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View Full Version : What you guys charge?


Equalizer
04-11-2007, 05:53 PM
I just gave a bid on two yards that are owned by the same person, they are about 5 houses apart from each other. The thing is that I know these people and they are an older couple but its for their daughter. The yard is about a 40x100, not too much trimming. The back yard is also mainly just a big patio, and it takes up most of the yard. I quoted 35 for this job because it is 15 miles away, and the other one is probably 50x120 with all yard but again, not too much trimming. i quoted 40 for this one. My question is, did I over quote, because when I said the amounts, they were basically like ;). They said they would call back and tell me whether I got the job or not. I mean I still have to consider the time driving and gas and work time, did I charge too much?

TNT LawnCare Inc.
04-11-2007, 05:58 PM
Were in M.D too. I do feel you charged just a little to much. I would have bid $30.00 for both. Those are very small. We dont cut in Fredrick county but do have yards that size with little trim work as well. $30.00 is about the minimum for that size and thats good money.

topsites
04-11-2007, 06:06 PM
Hard to say for sure without seeing it, those sound like postage stamp properties unless your measurements are off, but are they both way below 1/4 acre? If so, how long would it take to do both?

Because it gets to a point, you have to have a minimum rate or you will get folks asking you to cut this 5 x 10 section that literally takes 10 seconds for 5 bucks, and that's one extreme but you have to draw a line somewhere... You are correct, you have to get paid for windshield time, and maintenance, and all of that regardless of the size of the job, really I figure it costs me $10 - $15 each time I stop at someone's house (before I even drop the gate) when you consider scheduling and making deposits and taxes and everything involved...

That having been said, my minimum is $30 and I don't care if it's just one little branch they want taken off (as we know, it's never just that but even if it is), it's $30 regardless.

Now, IF the turf on those two properties is comparable in quality (translation: if you can cut them both always at the same time) and IF the distance between both houses is relatively minor (thou 5 houses can be a bit of a walk), you could take my minimum and knock $10 off and do both for $50, but you have to know the size of the lot. The idea is to leave the truck parked the entire time, and you simply charge for the whole job as one big thing vs. two separate lots, but it doesn't work if one is class-A turf and the other hardly grows, or if 5 houses = 1/2 mile apart. Even 1/4 mile might be a bit far, you can ride some mowers to-from but the string trimmer and anything else you have to walk, so you have to know the distance and if you feel like walking it, so to speak.

I have two 1/4 acres side by side, and I do both of those for 50 (vs. 30 or 35 each), two elderly ladies, same kind of turf, I just gave them a price for a 1/2 acre lot plus the $10 for the extra house / driveway's worth of trimming, they come out $10 ahead and I make out good because I usually get them both done in like 40-45 minutes lol and no loading / unloading or driving in between... But it has to be win-win, both the customer AND I need to make out like bandits or it's not worth it, and unfortunately it's not always like that.

So, maybe you over priced, maybe you did not, I don't know but there are some ideas I just gave up you might try, up to you.
If 50 for both is too low, how's 55 or 60 sound? Again, that would only work if you can service both on the same visit.

Equalizer
04-11-2007, 06:10 PM
Do you think that i should call them back and tell them that i ran some numbers and can do them both for a lil cheaper?

TNT LawnCare Inc.
04-11-2007, 06:11 PM
It sure wont hurt? Tell them your minimum is $ 30.00

topsites
04-11-2007, 06:22 PM
Do you think that i should call them back and tell them that i ran some numbers and can do them both for a lil cheaper?

Certainly you can always call and say you made a mistake, but do knock off at least $10 from the original 35 x 2 (so no more than $60) because $5 off to me would be kinda an insult, now they might still say no but it's worth a shot.

Equalizer
04-11-2007, 06:25 PM
Yea, i just called them back and told them i could do it for 30 a piece, and they sounded a lot more interested and said they would talk about it. when i first called, they said no, but as soon as i told them the new price, they sounded very interested. so hopefully.......

