PDA

View Full Version : Overpriced a job today


burns60
10-21-2006, 01:40 AM
A lady across the street from where I was working today came over and asked me if I would trim her yard after she finished mowing it. She said her trimmer was broken. I asked her about the edging as well, trying to get an idea about what to charge her. She said no, that she had an electric edger and all she needed was trimming. Not a large house or yard, maybe 1/4 acre and probably a 1500 square foot house with not much shrubbery. She said it had a patio in the back and I could see a shop building as well. I figured that I could do it in about 20 minutes. I thought it would be worth my time and would be a fair price so I just told her $10 bucks. She reacted like I had punched her. Said no way she would pay that. I probably looked as shocked that she turned me down as she looked about the price I had quoted. I just smiled and said "ok" and went about my business.

Maybe it was a $5 job, but dang, I just "ain't" gonna work for a hamburger. (just yet anyway)

Mr.Mow-It-All
10-21-2006, 01:48 AM
I would have told her $20. I did that for a neighbor of a customer of ours. Our customer is only $40 yard, neighbor lady asked how much to edge and and trim. I figured to be 25 min and told her $30. She said fine and paid me $40 for my trouble and it took an extra 21 min. Now it is one of my favorite stops, two houses $70 each week and only take a total of 15 min (3 of us, so 45 min job).

WildWest
10-21-2006, 01:50 AM
A lady across the street from where I was working today came over and asked me if I would trim her yard after she finished mowing it. She said her trimmer was broken. I asked her about the edging as well, trying to get an idea about what to charge her. She said no, that she had an electric edger and all she needed was trimming. Not a large house or yard, maybe 1/4 acre and probably a 1500 square foot house with not much shrubbery. She said it had a patio in the back and I could see a shop building as well. I figured that I could do it in about 20 minutes. I thought it would be worth my time and would be a fair price so I just told her $10 bucks. She reacted like I had punched her. Said no way she would pay that. I probably looked as shocked that she turned me down as she looked about the price I had quoted. I just smiled and said "ok" and went about my business.

Maybe it was a $5 job, but dang, I just "ain't" gonna work for a hamburger. (just yet anyway)


Good for you!!!

I would have told her $20.00. 10 bucks and she freaked! LOL, You should have told her that your not the neighbor boy with daddys trimmer!

Cheap bitty, go replace the trimmer you broke and leave me to make some real money!

impactlandscaping
10-21-2006, 11:31 AM
I don't know about your locations, but around here, trimming is 50-75% of the job. Most of our residentials can be mowed in 10 minutes or less, but may have 10-15 minutes of trimming and blowing. Kudos to you for even offering to do it for her, as I would have told her no thanks.

TMlawncare
10-21-2006, 05:32 PM
Its hard to believe that people think we can fit them into our already tight schedule and work for less then $10. Probably all the neighbor kids already turned her down. Crazy world.

Jason Rose
10-21-2006, 05:52 PM
I would have given the same price... Iv'e had a couple edge (with stick edger EOW) only customers. One was $10 per time and the other $12 just because it was a PITA to get to and off my route by a few blocks. Both were HAPPY to get it done at that price, never mind that the $10 one literally took 5 minutes start to finish.

Where it stumbles my up is when I charge that to edge and then they ask me to mow like once, or for a price weekly for the year. The $12 edge lawn was VERY small, prolly under 2,000 sq. ft. I gave her a price of $20 though, but in the back of my mind I'm thinking "I hope she dosn't do math real well" lol. Cause to mow, trim AND edge I'd be there 4 to 5 times as long as it would have taken me to JUST edge and used more equipment ect. for less than 2x the price... Guess it boils down to some sort of minimum price. For mowing there HAS to be a bottom and same for all other services. Stick to that price YOU set and if they get pizzed, FINE, Cause if you bent you would be working for nothing essentially.

