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View Full Version : would you do this without quoting a price?


bobbygedd
09-21-2005, 09:53 AM
i'm very nervous about this. an aquaintence called, he owns 3 homes. he usually gets service from some scrub company, solo op, who is currently away on vacation. he asked if i could go to all 3 of his properties, and "cut the grass, trim the bushes....do whatever you think needs to be done, and fax a bill, i'll cut a check immediately." i was like, "well, let me look at it first, i'll give you a price." he insisted quoting the price was not important, it needs to be done, just do it, and send a bill. i'm a bit nervous, for a couple of reasons. first off, these people were good friends of ours, we kinda went our separate ways when the kids came along, but kept in touch a little. second, i don't think thier current scrub company charges professional rates, and i'm afraid when i submit a bill for $2000, he will flip. there is no mistrust issue. i trust i will get paid, no matter what. would you do the job, without quoting it? i plan on doing it today, he will be unavailable for phone contact all day, so i won't be able to call and quote a price. just do it?

stumper1620
09-21-2005, 10:01 AM
someone you know. 2 grand! no way, not without him being aware of the cost. knowing you will be paid is one thing, but not worth creating tensions between you. I would look it over today, give the quote this evening and do it tomorrow :D

Nosmo
09-21-2005, 12:10 PM
Stumper 1620 has the right idea. I would probably flip too if I got a bill for $2,000.00 (which seems to be your predetermined price) for having 3 yards mowed, trimmed, blowed off and a few bushes trimmed.

Let's get real about this. I hope these houses are close together (bet they are all rentals) so you can look at what you are getting into. Now that you have seen what is involved call the guy up again that night if he is not available during the rest of the day.

Tell him I prefer seeing a property , quoting a price and an agreement on the price before I start a job. This approach should calm down your nerves dealing with the guy.

Nosmo

topsites
09-21-2005, 12:18 PM
I think perhaps a busy schedule would come in handy at this point, aren't you all full up? And if you're not, shouldn't you be? :)

I've used that one many times with friends, just too busy right now... No offense but to me friends have no place in my business UNLESS I got a TON of spare time because in the end not only do I end up doing their job for at least 50% OFF while they feel they're doing me a great favor but in addition I always get the feeling that I'm breeding yet another little monster.

Nosmo
09-21-2005, 01:01 PM
Doing business with a friend might just lead to and ended friendship.

Doing business with an aquaintance (just somebody you know) is probably less risky than doing business with a friend.

Bobby's has an aquaintance who owns 3-houses. I'd still quote a price and get an agreement on this one before I started the job.

Nosmo

Nosmo
09-21-2005, 01:09 PM
You have an aquaintance who owns an automotive repair shop. You have your car worked on and are very unhappy with the job and state your reasons. You get no satisfaction from the owner (the aquaintance) so you no longer will have your car worked on there.

You have a friend who owns an automotive repair shop. You have your car worked on and are very unhappy with the job and state your reasons. You get no satisfaction from your friend (the owner) so you no longer will have your car worked on there and ---- you two are no longer friends.

Most of the time it is better to do business with someone
who is not a friend or aquaintance and I'd say it is better to
do business with just an aquaintance than a friend.

Nosmo

PMLAWN
09-21-2005, 03:57 PM
$2000 to cut 3 yards and trim bushes. I most definitely would shout the price first. How do you know how much they are going to be if you have not seen them and if you have seen them just make the call first.

