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  #11  
Old 06-04-2014, 08:10 AM
whiffyspark whiffyspark is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TPendagast View Post
yea I hear that.
Still haven't heard from him

Cheap ass ..... Probably went to Home Depot to compare prices. They're $2 a foot at Home Depot mine are )10-16 lol

The ones at Home Depot dissolve
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  #12  
Old 06-04-2014, 08:25 AM
AGLA AGLA is offline
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I review bids for some of the homeowners that I have done design work for. I have never seen any of them line item a plant list. It is always done in paragraph form such as a general description of a patio and a bottom line price for that item, then either the plants listed in a paragraph or "as per plan dated x/y/z" with a description of using proper amendments, labor, and warranty.

My suggestion is to let them know that your plant pricing includes you selecting, shipping, amending soils as necessary, watering them in, initial fertilizer, and warranty. And that your control of that is what allows you to stand behind your work. You can also, if you can put it delicately, let her know that your free estimate is very difficult and time consuming to produce and are offered free one time as a courtesy part of doing business. It is a one time courtesy until a contract and retainer have been received. You may make minor changes to get it within budget, but it is not a free service for the public to use at will.

Your pricing method is both competitive and allows for you to execute the work properly and stand behind it with warranty. If that is what she wants, that is what she pays.

She'll either get it and not be a PITA anymore, or she'll move on to be a pain in someone else's butt.
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  #13  
Old 06-14-2014, 04:53 PM
TJLinc TJLinc is offline
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First of all, never show anyone your cost. You buy at wholesale, they buy (from you) at retail. Your dealer doesn't tell you what he paid for the mower you just bought.

Secondly, the line item list has more to do with what price range you're in. On a $5000 and under job I will never give them a plant list or a copy of my design unless I have my 50% deposit. However, when I am doing my jobs of 15k, 30k, and people spending over 100k, they have every right to know exactly what they are getting for their money. I give a line item proposal and show them the design. I will not give them a copy of my design unless I have been compensated. It's pretty easy to tell if you're going to get the job or if they are just price checking or trying to steal ideas.

Cost is one thing but a line item quote is different. First of all it shows them that you are honest on not going to try to see what you can get away with short cutting. It helps them to understand exactly what they are paying for.

The fact of the matter is, as long as you are in the ballpark on price, that's not what matters. A good reputation and presentation is what gets you jobs. We did 2 15k+ jobs last month without even having to provide a quote because of our reputation for quality and integrity.
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  #14  
Old 06-14-2014, 11:52 PM
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Snyder's Lawn Inc Snyder's Lawn Inc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdow View Post
I have a customer who gave me a verbal commit 3 weeks ago on a new install on new construction. In last 3 weeks they have changed theirinds on numerous things. I submit the final numbers to her today and receive an email from her asking when I would be bringing by a detailed list of materials with their costs. She can't be serious. I have never done that and haven't heard of anyone else doing it either. I think she is fishing and is gonna be a major pita. Does anyone even give a total price of materials to their customers? Just wondering.
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I do it all the time That's how I operate

That way they know what they are getting and how much each item stuff cost and the size of it
$$ for materials $$ for Labor



80% of the time I win cause having my bids itemized and other 20% the people don't care all they are looking at the cheapest price then later they regret going the cheap route
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  #15  
Old 06-15-2014, 04:06 PM
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94gt331 94gt331 is offline
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I sleep better pricing my materials out and labor seperatly. I like my customers knowing where ther money is being spent. And also so I don't get in these situations. Not saying your wrong by any means, it just works for me.
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  #16  
Old 07-07-2014, 12:49 AM
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JimLewis JimLewis is online now
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We've provided detailed line item proposals for our clients for many years. It's fairly normal and IMO a homeowner has a right to know what they are spending money on - how you arrived at the total. It also serves you, as the contractor, well to give a proposal that is detailed. Because it shows that you've actually taken the time to consider all of the materials, exactly what the labor will cost, etc. You're justifying your total price to your customer. Otherwise, they often think you were just "winging it." And if the price is more than what they were thinking, they are left thinking you were gouging them. Which is now what you want your client thinking.

