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sheshovel
04-14-2007, 05:35 AM
Why are there so many people taking on work that they have no idea what to charge for doing it? There are so many price/charge questions it is really becoming worrisome. I know they come here for answers and that is fine, but many don't even know what factors to consider in pricing jobs at all. I think they need to use their brains a bit before asking anyway. Just my thoughts.

Darrin A.
04-14-2007, 09:29 AM
Some of us have not been doing lawns and landscaping very long so, knowing how to price properly is not an easy task. I usually do a search over the 3 forums I use and find the answer. Asking someone who isn't in your area will only give you a small clue but, seems better than going to you local competition and asking them. They may steer you in the wrong direction to keep you out of business. That's why we / I ask pricing questions of the members here.
just my .02

Darrin A.

lawnprosteveo
04-14-2007, 02:38 PM
I know guys that were charging WAY to little until they started educating themselves on this site. That is partly how I learned what to charge. Its better to do that than to work for a fraction of what you could charge. That hurts you and others by driving down prices.:usflag:

Focal Point Landscapes
04-14-2007, 09:18 PM
While it is true that a price comparison has its place as one of many factors in determining what to charge for our services , I don't really care what other providers charge . I must charge commensurate with my cost of doing business - that is why you see the comments from the senior members of the site and I can understand their frustration - you got to charge based on your costs and this will determine what customers can afford your services . I would be far more likely to help a person who asks how long it would take than how much should I charge.

Uranus
04-14-2007, 10:03 PM
Youpe silly.

terrapro
04-14-2007, 10:20 PM
how long would it take to do that job=total hourly rate
total hourly rate+materials+rental+delivery+sales tax(if applicable)=grand total

figure out all of the above and its pretty easy

example-
20hr @ $50=$1000
$1000 materials
$300 rental fees
$200 delivery
$2500 total

job profit=$1000

Adam's Lawn and Garden
04-14-2007, 10:33 PM
I thought i knew what to charge too. I started reading a book thougth that i got at borders which is a textbook for a college course on landscaping. It's like principles of landscape contracting. This book has everything. And they got all the info from top companies like Brickman, so you know it's true.

adam

tthomass
04-14-2007, 10:43 PM
What many hate to hear......it comes with experience.

I look back and wonder why the heck did I charge that and man was I cheap/stupid. Sometimes I can look back at the job I just completed and think that but as more time goes on I will continue to improve upon pricing.

Then when I think I've got it down the complexity/diversity will increase and I will still have late nights of pulling my hair in front of a computer screen.

AGLA
04-15-2007, 01:20 AM
It comes down to knowing how much YOU can get away with charging.It should be as much as possible to get the highest return over time. That has much less to do with your overhead and way more to do with your skill level, how well you are known, your market, and how much you know about your market.

Sammy
04-15-2007, 10:07 AM
Why are there so many people taking on work that they have no idea what to charge for doing it? There are so many price/charge questions it is really becoming worrisome. I know they come here for answers and that is fine, but many don't even know what factors to consider in pricing jobs at all. I think they need to use their brains a bit before asking anyway. Just my thoughts.

I always ask my friend CT what price I should charge. :drinkup: :hammerhead: :dancing:

LawnsRUsInc.
04-15-2007, 10:13 AM
I agree with sheshovel thats why i wish their was a website or software with industry standards etc.. it would do alot raise our image and income. To many people are doing stuff for nothing. Not saying that it effects me greatly customers ask why are you this price and they are cheaper???? Well mrs jones i dont know that other co. but i can tell you that they are one or the other Indepently wealthy or they dont know how to build your wall correctly.

spazfam
04-15-2007, 02:56 PM
This is one of the reasons I was trying to get folks from around the country to answer the following thread http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=182804


I also saw somewhere that in the past someone was trying to do a similar thing and put a guide together to use for reference. This way people can check what going rates for certain service by geography..etc.

Pricing is difficult especially when first starting out.

WALKER LANDSCAPE
04-15-2007, 03:08 PM
Hi She
Yes, there is alot of those questions I think it is the new LCO starting. Which I hope they are taking our advice and keeping the market price up. There may be some using it to lowball the price as well. The forums are great for all kinds of questions. Some I think have a price in mind then they find out WOW I didn't know of charging for my drive time to pick up materials equipment ETC.

sheshovel
04-15-2007, 09:44 PM
Hi Walker, good to read ya!

rockandroller
04-22-2007, 07:18 PM
Pricing questions, especially from newer businesses will only help us all in the long run. When I started off I was doing jobs, probably like many of us, for too cheap. I lived, learned, adapted, AND asked pricing question on this site to charge what it pretty much now the industry standard. Keeping prices congruent will only help those out there that are charging the correct price, and keep the overall industry pricing in line.

