Sawdust Soup

I'm sure that we all see them all the time on this/ that/ and the other. "I guarantee this product for two years" (could just as easily be 20 or unitl the complete opposite of until you take it home and unpackage the box). I even look for it when I'm selecting a new tool, I can pay a bit more money get better quality and the knowladge that if some thing goes wrong then for the most part it's taken care of. Of course there's always limitations and pirameters to work with in, if I drop my new drill off a 10 story building... I kinda doubt that I'm going to get a free replacement. To me it says " I'm willing to stand behind my work, and if any thing goes wrong then I'm willing to eat my mistakes and make it right again."

 

I suppose for me it comes down to putting some thing on the line because I believe in my work that much. Now if  a client drops a piece while moving and it takes a tumble down the stairs... maybe they should have hired some insured movers to help them. Yet if little Jonny sits in his new chair (mom and dad had made for him) and it comes tumbeling down... then I should have done a lot of things a lot better (it'd serve me right to eat that). I love it when my clients get their work and see that a lot more went into the piece than they expected, lol, I love the call backs or e-mails when they're clucking like hens in a hen house. This is what makes me happy in my work, the look of surprise, when they get on a personal level with the piece and see the carvings intricate work, or when they drag their fingers across a glass like finish. Some times they're even looking for joints or woodfiller. I also think that I could or should be offering more, I often tell them that if any thing happens to let me know. I really wonder though if I really back my work and believe that I am doing every thing in my power to do the work justice, why shouldn't I be offering a warranty?

 

What do you guys and gals think? Is it worth it? If so under what terms and conditions and for how long? Or is it more of a risk and headache than it's worth?  

Views: 23

Replies to This Discussion

I provide all my clients with a warranty against defects in materials and workmanship for at least a year but I've gone above that depending on the piece. Over the years I've gotten one call back and that was a design flaw that was my fault. Risk? Not if you build quality. Headache? Occasionally but through learning we grow.

To me, customer satisfaction is all about setting expectations. For example, if a customer wants a high gloss finish on a piece that I know is going to get a lot of wear I'm quick to point out the issues that they are going to face in that scenario. When my customer better understands the situation, the issues in constructing and finishing a piece the more likely they are to be satisfied with what we design and build together.

Your comment about giving them more than they expected speaks to this phenomenon perfectly. Is it worth it? That's a difficult question to answer. Have you lost a job by not providing one? Can you gain a job by providing one? Do state laws provide consumers with a warranty implied by their purchase in that state, thus taking the question out of your hands? If you can come up with answers to all those questions, you should be able to come up with an ROI for doing it.

Best of luck!
Brian Keller
I can't say that I've specifically lost a job by not offering a warranty but there have been times where I didn't put in for jobs because they wanted a warranty in writing. As far as gaining a job... I don't know but I'd like to see if it helps. Thanks for your reply.
Joshua,

Your warranty is for any manufacturing defects, not against normal wear and tear. Like when customer put a piece of furniture in front of a window the gets direct sunlight or next to or on a air vent. To their surprise the piece starts fading, warping, joint shrinkage, finish checking, etc.. or if the piece is not being used for which the piece was intended for.
As the craftsman you have every right to validate the defect claim to determine the clause, if its not a mfg defect, then give them a bid to repair the damage, include pickup and delivery charge?
Check out the local furniture stores, what's in their warranty or terms & conditions or verbiage that you can apply as to a warranty and/or T&C.

Like most invoices or contract the small print (warranty, T&C) is on the back. Once the client signs, they agree to your conditions.
I like that "manufacturing defects" and some of the other things you've pointed out. I might have to go thru a few furniture retailers and see what their small print says, then ofcourse modify it to suit my work.
I feal a warranty says alot .I alway try my hardest to give the best product for a fair price.Same with warranties if you have faith in your skills the accidents that are out of your control people will pay you when it's their fault

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