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View Full Version : How are my prices?


DeepGreenLawn
09-01-2008, 02:22 PM
I gave two estimates today, two decent sized yards and they both are currently using TGLC.

Yard 1:

Fescue, front and back, weeds galore! I couldn't believe it when I saw it. The front was in REALLY bad shape, the back was OK but still nothing great to be having a lawn service for some time. I measured it out to 10800sq ft. I gave the price of $75/treatment. They said they had been paying $50ish to TG and over the phone said their lawn was roughly a little more than 5k. I don't know if that is what TG measured it at or what, but I actually measured it myself, no guessing.

Yard 2:

NICE zoysia lawn in front, OK fescue in back. Had a lot of button weed, some nutsedge and a little clover. The zoysia was really nice and thick but the button weed was still coming through and the nutsedge was also coming in on the edges. First of all... what can I get to take these guys out? They seem to be pretty resistant to most chems.

I measured this out to 33750 sq ft. Big boy here... I priced $190 and felt I was on the cheap side, they said TGCL was charging about $150ish. Any thoughts?



I rarely get yards the size of the second one and the first I am currently treating a few that size, not many, and that is what I helped base my prices on.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be nice... I hope I am not way over charging...

Thanks,

cod8825
09-01-2008, 02:53 PM
Well the first is pretty close and the second is way over for me but that is me. I do large lots mostly acre plus layouts and I am around $160 an acre. But your properties are probably way beyond what I usually take over. Also commercial properties are not as stringent about looks as homeowners.

tlg
09-01-2008, 02:59 PM
Your prices look good to me. Of course every market is going to be different and every company will have different pricing criteria to fit there business model. One thing to watch out for when pricing against TGCL or any other big box fert company is they are rarely accurate in their measuring, may not measure at all ( the ole eyeball method done by techs and sales people who don't own the company ), or the ever popular phone estimate based on what the neighbor is being charged or a Google Earth satellite image. All can lead to a really hard to beat price that is not based on true square footage. For your bigger job we would be at about $179 per application. The smaller lawn would come in at $64 per application.

rcreech
09-01-2008, 03:29 PM
As stated...it is really hard to talk price on here! There are way too many variables such as input prices, competition, income of community etc.

To me...your prices are very high! Around here the first lawn would go for about $55 and the second one would be around $125 - $130.

Now these prices would go up if many trees, landscape or difficult terrain.

REMEMBER:

If you are overcharging the customer will let you know...or not give you any work. If they are willing to pay it, then you are not overcharging.

tremor
09-01-2008, 04:47 PM
A quarter acre for $55 is too high??? Yikes! $90 was about right here this spring. 2009 should be 7-9% higher.

My buddy owns a garden center. Early Order Scotts Step 1 for 15,000 sq ft is $52.00 wholesale. For $55 I'd give them the Sunday paper sales flier.

The times are a changin'!

bug-guy
09-01-2008, 04:55 PM
what kind of program are you running? how many apps? fert,insect and weeds? six apps a yr?

DeepGreenLawn
09-01-2008, 05:30 PM
7 apps per year about 6 weeks apart.

I only price for weed and feed type services (weed control and fert).

Insects/Diseases, aeration, etc all seperate. I garuntee a lawn weed free, if I treat it then I treat until the weeds are gone. Depending on the yard when I get it depends on how much the first weed treatment is, and the type of weeds. Then we go to a normal routine for that type of lawn/grass.

I figure that my prices are pretty good... I uped them a hair due to higher costs of... everything... I get a little more than 60% of the estimates I put out. I also have customers tell me that their lawns have never looked as good as they do now since I have been caring for them. Both customers said that TG said that the weeds they have are not covered under the normal weed controls. How does that work? I figure a weed is a weed, if I do my job right then there typically won't be any weeds in the first place. The fescue lawn in front is about 70% weeds 30% grass. It is impressive how far it has gotten. Fescue is hard to grow here but stilll.... give me a break! I told them to put a different lawn there that is better suited for the site, the grass in the back was doing well enough to keep. They said they would overseed it and then see how it does next spring/early summer, if it doesn't hold up then they would sod over it. Works for me...

I have had TG do this to me before... give a price and their existing price be about half what I priced it at... I just chalked it up to the bigger than they can handle and giving out prices that are WAY off. Then again, look at the service they are getting. You get what you pay for?

