FAQs for Consultants, Contractors and Labourers
1. Can I impose special conditions?
We have Standard Conditions of Sale that all buyers must accept when engaging a contractor or consultant through our site. Sellers are free to amend these standard terms if they are more favourable to the buyer, but not more onerous.
We have no problem with a seller imposing conditions that they currently impose on all their customers. But we do not want sellers treating prospects introduced through us as second-class citizens just because they are paying a discounted hourly rate.
We accept that because of the discounted hourly rate, sellers may need to limit the number of hours offered at the reduced rate. As long as such a limit is reasonable (and not just used as a lure to ensnare buyers) then we have no objection.
Please note we reserve the right to edit or remove listings. If we have a concern we will suspend the listing and discuss it with the seller.
Examples of acceptable conditions:
- An accountant may require that an assignment be no less than three hours work, to make the set-up worthwhile.
- A builder would probably find it uneconomical to build a house for an hourly rate of say $30, so he may decide to only accept jobs of up to eight hours duration. It would be acceptable to state that a retail rate would apply after that time.
- It is acceptable for a seller to refuse work from their existing retail clients provided their last purchase was within the past 12 months.
- A contractor may refuse to accept jobs on a weekend or after-hours because they usually charged more for these times.
Note: all sellers are required to meet all legal requirements as if they were charging the full retail price.
2. Can a seller charge for extras?
Generally yes. The seller may charge extra for materials, parts, travel and any other expenses they charge for in the normal course of the seller’s business. The cost of these extras can include a mark-up or margin, provided it is at the same rate charged to all the seller’s customers. We do not want sellers treating buyers introduced through us differently, just because they are paying a reduced hourly rate.
1. How can a consultant afford to offer their services so cheaply?
These sellers often have spare capacity. They have time available, and want to fill that time with cash-paying customers. Some are retired or semi-retired. Others have income coming in from other sources and simply enjoy their work so much. Some like to offer their services to people who can’t afford retail rates, as a way of giving back to the community.
Remember too that it’s easier to offer lower fees if you work from home (no expensive premises to pay for), don’t have a lot of staff to pay for, or don’t charge GST.
2. Can I negotiate terms?
That will be between you and the seller but we urge you not to haggle over their hourly rate. Because they are already making a significant reduction to their hourly rate, they will be reluctant to make any further reductions.
3. Will I be sacrificing quality for a reduced price?
Like any commercial transaction, it is up to you to ensure you are receiving good value for your money. We require all our sellers to provide the same standard of service they would offer any customer as if they were paying the full retail price.
4. Can a seller just take longer to offset the discounted hourly rate?
Theterms of trade we have with our sellers require them to treat all buyers as if they were paying the full retail price. We would take a dim view of anyone who pads their time to compensate for a cheaper hourly rate. In saying that, it is your responsibility to ensure the seller takes a reasonable amount of time to complete the job.