Are Steel Building Salesmen Truthful
Read a 35-year experienced industry expert’s views on selling truthfulness.
Are the majority of steel building salesmen truthful?
Though I can’t speak for the truthfulness, or lack thereof, of all salesmen or the companies they work for; however, I can say that many steel building outlets are presenting some questionable sales gimmicks. Let’s keep this simple: Ultimately what is important is PRICE, QUALITY, and SERVICE. However, when a seller can’t objectively validate their company’s advantages in these areas, they resort to sales gimmicks. Below are a few common gimmicks:
Building Codes Not Clearly Displayed or Discussed
Common way commission salesmen take advantage of shoppers is by using the term “GROUND SNOW LOAD” instead of “ROOF SNOW LOAD” on the contract. Most consumers don’t know the differences between these terms: Ground snow load equates to 30% less structurally than roof load. For example, a 43 lb. Ground Load equals 30 lb. roof load. Since all sellers know the difference between these terms, I believe any seller not listing the “roof snow load” is deceptive. In like manner, the building’s wind “exposure” can be also deceptively utilized. Read more about Codes.
Accessories or Large Framed Openings Not Included In Quotes
Many of our competitors have “confusing to read” contacts; therefore, forcing the public to rely more on the thoroughness and truthfulness of the commission salesman. Quite often, shoppers don’t know whether all their requested accessories, as well as pertinent building information, are accurate. Some commission salesmen purposely sell steel buildings without accessories or large framed openings in the initial sale. These salesmen persuade customers to address the issue after the “initial” sale. Then these companies have their commission-based project coordinator call after the sale and “upcharge” these items at high retail rates. For instance, I know of a customer that was charged $1,000 to $1200 per added -and need – framed opening. Needless to say, the customer had little recourse because they had already paid and signed a contract. If the customer refuses to pay these ridiculously high rates, then they get a building without essential openings. By the way, cutting girts for large openings in the field jeopardizes the structural warranty.
Justifying delays with plans or delivery
I just recently got off the phone with a gentleman who’s been waiting over two months for his plans and the selling agent continually gives excuses to justify why the plans haven’t been completed. By the way, I receive 2 or 3 calls like this a year! This particular customer put a $9,000 deposit down on his structure and two months later he has nothing to show for it. I don’t mean to alarm you, but this is probably the first sign of a premeditated scam. Here is how it works: A company purposely quotes a lower price to capture the sale, expecting to gain additional revenue on upgrades, additional accessories, and/or upcharges after the initial sale. When the customer elects NOT to purchase additional accessories, or upgrades, or the upcharges are adamantly refused, the seller doesn’t gain the expected future profits. When this occurs, the seller may delay processing the order, hoping the customer will eventually be frustrated and move on – forgoing their deposit. Now I don’t expect this customer to walk away from $9,000! However, you will be amazed how many customers “cut bait” and walk away from $5,000. Why? Because it takes time, energy, and sometimes an attorney to resolve these kinds of conflicts. Remember, the average steel building customer has never bought a building before!
I expect his company will probably offer to refund the customer a few thousand dollars and falsely claim operational expenses that accrued with his order. In a nutshell, collect $9,000 then give back maybe $3,000, and do nothing! Simple solution: Request the seller send you an official job# from the actual manufacturer. This way you can if the order is being processed.
Saying that they will Storing a Building at No Charge
All steel building fabricators will charge storage fees if a building is not shipped on its assigned delivery date or at least threaten to! There are countless “painful” stories of customers who realize this fact too late. Commission salesmen are notorious for misleading the public into believing they can buy a building, and have it shipped whenever they like without additional cost. This simply is not the case! Currently, most certified fabricators ship their buildings between 8 to 13 weeks from order. If payment and delivery are not met within this timeline, a charge of $75 to $125 per day for storage will occur. Therefore, I strongly recommend a custom get in writing any promises regarding storage options.
Lead You “on” regarding Website Pricing
Recently I noticed that some steel building websites were stating that you can price your desired building online; yet when I attempted to use their online pricing programs, I never saw a price appear. Needless to say, these businesses were simply attempting to collect my personal information so that their commissioned salesmen could call me later.
False Sales Advertising
Have you noticed advertisements stating…
“Unclaimed building!” “70% off sale!” “Clearance building!” or “BLOWOUT SALE?”
…followed up with a salesman telling you, “You must overnight or wire transfer building funds to get the SPECIAL deal”?
It is a very rare circumstance when a steel building is unclaimed, yet this assertion is the most common gimmick presented in the industry. I would guess that the majority of traditional steel building outlets use this gimmick. Why? Because most people buying a steel building have never bought a structure before and they want to believe that the assertion is true! Individuals unaware that they are being deceived are pressured to make an immediate payment instead of objectively verifying the credibility of the offer. Needless to say, the consumers that accept these assertions as true, undoubtedly end up paying the full retail price.
Please remember, that 99% of unclaimed building offers are gimmicks! Even if you found a very rare legitimate unclaimed or clearance building, you shouldn’t purchase it without considering its snow load and wind speed standards. Most local building departments have specific building code requirements that must be met. Moreover, you will have to show YOUR local building department the certified plans.
Furthermore, what are the odds that an unclaimed building just happens to meet your “specific” local codes? The odds are 50 to 1! Yet countless shoppers fall for this gimmick daily. Keep in mind, that a completely fabricated building cannot be structurally modified after fabrication without expensive additional cost. So, if a salesman says, “I can have this unclaimed building adjusted to your codes” or “I can design additional openings,” he or she is lying!
I am not saying that you shouldn’t consider these offers; however, I find it odd that a majority of steel building sellers are saying the same gimmick! Henceforth, do a thorough check by comparing multiple offers and researching the company’s credibility.
A steel building quote should be clear, itemized, and “transparent. There should be “NO HIDDEN” fees later! Over 90% of people buying steel buildings have not purchased a building before. A salesman shouldn’t attempt to take advantage of this fact; however, it happens every day! Every shopper should know exactly what items are included as well as what “should” be included in their contract.
All of the above leads a person to question the honesty of most steel buildings offers. So, a word of advice, “don’t rush into a purchase!” If the offer is genuine, then it will become self–evident and will be available when you are ready to buy. If someone says you need to buy now, then pass on their offer! I can assure you, that if you complete your homework, you will locate an honest seller willing to sell you a new building lower than the unclaimed or clearance building offers.
Yes, there are truthful steel building salesmen and companies; however, it is your responsibility to validate the offers.
“FSO and John have been wonderful to work with and his pricing has been excellent. All of the information is timely and he is very responsive. I will be purchasing all future buildings from FSO and I truly appreciate working with an excellent company.”
– Paul P 7/10/2017
Everything went as scheduled down to the minute. I got a price on my metal building that could not be matched by anyone. I even had a salesman call me a liar when I told him what my quote was. Also, when they say there is going to be a delivery at 8 in the morning on a certain day, you better be ready at 8 in the morning. No fuss, no muss. Perfect.
– THOMAS C – 11/20/2020
The building turned out great! Could not be happier with the quality! Me and my dad built it from the ground up just us. It’s finally done so time to load it full of projects! Thanks for the help and the quality building!
– Brandon Hillstead
– 40’x 60′ x 16′ 4/10/2020