I don't think my prices were too far off. I was happy with them, and like I said, I thought they were a little on the low side... oh well, the big guy said that he was thinking about just getting his own tank (crap, that right there tells me hes going to screw up his yard) and do it himself. He hasn't been happy with anyone so far. I told him that the price was the price, and if he wanted to do it on his own I understood. My number is on the bottom of the estimate, if he had any questions or concerns feel free to give me a call. I don't know what he will do... other than screw up his yard if he does it himself.

Who knows... maybe he will come to his senses and say... hmmm... this guy must know what he is doing to price that way, OR remember the whole "you get what you pay for" saying and apply it to the two estimates.

Who knows... I don't let this stuff get to me, I priced accordingly, it's in their hands now...

rcreech
09-01-2008, 06:05 PM
A quarter acre for $55 is too high??? Yikes! $90 was about right here this spring. 2009 should be 7-9% higher.

My buddy owns a garden center. Early Order Scotts Step 1 for 15,000 sq ft is $52.00 wholesale. For $55 I'd give them the Sunday paper sales flier.

The times are a changin'!


$55 is what I charge and I am a little higher then TG. I said $75 was high for my area. If you are getting $90 for 10K this is great...but not around here!

I am doing an acre now for around $140 +/-. What you are charging is equilevent to $360/ac. I would go out of business trying to charge those kind of prices.

That is why I stated it just depends on where you are located and what your market can tolerate.

I hate talking prices on here because everybodies prices are all over the board...but I am sure margins are very similar at the end of the day.

EXAMPLE
If you charge $1000/ac and it costs you $900 you still only net $100!

DeepGreenLawn
09-01-2008, 06:12 PM
yeah, I know what you mean about the prices being different... I was just blown away at the prices they said they were paying compared to my estimates... if I sat down and did the numbers I would be too close to breaking even to be worth it to me.

Also... do your programs only cover certain weeds or are they all in the program? How can you differentiate with the customer what is covered and what isn't? That's like walking up and seeing pigweed that shows up every year... up nope thats not covered, or crabgrass, nope can't do it, extra service... what is to say this is covered and that isn't? I don't understand... if I were the customer I would have some questions needing to be answered. Especially if I am paying you to keep the weeds out of the yard...

rcreech
09-01-2008, 06:17 PM
yeah, I know what you mean about the prices being different... I was just blown away at the prices they said they were paying compared to my estimates... if I sat down and did the numbers I would be too close to breaking even to be worth it to me.

Also... do your programs only cover certain weeds or are they all in the program? How can you differentiate with the customer what is covered and what isn't? That's like walking up and seeing pigweed that shows up every year... up nope thats not covered, or crabgrass, nope can't do it, extra service... what is to say this is covered and that isn't? I don't understand... if I were the customer I would have some questions needing to be answered. Especially if I am paying you to keep the weeds out of the yard...

It is all in how you buy your product! It you are breaking even at ($55/10,000) $5.50/k then that isn't good! If you buy in larger quantities it helps!

That is only 2/3 of a bag of fert and 15 oz of Three Way. This is a cheap program and I make awesome money at my price! If I could charge more....I would!

ted putnam
09-01-2008, 11:15 PM
These guys are right, price varies from region to region and market to market. A rule of "thumb" that I use, especially on the larger properties is I don't want my material cost to be more than 25% of total price. For me to treat a 1 acre property with the fert I currently am using would cost me about $67. So you see, $140/acre just won't cut it in my neck of the woods. Some guys don't work it that way but I figure I spend as much or more time treating 1 lawn that is an acre as I would 4 that total 1acre. That's just my thinking...therefore that is how I handle it. I set my price accordingly, and that's what I charge.

tremor
09-01-2008, 11:27 PM
It's a market thing. I poll most customers & this is the going rate for Fairfield Co, CT & Westchester Co, NY. Keep in mind this is a very pricey area to run a business & most of the clients can afford it.

In 2006 there was a schmuck charging $45 for 12,000 sq ft. This past spring he parceled most of the business off in pieces to satisfy creditors.

Scott's & TGCL have recently sent out fall flyers offering 2000 sq ft for $48 with a signed full service contract. This is up from $29 last year for the same program.

DeepGreenLawn
09-01-2008, 11:32 PM
Scott's & TGCL have recently sent out fall flyers offering 2000 sq ft for $48 with a signed full service contract. This is up from $29 last year for the same program.

