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View Full Version : How to bill for xmas lights?


EagleLandscape
11-19-2007, 08:24 PM
I installed a job the other day and didn't even think about how to bill for it.

Total price tag was a $3,000 install.

Do I bill them now? or bill half now and half when I take them down? What is typical? Thanks.

KrayzKajun
11-19-2007, 09:01 PM
good question!

i would like to know too

NightScenes
11-19-2007, 09:52 PM
I get paid in full at time of installation. That means that I have to make sure to save some money to pay the guys for the takedown in January.

skip1718
11-19-2007, 09:55 PM
how many freaking christmas lights did you put up for $3000.00 dollars. dang:confused:

EagleLandscape
11-19-2007, 10:00 PM
Well we did some garland as well and some wreaths. Roughly 50 strands of minis, 300' of c9's, 4 timers. steep roof, it was a learning experience to say the least but I had fun. the next one should take half as long.

skip1718
11-19-2007, 10:05 PM
wow that is awesome. did you make $3000.00 profit. if not how much was your supplies?

NightScenes
11-19-2007, 10:09 PM
Let's not start talking pricing on the open forum. Maybe PM?

skip1718
11-19-2007, 10:38 PM
sorry, i understand. did you have to buy the supplies you installed or did the customer supply them.

Pro-Scapes
11-19-2007, 11:07 PM
We are installing our first one but if you know your overhead and costs then figuring how to bill anything you do should work the same.

Materials+overhead+profit margin= invoiced price.

We are billing it a bit different than paul. We are going with price of the job installed... then charging for take down. Im sure it works out about the same but it helps sometimes to make a sale if they dont need to pay it all up front plus I know I will have the cash flow later on.

EagleLandscape
11-19-2007, 11:19 PM
I do not disclose profit margins, but I did purchase the products.

Also, the way I structured it (the suggested way from the manufacturer) is that this year the purchase products + labor, and then after take down i store the products and charge them a storage fee.

that way I will have them in my possession come next year. the following year, I just charge labor, and use the savings to upgrade current system (ie: add more wreaths, garland, lights, etc.)

Its a pretty cool business model I believe, and the other three contractors did not offer that. We were all the same price, but I was the only one that sold the materials to the customer.

David Gretzmier
11-19-2007, 11:51 PM
I get half down to get them a date on the calender. the other half is due upon install completion.

hole in one lco
11-20-2007, 12:05 AM
we do it all hourly . Now dont forget 2 cut all tags off the lights and cords. set all the timers 2 the same time.YES BIG MONEY IN LIGHTS

Chris J
11-20-2007, 09:35 PM
Every body is jumping on the x-mas light band wagon these days. Doesn't anyone care about doing work they love anymore? I had a yet ANOTHER customer tell me tonight: "Thank you so much for doing what you said you were going to do, when you said you were going to do it. Since we built this home 2 years ago, every contractor we have encountered has been a nightmare to deal with."
If I started chasing the all mighty dollar as some of you seem to be doing, I think I might lose these compliments and slowly lose my soul and happiness as well. Merry Christmas everyone! I'll call you on Christmas Eve when I have a string out!!!!!!!

David Gretzmier
11-20-2007, 10:51 PM
I hear ya Chris- I am starting to lose my soul to Christmas lights. sending out crews to do the bulk of the work, accepting work produced by them that is under my standards, but still good enough to please the customer. waiting for customer complaints rather than following up on thier work.

There really isn't time for anything but bidding and hanging from Nov. 1 to Nov. 30. I have worked from 6am to 9pm+ 3 out of the last 4 nights. I am stopping at 4pm tomorrow no matter what. no work or phone on Thanksgiving. at least I know it settles down a bit around December 5th or so.

Chris J
11-20-2007, 10:56 PM
I hear ya Chris- I am starting to lose my soul to Christmas lights. sending out crews to do the bulk of the work, accepting work produced by them that is under my standards, but still good enough to please the customer. waiting for customer complaints rather than following up on thier work.

There really isn't time for anything but bidding and hanging from Nov. 1 to Nov. 30. I have worked from 6am to 9pm+ 3 out of the last 4 nights. I am stopping at 4pm tomorrow no matter what. no work or phone on Thanksgiving. at least I know it settles down a bit around December 5th or so.

God bless ya Dave. I know you're trying to get other things going, but you have got a full plate for sure. Keep everything in perspective, and enjoy the holidays with your family. Happy Thanksgiving!

Surferbum21
11-25-2007, 02:25 AM
do any of you guys store and supply the lights yourself? i have heard of businesses doing this. also, how much do you guys charge per strand (supplied or not supplied)? I don't know what to tell my customers so I just tell them $30-40 (down from peak 50-60 b/c of slowness) depending on if I have to get on a ladder or roof.

ChampionLS
11-25-2007, 03:29 AM
You southern guys are all lucky. There are a lot of mixed religions up here. I think we are the only home on the block with Christmas Lights. :cry:

David Gretzmier
11-25-2007, 08:13 AM
For c-9's we use the commercial 1000 ft spools and charge 6.50 per foot the first year, and 3.25 per foot the next and so on. this includes all timers, cords, bulbs, labor to install, takedown, and we store at our warehouse. we close about 25-30% of our bids at these prices, so the market seems to bear it here.

Pro-Scapes
11-25-2007, 08:36 AM
do any of you guys store and supply the lights yourself? i have heard of businesses doing this. also, how much do you guys charge per strand (supplied or not supplied)? I don't know what to tell my customers so I just tell them $30-40 (down from peak 50-60 b/c of slowness) depending on if I have to get on a ladder or roof.


Why do you drop your prices when you get slow ?

Surferbum21
11-25-2007, 01:53 PM
Why do you drop your prices when you get slow ?

well used to i was looking for work from november to february so dropped my price to get people to let me do random work. but each year that is slowly changing

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
11-25-2007, 03:23 PM
When is the last time you had your accountant, lawyer, doctor, or dentist give you a discount or otherwise drop their prices? Be a professional, set your rates, set your prices, and then stick to it.

The easiest thing in the world to do is to drop your price to make a sale... the hardest thing to do is to then return to your 'original price'. Once the word is out that you are willing to discount and reduce the price of things, then you will be expected to do so.

Need to save some money, then reduce the scope of the work.

Have a great day.