Caveat Emptor, Caveat Venditor

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Yes, we still make and sell doors.

No, we haven’t opened a Latin school.

The title was prompted by a discussion I had with a friend about rights. We all know the phrase ‘Caveat Emptor’ means ‘Let the Buyer Beware’, meaning buyers should be wary of unscrupulous sellers, who may hide defects in goods sold. Fair enough. But does a seller have any protection from ‘shady’ buyers? Well, ‘Caveat Venditor’ i.e. ‘Let the seller beware’, is about it. What happens when both parties think the other is out to cheat them?

This lesson in law and Latin was prompted by a recent incident that happened to a mate of mine, who runs a similar business. He had submitted a quote to supply a set of warehouse doors and the client took a long time to respond. When he finally did, he not only rejected the quote; he also pointed out that he was being over-charged for the doors and threatened to report to the industry regulator.

The false accusation caused my mate to call the client and attempt to sort out the dilemma. After a long back and forth, they both realised where they went wrong. My mate had recommended that the doors be made of heavy-duty steel with 30swg laths, 120 mm wind guide, 170 mm tube; all custom-built to suit the clients’ needs.

The client on the other hand, had gone shopping for the cheapest steel shutter available. His cheapest quote was going to give him a shutter in standard steel with 20swg laths and 60 mm guides. There is nothing wrong with this specification; it is the most common type used in many shop fronts in the UK.

The dilemma is that this customer runs a electronics store, selling small but expensive (minimum of £700 RRP) electrical goods. These type of stores attract opportunistic smash and grab raiders. The client insisted on using the cheaper alternative. Three months later, his shop was rammed and goods worth over £100, 000 were carted off.

The lesson here is to research your options and find out which is best for your store.

With roller shutters becoming a very popular choice for protecting shop fronts in England, there is a wide range to choose from. Materials can range from different strengths of steel to aluminium and even polycarbonate. Colours and designs can be customized to match any colour scheme either by baking it in or painting company logos on the finished product. If you do your homework, you can have a visually stunning yet safe entrance into your shop.

Another example of Caveat Emptor occurs when we are discussing warranties. To get you to sign up with them, many companies will over-promise and under-deliver. I have heard of companies saying they don’t charge any call out fees for repairs within the warranty period. Others promise to come and repair any fault at ANY time of the day. Others offer free ‘lifetime’ upgrades. You can be sure that they will pad the final bill in one way or another to make up for these freebies.

These offers may seem great, but don’t be swayed into paying for what you do not need.

Take your time and think it through. Do not let an over-eager salesman pull the ‘limited slots available’ trick with you, to try and hasten your decision. And if a company doesn’t offer any warranty or something as ridiculous as a one year warranty, do yourself a favour and walk in the opposite direction. FAST.

At SRL Limited, we offer a free assessment and will present you with the options that we think will suit your shop front. Brick bond, Solid, Perforated lath, we show you available options and let you make the final decision. Give us a call today.

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