The MyBuilder experience

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user_removed

Well-Known Member
I thought id put this up to help anyone who is thinking of using this site, its going to be a long one.

Im not embarrassed to say, we have gone quiet, we really pushed the rendering side of things this year and think may have neglected the plastering side of things, we have took a couple of jobs on for rendering but they won't start until spring, we are averaging 2 or 3 days a week at the minute.

Money wise things are ok, but I'm bored shitless and the labourer has 3 kids so i want to keep work ticking over so he's ok over xmas.

I decided to try MyBuilder as it has good customer reviews and seemed low risk, i was tempted to try checkatrade but couldn't risk £600+vat.

So i joined on Friday last week.

I had to fill a questionnaire out about plastering which was 4/5 questions about scrim and PVA, not hard really.

I have set up a nice profile, plenty of pictures and info, explained everything we do and what qualifications and accreditation we carry, the other business, to be honest look a bit slap dash and in my opinion haven't used the profile to the best of its use. I saw this as a gap in the market.

Profile set up i needed a couple of reviews so asked a couple of former customers to put them there instead of where we usually ask them to put them, you have to put the customers phone number which I'm not really happy about but did anyway to get it pushed through, they came through ok.

Secondly, the liability insurance, iv sent it through about 6 times with declined every time, i even sent the invoice from when i paid, still declined.

Thirdly, they have emailed me again tonight, wanting me to email them a copy of my driving license and another photo ID to put on my profile, which i am not doing, they say for security reasons.

I started getting jobs thrown at me almost instantly via email, quite a lot actually, i was surprised. its now at about 3/4 a day.

*you get an email saying mr smith wants a bedroom plastering click here to view

*you click it, then you can express your interest, with a price shown at the side ranging from £3+vat to £25.00+vat you can also at this point send a little message to the customer but no websites or contact details allowed.

*after you express an interest, the customer then chooses which few he like the look of, if your selected your charged for the info my builder then send you, a phone number & email

The jobs range from plastering a small hole to skimming a few rooms or more and i saw a rendering job

So tonight, after iv shown interest in a few jobs, i get "shortlisted" and some details sent to me the job is a kitchen to skim and about 2 villages away, its just cost me £3.60 inc VAT

I get the details and message the customer, telling him we are close and have a day this week free and we are available to quote, no reply..... so costing me £3.60 i thought id ring him, why not? to which he explains to me that he's already given the job away to a decorator (a handyman) i asked straight out, has he given you a price over the phone, he replies "yes".

So i say to the customer, "look I'm 2 mins down the road, i can pop up and get you a proper price together' he agrees.

The job was a mess, customers own poor boarding and rubbish all over place, i priced sensibly at £165.00 to cover me and lab for day, these customers are not interested in written quotes, they want a price there and then, he then told me the decorator had priced £120.00 labour only. make of that what you will.

Seems a lot of messing about with emails etc etc to chuck yourself in the mix with handymen and odd-jobbers who price over the phone, its something i can't and won't do, to me its unprofessional and I'm scared of losing out or dropping a bollock.

So far, i haven't been overly impressed, it is very, very in the favour of the customer and is not set up in anyway to protect a tradesmens time or money, it seems a fight to the bottom, i try and run things correctly, i have a lad on books and we both pay our taxes and our insurance is right we can't compete at this level.

I will keep it going until next Monday as to give it a proper week and let people know what type of customers, jobs and competition i come across.

Thanks lads, Mac
 

zombie

Private Member
tbh mac I used to have a mate that used to use my builder and he would tell me all the same as you've already said and sum...

I used to feel like slapping him when hed tell me what hed end up putting his prices in to gain work...

your words summed it up mate its a race to the bottom with everything stacked in the customers favour...

this will be my xmas/winter that I haven't had my contract work as had to pack it up earlier in the yr due to ill health...

first time ever that I wont be booked through over to the new yr...but tbh im trying not to think about it I know its easier said than done and just going to go with the flow again when the phone starts again in the nw yr...

I think the most important thing in our game is to bank all your money up and just direct debit a very low livable wage even when you've just had a cracking wk/month...

