Are Steel Building Salesmen Truthful

Read a 35-year experienced industry expert’s views on selling truthfulness.

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The Comedy of Steel Building Sales: Separate Fact from Fiction

So, you’re in the market for a steel building, but you can’t help but wonder if the salespeople you encounter are spinning tall tales that would make Pinocchio blush. Well, we can’t guarantee the honesty of all steel building salesmen, but we can certainly expose some of the wild sales gimmicks they like to employ. Grab your detective hat and a sense of humor as we debunk a few of these classics.

1. The Snow Load Switcheroo

One of the oldest tricks in the steel building salesman’s playbook is the “Ground Snow Load” vs. “Roof Snow Load” shuffle. They toss around terms like confetti at a parade, and most buyers end up more confused than a cat at a dog show. You see, Ground Snow Load is 30% less structurally demanding than Roof Snow Load. So, if a seller conveniently forgets to mention the Roof Snow Load, it’s a bit like a magician making a rabbit disappear – it’s just not right. They know the difference, and we know they know. If they don’t mention Roof Snow Load, it’s time to question their intentions.

2. The Accessory Amnesia

Ever received a quote for a steel building and thought, “This seems too good to be true?” Well, it might just be. Some sneaky salesmen will “forget” to include accessories or large openings in your initial quote, only to hit you with hefty charges down the road. It’s like ordering a burger and discovering the bun and toppings cost extra. We’ve heard of people paying a small fortune for what they thought was a fully-loaded building, only to find out they had to pay extra for doors, windows, and other essentials. Sneaky, right?

3. The Waiting Game Woes

Here’s a classic move: the perpetual waiting game. Some buyers have waited so long for their building plans that they could write a novel titled “Adventures in Endless Delays.” These salesmen seem to have a never-ending supply of excuses for why your plans aren’t ready. Perhaps they believe that in the world of steel buildings, patience is a virtue worth paying extra for. But beware, this could be the first sign of a premeditated scam. They quote you a low price, expecting to squeeze out extra profits from upgrades and add-ons later. When you refuse to dance to their tune, they delay your order, hoping you’ll eventually give up and forfeit your deposit. Sneaky? You bet.

4. The “Free” Storage Myth

Some salesmen promise that your building can hang out in storage for as long as you want – free of charge. But here’s the kicker: most certified fabricators charge storage fees if your building doesn’t ship on time. It’s like promising your friend they can crash at your place indefinitely without expecting them to pay rent. We’d recommend getting any storage promises in writing because when it comes to storage, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

5. The Online Pricing Illusion

Ever seen those steel building websites that claim you can price your dream building online? We have too, but there’s often a catch. Some of these websites seem more interested in collecting your personal information than giving you an actual price. It’s like going to a restaurant and receiving the menu without prices. So, unless you enjoy unexpected phone calls from salespeople, you might want to steer clear of these online “pricing” tools.

6. The “Unclaimed Building” Mirage

“Unclaimed Building!” “70% Off Sale!” “Clearance Building!” These flashy headlines often lead to one thing: a salesman pressuring you to pay for the building right away. It’s like a flash sale at a designer store, but in this case, the sale is more of a mirage. Sure, there are legitimate unclaimed or clearance buildings out there, but they’re as rare as a unicorn wearing sunglasses. And even if you find one, you’d better check if it meets your local building codes. Most of the time, you’ll end up paying full price after all.

In a world filled with steel building sales gimmicks, it’s essential to stay informed and maintain a healthy dose of skepticism. Do your homework, compare offers, and research the credibility of the companies you deal with. Remember, you don’t have to rush into a purchase. If a deal is legitimate, it’ll still be there when you’re ready to buy. So, let’s not allow the comedy of steel building sales to fool us. With a little patience and investigation, you can find an honest seller who offers a new building at a fair price. And that, my friends, is no laughing matter.

A 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.

Seriously Speaking…..

If you’ve ever explored the market for steel buildings, you may have encountered salesmen presenting you with building codes that are purposely under local requirements. This tactic is more common than you’d think. The reasoning here is twofold: it enables the salesman the opportunity to make additional money after you have ordered the uncertified building as well as saves him time from doing extra work to order at least the minimum codes for the state. These salesmen might indicate that it’s easy to upgrade the building to meet the codes after order or during construction. However, these are often baited hooks. Be aware of the legal and safety implications of not meeting the local requirements, not to mention, that building departments do not approve uncertified structures. Always cross-verify the presented building codes against the local codes yourself or hire a local architect or engineer to do so. 

Another common tactic is charging high prices for framed openings post-sale. A framed opening might initially seem like a minor detail. After all, it’s merely a door, window, or vent, right? Wrong. Framed openings are critical structural parts of your building and require specific materials and framing techniques. Some sellers, after securing the sale, jack up the price for these openings, claiming they are ‘special materials’ or ‘extra labor’. Be aware of this potential cost increase and discuss these details before closing the deal. Understand the exact specifications, costs, and installation process of each framed opening in your building project. 

Also, always remember, that it’s okay to say no if a deal seems too good to be true or if you feel overwhelmed by the complex terminology and high-pressure sales tactics. Your best defense against such deceptive practices is knowledge, careful planning, and the willingness to ask questions. Stay vigilant and don’t let an unscrupulous salesperson diminish the value of your investment in a steel building.

Are Steel Building Salesmen Truthful

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“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. 

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