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HOOLIE
10-15-2004, 11:59 PM
Recently sent out letters to all my customers detailing how leaf removal works and the charges for it. Also, told them I would be more available for other kinds of work as the grass winds down. So today, this one lady comes out, asking about cleaning up all her beds. "But your rates are too high. I can pay you XX per hour". The hourly charge she so generously offered to pay me, well, I could get that much easier working at the mall.

I started to look around. Figure William Shatner must be hiding somewhere in the yard. I mean, I must be on one of those Priceline.com commercials, right? "NAME YOUR OWN PRICE FOR LAWNCARE!" And where's Mr. Spock when you need him? He coulda done that trick with his fingers to incapacitate this PITA customer.

I think we figured she could afford for me to pull weeds for 15 minutes, tops. I know somebody else must have cheapskate customers like this too.

Kelly's Landscaping
10-16-2004, 12:02 AM
Yes god made alot of them like that it no longer gets to me though I know what I am worth I know what I need to charge and I know what I won't work for.

impactlandscaping
10-16-2004, 12:12 AM
Yep guys, we've had a few like that here. Mostly foreigners..."no, no , no, not 250.00, 150.00" sorry pal, I don't take rupees...lol.
Our regular clients know what our services are worth to them, and we never have issues over pricing. It's always newbies or one timers who try to play the "name your own price " game..I laugh and get back in the truck, and then laugh some more... :p

Lawnchoice
10-16-2004, 12:20 AM
Had em and cut them right away. I simply tell them in the nicest possible wording that I don't feel my company will be able to provide what they need in a costly manner. They take it many ways, but I am very honest with them. My time = money and I need that because we provide the best possible service but at a slightly higher rate.

Lawnchoice

HOOLIE
10-16-2004, 12:21 AM
Yeah, this particular customer is "not of this country". She's harmless, though. I think I keep her around strictly for her entertainment value. Before this latest incident, her plan was for me to mow one week, and pull weeds the next week. But I reminded her that her lawn is "every week, or you'll be shopping for a new service".

work_it
10-16-2004, 12:22 AM
Oh yea, they're always good for a laugh. I love walking away from people like that, and leaf season brings them out of the woodwork.

impactlandscaping
10-16-2004, 12:36 AM
I did an install for a couple 2 years ago, and the husband constantly screamed at the wife in Hindustani...It was too funny...the grandmother stared out the window at my brother for 3 days and freaked him out. Of course they signed the contract, but wanted to "negotiate" the payment. I don't care if it's customary or not, in the USA, we like "payment in full when complete", I thank you...LOL ..it's so fun getting the look of shock when you tell them prices for fall cleanup, too.. ;) :dizzy: :p

Wells
10-16-2004, 02:11 AM
We have a restaurant here in SLC that has no prices on the menu, you simply pay what you feel the menu item is worth.

Surprisingly the owner says that he is already out of the red and turning a profit a year ahead of his projected schedule.

I often wonder what kind of pricing people would come up with if you let them choose their own pricing for lawn-care. I'm just not brave enough (or stupid enough) to give it a try.

bobbygedd
10-16-2004, 06:20 AM
but wells, THEY ALREADY DO name thier own price. on a $30 cut, they can get a true professional to do it for $40, 30, 25, as low as $18.

rodfather
10-16-2004, 08:41 AM
When it comes to fall cleanups, I look at it this way (and have been for many years too) btw.

I already have enough in the bank to last me until mowing season begins again next year. And I still have a substantial amount of money owed (bobby can tell ya the amount, I won't) in way of account receivables that increases my winter stash as well.

So what goes? It's like this. First of all, I know ALL my costs. Secondly, I DON'T need the leaf cleanup money to survive. Third, leaf cleanup is hard, dusty, filthy work. So, here is the price ma'am/sir. I don't want to sound rude or unreasonable, but this quote/estimate is NOT (I repeat, NOT) negotiable.

That's it...end of story. Period

GrassBustersLawn
10-16-2004, 10:26 AM
Rodfather said "First of all, I know ALL my costs. Secondly, I DON'T need the leaf cleanup money to survive. Third, leaf cleanup is hard, dusty, filthy work. So, here is the price ma'am/sir. I don't want to sound rude or unreasonable, but this quote/estimate is NOT (I repeat, NOT) negotiable."



AMEN BROTHER!


Mike

mbricker
10-16-2004, 11:50 AM
For several years I have sent out a fall letter that said (among other things) Leaf removal this year will be done for $XX per hour for one man, $XX per hour for 2 men." (Rates far lower than many of you can get in other parts of the country, BTW) I had so many people not even call me for leaves, and last year the letter said, "If you have grandkids or neighborhood kids who want to rake up your leaves for you, it certainly will not hurt my feelings."

