Why Hiring Cheap Is Never a Good Idea

We all know that taking the cheapest option is typically not a good idea.  But sometimes we need a reminder. 

I got my reminder shortly after the lawn swallowed my lawnmower.

Right before a vacation, I was cutting the grass when my mower sunk into a normally dry spot on the lawn.  I mean it really sunk - I had to pull it out of the swamp with my truck. We quickly realized we had a broken water line. No wonder the grass was green in August.

I quickly called two plumbers and went with the one who offered the lower of the two bids.  I’ll call him Cheap Guy.  Cheap Guy seemed to know what he was talking about, and with my vacation looming, I needed to solve this problem quickly.  He said he was licensed and everything seemed to go fine with the repair.

About a month later, I received a note from the city plumbing inspector that I had installed an uninspected plumbing line.  Cheap Guy had promised he’d install a properly inspected line.  That provision was even included in our contract.  When I called to ask about it, Cheap Guy said he’d send over the inspection papers.  But he couldn’t produce them. 

Also- it turns out Cheap Guy hadn’t renewed his state plumbing license (which he’d assured me was current and agreed to in the contract as well), so he was working illegally.  I reported him to the State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating and Fire Sprinkler Contractors.

Since this experience, I don’t even shop around. I call the guy my family has trusted for years and even though he was more expensive than Cheap Guy, I don’t have to worry about quality or being lied to.

Unexpected Consequences

It pays to hire the most qualified people you can find for full-time jobs as well as one-off tasks like my water line repair.  I can’t tell you the number of stories I’ve heard about clients and colleagues who hire a $40,000-a-year person to handle their books, when what they really need is a person with more advanced skills. Then they wonder why things are a mess and Lucrum has to charge more to clean it up.

One client hired a bookkeeper to handle invoicing and related tasks.  As the business grew, his workload did, too.  He couldn’t keep up, made some mistakes, and eventually lost his job.  Company executives decided that because he was paid a decent wage and didn’t succeed, it didn’t make sense to hire someone else at the same level.  They reduced the salary.  Can you guess how that worked out?

Now consider the firm that hired a salesperson at $50,000 base salary plus a very fair commission on each sale.  The commission was one rate for existing business provided to her when she started and another higher rate for any new clients she generated.  Within three years, she had doubled her salary because she was so good at her job and had the support to do it right.  The company's investment in her paid off.

One of Lucrum’s primary goals is to help you save money.  But saving by hiring cheap is very seldom a good idea.  Surround yourself with sharp minds, experienced professionals, and talented newcomers.  Buy the best products you can afford that will do the job you need.

Someone once told me, “You can cry when you pay for it...or you can cry every time you use it.”  I think that’s true.  We do get what we pay for. When do you want to cry?
And should you ever need to look up a plumber – or report one – you can do so at www.nclicensing.org.