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Thread: Markups on pool parts

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    Markups on pool parts

    I don't know your pool guy so don't be offended by my comments. One word of caution, use a licensed contractor for any work like installing a new heater. Does your pool guy carry liability insurance? Did you know that if someone works on your house and is not licensed and their work causes damage and you try to go thru your insurance company they could deny your claim and also cancel your policy? It has happened so check your policy before you allow any person to do work on your property. What about if he gets hurt during the install? If he's not properly licensed and insured, he could sue you.

    If he installed parts and the unit still didn't work, tell him to remove the parts. You should owe nothing. He can return the parts to where ever he purchased them and get a refund. Yes he could also install the parts and the heater works for another day and then it's another part that is bad. It happens and is the chance anyone takes.

    He is not buying direct from the manufacturer unless he has a wholesaler agreement with them. Manufacturers sell to distribution houses and they sell to the end person like him. Build quality? Haha, that's a good one. I wonder how many people fall for that. I very rarely will install a unit someone else buys. The reason is if I install it and it doesn't work the homeowner could say I broke it during the install. Now I will have to argue with the owner. Now if they purchase thru me and it doesn't work after the install, I can take it back to my supplier and get another unit. It would be a pain in the butt to get a refund/exchange thru an internet place not to mention the time it would take. Also check their return policy.

    As for the efficiency of a pool heater, be very careful of these claims. Have you ever priced out a high efficiency gas furnace for your house and compared the price to a regular unit? Considerable price difference. However, gas pool heater prices all seem to be along the same price. Wouldn't you think a higher efficiency unit would cost more? Also consider your cost of ownership for the unit. What kind of parts are inside and how much would it cost to fix down the road when it breaks. Just like a car, the more parts the greater the repair cost.

    Just remember one thing, use a licensed contractor and protect yourself and your family. It could be a costly problem should something go wrong.
    Paul
    http://www.gastekservices.com A word of caution: When working with gas and electrical you might want to consider a licensed contractor. Consider the value of your life and others around you. If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. gastek - Google Search,

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    Re: Pool guy telling the truth?

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406
    I used to advocate letting the pool company do it. For reasons stated above. However I've really changed my mind on that advice. You can get a new heater online for basically contractors price. Then, install it yourself. It's not that difficult and you'll save a ton of money. If you can't do it, you can find someone who can. As far as a warranty goes, the manufacturer has to warrent it. I've pretty much stopped buying stuff from brick and mortar when I can ship amazon, get it cheaper and with no tax.
    The manufacturer "doesn't" have to warranty it. Lets say the installer forgets to ground it properly, the manufacturer will not warranty it for repair. A manufacturer can find many ways to get out of the warranty. Be careful saying they "have" to warranty it.
    Paul
    http://www.gastekservices.com A word of caution: When working with gas and electrical you might want to consider a licensed contractor. Consider the value of your life and others around you. If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. gastek - Google Search,

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    Re: Pool guy telling the truth?

    Quote Originally Posted by faby3003
    $650 seems like a lot for a heater install, assuming the gas and electrical are already run.

    My pool guy said he'd replace a heater for $100 if I buy the heater from him. Comparing his heater prices to the best prices I can find online, he has about a $200 mark-up. So, I'd be paying $300 total for the heater install.
    It always amazes me when people complain about the price. Next time you go to get new brakes on your car, tell them you won't pay their markup price on parts. Tell them you want the prices you can get it for at the auto parts store.

    In my area, $650 is a fair price for disconnecting and removing the old unit from the property, properly installing the new, and then properly disposing of the old unit.
    Paul
    http://www.gastekservices.com A word of caution: When working with gas and electrical you might want to consider a licensed contractor. Consider the value of your life and others around you. If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. gastek - Google Search,

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    Re: Pool guy telling the truth?

    $650 is way too much for something simple like replacing a heater when the lines are already in place. That would run $250 to $400 where I am.

    It is perfectly reasonable to negotiate over price, people do it all the time and often get a better price for the exact same work as a result. Knowing what the parts cost on the Internet is a wonderful way to arm yourself with extra information so you have some idea if the contractor is cheating you or not. I've had an air conditioner repair person try to charge me $280 for a $7 relay, on top of the $175 minimum for a service visit. That is just ridiculous and if I didn't know what that relay actually cost I would have been ripped off.

