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  #11  
Old 01-09-2008, 10:07 PM
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Fert33 Fert33 is offline
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With all our costs going up this season you have to be somewhere between 160-180. The last couple of seasons you could get away with a little less per acre. Not this year. Be prepared, customers are going to come to a cross roads. Will it be worth the price? Some may just cut back on some applications to save money. Bare minimum applications, Gotta luv it!
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  #12  
Old 01-09-2008, 10:42 PM
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rcreech rcreech is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fert33 View Post
With all our costs going up this season you have to be somewhere between 160-180. The last couple of seasons you could get away with a little less per acre. Not this year. Be prepared, customers are going to come to a cross roads. Will it be worth the price? Some may just cut back on some applications to save money. Bare minimum applications, Gotta luv it!

WHY would you have to be that high? I can see where you are coming from if you don't buy in volume, and don't pre pay fert. But that blanket statement isn't really true to all.

I would love to make $160-180/acre. But nobody would pay it around here!

I make awesome money at $130/acre and my maint fert only went up about $1.20/bag and my Dimension actually went down quite a bit from last year (reason being I used 400 bags last year and ordered 900 bags for 08 and prepaid before increase).

Other then fuel costs and the slight fert increase in my maint fert, I could go up $3.60 for fert and another $4.00 for fuel and make the same or more then last year.

Last edited by rcreech; 01-09-2008 at 10:48 PM.
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  #13  
Old 01-09-2008, 11:01 PM
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ted putnam ted putnam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcreech View Post
WHY would you have to be that high? I can see where you are coming from if you don't buy in volume, and don't pre pay fert. But that blanket statement isn't really true to all.

I would love to make $160-180/acre. But nobody would pay it around here!

I make awesome money at $130/acre and my fert only went up about $1.20/bag.

Other then fuel costs and the slight fert increase, I could go up $3.60 for fert and another $4.00 for fuel and make the same or more then last year.
Rodney,
You were able to buy a couple of tractor trailer loads of fert before the end of the year. I'm sure you got a decent deal all things considered. I wish I could say my fert only went up $1.20 a bag. It went up $6.80 a bag. I can't buy it by the tractor trailer. I don't have anywhere to store that much. I do buy a lot of fertilizer so I get a volume discount. I go through a ton every 3 days between me and my part time guy.I buy 2 tons/wk , 7wk rounds, 3 rounds of dry. 42 Tons is a lot of fert for a smalltime guy like me. I haven't priced a tractor trailor load, but I'm gonna say it would still be much more than a 1.20/bag increase for me. Unless things settle way down during the course of this year, I think when you go to buy your fert next Fall you may be shocked and your big increase may come then. I may be wrong. Just my thoughts.
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  #14  
Old 01-10-2008, 01:39 AM
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FdLLawnMan FdLLawnMan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcreech View Post
WHY would you have to be that high? I can see where you are coming from if you don't buy in volume, and don't pre pay fert. But that blanket statement isn't really true to all.

I would love to make $160-180/acre. But nobody would pay it around here!

I make awesome money at $130/acre and my maint fert only went up about $1.20/bag and my Dimension actually went down quite a bit from last year (reason being I used 400 bags last year and ordered 900 bags for 08 and prepaid before increase).

Other then fuel costs and the slight fert increase in my maint fert, I could go up $3.60 for fert and another $4.00 for fuel and make the same or more then last year.
Rodney

