Avoid the low bidder.
You should avoid the low bidder. They usually cut corners in order to maintain their low pricing. This aggressive corner cutting usually works against you. You get cheaper parts, lower quality workmanship, or both. That’s why I avoid hiring low bidders and so should you.
I recently hired someone to regrind and polish two wheels on my car. I took a right turn too sharply and scraped a wheel on a concrete curb. I rotated the wheels a few days later and then took another right turn too sharply. This gave me a second damaged wheel on my car’s right side. I hired a local vendor to regrind and polish these wheels. They now look good as new. This vendor was not the low bidder. Rather, their estimate was slightly higher than expected, but I still hired them. Here’s why I chose a vendor who was not the low bidder. This is also why you should not hire the low bidder.
You get what you pay for.
- Low bidder has insufficient training. Business owners who sustain low pricing are cutting costs somewhere. This usually starts in training. A vendor with low pricing could have expertise that is behind the times and ignorant of modern practices. Their employees may ask for training but the boss says no. No money in the budget. When you hire a vendor who is not the low bidder, you hire a business who is investing in their employees’ expertise. You are paying for their training. That training helps them deliver better solutions for your benefit.
- Low bidder hires cheap labor. Part of keeping the prices low is in keeping their costs low. Business owners can pursue that by hiring cheap labor. This includes minimum wage folks who are new at the profession and merely looking for a paycheck. They do not have the expertise to demand a hire wage. They take whatever job they can get. When you hire a vendor that is not the low bidder, you are getting employees who already have significant expertise and professionalism. They are earning a decent wage, because their expertise and professionalism command it.
- Low bidder cuts corners. OK, OK, OK I already know what you’re thinking. Overseas toy makers use lead-based paint. No surprise there. They do this because they can get away with it, and because lead-based paint is cheaper than less-poisonous blends. They reduce their costs in order to sell products at a lower price. A vendor who is not the low bidder does not cut corners. They use the right components. They may even spend a little more for green components and practices. They increase their quality. They create a higher quality solution for you.
Set your expectations.
This is your decision. You can hire a low bidder based purely on price. You can hire the high bidder and expect luxury treatment. You can hire someone on the middle. I advocate residing in the middle. I also price my services at competitive rates. I am not the cheapest vendor out there and I am not the most expensive. I reside in the middle. So should you.