Caveat Emptor – Let the Buyer BEWARE
A simple Google search of the term caveat emptor returns the following result: the principle that the buyer alone is responsible for checking the quality and suitability of goods before a purchase is made.
Caveat Emptor is a fairly simple concept where the BUYER is ultimately held responsible for any purchase.
Many years ago I heard this concept stated slightly differently in “He who pays, says”
Regardless of how it is stated, the concept places ALL RESPONSIBILITY on the purchaser to make an informed and ‘decent’ decision when making a purchase.
Now while I 100% agree with the concept of Caveat Emptor (AKA Let the Buyer BEWARE), I also empathize with buyers who DO do [extensive?] research and still end up being fleeced, or feeling they are being ‘ripped off’, or are simply unsatisfied with their purchase – possibly because they did not know the correct questions to ask and or were not well informed when they did ask the correct questions.
It seems that the concept of Caveat Emptor applies equally well across ALL suppliers, trades and products. It applies to the doctor or therapist one CHOOSES to see – because not all doctors or therapists are a great fit for every individual – as well as to car manufacturers (not everyone will want to or can afford to buy a Lamborghini or Rolls Royce or Ferrari) with different buyers having different needs, but equally not all car buyers would want a VW or a Fiat or a Dodge either. I have personal experience as my wife’s practice http://www.inneressence.co.za also experiences the same concept. Caveat Emptor even applies to signage.
One of the challenges SignForce have as a supplier of signage is that we (I am referring to the South African market as this is where SignForce is based) tend to want to always get a bargain – even for those that can afford to and are prepared to pay FAIR price. Because we tend to be bargain chasers the normal process when purchasing a high ticket item (such as a sign) is to do a Google search, request three competative (and hopefully comparable*) quotes and chosing either the lowest or middle price and placing the order.
In our experience it is not common for new sign buyers to ask about SignForce’s facilities, capabilities or for proof of completed work or samples**. I am not sure if a lack of thorough vetting is a direct result of lack of time, lack of desire, being overly trusting or some other reasons, or even a combination of all listed (and I am sure many unlisted) reasons. The outcome of the lack of research can be a double edged sword as while some great but not necessarily well experienced or established suppliers may be overlooked, there is also the possibility that the client may find out too late that the signage they purchase does not meet their expectations or requirements.
I am talking about Caveat Emptor again – I am sure for the umpteenth time – because of a site SignForce recently visited where a client who has had a less than desirable experience and are looking to replace their sign after it has only been up for one week.
The client returned the sign and the sign company remade it, but the second (acrylic faced) sign has already cracked after one week, and is not portraying the client’s business in the professional manner they are striving to achieve.
SignForce did not ask so we are not sure how many quotes they client received, nor what the criteria they used to make their final decision to purchase, but being a financial business who are in the business of researching finance and carrying out due diligence’s, I have the feeling (yes, dangerous to proceed on feelings alone) that the company DID the correct research, however, for whatever reason the chosen supplier cannot produce or deliver.
The ringer SignForce is being put through to show samples, give references and prove we can deliver is also an indication that the client has been burned BUT learned from the experience.
Please people, do your research and USE companies like SignForce where we have years of experience and even if you are not going to ask us to quote or to do your signage, consider paying a consulting fee which will be a far less than any cost of redo’s and will allow you to tap into years of signage experience.
At SignForce we strive to give the best possible advise from a signage and marketing perspective with the objective of ensuring our clients signage is an INVESTMENT.
If you are looking for advice on signage or signage that works, SignForce is the signage business to work with.
Contact SignForce now on firstname.lastname@example.org or call +27 (0)11 440 7525 or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413
Find out more about SignForce by visiting http://www.signforce.co.za
* In many ways signage has and will always be a creative purchase. From the origins of signage where artists would use their creative talents to assist their clients in order to create attractive signs, to today where those same concepts are still being practiced. In the modern world of signage the ranges and depth of materials, processes and finishes has amplified. Practically this AMPLIFICATION allows for greater choices, however with depth of choice comes a greater need to be acutely aware of one’s requirements, how one wants their sign to look, what one wants the sign to achieve, the potential costs involved and the buyer’s associated budget. Because of the depth of possibilities unless EXPLICITELY stated in a quote it is extremely possible that while the buyer thinks they are comparing apples to apples that they are not in fact doing so, and are rather unknowingly comparing apples to banana’s.
** Samples are a great way of assessing what a company is capable of producing. That said in South Africa more often than not the client EXPECTS samples to be custom made to scale and are not prepared to contribute towards said sample. While it is understandable that a client would not want to pay for a poor quality sample, there are costs involved, and it is not always practical or equitable, to expect the sign supplier to carry the cost of said samples.