How are you pricing out cage/chassis work?
Genuinely curious how you guys are pricing out your chassis and cage work. As a new business, this is the one place I am really struggling to figure out. We currently charge the cost of material Xs 2.5 plus 20% on anything built in house and charge $100(MIG) $130(TIG) per joint on any prebent cages. Also, if you are in the Houston area who is your preferred Metal Supplier and tube Supplier?
Don't forget the option for mandrel bends. I think I remember you had the mandrel attachment. +30% to +50% on the whole job is reasonable for mandrel bends. VERY few shops even offer them on cages.
You can also leave an option for curved tube gussets in corners or bent sheet metal gussets (tacos). Those are reasonable at $100-150 ea. Depends how long they take.
How does everyone else quote cages?
@joe yes sir, I didn't even think about the fact that we can charge more for mandrel bends or gussets! Awesome advice!
Well this is a tough question, there are so many variables. Around me a CM (chrome molly) 8.50 cert (1/4 mile) sportsman cage on a car will fetch around 2800. A 25.5 Sfi CM cage will bring around 5500, if the front and rear windows have already been removed along with the interior. Labor rates are pretty even across the board 90-100hr for any shop near me no matter what they’re doing mechanical or fabrication. I try to explain this as best as I can to the customer. I don’t like talking the interior out or letting it sit around in a fab shop. More time, more liability = more money and most customers side with me on that. There are some that want a turn key service and have no problem paying for it, make sure to charge for it. Just remember really think about the time your going to have in it realistically. Then add a 10-15% cushion. Do the same with delivery dates. You will always have happy customers when you come in a little under budget and ahead of time. I hate nothing worse than having to justify why something cost more or that I couldn’t meet my delivery date. I’ve also learned (the hard way) that you need to be specific about cage work. Some customers assume that you will tab everything out for that price. That’s not the case. All the little tabs, seat mounts, bottle brackets, ect are add on’s. Being upfront about what’s included will save you many headaches. I have also quit welding prebent cages. Why? The fitment is sub par to custom bent cages and when some ask the owner who put the cage in your name is tied to it and they don’t know it was a prebent kit. They just assume you did it all. I hope this helps.
@jc409 thanks, lots of good information and things to take into consideration in the future.
No problem at all Ambroze. I’ll help any I can.
@jc409 very fine points about expectations and tabs. And pre bent cages (and reputations). Your statement on liability reminds me...
Get cameras inside and outside your shop! They help in many cases, but the old "you dented my door" is easy to calm down when you have a video of that pristine door driving away. Not cage pricing related, but might help.
That’s a good point. I do photo everything upon arrival and departure. Also I do a as arrived inspection while the customer is still there to document any imperfections. Once again this was learned the hard way. It only takes one bad or costly incident to prompt future actions. Our industry and pricing is based our reputation.
Studies have shown that a happy customer will tell a few people, but a unhappy customer will tell many. I use to know the ratio on that, but have long forgot.
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