bobbygedd
09-21-2005, 04:38 PM
$2000 to cut 3 yards and trim bushes. I most definitely would shout the price first. How do you know how much they are going to be if you have not seen them and if you have seen them just make the call first.
i called, and got him before he left. THANK GOD, because i quoted him a price for just one property, and he blew a gasket. unfortunately, i already started the trimming when i called. he said ok, finish that one, but the others.....jus mow the grass

yrdandgardenhandyman
09-21-2005, 04:48 PM
i'm very nervous about this. an acquaintance called, he owns 3 homes. he usually gets service from some scrub company, solo op, who is currently away on vacation. he asked if i could go to all 3 of his properties, and "cut the grass, trim the bushes....do whatever you think needs to be done, and fax a bill, i'll cut a check immediately." i was like, "well, let me look at it first, i'll give you a price." he insisted quoting the price was not important, it needs to be done, just do it, and send a bill. i'm a bit nervous, for a couple of reasons. first off, these people were good friends of ours, we kinda went our separate ways when the kids came along, but kept in touch a little. second, i don't think their current scrub company charges professional rates, and i'm afraid when i submit a bill for $2000, he will flip. there is no mistrust issue. i trust i will get paid, no matter what. would you do the job, without quoting it? i plan on doing it today, he will be unavailable for phone contact all day, so i won't be able to call and quote a price. just do it?


What's it hurt to declare a bid? Just look at it, evaluate it and then call him back and tell him how much it's going to cost. It would be kind of sleazy in appearance, to the customer, to just do it and then hit him with a bill he doesn't expect.
I worked for a lady putting in beds, rocking, cleanups. She always paid well and never complained about the price.
She called right after a storm. Needed some brush and down trees removed. I offered to bid it and got the ol', "Just charge what it costs. It needs to be done and your price will be ok." 9 manhours later I presented her with a $450.00 bill. Average storm cleanup. She went beserk saying that she didn't agree to pay for 3 people and blah, blah, blah. That was one time it felt good to just say, "I'm sorry you can no longer afford our service. If things pick up for you, feel free to call." She then started to tell me how rich they were. Actually, I'd starve before I'd work for her again. Totally out of line.

Nosmo
09-21-2005, 06:12 PM
How many bushes does the one property have you started on ? How large is the lawn ?

What price did you both agree on for this property ? The other two you are only going to mow what price did you both agree for each of those ?

Bobby G you have gotten our curiosity stirred up on this one.

Nosmo

olderthandirt
09-21-2005, 06:21 PM
i called, and got him before he left. THANK GOD, because i quoted him a price for just one property, and he blew a gasket. unfortunately, i already started the trimming when i called. he said ok, finish that one, but the others.....jus mow the grass
Now since he blew a gasket already you have a couple of choices
#1 first job would be $1900
#2 the mowing at the other jobs combined with what you started would add up to 2k
:D
People can only get so mad!

bobbygedd
09-21-2005, 06:29 PM
nosey nosmo. ok, the "bushes" that he described on the phone, ended up being huge hedges, perhaps only 25 ft in leghnth, but thick, and high. i told him the "right" way to do it, is to take down 3-4 ft, and square them up. this will require a chain saw, my heavy trimmers, a big ladder, a pickup worth of disposal, and perhaps 4 man hrs. i quoted him $450. he goes, " WOW, is that for all 3 properties?" i said, "ummm, no, it's only the trimming, at the one property. the mowing will be charged separate." the lawns are only maybe 2.5 k each, and i priced them at $30 a piece

gman44
09-21-2005, 07:42 PM
I would go to the property and look . Price it and let your friend know what he might be getting into money wise. I have found many surprises that took alot of time to get done. Making a few extra bucks is good ....keeping a friend is better .

Nosmo
09-21-2005, 08:34 PM
Well at least you and the guy came to an agreement on one thing. $30.00 apiece on each of the three lawns.

Looks like he decided one hedge trimming was enough at that price. Gonna be interesting when the other two houses get them trimmed. Let us know how they look after the kid or whoever he hires at the price he is willing to pay chops them up.

You might get a call next spring to come and pull what's left of them out. :p

Nosmo

gorknoids
09-21-2005, 09:13 PM
if I'm working a residence on a maintenance visit and I'm charging $700.00 per, I'd at least like to tell the homeowner when the dumpster is coming.

topsites
09-21-2005, 09:36 PM
i called, and got him before he left. THANK GOD, because i quoted him a price for just one property, and he blew a gasket. unfortunately, i already started the trimming when i called. he said ok, finish that one, but the others.....jus mow the grass

no offense to you sir but THAT has been my experience every single time and it is what I was talking about when I mentioned you'd have to do it 50% off. In this case you got pretty lucky but as you can see, friends are NEVER willing to pay anything near full price (at least it hasn't happened to me yet). I don't really understand why but a discount is ALWAYS expected. You, however, did the right thing by not falling for the trap of GIVING the discount.

It got to the point with me, a friend even sends me a stranger (someone neither of us know) as a referral, and I always tell them I am sorry but my schedule is full and please call someone else and thank you.

Mike Fronczak
09-21-2005, 09:45 PM
$ 450.00 to trim a 25 ft long hedge down 3-4', & haul debris away. Seems a little high, & I'm not a kid I've been at this on a professional level for over ten years now. I probably would have blown a gasket too.
4 hrs labor @ 40.00= $ 160
Debris removal ($ 25 dump charge + 1 hr unload) $ 65.00
Total comes in at $ 205.00 + tax
$ 450 for a friend....wow

Nosmo
09-21-2005, 09:57 PM
Bobby said the guy was an aquaintance . That is somebody you just casually know. Not really good business practice but not nearly as risky as dealing with a friend.

You can part company with an aquaintance if things rub the wrong way. Bad business dealings is not worth loosing a friend.

I agree with you guys about friends -- they seem to think you can give 'em a good deal. You are not in this business as a hobby or just a way to spend some time.

Nosmo

cantoo
09-21-2005, 10:24 PM
His regular guy is away on vacation I'm sure the hedges can wait until he comes back. (unless you meant he was away at the big house for vacation) I would just do the mowing and charge my normal rate. I would also tell him that he is getting a good deal because last minute one time deals for that size are usually $60 per cut. Remind him that you have never been on the property before and there may be hidden objects you have to look for.

bobbygedd
09-22-2005, 08:40 AM
$ 450.00 to trim a 25 ft long hedge down 3-4', & haul debris away. Seems a little high, & I'm not a kid I've been at this on a professional level for over ten years now. I probably would have blown a gasket too.
4 hrs labor @ 40.00= $ 160
Debris removal ($ 25 dump charge + 1 hr unload) $ 65.00
Total comes in at $ 205.00 + tax
$ 450 for a friend....wow
4 hrs of labor @$75 = $300. one trip to the dump @$90. resharpen two hedge trimmers after hacking these things = a total of around $450. i aint running a charity here. did i mention, the job is over an hour drive time? i'd have charged a stranger $550 at least

Nosmo
09-22-2005, 08:56 AM
I don't think you are overpricing this job at all after the facts are revealed. Cutting back overgrown hedges is labor for sure. I've done it and if there is a lot of cutting back the limbs are a job in itself to haul off.

Let's go back to your first post. Before I knew all the facts
I did suggest you see what you are getting into and get in touch with him before you started. You got in touch with him while you were working on the first site --- and to quote you "Thank God I Did".

Nosmo

Mower For Less
09-22-2005, 12:28 PM
4 hrs of labor @$75 = $300. one trip to the dump @$90. resharpen two hedge trimmers after hacking these things = a total of around $450. i aint running a charity here. did i mention, the job is over an hour drive time? i'd have charged a stranger $550 at least

With friendly prices like yours, who needs enemies.

Your only talking a Dakota bed full or trimmings, not a full size bed :rolleyes:

bobbygedd
09-22-2005, 04:35 PM
With friendly prices like yours, who needs enemies.

Your only talking a Dakota bed full or trimmings, not a full size bed :rolleyes:
wrong! we took the ram , and was lucky enough to dump for free. glad we didn't get caught

Mower For Less
09-22-2005, 05:49 PM
Now you have a Ram to, or is that Pedro's? Do the wipers work in it?