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TOPIC: Under Cut Pricing

RE:Under Cut Pricing 25 May 2009 13:05 #46

  • George Geist
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Mike Ferrara wrote:
Pat has told me a little about the test and, from what I remember, it doesn't sound like a test that's going to keep anybody out. I'm not sure I see how that's going to keep prices up.
It keeps out those who aren't qualified. I'd say anybody who's been doing this kind of work should have no problem with any testing whether by the respective associations, racing commissions or whoever.

What I can tell you from the Union's angle and I'm sure Tom can say from the Guild is that very oftentimes guys can be very interested in joining. Soon as they hear there's a test that's the last you ever see or hear from them. Just the existence of a test runs guys off.
From what I've been told of the old Il licensing test, it wasn't much of a test either....though they could fail you if they wanted to in order to keep you off a buddy's turf.
Sour grapes rumors and hearsay. Plenty of guys passed so I'm not ready to believe such things. What did happen out there was the test was changed a bunch of times. It was du mbed down, made easier, toward the end it was eliminated entirely in favor of having attended a fly-by-night horseshoeing school. It went from very challenging to very easy to non-existent so it would be important to ask about the time period.
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RE:Under Cut Pricing 25 May 2009 13:09 #47

  • Mike Ferrara
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George Geist wrote:
Balderdash! To say that insults every Illinois licensed horseshoer. I can't imagine Rick Burten ever being that way:eek:

Not balderdash. I don't recall ever running into Rick in those days but when some of my clients moved into a new barn and I showed up to shoe them I was threatened. Such things happened more than once though it was more likely to happen in certain areas. Naturally it just breaks my heart to think that one or more of those guys might be insulted.
On this stuff we agree. And earlier on I said that you guys would come up with no solution to the problem of price cutting. Not only have you not done so but you have even said you don't see it as a problem.

With this I must agree with Bruce in that your only reason for posting is to be argumentative.
George

I don't see it as a problem. There are three key attributes of a product/service that determine how well it's received by the target market. Those are cost, quality and delivery. Competing on the basis of cost is completely legitimate. In seeking "bang for the buck" a consumer is going to look for the combination of cost, quality and delivery that meets their needs/tastes.

The search for ways to meet the needs of the market drives innovation. That's also a good thing. It's incumbent on the seller to make the sale.

Why shouldn't a farrier who's new or new to an area with no local reputation charge less? What's wrong with earning your place in the business? Why shouldn't a farrier who isn't as good or as versatile, make less? Why should anyone who passes some minimal test make the same?

I didn't start out in shoeing making top dollar. My first job out of college didn't pay much either. I had to claw my way through three or four promotions before I made any kind of money. Those were promotions awarded on merit.
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RE:Under Cut Pricing 25 May 2009 13:17 #48

  • Mike Ferrara
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George Geist wrote:
Sour grapes rumors and hearsay. Plenty of guys passed so I'm not ready to believe such things. What did happen out there was the test was changed a bunch of times. It was du mbed down, made easier, toward the end it was eliminated entirely in favor of having attended a fly-by-night horseshoeing school. It went from very challenging to very easy to non-existent so it would be important to ask about the time period.
George

It is hearsay because I didn't witness it. However, what I've been told about the testing was told to me by guys who took the test and were licensed in Il. In fact, the guy who taught me and got me started was licensed in Il when there was a test. What sour grapes?
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RE:Under Cut Pricing 25 May 2009 13:26 #49

  • George Geist
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Mike Ferrara wrote:
Not balderdash. I don't recall ever running into Rick in those days but when some of my clients moved into a new barn and I showed up to shoe them I was threatened. Such things happened more than once though it was more likely to happen in certain areas. Naturally it just breaks my heart to think that one or more of those guys might be insulted.
You could have filed a criminal complaint. That is of course unless you were working someplace unlicensed:)