This year I am so tired of the negotiations with cheapskates, I won't even talk to most people about leaves. And my new "partner" needs to get some education anyway.

To me the biggest minus of the whole business is having to constantly deal with the people who are absolutely positive we can show up with $50 grand worth of equipment behind the truck, charge $20 an hour per man, and still be raking in the dough.

TURF DOCTOR
10-16-2004, 12:36 PM
The old lady was from the old school

bobbygedd
10-16-2004, 12:52 PM
put it this way, i aint sayin any numbers, but rodfather makes more in a month than i make in a year.

gogetter
10-16-2004, 03:12 PM
To me the biggest minus of the whole business is having to constantly deal with the people who are absolutely positive we can show up with $50 grand worth of equipment behind the truck, charge $20 an hour per man, and still be raking in the dough.

I just had a plumber come to snake a drain and replace a trap in my kitchen sink. He arrived in a van, and carried in a small machine. He was there for one hour. My total bill?.......... $240!!!!!. (materials were only $27 of that).
On the bill was a "trip charge" for $29.95. This guy made $30 just showing up at my door!!!
The friggin' pizza guy shows up at my door too, and he only gets about $3 bucks!!!

I show up with a truck, trailer, and thousands of dollars worth of equipment. I'm there for a good half hour sweating my nuts off, and it's like pulling teeth to get them to pay me $25-30.
People suck! ;-)

Lux Lawn
10-16-2004, 03:54 PM
Most people just don't understand how the nature of the business works,when they ask you how much is it going to cost to have my leaves removed you tell them I charge XXX per man hour its always well how many men on the crew and how many hours will it take and I understand they want a ballpark price but thats it the price is not going to be the same in the end you have to consider rain wind and other weather conditions.

rodfather
10-16-2004, 04:09 PM
I'm there for a good half hour sweating my nuts off, and it's like pulling teeth to get them to pay me $25-30. People suck! ;-)

That's because you have not properly educated them IMO Jonathan. What I have done in the past is say to them, "how much money do you think I have invested in a truck, trailer, and equipment out in front of your house there?" That usually get's the ball rolling...

Your other alternative is to just tell them "no". Go and find new customers who will pay you.

Lux Lawn
10-16-2004, 04:16 PM
What I have done in the past is say to them, "how much money do you think I have invested in a truck, trailer, and equipment out in front of your house there?"


That is exactly right then add in how ever many trucks you have on other jobs comm. insurance and everything else.

rodfather
10-16-2004, 04:20 PM
I have no qualms with telling people how much I charge per hour either.

Last week, a guy stopped my while I was mowing a yard and asked if I do fall cleanups. I said "yes sir we do". He says, "do you charge by the job or by the hour?" I said to him, "for new jobs strictly by the hour and since your next question I know will be how much an hour, I can answer that for you right now. It's 95 dollars an hour per man". His eyes got real big and then I hear him say, Good Lord!" And my response was "my sentiments exactly sir. Been doing this for 11 years now and it amazes me to this day why it is still so low".

True story btw.

olderthandirt
10-16-2004, 06:18 PM
put it this way, i aint sayin any numbers, but rodfather makes more in a month than i make in a year.
Dam Rod your lucky I have to pick each leaf up as they fall or the kids don't eat that day. Maybe you can throw some work my way? I'll travel
$95 an HR? my surgeon don't get that much, I'm at $15 an hr and thought I was high

Mac

rodfather
10-16-2004, 06:25 PM
Dam Rod your lucky I have to pick each leaf up as they fall or the kids don't eat that day. Maybe you can throw some work my way? I'll travel
$95 an HR? my surgeon don't get that much, I'm at $15 an hr and thought I was high

Mac

Well, you did tell me they can put away the groceries. Surgeon huh? Sounds more like your local vet LOL

DLCS
10-16-2004, 06:27 PM
I have no qualms with telling people how much I charge per hour either.

Last week, a guy stopped my while I was mowing a yard and asked if I do fall cleanups. I said "yes sir we do". He says, "do you charge by the job or by the hour?" I said to him, "for new jobs strictly by the hour and since your next question I know will be how much an hour, I can answer that for you right now. It's 95 dollars an hour per man". His eyes got real big and then I hear him say, Good Lord!" And my response was "my sentiments exactly sir. Been doing this for 11 years now and it amazes me to this day why it is still so low".

True story btw.


LMAO, good one.