Mr.Mow-It-All
10-21-2006, 06:10 PM
I would have given the same price... Iv'e had a couple edge (with stick edger EOW) only customers. One was $10 per time and the other $12 just because it was a PITA to get to and off my route by a few blocks. Both were HAPPY to get it done at that price, never mind that the $10 one literally took 5 minutes start to finish.

Where it stumbles my up is when I charge that to edge and then they ask me to mow like once, or for a price weekly for the year. The $12 edge lawn was VERY small, prolly under 2,000 sq. ft. I gave her a price of $20 though, but in the back of my mind I'm thinking "I hope she dosn't do math real well" lol. Cause to mow, trim AND edge I'd be there 4 to 5 times as long as it would have taken me to JUST edge and used more equipment ect. for less than 2x the price... Guess it boils down to some sort of minimum price. For mowing there HAS to be a bottom and same for all other services. Stick to that price YOU set and if they get pizzed, FINE, Cause if you bent you would be working for nothing essentially.

My minimum price is $37 and it doesn't matter if it is a 500 sqft. Just have have a minimum and stick to it. Another company in my area (a friend of mine) is $42. I will probably move my min upto 40-42 next year. I have not had one person say no because of price this year. Yeh I know that there are companies around here that will do it cheaper, but oh well.

firefightergw
10-21-2006, 07:08 PM
$20 here too. We don't do any maintenance for under $60 an hour.

Tharrell
10-21-2006, 07:13 PM
Ha ha ha ha ha!!!
Another educated consumer!
If she gets hit with enough "education", someday she may pay for a lawn service!
I had someone do me that way one time. I try my best to have fun with them when I can.

Liquidfast
10-21-2006, 07:21 PM
Good man. I had a kid come up to me today telling me he owns a lawn biz and that his trimmer and blower were stolen and asked if I could do one of his commercial spots for $100. He proceeds to tell me that it will take 3 hours to do. He then said his truck was broken down. I got the deer in the headlights too when I quoted $240. . Nice kid though.

Next door neighbor, asks me to plow her this winter. Tells me that she didnt want the last years guy cuz his truck broke down "Not my problem", she says. I asked what she paid and she replied $300. Then she says, they only plowed 10 times. I ask, if it snowed 50 times, could they ask for more money?? I quote her $375 and again, got the deer in the headlights.

ETA: I have received the deer look quite a bit this year. Its funny cuz back in the day I would have been all over those prices like a fat kid on a smartie.... but now I know my cost.

drumbo
10-21-2006, 08:36 PM
Well, you should've said, "$5 is fine...." And then do half...leave calmly and then when she asks you to finish, you ask her to pay for the other half...

stuffdeer
10-21-2006, 09:05 PM
A lady across the street from where I was working today came over and asked me if I would trim her yard after she finished mowing it. She said her trimmer was broken. I asked her about the edging as well, trying to get an idea about what to charge her. She said no, that she had an electric edger and all she needed was trimming. Not a large house or yard, maybe 1/4 acre and probably a 1500 square foot house with not much shrubbery. She said it had a patio in the back and I could see a shop building as well. I figured that I could do it in about 20 minutes. I thought it would be worth my time and would be a fair price so I just told her $10 bucks. She reacted like I had punched her. Said no way she would pay that. I probably looked as shocked that she turned me down as she looked about the price I had quoted. I just smiled and said "ok" and went about my business.

Maybe it was a $5 job, but dang, I just "ain't" gonna work for a hamburger. (just yet anyway)


Well, Acually at McDonalds, Thats 5 Double Cheesburgers.

DJL50
10-21-2006, 09:31 PM
Funny how old people thinks things should only cost a few cents. They come into my garden center in the spring and I will be offering a free hanging basket to every customer who walks in and sell any additional basket for $5.00. They will bring two baskets to the register and look SHOCKED when I tell them that will be $5.00 (+ tax) Two 10" hanging baskets for $5.00. I did it for years but got sick of dealing with it.