Proper way to deal with that is to ask the individual if he'd been paid. If he had it would have been no problem. If not, you're creating a big problem. Newer guys don't understand proper protocal and schools encourage guys to be that way too.
Why shouldn't a farrier who's new or new to an area with no local reputation charge less?
He's doing the same job as me he oughta be getting paid the same as me. By undercutting it holds averages down. Works the same as the minimum wage. In this respect everybody's pay is set by the entry level.
What's wrong with earning your place in the business?
Nothing that's why I advocate testing.
Why shouldn't a farrier who isn't as good or as versatile, make less?
As Gary Miller would say by who's standard? Who's to say who's as good as who? In my time I've worked alongside guys who made every tool in their box. Now I work alongside guys who can't even make a horseshoe. Being good is really overrated.
Why should anyone who passes some minimal test make the same?
Because they've earned their place in the trade.
I didn't start out in shoeing making top dollar.
That was your choice. You probably could have if you wanted to.
My first job out of college didn't pay much either. I had to claw my way through three or four promotions before I made any kind of money.
Was also your choice. You agreed to work for what was offered and you were paid what you were told you'd be paid.
George
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RE:Under Cut Pricing 25 May 2009 13:38 #50

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Depending on the miles I must travel I can shoe the horse for under $15.
That covers it all even taxes on the truck.:D

That being said I charge a bit more. :p

It's a free market. If you just can't deal with that type of competition the financial version of Darwin will be looking for you. ;)

As a lot of this business is small barns, backyards, and private $ treaty it's hard to control with fascism. In short you just can’t do anything about low priced Farriers so you had better have something to offer.:)
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RE:Under Cut Pricing 25 May 2009 13:38 #51

  • Mike Ferrara
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George Geist wrote:
It keeps out those who aren't qualified.

Unqualified for what? Is there some test out there that covers everthing? Does passing the PA track test or even the AFA jouneymen test prove that a farrier is qualified for every kind of shoeing out there? I don't think so.
I'd say anybody who's been doing this kind of work should have no problem with any testing whether by the respective associations, racing commissions or whoever.

LOL except that if the test is an entry requirement it stands to reason that the person hasn't been doing this kind of work...but which kind is that?

What I can tell you from the Union's angle and I'm sure Tom can say from the Guild is that very oftentimes guys can be very interested in joining. Soon as they hear there's a test that's the last you ever see or hear from them. Just the existence of a test runs guys off.

Now we're back at the bottom line, right? Creating barriers to entry for the purpose of limiting competition.

The associations appear to have the same problems that a lot of farriers are apparently having. They are failing in making the sale and they want to blame everybody else. There couldn't possibly be anything wrong with the product being offered, right? The real test is in servicing the market and it's the associations who are failing that test.
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RE:Under Cut Pricing 25 May 2009 14:00 #52

  • Mike Ferrara
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George Geist wrote:
You could have filed a criminal complaint.
That'd be the day.
That is of course unless you were working someplace unlicensed:)

As far as I know, licensing wasn't required and I never had anybody ask if I had one.

Proper way to deal with that is to ask the individual if he'd been paid. If he had it would have been no problem. If not, you're creating a big problem.
The first time this happened, they were my clients who had moved into the barn wearing my shoes.

I don't know if I dealt with it in the proper way but I dealt with in the way we dealt with such things in those days.


He's doing the same job as me he oughta be getting paid the same as me.
Why?
By undercutting it holds averages down.

As a consumer, I like the sound of that.
Works the same as the minimum wage.

A minimum wage mandated by law is a bad idea too.

As Gary Miller would say by who's standard? Who's to say who's as good as who?

The one paying the bill, of course. The client.

In my time I've worked alongside guys who made every tool in their box. Now I work alongside guys who can't even make a horseshoe. Being good is really overrated.

