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Onlinetradesmen.ie Survey identifies threat of black market for tradesmen

Onlinetradesmen.ie, Ireland’s largest network of qualified trade professionals, today released survey results on the outlook of the Irish trade sector in 2011. Based upon replies from over 6,400 tradesmen and builders nationwide, the results reveal an increase in black market activity within the home improvement sector as a main challenge for registered trade professionals hoping to stay in business during 2011.

84% of all tradesmen and builders indicated that an increased demand from property owners for ‘nixers’ or ‘cash only’ prices for their home improvement projects were making the sector difficult for compliant and registered trade professionals. Of those surveyed, 13% expect to go out of business during 2011. 

“These results simply confirm what we have seen on the ground in recent times within the sector as a whole“comments Ted Laverty, Managing Director of Onlinetradesmen.ie. “While our members are winning more business than most, tradesmen throughout the sector are reporting an increase in the number of property owners requesting ‘cash only’ prices for their home improvement projects. This is fuelling the black economy. Registered trade professionals with overheads such as insurance VAT and taxes are struggling to compete with non-compliant operators. This situation will result in more businesses failing within the sector in 2011 and the government needs to tackle it quickly.”

Onlinetradesmen.ie advises customers that hiring tradesmen on a ‘cash only’ and ‘low cost’ basis can cause problems down the line.

“Where VAT is not paid on a home improvement project, it can be difficult to claim against a builder or tradesman if their workmanship fails down the line. Going down the nixer route often results in poor workmanship and the use of low grade materials. We would strongly urge property owners to look at the long term picture when undertaking home improvement projects” comments Laverty.

 

 

About Onlinetradesmen.ie

Onlinetradesmen.ie is Ireland’s largest source of accredited trade professionals. It was launched in October 2005 with a view to removing the stress and uncertainty from Irish property owners in sourcing qualified trade professionals and to provide business support services to qualified trade professionals. It enables property owners to get online quotes, start dates and previous customer ratings back from the qualified trade professionals of Ireland from the comfort of their PC.  It has processed in excess of 300,000 home improvement projects to date. 

Onlinetradesmen.ie is the only accredited service of its kind. Partnerships with RECI, the Royal Institute of Architects (RIAI), the PSA and support from both FETAC and FAS ensure that its trade members are qualified. This provides property owners with confidence in the trade professionals sourced from the service and provides an alternative to unregulated trade listings. Trade members of the Onlinetradesmen.ie service receive local job leads, relevant product/service discounts and unique support features using an intuitive online platform. 

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We would strongly urge property owners to look at the long term picture when undertaking home improvement projects” comments Laverty.

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Cash only services will continue to increase as people begin to lose more of their jobs and are forced to deal with spreading the little money they have as far as possible.

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It is going to be a struggle for those that really need to have a thriving business who do not know how to sell themselves, because there will be many more "cash only" deals floating around.

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We wonder how things will turn out if this keeps going. It seems that the weak ones will be weeded out.

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