GrassBustersLawn
10-21-2006, 09:38 PM
Well, Acually at McDonalds, Thats 5 Double Cheesburgers.

Not after you deduct $1.50 for TAXES (you do pay taxes, don't you?) and $2.50 for OVERHEAD. Leaves you with $1.00 which means you get the double cheese if you can scrape up the EIGHT CENTS for Sales Tax!

Mike

brucec32
10-22-2006, 11:47 PM
20 minutes to trim (not edge) a 1/4 acre lot? You sure about that? I don't think I have a lawn that size which would require even 10 mn of pure trimming.

I never do thost type of one-off jobs anyway, but to expect anything for less than $10 is pushing one's luck. You certainly didn't overprice it.

MowerMoney
10-23-2006, 11:21 PM
People are amazing. Maybe she was hoping to give you a glass of milk and some cookies.

Evergreenpros
10-24-2006, 12:46 AM
I get people who approach me all the time wanting work done. My response is always the same: I'm sorry, I only do contract work, I'd be more than happy to give you a bid for an annual contract.

They get this funny look on their face and walk way. I've found it's more efficient for me to take that time I'd work for peanuts for them and do more estimates or put out more advertising.

Total.Lawn.Care
10-24-2006, 12:41 PM
I had a customers neighbor ask me one day to do her trimming, same thing the trimmer broke. I told her that I usually do not do that kind of partial service work, but I was already there and had the tools out, so I quoted $25 for her trimming all around the house and beds. When I was done in 10 minutes, I edged her driveway as well and she was very pleased.

I do have a minimum of $40 to drop my ramp. So, if you want me to make a trip to your house and do a job, either expect a full mowing service (min $40) or have some bushes to plant or hedges to trim or something that I can get at least $40. And for $40, I better be done in 45 minutes.

jmq
10-24-2006, 11:20 PM
I had a lady come out and ask me to cut her grass today. I told her it would be at least $60 because of the leaves (enough to catch) and the height of the grass. She said....ok??? THEN she said that she wanted the bushes (qty=6... Height 2 feet) removed from the flower beds...I told her that it would be $35 per bush to pull them up and a debris removal fee.....SHE THEN PROCEED TO EXPLAIN THAN $55 WAS FAIR FOR THE WHOLE JOB!! I explained that time is money and I would not even consider doing anything to her yard if she didn't understand the price......Then she offered me $25 to do the yard.... I picked up my Red Max EB7001 BP Blower and Red Max trimmer and said "Have a great winter!" She was so surprised I was leaving she stood outside in 40 degree weather until I packed up the trailer and waved as I rode down the street>>>>

topsites
10-24-2006, 11:39 PM
Yeah, anytime I'm not super busy and I don't look totally disgusted, it seems they come out of the woods with this bs, totally frustrating.

Had one a few weeks ago...
I had just finished cutting and core aerating two side-by-side lots (with a walk-behind solid axle machine) and spreading around 500 pounds of stuff with a push spreader... I got to the next house but in the 5 minute drive my body had no chance, so I dozed off... It couldn't have been long, it was getting dark and I needed to cut this one last yard, sure enough, someone saw the opportunity.
As SOON as I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye (well, I had my eyes open lol), I got OUT of the truck and got BUSY immediately, but it was too late to turn around those who are determined.

Question: Can I get a quote on cutting just the back yard?
Answer: NO.
Reply: No?
Answer: NO.

It was over in less than 10 seconds...

ETA: I have received the deer look quite a bit this year. Its funny cuz back in the day I would have been all over those prices like a fat kid on a smartie.... but now I know my cost.

LOL I sure like that look a lot better than the dirty look I used to get for giving them a nice price...
After I got the dirty look one too many times on a nice quote, I thought to myself, you know, I am going to give them now the REASON for the look.
Strange, a higher price doesn't get dirty looks, it gets the deer look.