    When doing pool repairs I often negotiate over the price of the parts. Sometimes my pool service person has me buy the parts, so I take the risk that the eBay seller is going to cheat me, other times they can beat any price I can find. I get better prices this way and they still get $125 an hour for their time, which is a good wage even counting their overhead costs.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Pool guy telling the truth?

    As long as it was installed correctly, the warranty has to be honored. The days of paying a markup on parts and materials are over. The same heater I buy on amazon is the same one the pool guy gets at about his same price. There isn't a Hayward factory making amazon dot com heaters and heaters that pool guys buy.
    And 650 is outrageous for a heater install. I'm in Massachusetts and even for us thats a 200 job at most.


    I bought a Kohler electronic valve for a new shower off amazon for 800. Retail from a plumber was 1200. Guess which one I bought. Same valve.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Pool guy telling the truth?

    Quote Originally Posted by ps0303


    It always amazes me when people complain about the price. Next time you go to get new brakes on your car, tell them you won't pay their markup price on parts. Tell them you want the prices you can get it for at the auto parts store.
    I did that very thing with the toyota dealer. An HID headlight went out on my car. Some brilliant engineer designed it so the bumper basically has to get dropped to change it. The dealer was going to charge me $175 for just the light. I told him i wasnt paying the markup. i bought one for $90 from the autoparts stor and had toyota install it. He got his outragous labor charge, andhe installed my bulb. Like I said in my previous post, people are going to have to come to the realization that upcharging and marking up parts is, or soon will be, a thing of the past. People just arent going to pay it anymore.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Pool guy telling the truth?

    Marking up parts will NOT be a thing of the past. In order for people to live and survive it has to be done. Yes there are some people that gouge but it's not the majority. I don't gouge but I make a profit to survive. Look at what has happened to this country because people wanted to cut costs, outsourcing. So lets continue this path and see how far we as a country can get ourselves further into debt and more unemployed.

    Until you run your own business you have no idea of the cost to keep the doors open, the lights on, and pay other bills. A business that doesn't charge appropriately will not survive and they will be out of business shortly. I'm in business to make money, not break even. I have a family to cloth, feed, and house just like you. Making a few dollars on parts put me out of business. Even colleges teach courses on business and how it works. You should read Markup & Profit by Michael Stone.

    You can't always compare the cost of a part on the internet. That place got the part at a wholesale price. I routinely check a price of parts against my supplier and the prices here on the internet are many times far below what I am charged. So it's kind of unfair to compare. Plus they are trying to profit on volume where as the repair guy isn't. Unless it's a rare part I do not purchase from the internet as I have then pay for shipping and I also have to wait a few days. I carry parts on my truck and I can walk up to a heater and have it repaired the same day on the same visit. Pretty good service from what I see. Other places have to order parts and then when they get it and find out that there is another part bad and it needs to be replaced now have the customer waiting.

    $125 an hour? Well no wonder you negotiate on parts. Here the highest is $85-$95 and hour. So you make some of your costs up on your hourly. So see, it all equals out I guess.

    Does everyone think Henry Ford only made a few dollars per car he sold?

    And it's not always a simple replacement unless it's the same heater and everything lines up.

    We live in America and we are free to choose things but remember that we also need to keep our brothers employed and help them feed their families. If we don't continue to do this then our flag will be the color of all the nations we are paying to do all of our work.
    Paul
    http://www.gastekservices.com A word of caution: When working with gas and electrical you might want to consider a licensed contractor. Consider the value of your life and others around you. If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. gastek - Google Search,

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    Re: Pool guy telling the truth?

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406
    Quote Originally Posted by ps0303


    It always amazes me when people complain about the price. Next time you go to get new brakes on your car, tell them you won't pay their markup price on parts. Tell them you want the prices you can get it for at the auto parts store.
    I did that very thing with the toyota dealer. An HID headlight went out on my car. Some brilliant engineer designed it so the bumper basically has to get dropped to change it. The dealer was going to charge me $175 for just the light. I told him i wasnt paying the markup. i bought one for $90 from the autoparts stor and had toyota install it. He got his outragous labor charge, andhe installed my bulb. Like I said in my previous post, people are going to have to come to the realization that upcharging and marking up parts is, or soon will be, a thing of the past. People just arent going to pay it anymore.

