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fga
01-09-2004, 08:12 PM
Got a call today for a lwam estimate for the upcoming season. Great, I have the time to go look....the thing is, like 4-6 neighbors are interesred too, according to the lady(who was recommended through one of my customers). I asked her who's the guy she has now, I got the usual" I don't remeber his name..". Whatever, if I get this account, its really not a big deal, not big, the guy shouldn't care.....but 6 lined up? We didn't talk about what she's getting charged now, so there is a possibilty that I may undercut him, but not on purpose. I don't like asking what they charge, it almost makes me look like I can't price a simple lawn estimate. Would you just give the estimates and not care about the other guy, I mean they are coming to me........

EagleLandscape
01-09-2004, 08:17 PM
i'd ask what the other person is charging. and why charge less if she is used to paying more? Just get in a conversation about what she thought of the guy, what services he did, and then sneak in, how much was he asking? That way you can even take it up a few more dollars too. sell yourself, be confident and passionate about what you are doing. with that in mind, most people wont mind an increase in price.

Zach76
01-09-2004, 08:22 PM
Before joining this site, I would have said do your best to undercut the other guy to get the job but still make a little on each one. Now, after reading all the posts here and educating myself through the waelth of knowledge other members have provided, I would try to give a bid slightly higher than what I would have bid under normal circumstances. If they have come to you, they obviously know you do good work, and will most likely pay a higher price for it, and that's a little extra cash for you every week. If they don't accept it, like you said, its not that big of a deal. I would think you'll probably get a couple to switch to you, and a couple will keep the current guy based on price, but down the road, you may get them too when they see how good of a job you are doing for their neighbors who did switch.

bobbygedd
01-09-2004, 08:26 PM
forget what the other guy was charging. you charge YOUR price. if u ask, and she says $25, and you were thinkin $35, then you feel like you have to justify your price. screw it, its only grass, give your price, sell the job the best u know how, if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen

TotalCareSolutions
01-09-2004, 08:27 PM
Quote the job. What does the other guy have to do with it?

mtdman
01-09-2004, 08:28 PM
I wouldn't care what the other guy's charging. I never ask about that. Just give your price and sell yourself. The person might not be worried about price, but professionalism, quality, etc.

:D

fga
01-09-2004, 08:46 PM
The only reason I'm concerned about his price, I don't want to undercut anybody. The island is small, you see the same guys all the time at the nursery,etc.

mtdman
01-09-2004, 08:50 PM
If your best, honest price is less than his doesn't necessarily mean you're undercutting him. I know I can cut for less than those who have many employees and crews and equipment payments, and my best price might be less than other's. That's not necessarily undercutting. I consider it undercutting when you purposely lower your price to steal his customers.

bobbygedd
01-09-2004, 08:56 PM
fga, u fish? i do most of my fishing off staten island

Kelly's Landscaping
01-09-2004, 09:48 PM
I wouldn’t worry about him thinking you under charged him he may or may not think it but I highly doubt the client that just fired him is going to go and by the way so and so is only charging me this. The fact is as we expand we are always going to be taking over some one else’s account. On one of my first estimates I showed up I was teaching my Jr partner how to estimate and I had just struck a deal. 25 dollars bagged it was basically a 5-6 min stop I mean it was sweet and the view is unreal the ocean sprays you as you cut. Well anyway I'm signing the lawn and at that very moment their old landscaper shows up hehehehe. You want to talk about feeling uncomfortable I stood my ground we nodded to each other and he went his separate way. A week later on referral I took another of his its not personal I have to eat too. I know I will loss accounts in time too it happens.

olderthandirt
01-09-2004, 09:52 PM
How would you know she was telling the truth? If you were thinking $40 and she said the other guy was doing it at $25 don't kid yourself into believing you wont come down some now you might be thinking $30-35 would do just fine, Forget the other guy and bid it high she ain't happy or she would not have called.

Mac

bobbygedd
01-09-2004, 09:56 PM
macs right. i jacked prices before based totally on the idea that if they were willing to pay 25 for a bad job, certainly they will pay more for a new one

dishboy
01-09-2004, 09:58 PM
Figure your time, figure your rate and bid accordingly. If they came to you, likely it is because he is not providing good service.

fga
01-09-2004, 10:21 PM
Bobby where do you fish? The "new pier"? There building a few more all along the beaches!

hole in one lco
01-09-2004, 10:22 PM
If she isn't happy that not your fault. So bid the job accordingly.

fga
01-09-2004, 10:25 PM
Thanks guys, I'll just price it, and if the guy has a problem......it will make for a good thread here!

proenterprises
01-09-2004, 10:27 PM
dont price your work based on the other guys standards. price your work what your work is worth. charge on yoru own standards and let the other guy do his thing while you do yours.

crawdad
01-10-2004, 07:16 AM
I was fixing to take down my little signs, still 2 of them up in a neighborhood where I want more work. Yesterday I had someone visit my website, must have seen the signs, and send me an email. Here's part of it...

<<<<<........ By "regularly," I mean once a week, whether it has rained or not. Our most recent mower
wanted to skip a week or two every time we had a dry spell, and the yard looked terrible.
If you are willing to commit to being here once a week, please call or email back........>>>>>

Now that's the kind of customer I'm looking for, now if the snow will melt, so I can look at her lawn, and give her a price..

Like everyone else said, don't worry about the other guy's price. Although I'd like to know what the other guy was getting, it really doesn't matter to me. Reliable service usually costs more than unreliable service.

Crawdad

mtdman
01-10-2004, 07:18 AM
If you could send her up here to talk to a few of my customers, crawdad, I'd appreciate it.

:D

bobbygedd
01-10-2004, 08:42 AM
fga, i take my boat off staten island waters. it's only a 3 minute ride across the bay. we fish for flounder in the tottenville area. fish for fluke around buoy 52, 42, 20.....fish for blackfish near the light houses and marker 20. stripers at mt. lorretta. good fishin all along the island

sbvfd592
01-10-2004, 10:51 AM
i like tofish the island sometimes too.

fga
01-10-2004, 11:21 AM
Bobby, You've got a boat, have time to fishing, then have time to go "super set", you are the man. I'll email a list of my accounts, you look it over and set me up with a schedule!

bobbygedd
01-10-2004, 03:24 PM
isn't that part of working for yourself? i'll be doin mostly 7 hr days this season. this means i'll be on the boat from 3:30 till dark. i'll set u up with a great schedule, then u can become a fishin junkie just like me

JimLewis
01-13-2004, 04:34 AM
forget what the other guy was charging. you charge YOUR price. I'm with Bobby. Charge what you charge and don't even give the other guy one second of thought. He has absolutely NOTHING to do with what you should charge.

work_it
01-13-2004, 05:02 AM
I'm with the majority with this one. Charge whatever you need to make to insure a good profit margin. Like MTD mentioned earlier, he runs lower overhead and can afford to price his services accordingly. Trust me, if your bid is higher they will usually mention it. That doesn't mean come down on the price; that's just telling you that you're going to convince them that you're worth it. Then after you get the job it's up to you to prove it. Good luck and let us know how it went.

Premo Services
01-13-2004, 07:42 AM
I am with the rest of em on this. Bid your price and don't worry about the other guy.
I picked up two at the end of the season last year, and both of them said I was higher than the "other guy". I started out by informing them that I owned a legit business, have insurance, pay taxes, etc. etc. I stuck to my prices telling them that that is why they were unhappy with the other guy. His price was too low to do quality work, because of the time it would take to get the job done.Both of them were neighbors of my customers and they could see the difference in the quality of work. If they really want quality work then they will have to pay for it.