Does The Discount Discount Your Confidence?

Home Inspector with King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. Home Inspector Lic #207

I was driving away from a re-inspection today and I saw a little trailer with ladders and equipment attached.

Now that you have seen the view from my vantage point, let's take a look at the sign or billboard.

I know that successful marketing is often fueled by discounts, especially at department stores and super markets where we might get name brands at discount prices. Heck, even some local dentists advertise discounts and, early in my career, I used a few modest discount coupons. But when I see a 50% discount for services that require hard labor, that does not instill confidence or a desire in me to buy.

It could be wrong thinking on my part, but I worry that a person advertising a service at 50% off is cutting corners. We consumers like discounts but I think that many of us get nervous about committing to what seems to be way too good of a deal. 

In my view, this discount ad does not make me want to buy. It has the opposite effect and it discounts my confidence in the service provider. What is your take on this?

Thanks for stopping by,

Steven L. Smith


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Steven L. Smith

If you enjoy nostalgia and music of yesteryear, click on Elvis' gold record to visit This Day In History. To explore The Stories Behind The Music blog posts click on the electric guitar. 








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TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

H-m-m-m! If he marked the price up by 80% and then gave a 50% discount, then gave another discount because it was Tuesday, then they might come in at a decent price. If you drop "the nut job's name" all deals are off...

Helping you help others live their American dream...

May 12, 2010 11:45 PM #26
Dennis Chamberlain
Eastern WA Home Inspections, LLC - Moses Lake, WA
Eastern WA Home Inspections

With the new rules on lead based paint, 50% off will still be expensive!

May 13, 2010 03:44 AM #27
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector


You have a point there all right.

May 13, 2010 07:37 AM #28
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

I would take 50% off Nutsy's hide and Charlie Bee can take the other 50%.

The chicken suit makes me hungry.

May 13, 2010 12:02 PM #29
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Mr James,

If you are ever able to afford a rooster outfit, so you looks as good as me, we might start paying some attention to your ramblings.


May 13, 2010 01:46 PM #30
Tony Orefice
Wilkinson and Associates/ - Harrisburg, NC
Realtor/Harrisburg NC,Concord NC

Hey Steve,

I have to agree with you. When I see things like that I start to wonder what kind of service I will get.

Hi to Nutsy!

May 14, 2010 05:07 AM #31
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Steve, I'd never respond to this type of marketing.  That's way to little money to charge, at least if you're any good at what you do.

May 14, 2010 03:58 PM #32
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Steve,

I firmly believe you get what you pay for. I like personal referrals and a professional image from trades I recommend.

May 16, 2010 03:11 AM #33
Cynthia Larsen
Safe Haven Realty - Cotati, CA
Independent Broker Serving Sonoma County, CA

I always figure they mean 50% off after they jack the price up 100%.  You get what you pay for.

May 16, 2010 05:31 AM #34
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Thanks to Pat for putting this in her blogs of the week to read. Glad to see it revisited.

May 16, 2010 12:46 PM #35
Betsy Schuman Dodek
Washington Fine Properties - Washington DC Area Real Estate - Potomac, MD

You know the get what you pay for!!! There is no free lunch. 

May 16, 2010 05:24 PM #36
Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

50% is such a misnomer because you first have to know "50% off of what?"  Also, the 50% billboard may just be a way for the advertiser to get his phone to ring.  We do it all of the time with "FREE CMAs" and other information.

I do get your point and I agree that if this person builds his business by actually charging 50% off of all of his/her services, then I would question the qualify of what I might be getting.

May 17, 2010 02:03 AM #37
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

How can you discount 50% for painting labor? Seems like someone just trying to get some quick cash by plunking down that trailer in an area hoping for some homeowners to happen upon the sign.  As you say, not me.

May 17, 2010 05:26 AM #38
Mike Yeo
3:16 team REALTY - Frisco, TX


Remember that you get what you pay for. Often time, it is a gimmick to get potential client to start a conversation. Or it could be someone is really desperate for work. Any income is better than no income.

May 17, 2010 05:40 AM #39
Daniel J. Hunter
REALTOR® - New Port Richey, FL

I hate discounts at the supermarket deli & meat counter.  Usually means the food is about to spoil and they need to dump.  could be wrong, but that is the impression I get from that

May 17, 2010 05:48 AM #40
Janet Fetterman
Royal Shell Real Estate Inc - Ocala, FL
Selling Luxury Lifestyles...

Have you ever noticed that the folks who use "Discounts" as their main claim to fame usually end up having a short lived existance. They most probably don't have a grip on the big picture of what it actually costs them to do business.

May 17, 2010 07:12 AM #41
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector


I believe that you have that right. Some minor promotional discounts are one thing but certainly not something a person should rely on.

May 17, 2010 07:16 AM #42
Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

My first reaction is 50% off from what? From an overpriced quote?

May 17, 2010 02:36 PM #43
Ellie Shorb
Compass Real Estate - Chevy Chase, MD
Realtor DC, MD & VA Luxury Home Expert

Licensed? Bonded? Insured? Naaahhh..... but it's 1/2 off!!!!

May 18, 2010 02:34 PM #44
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

It seems that the majority of us are not in tune with this type of promotion.

May 22, 2010 04:21 PM #45
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