    You wouldn't bring a steak to the restaurant and ask the chef to cook it up for you?
    Paul
    http://www.gastekservices.com A word of caution: When working with gas and electrical you might want to consider a licensed contractor. Consider the value of your life and others around you. If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. gastek - Google Search,

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    Re: Pool guy telling the truth?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    When doing pool repairs I often negotiate over the price of the parts. Sometimes my pool service person has me buy the parts, so I take the risk that the eBay seller is going to cheat me, other times they can beat any price I can find. I get better prices this way and they still get $125 an hour for their time, which is a good wage even counting their overhead costs.

    So who warranties the part? If the pool service installs it and three days later it is broken, who pays to replace it? If you do, are you paying another service fee for it? Granted it should never happen but you have to consider all of the options.

    If I sell and install the part I warranty it for 90 days. If it breaks again in 90 days I come back, replace the part again, and the owner pays nothing. Not a bad deal I would say. Of course it's all built into my pricing to be able to offer this type of warranty.
    Paul
    http://www.gastekservices.com A word of caution: When working with gas and electrical you might want to consider a licensed contractor. Consider the value of your life and others around you. If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. gastek - Google Search,

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    Re: Pool guy telling the truth?

    People are going to have to change the way business is done, thats all. You can either adapt, or go under. It's that simple. I'm not here to help someone else make profit, thats on them to figure it out. As a consumer, I do whats best for my wallet. And yes, markin up parts and materials is going away, sooner than you think. And the steak analogy doesnt work. Different set of circumstances.


    Quote Originally Posted by ps0303
    Marking up parts will NOT be a thing of the past. In order for people to live and survive it has to be done. .
    No it doesnt. My father was in the plumbing business for 45 years. Never marked up a part in his life. Never even charged by the hour either. Charged by the job. This marking up parts and materials is actually a relative new thing that will go the way of the dodo bird if guys want to stay in business.

    Quote Originally Posted by ps0303

    Of course it's all built into my pricing to be able to offer this type of warranty.
    I dont need your warrenty, I'll get it from the manufacturer. Everything you buy has a warrenty card. i fill it out, send it in. Pretty simple.
    I bought a gas stove. Installed it myself. Needed a new part since the one that came with it was defective. I called for warrenty service, the guy was here in 2 days and fixed it. Never entered a brick and mortar store.

    We'll agree to disagree and move on.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Markups on pool parts

    bk406,

    You are truly misguided. Parts markups have been around since Henry Ford built the first car. Auto repair shops having been marking up parts since the beginning as well. I'm not sure where you get your information from. It's not just something new that was invented in the last 20 years. All business has markup. And the steak analogy does work, it's all markup.

    I could charge by the job as well but I will still be covering my costs and then some. There is no difference. You either charge cost plus, flat rate, or time and material. Either way a profit is made.

    Everything doesn't come with a warranty card.

    I'm happy for you that you can do things for yourself. Marking up parts will be around long after you and I are gone.
    Paul
    http://www.gastekservices.com A word of caution: When working with gas and electrical you might want to consider a licensed contractor. Consider the value of your life and others around you. If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. gastek - Google Search,

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    Re: Markups on pool parts

    The Internet is putting a big dent in parts markup. Before it was difficult to have any idea what parts costs, or where you could buy them. Now, with the Internet, parts costs are as close as Google. That is causing a dramatic change in business practices, and will have an even larger impact over the next ten or twenty years.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Markups on pool parts

    I worked in the wholesale HVAC parts business for many years. It was common place to have a technician come into my parts counter, have me look up the part or he would know what he wanted. I would quote him a price, let's say it was $50 for a motor, he would pick up his cell phone, call the homeowner and say the part was in-stock, the price for the part was $100 and the labor would be X dollars for the installation time. This was before the tech would buy the part from me. Doubling the part cost, 100% mark-up, was the norm for parts under $100 wholesale.

    I feel the mark-up is what covers the cost of doing the research and driving to the parts store to get the part. These are the repair companies labor costs outside the of diagnosis and repair. the mark-up covers these. Yes, you can find the part online and ship it to you home but the homeowner is now doing the labor of finding and ordering and delivering the part to the jobsite.
    -- Guy --
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    Re: Markups on pool parts

    Normally, I wouldn't join in this type of conversation, but I feel compelled to in this case....