DLCS
10-16-2004, 06:32 PM
So what goes? It's like this. First of all, I know ALL my costs. Secondly, I DON'T need the leaf cleanup money to survive. Third, leaf cleanup is hard, dusty, filthy work. So, here is the price ma'am/sir. I don't want to sound rude or unreasonable, but this quote/estimate is NOT (I repeat, NOT) negotiable.

That's it...end of story. Period

Exactly, like Rodfather says.


I give the customers my price and its a "take it or leave it attitude", I don't haggle prices. Give them a firm stance, when you give your prices, don't give the customer the impression that you'll negotiate. Clean-ups can be hard work and I want paid for it.

rodfather
10-16-2004, 06:46 PM
A whole 15 bucks an hour Mac? Damn glad to hear you're finally raising your prices there my friend...

olderthandirt
10-16-2004, 06:48 PM
I do give a firm price and then I hear a firm NO, gotta eat so we negotiate I say $15 an hr , they say $12 , I say $18 they say $10 I say ok you win I'll do them for $20 lol

Mac

olderthandirt
10-16-2004, 06:50 PM
up to $20 now Rod
Mac

rodfather
10-16-2004, 06:55 PM
Up to 20 huh? Making me and The Donald real proud there Mac...

olderthandirt
10-16-2004, 07:00 PM
Your one and the same Rod you just want me to walk all the way there so you can say "your fired"

olderthandirt
10-16-2004, 07:01 PM
sorry kids but you don't really need shoes that mean man in jersey just fired your daddy for no reason
Mac

rodfather
10-16-2004, 07:17 PM
Well, seeing that you're gonna be charging a whopping 20 bucks an hour, I know where to go for some dash cash

olderthandirt
10-16-2004, 07:26 PM
Well, seeing that you're gonna be charging a whopping 20 bucks an hour, I know where to go for some dash cash

Make it $25 an hr and I'll bring 2 more with me. Thats 3 workers for 1 low price of $25 an hr. I gotta start making some money at this kind of work or I'm gona go under.

Greenman85
10-16-2004, 07:39 PM
When it comes to jobs I just give them a price that will make me a minimum 1/3 profit. I generally upsell a huge amount, meaning that if I see things that need work, I quote on those too. I usually make twice what I'm there for in the first place. I have a lot to offer though. I do retaining walls and garden installs and other shtuff too.

I've done a few jobs "the first time" too. I learnt on the internet how to do my first brick patio. Took a little longer to do it but still made money.

Anyway, play with the customer. Sometimes I charge way more just to see if they complain and if they do I tell them that if they get me another job I'll do two weeks for free. And I still make money.

LawnsRUsInc.
10-16-2004, 07:48 PM
Olderthandirt i don't want to rain on your parade but what kind of remark is "ANYONE UNDER THE AGE OF 18 IS NOT A PROFESSIONAL! YOUR A MINOR" I am not as offended to that as i am now older than 18, but what is the problem with someone wanting to or trying to be professional at a younger age. If younger people going out underbidding you is a problem, than you might want to see why people aren't hiring you based upon your 29 year reputation.

Jason

Branching Out
10-16-2004, 07:54 PM
When a customer asks me to lower my price I usually reply " Sure, I don't mind lowering my price, if you don't mind that I lower the quality of work that I do to compensate". It usually get's the point across. And, the best part, the expression on their face after they had a moment to reflect on what I just said.

If they tell me that XYZ-LCO will do it for x$'s (and it's usually some ridiculously lowwww price) my response is,"I won't even put the key in the truck for that price". .

Branching out...........

PS. The other day a custormer tried to chew me down for $15 dollars. When I told him no, he asked if I was going to walk away from work for $15 dollars. My answer was an absolute YES! He did eventually say yes to my service and my price.....

olderthandirt
10-16-2004, 08:14 PM
Olderthandirt i don't want to rain on your parade but what kind of remark is "ANYONE UNDER THE AGE OF 18 IS NOT A PROFESSIONAL! YOUR A MINOR" I am not as offended to that as i am now older than 18, but what is the problem with someone wanting to or trying to be professional at a younger age. If younger people going out underbidding you is a problem, than you might want to see why people aren't hiring you based upon your 29 year reputation.