I do this all yr so now for example I don't realy need to worry as will be ok until February etc...

stick to your guns mate...and without sounding horrible don't fret about you labourer...just get a pull on your bigger jobs as and when needed instead of feeling compelled to find him a wage each wk!
 

Rossi46

Private Member
Fair play giving an honest account of where your at at the moment. I've never been involved with these sites but your version of things is mostly what I tend to hear. It's all about how low the price can go! Nobody that is set up honestly and professionally can compete with some of the prices that go round on these sites. Not a chance! Leave it to the monkeys that will work for peanuts.
 

Dansouthcoast84

Private Member
i was never really keen on the look of that.

we joined checkatrade 2 years ago and have had some good jobs off it.

out of the year at even say the 1000quid a year package you only need a couple of jobs to cover you. the rest is pure profit.

we found being in the directory we got the most calls as there are only two of each trade published which helps.

and unlike my builder the customers come to you. not you chasing them. im finding even if i get a call away from.checkatrade once i give out a card they become more relaxed and interested when they see checkatrade printed. so its good as a reference point aswell.

not saying checkatrade is for everyone but its worked for me so far
 

Vincey

Private Member
Hope you get some jobs sorted hopefully a referral will call. I am not a fan of these companies that take the money for leads and think they should all be shut down and made illegal..but I can and do appreciate that you are trying to get the s**t Christmas period sorted.
Xmas period is always a hard time in this game
 

PlanB

Active Member
I just finished an extension for a builder I don't know!
The customer told me they chose him through Trustatrader as he had good reviews.

Finished it Friday & no call yet .... seemed a decent sort, so hope to get paid.
 

user_removed

Well-Known Member
Don't worry about me lads, I'll have the labourer clean van out the odd day to make use of him, we've got bits and bobs booked in.

I just wanted to put an honest review of this particular site up seeing as a few people ask about it.

I have just had another shortlist priced at £8.00 plus vat so

Total out lay is now £13.20

Don't worry I won't go mad, just give it a week, see what happen.
 

Jurek

Private Member
I've found MyBuilder to be okay to be honest. Do the odd job through them. Prices are fair. There's no joining fee. Try four or five quotes at a couple of quid a time. You get one you're quids in. If you've just joined you'll find it difficult because you'll have zero feedback. You get twenty or thirty good feedback customers will invite you to quote on your own. The type who want a good job and don't want to take a chance. It is what it is.
 
Checkatrade wins on the south... works very well for most of the local trades.

Paying for leads makes me cringe good honest review though mac... will be interesting to hear how it progresses
 

user_removed

Well-Known Member
I've found MyBuilder to be okay to be honest. Do the odd job through them. Prices are fair. There's no joining fee. Try four or five quotes at a couple of quid a time. You get one you're quids in. If you've just joined you'll find it difficult because you'll have zero feedback. You get twenty or thirty good feedback customers will invite you to quote on your own. The type who want a good job and don't want to take a chance. It is what it is.

We shall see
 

flynnyman

Well-Known Member
The job I'm doing a bit of damp work on at the minute they are having a bathroom done by a firm they got off one of these sites, it's a joke the work is shocking and it's gonna end in tears lol. Speaking to my mate in oz yesterday he is going on his own in the new year and has gone with a similar thing but the difference is you pay a percentage of the job once it's finished he said ten percent but you can do a deal with the customer :)
 

Jurek

Private Member
Yeah. It's taking a chance. But a relatively cheap one compared to check a trade. Most quotes for a room or whatever are about 3.60. For rendering and damp proofing two three times that, which is still nothing. If you get the job. I could pay around 30 quid around here for an add in the local free paper and maybe get 3 or 4 calls from a similar type customer who would have also got a few more quotes. Sometimes the areas are over subscribed. There's a bloke round my way has about 190 feedback. It must be all he does. I can't work like that because it's mostly asap jobs. I'd give it another week or two.
 

user_removed

Well-Known Member
Yeah. It's taking a chance. But a relatively cheap one compared to check a trade. Most quotes for a room or whatever are about 3.60. For rendering and damp proofing two three times that, which is still nothing. If you get the job. I could pay around 30 quid around here for an add in the local free paper and maybe get 3 or 4 calls from a similar type customer who would have also got a few more quotes. Sometimes the areas are over subscribed. There's a bloke round my way has about 190 feedback. It must be all he does. I can't work like that because it's mostly asap jobs. I'd give it another week or two.