    I recently wanted to add automation to our new pool. I knew exactly the brand, model number, and part numbers for everything I needed, as Pentair support was very helpful. The next step, of course, was to get an idea what all of this would cost. I first went to the web and found I was able to get prices online for everything I needed. I memory serves, I think the total online cost was $2500 or so. I knew I didn't have the skills to install it myself, so I next went looking at how to get it all from local pool stores/companies. My first call was to our PB, who told me they'd recommend I get what I need online and have them install it. They said their total install price would in the neighborhood of $750 or so, as they said it would take just about a full day for their electrician. I took this under advisement, then called another local pool store. They told me they wouldn't install anything not purchased from them, period. So I asked them for a price on everything I needed, and was floored when they told me it would be around $4,000...and that's without the charge for installing it. Leslie's was next to useless...they're listed as a Pentair dealer, but, even after giving them a list of what I needed, they never called back with a price. In the end, I opted to buy what I needed online and pay my PB for the installation.

    Honestly, I would have been willing to pay about $500 more from a local source, but $1,500 more? No way!
    16 x 31, Approx. 12,000 Gal Freeform IG pool; Flagstone coping; Quartzscapes Super Blue plaster finish; Tanning ledge w/2 bubblers; 1 HP Pentair Whisperflo pump, Pentair sand filter; (2) Pentair Intellibrite LEDs w/controller; Easytouch8 w/IC-40 SWG; Salt finish concrete decking.

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    Re: Markups on pool parts

    Just remember, almost everyone has the ability to Google a part these days. When/if I pay someone to install service equipment I am paying for expertise and labor hours, not his/her parts markup, because as part of excellent customer service I expect them to also find their parts at the best possible price and pass those saving on to the customer. Make your profit on your expertise and service, not on reaming your customers for parts markup or you will end up on Angies List, and not in a good way. And yes, I do own my own business, profitabley, using the model above and good word of mouth from cutomers who value my integrety and expertise.
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Doheny Jet Drive (RIP -Pool Rover Jr) - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

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    Re: Markups on pool parts

    Tech guy is on the money. It's a sliding scale. Cheap parts get marked up a lot to cover the fixed costs of procurement. Very expensive parts that you don't stock might not get marked up at all. If I have a customer that uses me to come in and identify the parts he needs, then he gets a diagnostic bill for the time to diagnose and install, where the customer that just says fix it has the parts-related costs buried in the mark up for the part. I will work it however the customer wants, but if they get the parts, warranty is on them.

    It will work any way you want to go, but the tech has to make his bread or he goes out of business and won't be around to help later.

    On a lot of stuff I am like bk and do myself from soup to nuts, but realize that there are risks inherent in that approach. What am I going to do if that heater I installed burns my house down because I did something wrong? You have to balance the risk-reward. A lot of what you pay for is to have an avenue of recourse when things go bad. That mark up on the heater? Yeah some of that goes to cover the liability policy of the company doing the work.

    Now those ridiculous mark ups that some give? That means its not something they do very often and will in all likelyhood sub out. The more hands a part passes through the more it will cost. Something as simple as travertine... I was quoted ridiculous prices until I hunted up the supply chain to the importer. I was buying enough to justify dealing directly with them and paid about a tenth the cost the contractor quoted me.
    (DIY):16K Gal 20X30 rectangular IG Gunite, w/spa, CCP 520 filter,2 Pentair VS pumps, 400KBTU Pentair gas heater, Heat Pump for cooling, **update5.25.2013** added an intellichem with acid pump that will control existing SWG. My Build Thread Here

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    Re: Markups on pool parts