Aside from that: the quality of the work will also play a huge factor...Let the newer landscapers ask and charge accordingly, so that they don't price out the establised competition.

unit28
04-22-2007, 08:46 PM
God I love the ineptitude, it gives us a chance to step up to the challenge of passing on what we have been through and raise the challenges of what they really need to learn.

As far as what to charge,
it just depends on what kind of car they drive.
:drinkup:

Mike33
04-22-2007, 10:14 PM
Pricing on this site does not get it with me either. The reason is location, location, and location. I from a small, low economic, and cheap ass area always wanting to make a deal. I see some of the prices for hard and landscaping on this site and would love to move. I went thru this on the plow site plowing snow, i get 60.00/hour for p/u vee-plow for my commercial work and got laughed off of the site. I happen to be 1 of the top 5 plowing contractors in my area and get top dollar in my area. But subs are making what i am in some areas. Same way with landscaping my price structure sure wont work in jersey so i mostly dont waste my time sharing prices for this reason.
Mike

FATWEASEL
04-22-2007, 11:09 PM
I don't understand people that don't understand why people want to know what the going rate is for services in general or in their area.:)

It's quite simple really. Many people have ideas of what it would cost, equipment wise, to be able to do certain jobs. Using mowing as an example...some people may already own a truck, trailer, and most handhelds and know that they basically need a commercial mower. What many don't know is if they can expect $30, $40, or $50 for a 1/2 acre yard.

For someone trying to decide if it's worth their time to pursue this business, the difference between 40 yards at $30 and 40 yards at $40 is a sizeable difference. They say, "Hey, this sounds like something I can do. Something I would enjoy, but can I pay for my equipment and still make a living?"

It's no different for people already in the green industry that want to broaden their services. Take tree services or stump grinding for example. You would want to know how many stumps you have to expect, to pay for that $20,000 grinder you've got your eyes on.

And most of all, this is a forum chocked full of people that are in the business, doing the things these questioners want to know about. None of you would give each other the time of day out on the street if the other asked these questions. "Hey man, question, how much money do you make for 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and 1 acre yards? How many yards can you do in a day? How many do you do a week? How many weeks a year do you mow?" So why would someone waste their time elsewhere when they can ask these questions here from people that are supposedly 'in the know'?

If you don't want to answer, then don't. They will get the answer or do a search and get it. If you have the knowledge and want to share, then share it.

Andy:)

steve in Pa.
04-23-2007, 10:02 PM
how about a guy cutting a yard in a high end neighborhood for 12.50 an hour. mowing crew found a reciept from this guy for a yard we use to cut for 75.00 and it was 25.00, it takes him aprox. 2 hrs. to cut.

jonim
04-24-2007, 12:23 PM
Why are there so many people taking on work that they have no idea what to charge for doing it? There are so many price/charge questions it is really becoming worrisome. I know they come here for answers and that is fine, but many don't even know what factors to consider in pricing jobs at all. I think they need to use their brains a bit before asking anyway. Just my thoughts.

I dont post here much but I do read alot from everyones post, and sometimes I cant help but to share my opinion!
I was thinking this very same thing a few minutes ago when I was reading a post on laying sod. I wont go into detail about who it was but they wanted to know how to do it from start to finish...My husband has been in the lawn care buisness for almost 5 years. We do mowing and such and small landscaping jobs ONLY if we know what were doing. I couldnt imagine getting into something and not knowing how to do it. Maybe its just me, Maybe a lawn installation is easy. I dont know...Thats why we dont do it.

F&SLawnCo
04-24-2007, 01:57 PM
I think it comes down to knowing your company's cost of doing business. How much do you want to make versus how much do you have to spend to do the job. You can have all the guidelines, standards, etc. in place but in the real world, nobody is gonns stick to them. An example of that would be my companies installed mulch prices. I want to make 30 dollars per man hour when I install mulch. I am very fortunate to get any and all mulch products (dyed, triple ground, whatever) at a very low price due to some long time business relationships that I have developed. I can actually purchase my supplies and charge for install cheaper than some of the local lco's can purchase their mulch. Is that lowballing, you decide. All I know is that I've tried to work with the local lco's to get a more standardized way of doing business. Didn't work and I lost a ton of work due to our good faith agreements. Never happen to me again guaranteed. Most of the guys or gals that are doing this part time and charging prices way below what the market will carry don't care and don't know what they are doing to the green industry as a whole.

sheshovel
04-24-2007, 02:43 PM
I dont post here much but I do read alot from everyones post, and sometimes I cant help but to share my opinion!
I was thinking this very same thing a few minutes ago when I was reading a post on laying sod. I wont go into detail about who it was but they wanted to know how to do it from start to finish...My husband has been in the lawn care buisness for almost 5 years. We do mowing and such and small landscaping jobs ONLY if we know what were doing. I couldnt imagine getting into something and not knowing how to do it. Maybe its just me, Maybe a lawn installation is easy. I dont know...Thats why we dont do it.

