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Does anyone charge for going to look at a the job site so you can give an accurate quote and then you don't know if you'll even get the job? There is a couple of hours in doing this (drive time and measuring).

I 've only heard of one shop that did charge.

Please comment.

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I worked for a guy that would give free estimates over phone, via fax and email. The previous estimates had a disclaimer regarding the kind of substrate/size and final intended use for the sign was. He also had a note in the disclaimer that said if more accuratre specs were needed to faciliate installation a $25 site-call would be charged.

If he had to leave the store he would charge $20 /hr with a 1 hr min. He would include this charge on the estimate and I do not remember customers objecting to it or losing jobs over it.

Hope this helps


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Hmmm, I've always wondered that myself. I never charge for estimates, but I try to get away from giving them a full blown proposal until I let them know a basic cost estimate. That way if it doesn't scare them away I know I have a good chance with them. I think it depends who it is too. If it's a big corporation I have no problem giving them a nice presentation. I did a big bid for a 13 Location Bank Branch, did not get the job but they volunteerly sent me a check for 1k for the time and driving :D

You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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  • 4 weeks later...

This is one of the best questions in the sign industry. In my opinion I think it would depend on the job and the equipment used to perform the survey (i.e. Boom Truck). I make it clear that the information obtained is property of our sign co. I make it clear that the survey information could be purchased if the customer decided to go elsewhere. The customer only gets an undetailed estimate ( NO measurements, electrical information (i.e. ballast, transformer size) COST ONLY.... Again, this really is up to the sign co. Hope this helps. Good luck

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