PDA

View Full Version : Frustrated


kylecal91
03-30-2010, 05:36 PM
Just had a customer that thinks $475.00 is too much for laying down 4 yds. of mulch (at 29.00 per yd. from my supplier), trimming 12 med. sized bushes, edging, weeding and cleaning out beds plus edging, cleaning, and mulching around 5 trees, not to mention delivery and haul away for the job. I charge 60.00 per hour for 2 guys. Am I expensive or is he just cheap? I have customers who think I'm really a good deal and I guess I have a few who think I am expensive. Your thoughts?

markahurley
03-30-2010, 06:06 PM
it's hard to say exactly without being able to see the shrubs, but your prices sound like you are very reasonable. as i'm sure you know, prices vary greatly area to area, but around here we see everyone from 30 to 60 per man hour. i try to stick to 30, and i find the whole spectrum of responses as well. some think it's a great deal while others act surprised. i try not to sweat it. what they don't realize is that 30 an hour is not straight profit, but has to cover all the overhead (fuel, equipment, maintenance, etc.). if i have the chance, i try to explain that to the surprised customers, but i've found that you can't use logic with illogical people. :)

MikeTA95
03-30-2010, 06:09 PM
I have the same problem. Just stick to what you need to charge to be profitable. There are a lot of cheap-o's out there who want everything for nothing. It's just one job, if they choose not to go with you they'll either try it themselves and remember why they were paying someone else to do it, or get someone who does it cheaper and get exactly what they paid for (then gladly fork over $475 to you next time)

MumCity Landscaping LLC
03-30-2010, 10:40 PM
I just quoted a guy for a spring cleanup and to lay 12 yards for 1400.00. He pretty much laughed in my face and said no way. I told him that his yard wasnt cleaned in the fall and he told me that it was done. There must have been a layer of leaves in each bed. My wife helps me sometimes and she agreed that there wasnt a Fall cleanup done. Trust me i get frusterated to and wonder if im to high. I want the work but dont kill your self to make that money. He will get someone that is so cheap the job is crap and he wont even care.

05 superduty
03-30-2010, 10:45 PM
I get between $65 and $85 per yard installed, i wouldn't do half that job for that price(good thing they didnt call me). If they dont wanna pay you your price,just move on, someone else always will.

Shegardi
03-30-2010, 10:55 PM
I get between $65 and $85 per yard installed, i wouldn't do half that job for that price(good thing they didnt call me). If they dont wanna pay you your price,just move on, someone else always will.

Could not agree more.....today's opportunity is NOT the only opportunity.

mike174
03-30-2010, 11:10 PM
Just had a customer that thinks $475.00 is too much for laying down 4 yds. of mulch (at 29.00 per yd. from my supplier), trimming 12 med. sized bushes, edging, weeding and cleaning out beds plus edging, cleaning, and mulching around 5 trees, not to mention delivery and haul away for the job. I charge 60.00 per hour for 2 guys. Am I expensive or is he just cheap? I have customers who think I'm really a good deal and I guess I have a few who think I am expensive. Your thoughts?

Not too expensive in my opinion.

jrodgers
03-30-2010, 11:27 PM
Start steppin.....move on and don't second guess your pricing.

motorscot
03-31-2010, 03:42 AM
Just had a customer that thinks $475.00 is too much for laying down 4 yds. of mulch (at 29.00 per yd. from my supplier), trimming 12 med. sized bushes, edging, weeding and cleaning out beds plus edging, cleaning, and mulching around 5 trees, not to mention delivery and haul away for the job. I charge 60.00 per hour for 2 guys. Am I expensive or is he just cheap? I have customers who think I'm really a good deal and I guess I have a few who think I am expensive. Your thoughts?

I would have quoted:
4 yds @ $34 (includes tax and markup) = $136
delivery = $50
labor = $136
shrubs 12 @ $7 = $84
beds @ $50/hr x 2 = $100
Total = $506

And been happy.

BearWise Landscapers
04-01-2010, 06:30 PM
I have the same problem. Just stick to what you need to charge to be profitable. There are a lot of cheap-o's out there who want everything for nothing. It's just one job, if they choose not to go with you they'll either try it themselves and remember why they were paying someone else to do it, or get someone who does it cheaper and get exactly what they paid for (then gladly fork over $475 to you next time)

I agree. It is tough to pass on clients, but if you can't make money off on the job, then I wouldn't worry about it.

Think Green
04-01-2010, 10:33 PM
KC,
I bid a home last evening at 7:30 p.m.!!!!!
The customer just bought this home that was on the market for 3 years. Obviously, the shrubbery was 5 years over grown. Underneath was at least 16 inches of leaves, trash, a lot of other foreign matter not seen. The lawn is 12 inches tall with impounded leaves, weeds, and thousands of limbs and sticks scattered in that back lawn. Total lawn area is 12,000 sq.ft. fences and all.
Needless to say, the job would take 3 men at least 5 hours in trimming, ladder work, raking, power blowing, and mowing. The haul off would be one full load on a 20 foot side built trailer. This hourly estimate would be if they were working a holes to elbows and no breather breaks. The bid was for 650.00 for the whole job. To just do the shrubbery and remove the stick piles would be 475.00.
After announcing the cost for the job, there was a sound of complete silence for at least 30 seconds followed by those illustrious words..." I will think about it"!

Don't take it too hard. You made your bid and after all is said and done..........would you make any money on this task, or would you do the job and lose money to gain face.
I personally don't need any more practice nor do I want to do the work cheaply and lose money.

