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How To Spot Upselling

Upselling is a technique where a salesperson convinces a customer to purchase something more expensive than they originally planned and can be seen often in the home improvement industry. Our Resident Expert, Gregg Cantor, president of Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel explains the signs to look for to know if you are being upsold. Have a question for our experts? Ask here!

Details On “How To Spot Upselling”

Sean: Now, it’s time to Ask An Expert, where we tackle everyday home improvement topics, to help you, better understand your home. Today I’m with Gregg Cantor, our Resident Expert from Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel. And Gregg, today we’re talking about being upsold, sold things you don’t necessarily need or driving the price up. What are some of the ways this can manifest?

Gregg: One is a tech in the field, that’s on a sales commission, like in plumbing, heating and air.

Sean: Okay.

Gregg: Two is a low price, which to me is a telltale sign of what’s to come. And three would be a vague contract where there’s a lot of holes built into it intentionally, so that they can upsell you.

Sean: Let’s start with the tech in the field, that may be on a commission and the consumer doesn’t realize this. What’s the danger there?

Gregg: The danger is that the tech is going to strike fear into the homeowner and say that you need more repairs than are necessary.

Sean: So try and sell you things that you don’t need. How can you know if you’re being sold things you don’t need? A second opinion? Is that a good–

Gregg: Well first ask questions, but then if you don’t like the answers, then yes, get a second or a third opinion.

Sean: I always say, if you feel like there’s something wrong, listen to that voice.

Gregg: Right.

Sean: I think that’s always good advice. The other ones that you mentioned, the low price, now is that just a low price in general, but is a lower price than other companies are coming in within a range.

Gregg: Right.

Sean: In a bid.

Gregg: And the prudent thing to do is, to get two or three or four bids, but if one is drastically lower than the others, then to me that’s a giant red flag.

Sean: Yeah, there’s a range the good companies will come in. If somebody’s far below that, this might be a sign that there’s something wrong with that bid. The last one is vague contracts and companies that are going to try and fill in the gaps and raise your price.

Gregg: Absolutely, and first of all, you need to understand what is included in that contract and if there’s what’s called allowances to buy materials, you need to do your checking and some shopping, to make sure that the amounts match the quality of what you want in your job.

Sean: So what’s the advice here, to consumers overall? Is it to get other opinions to be able to if you feel like something’s not right, to listen to that voice. What’s the advice?

Gregg: Just don’t lay down. Ask questions and get a second opinion, especially if things don’t feel right to you inside.

Sean: Thanks Gregg. If you have questions for experts or want to see more information and previous questions, visit ApprovedHomePros.com in the Ask an Expert section.