That is what I am thinking is about to happen and the customers don't know it yet. With prices the way they are going... I bet these properties get remeasured correctly this time and they see my prices aren't so far off after all.

I am sure I am just ahead of the curve on price increases... I am sure most guys are waiting for next spring...

ted putnam
09-01-2008, 11:45 PM
I gave two estimates today, two decent sized yards and they both are currently using TGLC.

Yard 1:

Fescue, front and back, weeds galore! I couldn't believe it when I saw it. The front was in REALLY bad shape, the back was OK but still nothing great to be having a lawn service for some time. I measured it out to 10800sq ft. I gave the price of $75/treatment. They said they had been paying $50ish to TG and over the phone said their lawn was roughly a little more than 5k. I don't know if that is what TG measured it at or what, but I actually measured it myself, no guessing.

Yard 2:

NICE zoysia lawn in front, OK fescue in back. Had a lot of button weed, some nutsedge and a little clover. The zoysia was really nice and thick but the button weed was still coming through and the nutsedge was also coming in on the edges. First of all... what can I get to take these guys out? They seem to be pretty resistant to most chems.

I measured this out to 33750 sq ft. Big boy here... I priced $190 and felt I was on the cheap side, they said TGCL was charging about $150ish. Any thoughts?



I rarely get yards the size of the second one and the first I am currently treating a few that size, not many, and that is what I helped base my prices on.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be nice... I hope I am not way over charging...

Thanks,

I forgot to mention...At the prices you quoted your potential customers, you and I are currently in line with each other...very close.

DeepGreenLawn
09-01-2008, 11:48 PM
Thanks,

I just wanted to make sure I wasn't WAY off or anything. The potential customers kind of looked at me like I was crazy but... then again they were using TG, and AGAIN, they were apparently getting what they payed for... if they want good personal service then they have my number... one said they used scots before TG, said they were just as bad...

I want to take TG out one day... at least run them out of my towns... their shotty work pisses me off, and then their pricing screws with the rest of us... AHH the list can go on, I am sure you all know what I am talking about...

Runner
09-02-2008, 12:10 AM
Talk to these people like this....
When you are ready to have a nice lawn,...let me know. You are paying 50 dollars right now for a lousy lawn. I am sure they would agree, because after all,...YOU called ME. THAT tells me something - that you are interested in something different. You want a nice lawn,...you are going through the motions,...you are paying for a service,...and you are writing a check for this. For $25 more, you could have a NICE lawn. That, after all, is the purpose, right? Here is my card,...and I would LOVE to show you just how nice your lawn could look! As a matter of fact,...I could start right now, if you like.

ted putnam
09-02-2008, 12:12 AM
Talk to these people like this....
When you are ready to have a nice lawn,...let me know. You are paying 50 dollars right now for a lousy lawn. I am sure they would agree, because after all,...YOU called ME. THAT tells me something - that you are interested in something different. You want a nice lawn,...you are going through the motions,...you are paying for a service,...and you are writing a check for this. For $25 more, you could have a NICE lawn. That, after all, is the purpose, right? Here is my card,...and I would LOVE to show you just how nice your lawn could look! As a matter of fact,...I could start right now, if you like.

There you have it!..CHA CHING!

whoopassonthebluegrass
09-02-2008, 01:14 AM
Good post, Runner. As I was reading through the thread I just kept thinking to myself, "who the hell cares what TGCL charges?" They're such a non-factor, that if you ARE competitive with them on price you're probably selling yourself short.

As mentioned before, it's all about marketing and selling yourself. YOU need to figure out what YOU want to make for the job to be worth your while. THEN you've gotta take that # and sell it to them.

americanlawn
09-02-2008, 08:34 PM
Our prices are even cheaper than rcreech's. I locked in 44 ton of dry fert today, cuz my UAP rep said fert is going up soon. So I expect our prices will jump for 2009. At least crude went down over six bucks today. That may help with shipping.

As stated...it is really hard to talk price on here! There are way too many variables such as input prices, competition, income of community etc.

To me...your prices are very high! Around here the first lawn would go for about $55 and the second one would be around $125 - $130.

Now these prices would go up if many trees, landscape or difficult terrain.

REMEMBER:

If you are overcharging the customer will let you know...or not give you any work. If they are willing to pay it, then you are not overcharging.

ricman
10-04-2008, 12:16 PM
for the 10k mine is 62 per app. 7 apps. has for the 34k that would be 158 per app.