Suggestions on How to Handle the Contract of Goods & Services
Goods and services here in the south may not be at the same level as where you come from. Please keep that in mind when you are arranging for professional quotes, interviewing contractors, choosing or sourcing items.
Chile does well as an emerging market country; yet it lacks a solid manufacturing base and so many items still need to be imported from outside its borders. Goods brought in from overseas will have representational costs (shipping, duties, mark-ups) reflected in their price tags.
And if the sought after items are not available in local stores they will need to be sourced from more populated towns, regional cities or possibly the capital city of the country (Santiago). In some cases for unusual or hard to locate items this could mean time spent arranging for special orders to be made even including importation of those articles in some cases.
However, since we arrived the first time in 2004 we have seen a huge increase in the availability and diversity of house wares. But for those of you from overnight-delivery-economies with sophisticated shipping infrastructure already in place and Amazon warehouses overflowing with inventory, you will need time to adjust to a new reality.
Therefore we recommend that you take some extra measures before hiring for large jobs, ask to see samples of similar work on completed projects. Inquire on references or do a test-run with a smaller portion of a larger job before committing to hiring someone or making contractual relationships.
Workmanship is not the same here and there are more nuances for best practices when it comes to setting up deals, managing labor crews and other project details (too numerous to mention here). So talk to friends & neighbors, read blog posts, ask for referrals and don’t rush the process.
Things usually take more time to get done in Latin America so always keep that in mind. But if you have some patience, reasonable expectations, appreciation for operating in a different business culture and environment then things should go just fine.