There's no reason that the client should care where you got your tools or, for that matter, where you got the shoe. If you want the client to pay, you need to offer something that's of value to the client. Trying to offer them what's of value to you is silly. If you want to get paid for being able to make tools, then you should be selling tools.
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RE:Under Cut Pricing 25 May 2009 14:01 #53

  • George Geist
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Mike Ferrara wrote:
Unqualified for what? Is there some test out there that covers everthing? Does passing the PA track test or even the AFA jouneymen test prove that a farrier is qualified for every kind of shoeing out there? I don't think so.
I think all of the associations tests are good. Racing commissions tests are especially good because they are geared toward that particular specialty.
Now we're back at the bottom line, right? Creating barriers to entry for the purpose of limiting competition.
No. is about keeping out the unqualified and inept. Nobody ever improved through a lack of competition. Guys who say what you did will also say in the next breath they welcome hacks cause it makes them look better. That's a cop out and shows a fear of leaving a comfort zone.
The associations appear to have the same problems that a lot of farriers are apparently having. They are failing in making the sale and they want to blame everybody else. There couldn't possibly be anything wrong with the product being offered, right? The real test is in servicing the market and it's the associations who are failing that test.
And what would you have the respective associations do differently?
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RE:Under Cut Pricing 25 May 2009 14:10 #54

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Mike Ferrara wrote:

As a consumer, I like the sound of that.
Why? You a horseshoer or an owner who tacks shoes on?
A minimum wage mandated by law is a bad idea too.
Your opinion. Feel free to quote Rush anytime:rolleyes:
The one paying the bill, of course. The client.
Couldn't disagree more. Most haven't the qualifications to judge.
There's no reason that the client should care where you got your tools or, for that matter, where you got the shoe. If you want the client to pay, you need to offer something that's of value to the client.
Gee when I was in my 20s I got a lot of giggly teenage girls hired me because they liked my butt.:) Was that the most intelligent way for them to make decisions about their horses hoofcare?
George
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RE:Under Cut Pricing 25 May 2009 14:19 #55

  • Mike Ferrara
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George Geist wrote:
No. is about keeping out the unqualified and inept.

How are the unqualified and inept a threat to you?

Nobody ever improved through a lack of competition. Guys who say what you did will also say in the next breath they welcome hacks cause it makes them look better. That's a cop out and shows a fear of leaving a comfort zone.
And what would you have the respective associations do differently?

But I didn't say that I welcome the hacks. I mind my business and I let others mind theirs.
And what would you have the respective associations do differently?

I don't care what they do. If I ever decide to go into the association business, I'll give it some thought.
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RE:Under Cut Pricing 25 May 2009 14:33 #56

  • Mike Ferrara
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George Geist wrote:
Why? You a horseshoer or an owner who tacks shoes on?

When I must purchase a product or service with money that I worked for I want the best quality and the most quantity and the fastest delivery that I can get for my money. Why shoulod hiring a farrier be any different?

Your opinion. Feel free to quote Rush anytime:rolleyes:

No need to quote anybody. It should be up to an employer to decide what a job is worth to them and it's up to the employee to decide whether or not they want the job. All the minimum wage does is reduce the number of minimum wage type jobs that are available. A business can't pay it out if it isn't coming in.
Couldn't disagree more. Most haven't the qualifications to judge.

The client is the only one qualified to judge since it's their money.
Gee when I was in my 20s I got a lot of giggly teenage girls hired me because they liked my butt.:) Was that the most intelligent way for them to make decisions about their horses hoofcare?
George

Who cares? It's their money and they can spend it on what they want.
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RE:Under Cut Pricing 25 May 2009 14:52 #57