We detail out every bid/proposal we give. Over 40 a week between me and the other 3 estimators here.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard something like this from our customers, "Well, this is a lot more than we expected to spend. But it makes sense, once we look at all the costs. I guess we'll go ahead with it. What do we do next?"

It just makes you look more professional and customers LOVE it. An example of one of our proposals is pictured below....

Also, you shouldn't assume that you lost this customer because he was a cheapskate. You very well may have lost the customer because they found someone who was able break down the costs for them. I don't know about you. But we put a lot of time and money into finding new customers, walking through their properties, writing up their proposals, etc. I don't take any of it for granted. If I'm losing bids because of something I'm doing wrong, I want to know why and see if there is something I can do to correct it, so we don't have that happen again. Yes, there are plenty of cheapskates out there. I fully understand that. But don't assume that's why you haven't heard back.

.
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  #17  
Old 07-07-2014, 12:54 AM
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JimLewis JimLewis is online now
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By the way, that's just the first page of a 3 page proposal. We put a lot more detail at the end about our payment terms, availability, warranty information, our ratings, etc.

And another nice thing about giving a line-item proposal is that often the customer will not have the budget to do everything they wanted. For instance, they may want a paver patio, seat wall, sod lawn, sprinkler system, lighting system and plants. But all that adds up to $25,000. And their budget is only $18,000. So with a line-item proposal like that they can see exactly how much they would save if they cut out a few items. I often have clients cut out one or two items on the bid and take us up on all the other items just so they can meet their budget. They may not get the lighting system and new plants they wanted. But at least they get the paver patio, seat wall, sod lawn and sprinkler system - which were the main things they wanted. And most of the time they'll do the other items the following year. So not only do we get the job because we broke it down for them but we get the REST of the job the next year too!
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  #18  
Old 07-13-2014, 11:41 AM
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94gt331 94gt331 is offline
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Jim, very nice estimates, I like to do our's about the same way. I think both parties like every thing written in black and white. Good job.
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  #19  
Old 08-27-2014, 11:09 PM
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PerfectEarth PerfectEarth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimLewis View Post
We've provided detailed line item proposals for our clients for many years. It's fairly normal and IMO a homeowner has a right to know what they are spending money on - how you arrived at the total. It also serves you, as the contractor, well to give a proposal that is detailed. Because it shows that you've actually taken the time to consider all of the materials, exactly what the labor will cost, etc. You're justifying your total price to your customer. Otherwise, they often think you were just "winging it." And if the price is more than what they were thinking, they are left thinking you were gouging them. Which is now what you want your client thinking.

We detail out every bid/proposal we give. Over 40 a week between me and the other 3 estimators here.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard something like this from our customers, "Well, this is a lot more than we expected to spend. But it makes sense, once we look at all the costs. I guess we'll go ahead with it. What do we do next?"

It just makes you look more professional and customers LOVE it. An example of one of our proposals is pictured below....

Also, you shouldn't assume that you lost this customer because he was a cheapskate. You very well may have lost the customer because they found someone who was able break down the costs for them. I don't know about you. But we put a lot of time and money into finding new customers, walking through their properties, writing up their proposals, etc. I don't take any of it for granted. If I'm losing bids because of something I'm doing wrong, I want to know why and see if there is something I can do to correct it, so we don't have that happen again. Yes, there are plenty of cheapskates out there. I fully understand that. But don't assume that's why you haven't heard back.

.
EXACTLY my thinking and what we do. I also write detailed, line-itemed estimates (Labor and scope of work portion, and then ALL materials needed to do the landscape job.) We never give a blanket price… it has to be broken down, because like Jim said, that gives the customer a sense we have REALLY thought about it and done the homework. Our estimates serve as our budget and job guides. PROFESSIONALISM goes a long way with smart customers. It sets you apart in the proposal game.

I could say more, but Jim already said it all!
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