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jlohouston
05-03-2006, 11:53 PM
Today I was mowing a yard and an old lady came outside and asked me to mow her yard. I looked at it it was about 30,000 sq feet... Thinking of my GRANDMA I didn't use the formula and said $35... She looked at me like I was stupid and said my grandson would do it for $10. I felt bad I mean like crap telling her I was sorry I want even un-load my trailer for $20....

Has this ever happened to any of you and did you feel bad?

Also thanks to all of you who post on here... I have been full time at this for 2weeks and have 47 yards......

SWD
05-04-2006, 12:32 AM
For 30K ft squared you wanted what?
That is about 70% of an acre and you wanted what?
$60 minimum and any complaints - do it your self.
Fuel, insurance, operating costs, etc for what you are quoting = broke in no time.
Has it happened to me - sure - and what I did was remember I'm running a business, not a social welfare democratic service.
Did I feel bad - nope, not at all. Why - because if I went to all of the people I gave breaks too and asked for help I'd get laughed off of their properties.

cessnasovereign
05-04-2006, 12:34 AM
LOL I did the same recently. An older guy who didn't look like he had much money is on an acre lot, minus trailer and driveway. He's a nice guy so I felt a little sorry for him and will do it for $30, but that's just cutting, no weedeating, just going full speed so the yard isn't 3 feet high. He accepted but I could tell he was hoping for less.

Oh well, money is reallly nice but it's also nice to help people out sometimes..

topsites
05-04-2006, 12:44 AM
Today I was mowing a yard and an old lady came outside and asked me to mow her yard. I looked at it it was about 30,000 sq feet... Thinking of my GRANDMA I didn't use the formula and said $35... She looked at me like I was stupid and said my grandson would do it for $10. I felt bad I mean like crap telling her I was sorry I want even un-load my trailer for $20....

Has this ever happened to any of you and did you feel bad?

Also thanks to all of you who post on here... I have been full time at this for 2weeks and have 47 yards......

Yes, I know exactly what you mean because it makes me sad but there is nothing I can do anymore. I have (maybe had) a customer in her 90's and my own grandmother is about that age and yes she reminds me of her and I've done this 1/4 acre lot for 25 dollars since day one. Now in my 5th year, I would likely have continued doing it thusly for that very reason but for one thing that woke me up time and again. On occasion (meaning at least half the time), the next door neighbor likes to swing over and cut her grass, supposedly for free but I do not know but what frustrates me is this:
- I get no call to let me know, so I head out there and the grass is already cut so I just lost 15 dollars just to keep this on the schedule.
- Finally when July-August comes around and the heat index hits 104+, now I get the phonecall to go sweat it out for the same 25 bucks as always. I did this once figuring the neighbor got tired, but read on...
- Soon as the temps cooled off some in september, same old bs again!

After I went out there about a half-dozen times just to see my services were not needed, I knocked on the door once to ask a simple question (for real, no attitude) but the daughter answered the door and real rude like said 'my mother will not need you today, thank you now' and shut the door in my face.

So this year they call me and I went over and spent about an hour haggling out an extra 5 bucks for the simple reason I no longer do 25 dollar lawns and my minimum is 35 but ok I'll do it for 30 and got put off two more weeks and I finally had an agreement thou the 2-week part was biting, and then I show up two weeks later and you guessed it: the neighbor done cut it.

That was the last of my tolerance, I crossed this one off my schedule and now to resume services, the labor rate will fall under this year's rates of $35 minimum thou most likely I will just tell her to please find someone else.

So yes, I know where you are coming from.
Far as feeling bad, when I went out there the last time you could say I was feeling HOT and maybe that's bad, but it's not the same thing.

sheshovel
05-04-2006, 01:13 AM
Don't feel bad it's business and you can't take it personaly..if her Grandson will do it for ten..well all the more power to her!

LawnTamer
05-04-2006, 10:49 AM
I've had a couple of times when I give people a mowing bid and they ask, "Now is that per month?" When I say no per week, they act like I just tried to steal their wallet or something. Doesn't bother me a bit.

Freddy_Kruger
05-04-2006, 11:12 AM
I've heard the same story too many times that I think its funny. My response is automatic, -You should hire him then.

Recently the same lady tried this bs on me on the phone I wanted 35 for a very large corner lot, I kinda know the area very well but I told I wolud still have to look at it. She told me the guy last year was doing it for 15. So when I get there I'm speechless its so big, I did try phoning here but she didn't answer and since we are not only NOT on the same page but on different planets, I never phoned her back.
Few days later I got her neighbours yard across the street, smaller and I'm doing it for 25 a week (plus I got the windows and power rake) so the lady across the street happens to come home and sees my truck and trys the same BS storey on me and I told her $35 again and that she should hire the guy from last year back. She told me she would think about it (as if).

Reliable Lawns
05-04-2006, 04:55 PM
Hire her grandson : )

dKoester
05-04-2006, 05:53 PM
Don't feel bad about that, just forget it and go on. Many more for you to get.

grassmasterdawn
05-04-2006, 08:01 PM
If her grandson would do it for $10 then why was she asking you?

topsites
05-05-2006, 12:37 AM
If her grandson would do it for $10 then why was she asking you?

You know, one thing I learned over time is I got really tired of quoting nice prices (meaning lower than usual) just to hear the crying and complaining come out afterwards. In the end, nothing frustrated me more than giving them what I thought they wanted, to the point where I gave some people half off and even more, and still they can't stop themselves from adding lib. The absolute last time it happened, I gave someone a price like 75 percent off and still they had to go 'can't you do it for less?' That was when I had finally had enough.

Once I had had enough of the complaints and the crying, I decided if they're going to cry even when I give them a nice price, then I might as well give them the reason to cry, and that is when I started quoting some PRICES!

And I was amazed when I quote the right price, magic happens:
You will seldom hear another comment like that because the high price freezes their brain, they stand there like a deer caught in the headlights and they can't get another word out so now you can turn around and leave. So next time for a 3/4 acre lot, quote $55 and that person and others like her will stop bothering you as much. Consistency is the key thou, you have to do it time and again or it doesn't work.

Oh, yes it does hurt at first, but you're better off in the long run.

Dunn's
05-05-2006, 11:17 AM
Yeah we hear ya. We have now gone to immediatly tell them to find another lawn service and giving them the number to a few if they haggle we are already lower than alot of them and do not need the hassle. Especially because the ones that haggle are ussauly the ones that dont pay.

J&R Landscaping
05-05-2006, 11:55 AM
If her grandson will do it for $10, I'd let her grandson do it! She was getting a deal at $35 but if she don't want done for that, see ya! You have expences and overhead to pay.

BALSECA LANDSCAPING
05-05-2006, 05:56 PM
I Would Have Told Her That Her Grandson Would Do It For 10.00 Because She Is Family And That You Are Charging Whatever Price Because You Are Supporting Your Family.

FIVE-0LAWNS
05-05-2006, 11:03 PM
Old guy called and wanted an estimate for his lawn. It is .66 acres, hilly and a ***** to mow. I told him $40 because he was old and I assumed he had no money. He said great and now I'm doing it. I swear the whole time I cut it. Worked up the nerve last week to raise to at least $50 but he was so damn nice I couldn't do it. Today when I was cutting it he pulled into his driveway with a new BMW 7 Series. Now I'm really kicking myself. I know its a business and we do it to make money buy I guess we all have our charity cases. I guess I'll keep doing it for $40 and deal with it. I know what I should do, but I'm not doing it. Happy mowing.:drinkup:

Freddy_Kruger
05-05-2006, 11:20 PM
Also thanks to all of you who post on here... I have been full time at this for 2weeks and have 47 yards......
May I ask how you aquired the 47 jobs in hopes that I might be able to use some of that know how?

You see I think I made a mistake this spring, I wanted 100 weekly clients but would be happy with 30. What I have right now is 15 and I think (I know) some of them are underpriced, I just wanted the work.

My mistake was I advertised as Power Raking as the focuss, I just mentioned window cleaning and weekly lawn care. So, I did get lots of work for power raking but not to much of it translated into weekly clients. I also got so busy doing power raking I lost sight of the big picture and this week is when the season for weekly lawn care really starts and I'm sure a lot of customers are already locked up with a LCO now.

I'm mainly a window cleaner and just wanted to step my foot in the lawn market but I need to do something immediately to generate some weekly clients. I was thinking of using the same advertising that got me lots of spring clean ups, basically a 8.5 by 11 flyer printed on two sides designed by yours truly:)

jlohouston
05-06-2006, 12:32 AM
I have a lot of friends in the area where I live. I started planning to open a lawn service in the winter months when people are doing it once a month or even once every 2 months.... So I set a date and started talking to all my buddies.... I was shocked when call after call started coming in... And when I do go to a new property to give an estimate I let them know there are cheaper people out there... They have a crew of 3 or 4 and have to cut 3 to 4 times the amount of yards I do to make a good living... So if you want a GOOD yard service you are paying me and not a crew that will be done with your yard in 15 mins.... and doesn;t go over your yard to double check if they missed a spot etc.....

I speak ENGLISH and people can communicate with me... plus I mow Mon - Fri only so your yard is for you on the weekend.... Also I try to let the customer pick when they want there yard cut.....

Freddy_Kruger
05-06-2006, 12:35 AM
You got 47 yards by talking to your buddies? hmm..

topsites
05-06-2006, 12:45 AM
Old guy called and wanted an estimate for his lawn. It is .66 acres, hilly and a ***** to mow. I told him $40 because he was old and I assumed he had no money. He said great and now I'm doing it. I swear the whole time I cut it. Worked up the nerve last week to raise to at least $50 but he was so damn nice I couldn't do it. Today when I was cutting it he pulled into his driveway with a new BMW 7 Series. Now I'm really kicking myself. I know its a business and we do it to make money buy I guess we all have our charity cases. I guess I'll keep doing it for $40 and deal with it. I know what I should do, but I'm not doing it. Happy mowing.:drinkup:

Don't feel bad, we all get them... I still kick myself somedays when I go to zillow.com and pull up someone's house and it comes out to 350k and all this time I am thinking these poor elderly retired folk, lol.

It's all good thou, I am finding out what happens as you get older is you make more and more money... Not to be a smartypants but can you guess as to how old folks do this? Well, I'm getting to be about 40 and I tell you if this age +money trend continues, I should be a millionaire by the time I'm 70 and have guys working for me at minimum wage. ahhh it is a dream but it does kind of work like that, we make you young'uns feel so bad cauz our bodies hurt and we can't hardly move and we drive all slow LOL.

It's even funnier, the reason we drive so slow is because I get 15mpg in my 1986 carbureted D-250 so you know what that means payup
Folks think time is money but this does NOT mean drive fast - Drive SLOW and your tires last until they rot off the rims, brake pads last 100,000 miles and longer, the tranny gets serviced when it gets so lucky but there are no shavings from wear and tear and everything lasts 10-20 times longer and that is worth more than double the time the fast drivers save and then some.
So we dress in shabby clothes not because we can't dress nicer but because the thrift store is cheap payup and we drive old cars we buy cash and get good deals cauz we show up like we don't got no money and they feel all sorry for us old folks while we gas up with premium but go around the corner so they can't see payup because once again, it is a lifetime of experience has taught us the true secrets. What secret? When my fuel pump broke and the mechs pulled apart the carb to see what was the problem, it looked brand-new, it was shiny clean from the premium, not even a streak of that black gunk. We were all impressed, I must admit that while the guys spend hundreds rebuilding carbs or replacing injectors, I simply buy premium payup

It is funny how it works.