    I don't profess to have a complete understanding of how a pool equipment manufacturer (say, Pentair, for example) goes to market with their products, but it's certainly anything but friendly to the average homeowner. Both our local pool supply company and our pool builder admitted the prices I got online for the automation equipment I wanted were lower than their costs, and this in itself tells me something's not right with the marketing model. I know our PB would be buying from the same pool supply company I spoke to, so I understand his price would be higher. However, I suspect our local pool supply store doesn't buy direct from the manufacturer, and instead purchases from a regional or national distributor. So you've got markups at the big distributor, local pool store, and the pool builder...all before the homeowner buys it. A pool builder who builds 20-40 pools a year probably isn't big enough in the eyes of Pentair to buy direct from them....and is probably viewed by the big distributor the same way. (This being said, I suspect Hayward is a bit friendlier to smaller pool builders than is Pentair...just a feeling on my part). Anyway, my point is that the big distributor probably gets a 30% margin, the local pool supply store probably wants at least 40% , and the pool builder probably wants around 30% or so.....too many markups, in my humble opinion.
    16 x 31, Approx. 12,000 Gal Freeform IG pool; Flagstone coping; Quartzscapes Super Blue plaster finish; Tanning ledge w/2 bubblers; 1 HP Pentair Whisperflo pump, Pentair sand filter; (2) Pentair Intellibrite LEDs w/controller; Easytouch8 w/IC-40 SWG; Salt finish concrete decking.

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    Re: Markups on pool parts

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    The Internet is putting a big dent in parts markup. Before it was difficult to have any idea what parts costs, or where you could buy them. Now, with the Internet, parts costs are as close as Google. That is causing a dramatic change in business practices, and will have an even larger impact over the next ten or twenty years.

    Jason are you aware google is now monetizing their shopping search engine? Recent years of easy price searches may be drawing to a close.
    (DIY):16K Gal 20X30 rectangular IG Gunite, w/spa, CCP 520 filter,2 Pentair VS pumps, 400KBTU Pentair gas heater, Heat Pump for cooling, **update5.25.2013** added an intellichem with acid pump that will control existing SWG. My Build Thread Here

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    Re: Markups on pool parts

    Quote Originally Posted by Lershac
    Jason are you aware google is now monetizing their shopping search engine? Recent years of easy price searches may be drawing to a close.
    If Google actually breaks their service, someone else will step in. eBay is just as good for many things already, and Microsoft would just love to find an opening here. Regardless, easy access to pricing is here to stay.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Markups on pool parts

    As noted elsewhere. I am on a very tight budget. I don't know about pool mark-ups (except Leslie's outrageous prices for Sch 40 PVC). but here is a problem I had, and what i ran into:

    My furnace is a first-gen electronic everything. Making it worse, everything is on t single board.

    I found a HVAC forum with a a 'No DIY" policy - they would not tell me what the one or 2 wires I didn't recognize did.

    I ended up buying ($390) the replacement board and cutting and splicing as needed. The MSRP on the board was $550.
    I googled (and found a fellow on another forum who figured he wasn't going to get the work anyway (he is in Dayton, me Sacramento) and explained how the thing functioned (heat and A/c). I finally deduced the purpose of a radio crystal on a furnace and the funny looking wire on the other side of the burner igniter.
    When I asked for confirmation of my identifications, I got nothing but (more) scorn.

    My last post there concerned a starter capacitor - a fellow's father-in-law was a pack rat who had 3 units sitting around (new, unused). He grabbed the capacitor from one and put it on his unit and asked if there was a problem.
    With this group, any time anyone without a license does anything, there is a problem. The poor guy was deluded with dire warnings.

    The replacement capacitor had a slightly higher microfarad rating. I simply asked the difference between what the pros did when they installed a "hard start kit" and what this fellow had done. A hard start kit is a second capacitor wired in parallel with the original - thus raising the effective micro-farad rating of the capacitor.

    While I appreciate that the little HVAC shop is dying - it cost the little guy $50K to outfit a service van, same as it costs the mega shops, they are doing themselves no favors insisting that every homeowner pay them a $200/yr for "check ups" which do nothing except shoot some refrigerant into the manifold.
    One fellow posted pics of the install he got from some "pro" - the plenum was urethane board taped together with flex conduit wrapped around roof supports, run over joists in serpentine manner (almost completely blocking airflow.
    The consensus: "a good-enough install" I KNOW BETTER than that. If WE do it, pay up and be grateful we deign to take your money; YOU do it, your house will blow up.

    I'm seeing a lot of the same mentality in the pool business - first charge $60 to look at the equipment and then see what else absolutely MUST be replaced/refinished/repaired.
    Dave
    Sacramento
    1980's 15,000 Gal IG Plaster; 1 1/2 hp Hayward Northstar; Hayward Swimclear C3025 Cartridge Filter (325 sq ft, nom.); Pentair Legend; Polaris PB4-60; Equipment 40' from pool. p.s.: it's an aye-aye.

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