To keep it fair then and give it a fair chance I'll stick £100 to 1 side then let it run to that on lead buying.

I'll only go for jobs that I reckon would interest proper guys and look worth it.

I'll keep a count of the cash and up date regular
 

owls

Private Member
A good honest account there,but why don't you stick to your bread and butter.
Why don't you render all year around? Winters arnt what they use to be , and your not in Scotland.I accept a job will take longer to complete with the weather (we're sat in van now waiting for rain to pass)but 3 days a week on good money is better than pulling your puds for dross.
Or build up your contacts with builders etc rendering for them in better weather and tender there plastering in winter or if you've a machine go down the screening route.
It's a ball ache every year for us, but I know it's coming every year so prepare for it, if your flying in Summer build up your cash reserve for winter, I've got projects to start in January a few full knock offs and base coat, a couple for a developer, bead up etc,all the prep work could take a good 8 week, so by which time it's spring, plus look at wrap around sheeting for scaffold costly but means you can get going even in rain.
 

owls

Private Member
So this sites owned by a reformed plasterer whose a whiz on the computing side who thinks these Internet lead sites on the whole are a waste of time. I wonder why he doesn't set his own ........:bananahappy:
 

user_removed

Well-Known Member
Owls - We do a bit of rendering in the winter but only small area, our last decent job finished start of November so it's steadily getting later and later.

Another point is I enjoy plastering and don't want to give it up full time, it's not easy but it's easier and less stressful than rendering so it's a bit of a welcomed break while still ticking over.

I hate these types of sites and have said so many times in the past, but there seems to be a lot of work streaming through them so I thought I'd give it a go to find out for myself and let you guys know first hand what it's like.
 

Rossi46

Private Member
A good honest account there,but why don't you stick to your bread and butter.
Why don't you render all year around? Winters arnt what they use to be , and your not in Scotland.I accept a job will take longer to complete with the weather (we're sat in van now waiting for rain to pass)but 3 days a week on good money is better than pulling your puds for dross.
Or build up your contacts with builders etc rendering for them in better weather and tender there plastering in winter or if you've a machine go down the screening route.
It's a ball ache every year for us, but I know it's coming every year so prepare for it, if your flying in Summer build up your cash reserve for winter, I've got projects to start in January a few full knock offs and base coat, a couple for a developer, bead up etc,all the prep work could take a good 8 week, so by which time it's spring, plus look at wrap around sheeting for scaffold costly but means you can get going even in rain.
Who pays for the scaffold wrap @owls? Surely the customer can't be expected to pay the extra for the benefit of you keeping going through the winter.
 
So this sites owned by a reformed plasterer whose a whiz on the computing side who thinks these Internet lead sites on the whole are a waste of time. I wonder why he doesn't set his own ........:bananahappy:
Lol

Sent from my SM-N910F using Tapatalk
 

User___removed

Well-Known Member
I joined checkatrade in January as a builder mate is always busy
I've just had my first call and picked up a 10 grand internal job for 2 benders from London.
Not joining next year though.
 

Jgreenplastering

Private Member
Who pays for the scaffold wrap @owls? Surely the customer can't be expected to pay the extra for the benefit of you keeping going through the winter.

Last few years I've always said to clients they have to wait till spring when I get calls in winter for render. Most do and it builds up a nice amount of work for the next year.
But for the lads like @owls @keithuk that do externals all year round this is the way to go.

I'm guessing it adds another £500-£1000 on a job depending on size etc but if the client wants the work done then they will pay for it, it's not going to come out of the applicators pocket is it.

I hate the wet and the cold so I hibernate internally and do my skimming and building work which I like as it breaks it's all up for me.
 
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