sales pitches in the metal building industry. Talk to any of our competitors and you often get any number of stories that are really just sales traps. They’ll tell you about limited time sales, free freight, overrun or unclaimed steel buildings that are not true. This doesn’t mean you will receive a bad steel building from these companies, but you will get rushed through the buying process. These type of ploys are unnecessary unless a company feels the needs a gimmick to move their product. If a company or sales person needs to use deceptive sales practices, then you might want to stop and consider what other lies they are about to tell you.
Here are five of the most common lines you will hear:
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Overrun or unclaimed buildings for sale are one of the biggest deceptive sales practices in the steel building industry. 99% of the time it is not true. You will have a sales person tell you that he happens to have a building close to the size you need. It so happens, that it meets your local building codes. This in itself is ridiculous because there are thousands of different codes and weather loads across the country. Often times you can still pick a color. The gimmick behind this is they want you to believe the steel building for sale cost more than they are offering it for. For example $20,000.00, and they are letting it go for $15,000.00 because the customer put down a partial deposit and had to walk away from it for some reason. Again, this is to make you move quickly without doing much shopping. They lead you to believe it is such a great deal that the building will be gone in the next 24 to 48 hrs. Don’t buy into it! Shop a little and you will discover you can buy the building for the same or better cost without the pressure.
2) 10-50% off sale
Any “special sale” is nothing but a gimmick just like they do at a jewelry store in the mall. All any company is doing is showing a high resale price like a car dealership or jewelry store will do and they then say get 20% off that price. Once again ,if a customer checks prices he will typically see that a normal selling price from several other companies is the same. A lot of times, it will be less than the so called “sale price”. This doesn’t mean you are getting a bad steel building, but it is again a deceptive sales practice designed to hurry you through the process.
3) Free freight
Free freight is a way to mislead a customer. They have you believe if they order within a specific time frame (a day or two) the manufacturer of steel buildings will deliver it to you for free. This is a type of pressure to get you to make a quick decision and take advantage of the free freight so the customer won’t shop pricing. What tends to happen 99 out of a 100 times is you can get the same deal from other suppliers for the same or less money and the freight is not free. Be aware that all they do is add the freight up front in the building cost and call it “free”. The selling price has the freight built in, but the line item on the contract for freight will say free or $0.00. Free freight is a myth.
4) Prices are going up
“Buy now because prices are going up” is another common approach but it may not always be a gimmick. Steel is a commodity and there are times it can go up in price as much as a couple of times each month. This is a tough one to decipher because sometimes it is for real and other times it is not. You can always check the internet to see what steel prices are doing yourself. More often than not, this is another trick to get you to commit to a sale without doing much comparison shopping.
5) Factory rebates
A lot of brokers will tell you that they get rebates from the factory. They say this is based on how much steel they sell during the year or at certain time frames. Or they will tell you they are putting together several buildings sales to turn in at once to get rebates. Sounds like a car dealer doesn’t it? This industry at no point has ever given kickbacks or rebates for a certain number of building sales. It just doesn’t happen in this industry. The tactic behind it is to convince you to pull the trigger quickly (without shopping other companies) so that they get this “so-called rebate”. They put a deadline on you and tell you that you need to purchase by a certain date to take advantage of the better price. Don’t fall for it. Take your time and shop. We can promise you that if someone is trying to pressure you, it is because they don’t want you to shop because they know you will find better deals. If a sales person cannot price what you want and then give you time to comparison shop, then 99 out of 100 times they are afraid of the competition. Why buy from a company that has to play shady sales tactics to sell their buildings.
Bottom line: a company should be able to give you a price on a steel building and tell you how long the price is good for. If they don’t, chances are you are being pressured to make an unwise decision.