Yes and this was the basis of my thread topic. They don't know how to do it and they don't know how to price it but yet they take on these big jobs and THEN ask. Why not do some research first, I realize everyone has to start somewhere, but my advice is start small and learn that way rather than get in over your head and get yourself in a bind because you don't have the basic knowledge to estimate and perform the work a big job requires.

MJK
04-24-2007, 03:30 PM
Some of us have not been doing lawns and landscaping very long so, knowing how to price properly is not an easy task. I usually do a search over the 3 forums I use and find the answer. Asking someone who isn't in your area will only give you a small clue but, seems better than going to you local competition and asking them. They may steer you in the wrong direction to keep you out of business. That's why we / I ask pricing questions of the members here.
just my .02

Darrin A.


This is very true, i try to get people to charge as much as they can so we can all make more money without these lowballers. I for one didn't realize how much i could get for the work i was doing until i read alot hear.

jonim
04-24-2007, 03:51 PM
Yes and this was the basis of my thread topic. They don't know how to do it and they don't know how to price it but yet they take on these big jobs and THEN ask. Why not do some research first, I realize everyone has to start somewhere, but my advice is start small and learn that way rather than get in over your head and get yourself in a bind because you don't have the basic knowledge to estimate and perform the work a big job requires.

I agree with you 100%. When I was reading the thread about the sod I was thinking if I were the customer, what would I think if I found out this person was on this forum trying to get quick info on how to do my lawn installation. Im not talking about the people who have done this in the past and who do actually have experience. Im talking about the people who have never seen sod but their going to install it tommorrow when they find out how to when they get there step by step instructions. Holy Sht thats scary. I also noticed that these people that ask these questions have business names like Premier Sod Man (just an example)! Its just wrong. Its amusing but wrong!

lifetree
04-24-2007, 05:35 PM
I know guys that were charging WAY to little until they started educating themselves on this site. That is partly how I learned what to charge. Its better to do that than to work for a fraction of what you could charge. That hurts you and others by driving down prices.:usflag:

And for everyone on Lawnsite, we thank you for the consideration which you have shown by trying to keep pricing fair, yet competitive !!

Nathan Robinson
04-24-2007, 05:43 PM
maybe they havent taken the work on yet as to the obvious answer would be they couldnt possibly because they are asking what to charge IN ORDER TO SUBMIT A BID!:hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead:

lifetree
04-24-2007, 05:49 PM
maybe they havent taken the work on yet as to the obvious answer would be they couldnt possibly because they are asking what to charge IN ORDER TO SUBMIT A BID!

Possibly, however, we'll never know really know for sure ... so I say let's give them the benefit of the doubt ... it's the Christian thing to do !!

mdvaden
04-24-2007, 06:06 PM
Why are there so many people taking on work that they have no idea what to charge for doing it? There are so many price/charge questions it is really becoming worrisome. I know they come here for answers and that is fine, but many don't even know what factors to consider in pricing jobs at all. I think they need to use their brains a bit before asking anyway. Just my thoughts.

I think I see what you are getting at, and it should be an easier task than the first reply to your posted implied.

The way I look at it, someone probably should not be bidding on something for which they have no experience.

And if they have some experience - even a little - they should know how many hours it takes, roughly. And they should know how much they need to make per hour.

All they need to do is multiply the time by their hourly income need, and add on the material cost.

The one question that may be pertinent, is "what is a reasonable hourly wage basis for a landscape service?" That's understandable. Someone could have a lot of experience, yet never have seen the contracts to know the profit range that's realistic for a landscape company.

FATWEASEL
04-25-2007, 03:42 AM
Someone could have a lot of experience, yet never have seen the contracts to know the profit range that's realistic for a landscape company.

...which was my point. Some people may have the knowledge to do something and the equipment to do it but they have no idea as to what a reasonable and realistic price is to ask for the job.

I believe most posts on here that ask the price question are from people that are thinking of bidding or have been asked to bid on a job but haven't necessarilly commited.

If you're the only game in town, you can make what your customers are willing to pay. If you've got competition, you're going to be limited, somewhat, by what your customers can get it for elsewhere.