Mahoney3223
04-03-2010, 11:18 PM
30.00 PER man hour is a distant memory in these parts...so many lowball lco's and hack solo's have flooded the market the going rate on labor is 20-25 per hour...it's unreal...i know the sheetz gas stations around here just went for 1000.00 per season for mowing, fert, cleanups, 10 yds mulch, edging, weeding and retention pond mowing. this business is a joke. if we don't get some type of licensing process or something we're going to mowing acres for 5.00

Hell on Blades
04-04-2010, 01:31 AM
I don't think you were too high at all, and possibly could have gone higher based on extra expenses incurred by having an extra man.

kylecal91
04-04-2010, 10:17 AM
Thanks for the input guys. Really helped. I'm actually surprised at how hard it is for me to gain new customers this year! I didn't think it would change so much in one season. People just don't understand that we can't do something for nothing! One customer even told me I was competing with his wife! If I was too expensive she was gonna do it. I'm like how the heck does he think it's gonna be cheaper for me to do it?????

Florida Gardener
04-04-2010, 10:49 AM
I have no issue passing on a job if the person doesn't like my price. Especially if it is a nasty cleanup or a lot of intensive work. Some people are just cheapskates, plain and simple. I have found that your current customers(90% of them) will never question your prices after you have worked for them for a little and they like you and your work. That is why I am always looking to upsell my current customers b/c they will give me the extra work.

jrush
04-04-2010, 11:53 PM
One of the best pieces of advise I have got from this site was, if you get 100% of the bids you put in for your too low, if you get 10% your too high, so I try to find that sweet spot between everyone saying yes, and everyone saying no. There are some customers that have a price in their head that they want to pay and if you are anywhere above that you are to much...even though they have no idea what actual time/labor/overhead/material costs are.

bigw
04-05-2010, 12:02 AM
Dont think you are too low at all and im from Pa i would be at that price or even a little higher,its rough this year in pa for sure.
This time last year my phone was ringing off the wall but this year its not doing as well,just have to keep on keeping on and do the best you can and hopefully it will pick up for us. I think i do excellent work "i know i do" its just very slow this year.

traderfjp
04-05-2010, 12:12 AM
It all depends on how much work you have and the customer. Sometimes it's better to make less in a day and keep your crew working on money flowing then to sit home and wait to get your price on every job.

hubbscaper
04-05-2010, 12:18 PM
I find your always better off giving one number for a price, not an itemized list (which you may have done) because with a list they start questioning everything. If someone wont pay the price you need to make money then move on, it took me a couple of bad jobs to realize its much better to not work than to work for free. I had a guy call the rental place I rented a slice seeder from and say he shouldnt have to pay anymore than the rental charge. People dont understand that you have travel time, fuel, insurance, taxes, registrations, repairs, etc. etc.
Then again I am a one man show with low overhead, if you have crew to keep working you may be wiling to get less just to keep them going...

traderfjp
04-05-2010, 01:14 PM
Obviously, I don't suggest working for free but 200 in your pocket is better than 0. I always wanted to make as much as I could but........
Posted via Mobile Device

MDLawn
04-05-2010, 06:07 PM
30.00 PER man hour is a distant memory in these parts...so many lowball lco's and hack solo's have flooded the market the going rate on labor is 20-25 per hour...it's unreal...i know the sheetz gas stations around here just went for 1000.00 per season for mowing, fert, cleanups, 10 yds mulch, edging, weeding and retention pond mowing. this business is a joke. if we don't get some type of licensing process or something we're going to mowing acres for 5.00

Couldn't agree more. The market is saturated with people so by the laws of supply and demand...... the supply of landscapers is high and the customer demand is low (meaning they have the upper hand in choosing a company because there are so many to choose from so the lower price wins) If the landscapers were is short supply prices would be higher as customers would have to compete to get someone to do the work. I know I am stretching it a bit but it's gotta have some truth! I've signed up a few high dollar clients so I am happy, and got rid of the low dollar PITA's :drinkup: However, I expect it to be rough like this for a couple years until the economy can recover and people get their jobs back.

clean_cut
04-05-2010, 06:32 PM
Just had a customer that thinks $475.00 is too much for laying down 4 yds. of mulch (at 29.00 per yd. from my supplier), trimming 12 med. sized bushes, edging, weeding and cleaning out beds plus edging, cleaning, and mulching around 5 trees, not to mention delivery and haul away for the job. I charge 60.00 per hour for 2 guys. Am I expensive or is he just cheap? I have customers who think I'm really a good deal and I guess I have a few who think I am expensive. Your thoughts?

I'm in a very similar situation, I go to one customer and say my hourly price is $$$, they say ok, that sounds fair. I go lay down mulch for the next, work for 2 hours and tell them I charge $$$ per hour, they pay but want me to lower my price some so I can finish the job for them. :rolleyes:

I think I'll do the job cheap for them because I've been targeting their next door neighbor for seasonal mowing. I'll tell them something like.... I'll do the job for $$$ IF you don't tell anyone else about it, and you tell others about my work as much as you can. Loosing $30 or $40 could be worth it if I gain $1000 from them or another neighbor.

traderfjp
04-05-2010, 06:42 PM
I would never give an hourly rate because it will scare the customer away. Always give a number, write everyting out in deatil too so there is no arguing of what you agreed to do. Try to get your price and don't work for free but sometimes you have to negotiate. I would always call my potential customer 3 days after giving an estimate and say I have an opening and can get the job done on this day. Most times the customer would agree to it. Instead of taking money off the price I would sometimes agree to edge the beds or give a free cut, etc. Too many workers price themselves out of work. Always be good to your customer and communicate with them. If you treat them with respect and do the right think your business with thrive. If you bang them once there won't be a 2nd time and they will bad mouth you too.