Ecoscape01
04-11-2007, 06:28 PM
In the future, I'm not sure if calling at this time is a good idea. I try to call only during business hours and especially not around dinner time. I dunno maybe it's just me

Equalizer
04-11-2007, 06:31 PM
No i def. agree with you on that one ecoscape01, the thing is tho, they are kind of a family friend, or a friend of a friend. Buy yea i agree with you definately. thanks for all the input guys

bohiaa
04-11-2007, 06:45 PM
this is the reason I do my best to stay away from family and friends.

those brother-in-Law jobs will KILL YOU

JeffW0011
04-11-2007, 07:44 PM
I have lost a few strong leads this year because of drive time. One girl called me...i also have a $30 minimum but i will negotiate that if there are extenuating circumstances like right down the street or they work into a multi cut stop. but this girl lived ten miles from my next nearest customer. I could have done her place perfectly in 20 minutes. But in my truck and towing all that gear I am probably going to spend $10 on gas just to her place and back to my closest customer. I told her $35 and said part of it was due to my drive expense, she cancelled me after 1 cut and said she liked my work but she found a guy down the street who could do it for 22.50.

mverick
04-11-2007, 08:17 PM
If I stop my truck it's $40.

If they can find the kid down the street so be it. When the kid down the street has soccer,baseball,football,basketball,date,hungover. Or just get's lazy they'll try to find someone else. And call and waste your time again.

I even charge for estimates. Stating that if you hire me the estimate comes off the bill. Most of this is for Landscaping, Construction. By the time I go to someone's house and work up an estimate I have hours into the job already. They don't and didn't work for free why should they expect me to...

I know some people can't afford it. But, I have to pay my bills to. So, if you can't afford it, don't call for an estimate.

If the first thing they do is ask if you give free estimates. You're in for trouble. Had one lady ask me to come out and I did it for free. She told me when I got there I was the 5th person to give her an estimate. Which told me right there I wasted an hour of my time and I didn't even send her a bid. House was about $500,000 home. She was complaining about price of tile install from someone else on the phone and it was just a little higher then I would have charged.

cks dad
04-11-2007, 08:20 PM
I just quoted a job similar to the one you did.It is a duplex with about the same measurements.I quoted 35.oo for both.I can do them both at the same time.It should only take me about 30-35 min.

JeffW0011
04-11-2007, 08:22 PM
If I stop my truck it's $40.

If they can find the kid down the street so be it. When the kid down the street has soccer,baseball,football,basketball,date,hungover. Or just get's lazy they'll try to find someone else. And call and waste your time again.

I even charge for estimates. Stating that if you hire me the estimate comes off the bill. Most of this is for Landscaping, Construction. By the time I go to someone's house and work up an estimate I have hours into the job already. They don't and didn't work for free why should they expect me to...

I know some people can't afford it. But, I have to pay my bills to. So, if you can't afford it, don't call for an estimate.

If the first thing they do is ask if you give free estimates. You're in for trouble. Had one lady ask me to come out and I did it for free. She told me when I got there I was the 5th person to give her an estimate. Which told me right there I wasted an hour of my time and I didn't even send her a bid. House was about $500,000 home. She was complaining about price of tile install from someone else on the phone and it was just a little higher then I would have charged.

This is my first year and am already starting to despise these "tire kickers" of the green industry. I am going to start screening my callers a lot closer. I bet I have wasted a tank of gas driving around giving estimates to people that I had about a 20% chance to land in the first place.

dstreedirt
06-28-2007, 03:32 PM
$30.......whoa. I will not even drive to a house for thirty. My minimum is $45 because that is my hourly rate. I only have two customers out of my 74 that pay that price. The properties thee must be really small. I think I would starve. Other than those two, all of my residentials range from $55-$150. Good luck.......

fiveoboy01
06-28-2007, 08:21 PM
Well, once you stated the price, even if you know you were off a bit, I don't think you should EVER lower the price to try to get work.

It makes you look desperate.

Word will spread that you're a limp noodle on your pricing.

You really don't want either. People will try to strong-arm you into lowering your prices. Sure this one time it's fine, but next time, think it over, maybe call them back after thinking for a little while about it. Then once you know the correct amount to charge, inform them of the price, and do not budge.

Also, a customer "cringing" at your price does not necessarily mean that you are too high. Many people expect something for nothing. I learned this quickly last year. I got the "cringing" look after giving prices and thought I may have been too high. Fact was, I wasn't high enough. There will always be those who will think you're too high and look at you like that, no matter how low you are.