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Old 07-02-2013, 07:01 PM
BottomLINEGuyNY BottomLINEGuyNY is offline
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: upstate ny
Posts: 38
Noob needs help with ESTY/PRICING for hairy job

Hi again..

Glad to be here,the knowledge i have gained from the elders in my short period of time here is priceless...

Its mid summer/season here in upstate ny,i seem to be doing enough work to "get by" and i'm thankful i even have that for a first year company..Also thankful im not in that stupid office i dreaded going to so badly, for the last 12ish years...

I have a problem though,with an estimate...

A current customer of mine,has asked me to now give him a quote for his home lawn care...

Right now i take care of his business property,and have been for over 2 months...The place i currently mow/trim is a medium sized business/factory,and he found me at a time when i was so desperate,i charged him half of what i would for his same job, now..(thinking i would get tons of referrals and use his name-he is my only current commercial property) Sort of Stupid on my part....

This property,the factory/business,which he spent a long time convincing me it would take ONLY half an hour to mow,in and out, ends up being like 2 hours every time, there's a few tricky things i didn't see...Blah blah live and learn,stupid mistake...
but he writes reviews for me now,and gives feedback,and really helps my SEO...He is an insane,type A personality guy,but we have a ball busting relationship.....Its funny...but he's a salesman,and will push too....

some facts...

This new estimate, is for strictly mowing,his home property (total 8 acre lot) total i need to cut is probably 5 or 4 maybe...

The 5 acres they want mowed,is a straight shot,kept up already,some hills and pitch,but looks relatively easy....Just very long strips...easy peezy

The person i did the quote with was his wife,he was at work...She doesn't really know me,pretty stern woman that just got over breast cancer (can i blame her for being so stern?)and she likes mowing the 1 acre surrounding the house,and would like to continue her little mow her own little area to save money,and because she enjoys it.....

They want me to come weekly,and mow the 4-5 acres....

Ive never had a job this big

Bottom line,this lady didnt really know what she was talking about....First when she spoke,she saisd it would take 4 hours on a "zero turn".
Then,of course,later in the convo when money came up,she said it would probably take me 2.5 hours.SAME EXACT THING the guy did to me blah blah "it will take X amount of time" like jewing me down....

Either way she doesnt know what the hell i drive or have,and she drives a sears tractor herself! Takes her two WEEKS to get hers all done on that!!!!!seriously


So...part of me almost wants to quote them an HOURLY RATE!!! lol i sure wont get screwed then! haha....if i did the comersh property i do for him at hourly i wouldnt be in the hole with that property that i am in!

So,what should i do?i really need the money,as much upfront as possible too.....
I want the job,but don't want to get screwed....

i guess i also wonder how much gas my new Ferris 1500zx uses in one hour?...

btw i have down sized to the single 61 inch ferris as my main machine....

and can sum1 tell me how to use the bullet points on this thing? YES im very NEWB!

Any ideas on this guys??? not really sure what to tell her yet...I KNOW they are looking for a deal though....i think they put their heads together because they r just too busy and thought, "hey ,what about that guy that does your business for pennies! Lets have him do our dirty work for nothing!"

again,they want every week,till mid October ....thanks....

oops and p.s..

im pretty sure they want ME to do this,and they dont want anyone else to cuz he knows im probably the cheapest,but im worried that if i quote him too high,i may lose him too..(just for the home property) Its almost like they were flaunting that they really dont HAVE TO have someone else mow it,if the price is too high...Ya know what i mean?

here are some pics of basic layout,just showing its simplicity...straight shot basically...but HUGE.for obvious reasons i cant show you the house etc etc


haha im sure youll laugh at my drawings/sketches lol

EDIT pss,hang on the images are screwed up.....

screen capture program

Last edited by BottomLINEGuyNY; 07-02-2013 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:07 PM
LandFakers's Avatar
LandFakers LandFakers is online now
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CT
Posts: 6,108
Well I cant see the photos but id tell them ill charge $215 cut and im not sure how long it will take me, so you dont know either. Im usually around $60/acre but with a property this large its not a bad idea to cut back on the price a bit as you will be there for a while.
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:23 PM
BottomLINEGuyNY BottomLINEGuyNY is offline
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: upstate ny
Posts: 38
Hey thanks man...

Most guys on here will say, "im not telling you what to charge,im not you ,our equipment isnt the same etc etc blah blah" and of course i understand that,

but one main concern of mine is,i feel in my gut,that these people truly believe themselves when they say its only going to be X amount of hours,so why not charge them hourly right"?

is that a bad idea? to have them put their money where their mouth is? i think they will appreciate it more too that way...It SHOULD take the same amount of time (roughly) every time....

Do people do hourly with this ever?

also,i feel embarressed saying this,but i dont know how to measure...I know what an acre is,about....but not how to measure..Man it would be useful right now to know.....
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:38 PM
BottomLINEGuyNY BottomLINEGuyNY is offline
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: upstate ny
Posts: 38
for some reason i cant edit this..

so ok

its 4/5 acres.... 14 mows...But man this place is HUGE........

what if i offered 300 per mow for big down-payment and payments...
and 215 per mow for paid in full?
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:44 PM
Joel D Joel D is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Raleigh, nc
Posts: 126
First I have to ask is there any trimming involved or is just running the mower?

If it is just mowing I would charge around $150 because it would take about 2 1/2 hours and $60 and hour. That is discounted from my normal hourly rate because is one property.

If they treated you like they don't need you to really do then let them do it if they don't like your price. I made the mistake of letting customers dictate the price when I first started, and I was pissed off every time I mowed their property.

Also some unsolicited advise, you really need to set an hourly rate for self learn to estimate the time it will take on jobs and stick to it. You don't even have to measure the property, just know how long stuff will take. That will come with experience though I guess. If you don't you are going to leaving money on the table every time.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:09 PM
StanWilhite StanWilhite is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Decatur AL
Posts: 1,936
Golden rule: Never do work of any kind at a big discount thinking you'll get tons of work because of the usually doesn't pan out.
Shut 'er down Buford....she's slangin' oil !!!!
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:09 PM
ztman ztman is online now
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: mountain pa
Posts: 960
JOEL D is right on with his price. I usually see $60 for the first acre, $30 for additional acres. Works out to about $150. I would not go lower than that. You will have a lot of wear and tear on the mower and will burn a lot of fuel. By the way, since these people like to bargin, I would not take their word for the acreage. Look it up on the tax map
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:12 PM
BottomLINEGuyNY BottomLINEGuyNY is offline
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: upstate ny
Posts: 38
ok heres the property guys...

Anybody know maps and calculations and whatnot?? haha

i see that like a certain length is 100ft on google maps at the bottom...i better start googling the formula!

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Old 07-02-2013, 08:30 PM
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gcbailey gcbailey is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: WV
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try that'll give you your area.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:38 PM
BottomLINEGuyNY BottomLINEGuyNY is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: May 2013
Location: upstate ny
Posts: 38
i got my area,back to business...

the total lawn area is 5.5 acres.... or what i will be mowing ......

so...what do you guys think?

60 the first acre,and 30 each additional?

50 for EACH acre?

im torn.....and still dont have an answer

what keep coming in my head is how friggin cheap i agreed to do his Comersh property for...He really burned me on that one...But i guess thats not his fault
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