My 24-0-11 went up $2.28 and I bought it before Jan. 1. One of the reasons you are getting such a good deal is you are close to the distribution center in Cleveland. I am right where you are as far as prices go. There is no way I could charge $180.00/acre. I would be out of business in short order.
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  #15  
Old 01-10-2008, 07:49 AM
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rcreech rcreech is online now
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Originally Posted by ted putnam View Post
Rodney,
You were able to buy a couple of tractor trailer loads of fert before the end of the year. I'm sure you got a decent deal all things considered. I wish I could say my fert only went up $1.20 a bag. It went up $6.80 a bag. I can't buy it by the tractor trailer. I don't have anywhere to store that much. I do buy a lot of fertilizer so I get a volume discount. I go through a ton every 3 days between me and my part time guy.I buy 2 tons/wk , 7wk rounds, 3 rounds of dry. 42 Tons is a lot of fert for a smalltime guy like me. I haven't priced a tractor trailor load, but I'm gonna say it would still be much more than a 1.20/bag increase for me. Unless things settle way down during the course of this year, I think when you go to buy your fert next Fall you may be shocked and your big increase may come then. I may be wrong. Just my thoughts.
You are probably right, but I am wanting to pick up a lot of new customers this year so I want to stay competitive! I ended up buying about 130% of my needs for 2008 due to the growth of my business and increse in fert. Now I also have about 1200 more bags of fert from Lowes (I was thinking of selling a lot of it, but may use a lot also). I am still going to apply a 5% increase this year...but I will have to see what happens next year! How much are you guys raising your prices this year? My 5% will more then cover my increase in cost, but I don't want to leave a bunch on the table either!
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  #16  
Old 01-10-2008, 08:58 AM
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ted putnam ted putnam is offline
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You can't charge more than your market will allow, this is true. Otherwise, you would price yourself right out of business. I am not telling you anything you don't already know. Last year, I know through talking with people and seeing the occasional estimate left by a competitor that I was within a couple dollars one way or the other on my app prices of all my competitors.(TGCL doesn't count. They are always the Low Price Leader) This was true on all small to mid sized lawns. This year I was in a panic as to how much to increase. Like you, I didn't want to price myself out of the running.I also took a new attitude on the "Huge" lawns a couple of years ago. My price sheet runs in $4-$5 /1000 increments up to 30K after that it is a flat $5/1000. I wasn't trying to discourage the big ones from signing on. I just figured I should make the same profit on a big one that I would make on several small ones amounting to the same area treated.Some may think that is wrong. At the end of the day, I shouldn't make $200 less just because I only moved the truck 3 times instead of 12. Just my point of view. I raised my prices 15% because I felt like I needed to to try and cover the uncertain future. All of my "indicators" are telling me that my competition has raised theirs somewhere between 10 an 15% as well. In my situation, let the cards fall where they may.
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  #17  
Old 01-10-2008, 09:30 AM
GrazerZ GrazerZ is offline
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$175 an acre with prices going up @10% I expect.
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  #18  
Old 01-10-2008, 10:04 AM
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LIBERTYLANDSCAPING LIBERTYLANDSCAPING is offline
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You charge at the highest end per/K when properties get above 30k??? Wow that sounds backasswards from anyone else. The way I figure, I'm on site working the whole time on larger properties. When doing several smaller properties in same time frame, you are not making money when packing up, moving, unloading, etc...
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  #19  
Old 01-10-2008, 10:38 AM
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ted putnam ted putnam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LIBERTYLANDSCAPING View Post
You charge at the highest end per/K when properties get above 30k??? Wow that sounds backasswards from anyone else. The way I figure, I'm on site working the whole time on larger properties. When doing several smaller properties in same time frame, you are not making money when packing up, moving, unloading, etc...
You are right. It is backasswards from the way most do it. I knew it when I took on that way of thinking. I'll be honest though. I'm just as tired at the end of the day doing 3 acres in 5 stops as I am in 15. Why should I take in,in some cases hundreds of dollars less because of it. Let's be honest, how much time does it really take to pull a spreader off the truck,grab a couple of handcans or pull 1-200 feet of hose off the reel and roll it back up? I had a long talk with my Lesco guy a couple of years back about just this subject. He has been with them a long time and I trust his judgement. He said,"You guys are killing yourselves on these big ones for less money....I just don't understand it." That has stuck with me. I still sell the big ones because I do quality work and they see it and know it, so the value is there for them.
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  #20  
Old 01-10-2008, 11:42 AM
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LIBERTYLANDSCAPING LIBERTYLANDSCAPING is offline
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Hey, if you can get it, I say more power to ya! I know some guys in this industry who think if you charge "x" for something, you are screwing people... I say, if you are honest about what they will pay for what you will provide, you are not screwing anybody-It's their decision.

Hey, Starbucks charges gobbs of money for the same thing you can buy elswhere for much less.... They wouldn't charge it if they couldn't get that for it.
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