  • Rick Burten
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Mike Ferrara wrote:
From what I've been told of the old Il licensing test, it wasn't much of a test either....though they could fail you if they wanted to in order to keep you off a buddy's turf.
Its been a while and the memory fades, but IIC,the test was somewhat like the AFA CF practical except that the shoes had to be hand made. The candidate also stood before the panel and had to answer questions about shoeing and related issues. Unfortunately, there were instances where a candidate failed because he was going to be setting up in someone's area. And, since the exams were only given once a year, if you didn't pass, you were done until the next year when you could try again. Until you passed the exams, you could not legally work as a horseshoer in Illinois.
If I remember right, you had to make one shoe and shoe one foot?
Two feet.
I think you also had to weld a calk on or something.
You had to braze on a pair of jar caulks. Often, to test the strength of the braze, one of the examiners would hold the shoe on edge over the horn and loose a mighty blow with a 2+ pound rounding hammer on the side of the caulk. If it popped off, you failed. And if you failed any part of the exam, you failed all of the exam and had to start from scratch the next year.
My old teacher brought his own horse to the test. Was it a requirement to supply your own horse?
I don't remember but I can sure find out if you are interested.
As I've been told, the way the test was often done was to pre-shoe the horse...and pull the shoe. At the test, you spent some time handling your tools while holding the foot or shoe like you were doing something and then just tack the same shoe back on.
I don't know about that charge either but I'll try to find out.
The hand made shoe was often pre-made and burried in the coal. They heat up some steel and beat on it for a bit. If it didn't go so well or time ran short, they simply burried the junk shoe in the coal and pulled out the pre-made shoe.
I have heard rumors of this practice but cannot swear to whether it actually happened or not. And, guaranteed, no one was/is telling any tales. Its a case of "What happens in Springfield, Il. stays in Springfield, Il."
It probably did limit the number of farriers because you weren't going there to be tested. You were going there to get permission from the ruling class.
Unfortunately, in some instances, there is a kernel of truth in that observation/statement.:(
Rick Burten PF

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RE:Under Cut Pricing 25 May 2009 14:59 #58

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Mike Ferrara;159431 wrote:
Not balderdash. I don't recall ever running into Rick in those days but when some of my clients moved into a new barn and I showed up to shoe them I was threatened.[/quiote]
Sorry to say George, but it did happen. Not often and not with every farrier, but it did happen.

Also, you were required to carry your license and display it in a conspicuous place in your rig. On more than one occasion a farrier would be shoeing at a barn, another farrier would show up and when he didn't see the license, call the sheriff and have the other farrier hauled away.

And Mike, if you didn't have an Illinois license back in the day and someone wanted to, they could have had you arrested. Horseshoers weren't so collegial back in those days. And, sad to say, but if the licensing requirement was still in place in Illinois, I think that there are still those who would do the same thing again. Especially in tough economic times. But hey, that's just my opinion.....

By the way, the same cr-apola still goes on in the hiring policies at the University of Illinois even though Civil Service regulations are supposed to be in play.
Rick Burten PF

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RE:Under Cut Pricing 25 May 2009 15:02 #59

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The hand made shoe was often pre-made and burried in the coal. They heat up some steel and beat on it for a bit. If it didn't go so well or time ran short, they simply burried the junk shoe in the coal and pulled out the pre-made shoe.


Rick Burten wrote:

I have heard rumors of this practice but cannot swear to whether it actually happened or not. And, guaranteed, no one was/is telling any tales. Its a case of "What happens in Springfield, Il. stays in Springfield, Il."

I've had guys tell me that they had their backup strategically buried, though I've never heard anyone say that they had to use it.
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RE:Under Cut Pricing 25 May 2009 15:13 #60

  • Mike Ferrara
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Rick Burten wrote:
Mike Ferrara said...Not balderdash. I don't recall ever running into Rick in those days but when some of my clients moved into a new barn and I showed up to shoe them I was threatened.[/quiote]
Sorry to say George, but it did happen. Not often and not with every farrier, but it did happen.

I didn't have it happen often or in many places. My experiences were with just a couple of people in a couple boarding barns of one area.

Also, you were required to carry your license and display it in a conspicuous place in your rig. On more than one occasion a farrier would be shoeing at a barn, another farrier would show up and when he didn't see the license, call the sheriff and have the other farrier hauled away.

And Mike, if you didn't have an Illinois license back in the day and someone wanted to, they could have had you arrested. Horseshoers weren't so collegial back in those days. And, sad to say, but if the licensing requirement was still in place in Illinois, I think that there are still those who would do the same thing again. Especially in tough economic times. But hey, that's just my opinion.....

By the way, the same cr-apola still goes on in the hiring policies at the University of Illinois even though Civil Service regulations are supposed to be in play.

I'm pretty certain that licensing was dead before I did any shoeing on my own. I may have been shoeing in Bob's place when it was still in effect but I would have been an "apprentice".
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