Jason
Jason my sig.line it the truth! You can want to and try to be president also but there is this thing called the law that says your a minor and not responsible for your actions. That is why you cannot buy cig. or alcohol before the age of 18. You did not start your biz at 13, you mowed some lawns. Who said people are'nt hiring me? or are you referring to the banter I was having with Rod, LMAO This subject has been gone over so many times it just not worth repeating. Do a search or contact an attorney

Mac

HondaFreak
10-16-2004, 08:48 PM
Jason my sig.line it the truth! You can want to and try to be president also but there is this thing called the law that says your a minor and not responsible for your actions. That is why you cannot buy cig. or alcohol before the age of 18. You did not start your biz at 13, you mowed some lawns. Who said people are'nt hiring me? or are you referring to the banter I was having with Rod, LMAO This subject has been gone over so many times it just not worth repeating. Do a search or contact an attorney

Mac
Just because you're a minor doesn't make you unprofessional. One definition for a professional is: Performed by persons receiving pay. So yes, I think a minor can be a professional. I have a question. How is it that you're charging $20 per hour but rodfather is charging $95? Why such a big difference? I'm not trying to bust your chops, I just don't know why there is such a big gap between the two prices.

olderthandirt
10-16-2004, 11:36 PM
Just because you're a minor doesn't make you unprofessional. One definition for a professional is: Performed by persons receiving pay. So yes, I think a minor can be a professional. I have a question. How is it that you're charging $20 per hour but rodfather is charging $95? Why such a big difference? I'm not trying to bust your chops, I just don't know why there is such a big gap between the two prices.
Never said it made you unprofessional, I said your not a professional your a minor and I'm not going to explain why the laws are that way, if you don't like the laws try voting them out and see how far you get. You say your 15 and been in business 4 yrs! Please explain how you could do this? Did you itemize and depreciate your equipment? Or were you claimed on your parents tax return? Your were not old enough to drive at 11 so what you are doing is mowing some of the neighbors lawns. You are preparing to start a business when you are old enough. Since you are new here I will tell you that I know Rod and was joking around with him, You can be dam sure I don't charge $20 an hr. there is not a big gap in price.

Mac

impactlandscaping
10-18-2004, 08:47 AM
Just because you're a minor doesn't make you unprofessional. One definition for a professional is: Performed by persons receiving pay. So yes, I think a minor can be a professional. I have a question. How is it that you're charging $20 per hour but rodfather is charging $95? Why such a big difference? I'm not trying to bust your chops, I just don't know why there is such a big gap between the two prices.
Welcome to the forum, but not to bust your chops or anything...

Another definition of profesional could be : A LICENSED, LEGALLY INSURED ,for profit business that pays taxes and workman's comp, and can't be claimed as a dependent on anyone else's taxes....As Mac said, you are preparing to start a professional business when you turn 18. Until then, you are as your profile says, "mowing lawns for money"... :drinkup:

HondaFreak
10-20-2004, 08:48 PM
Point taken. :cool:

Carolina Cutter
01-15-2005, 05:11 PM
I have to admit though that this could bring the pricing levels back up to where they need to be.

It would require ALL lawn service companies to participate in a given area though. Just keep turning them down until they got the price back to where it should be. Then that would become the NEW STANDARD of pricing.

But if that goal ever was accomplished some dang scrub would come along and lowball AGAIN and then we would be right back where we started.

I for one am an avid supporter of REQUIRED BUSINESS LICENSING. No license, the county puts you out of business. You want to do this....you get the proper license. And if the counties would require insurance and the other things that should be mandatory to acquire that license the standards would improve.

Ok I am done ranting now....

stumper1620
01-15-2005, 07:12 PM
I have to admit though that this could bring the pricing levels back up to where they need to be.

It would require ALL lawn service companies to participate in a given area though. Just keep turning them down until they got the price back to where it should be. Then that would become the NEW STANDARD of pricing.

But if that goal ever was accomplished some dang scrub would come along and lowball AGAIN and then we would be right back where we started.

I for one am an avid supporter of REQUIRED BUSINESS LICENSING. No license, the county puts you out of business. You want to do this....you get the proper license. And if the counties would require insurance and the other things that should be mandatory to acquire that license the standards would improve.

Ok I am done ranting now....

wow i tried to post and lost the whole thing!
anyway, amen to that!!
i have no problem with licenses, if it helps the business and the pricing, but,
grand rapids mi has plowing licenses and it didn't help. no enforcement
unless a citizen complains about failure to deliver. all that was accomplished was increasing overhead and lined the cities coffers with 125 bucks per truck per year.

lawncare4u
01-15-2005, 08:11 PM
Is $50.00 per hour 2 cheep for 3 men blwing and rakeing leaves

smlavin
01-15-2005, 08:59 PM
Is $50.00 per hour 2 cheep for 3 men blwing and rakeing leaves

YES! Definately. Try 90 to 100 but at least get 75 to cover wages, fuel, fixed cost (insurance, equipment, etc,) taxes, etc.

redoak77
01-15-2005, 10:13 PM
When i was very young and my first year, (i was like 11) some guy said he would pay me 6.00 an hour to any and all yard work. I was foolish at the time and accepted. Now i look back and laugh :rolleyes: