Tradeshop, the concept and how it works: Quality, Value and Service.
Tradeshop keeps a Register of Contractors. These are self employed builders, sole traders and small businesses covering every trade and many specialist professions. Our Contractors have to go through a vetting process which includes their full trading details, three references and copies of any certificates or 'cards' held plus their Public Liability Insurance. We keep copies of all the relevant information on file and check that it is kept up-to-date. We personally interview all Contractors and produce a 'Contractor Profile' which is presented to Customers before the Contractor meets the Customer.
Tradeshop advertises through leafleting and other media in our target area. We hope that, in time, the 'tradeshop message' will become self-promoting through word of mouth. The aim is to reach the public in their homes and encourage them to contact Tradeshop either through our website, in person to our premises (9am-5pm Mon-Fri ; 9-1pm Sat) or by telephone 24h message service if our premises are closed.
Tradeshop aims to allocate any new work to at least one Contractor within 24 working hours and for that Contractor to contact the Customer as soon as possible. We aim to attend to 'emergency' jobs within 24 working hours and to have an estimate or quote for 'routine' work within five working days. Projects should be quoted within 20 working days. Multiple estimates are possible, on request, for jobs estimated over £200 and we will do our best to obtain a number of quotes for jobs over £1000, within the limitations of our Register.
When a quote is submitted to us by a Contractor we will look at it. If it seems reasonable, given the job description that we have been given by the Customer, then we will forward an Estimate Statement to the Customer which they will have to sign for the work to go ahead. Only at this stage will we add our 5% introduction fee (or £10 minimum fee) to the net price from the Contractor, shown clearly on the form.
Tradeshop will then liaise with the Customer and the Contractor to schedule the work and see it through to a satisfactory conclusion. The Customer will then be invoiced for the amount in the Estimate Statement plus any additional works, if agreed by the Customer. If there is a dispute or a problem we will endeavour to resolve any issues by mediation, at our discretion. However, we will always be a first port of call so neither the builder nor the customer have to confront each other with any disagreement, they can always use us as a buffer.
Our terms of business are 10 working days payment following sign-off by the Customer or notice of completion by the Contractor. We accept payment by cheque or BACS and will soon be offering payment by card; this may attract an additional fee for credit cards. We undertake to settle with the Contractor within 48 working hours of cleared funds in our account.
Our office in Birchington is staffed six days a week 9am to 5pm (1pm Sat) and we are often open longer hours. We have a custom-built website which is simple, user-friendly and functional plus an answering machine for out of office hours. Both our staff and Contractors are presentable, helpful and knowledgeable and above all friendly. They are happy to discuss any project, building work or repair requirement that you may have.
Our job is to match the Customer with the right Contractor for the work required, we are not a charity and our fees are based on a high volume turnover which we hope to achieve through the Quality, Value and Service that we can offer. We have introduced the £10 minimum fee towards administrative costs.