$3, $4, $5 gas, how high before most of the middle income folks mow their own?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Hermanator, Jul 13, 2006.

  1. Hermanator

    Hermanator LawnSite Member
    Posts: 223

    Hey guys... was wondering what you think it will take in gas prices before some/most of the middle income folks cut their own grass to try and save money? i know the wealthier folks will still hire it, but I think most of our clients come from the middle income folks how are ok with money, but not bursting at the seams with it.

    I say the high $3's to $4 and we will see a fairly sizable drop off, with it going much over $4, then a huge drop off.
     
  2. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    It was still 102 here at 10:00 last night. I think people here would cancel cable and sell their children before they mowed their own lawn. But thats just here probably wouldn't work where your at.
     
  3. JJLandscapes

    JJLandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    gas was $4 last summer and none of my customers where affected.... theres a solution to every problem just go find some higher price houses where the customers wouldnt ever cut there grass unless they declared for bankruptcy
     
  4. SouthernYankee

    SouthernYankee LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 789

    I have lost 2 accounts in the last 3 weeks due to people are starting to get tight with their money. One of them was a doctor who told me he couldnt dish out the $140 a month to mow his place and that he would starting doing it himself, the other said the same thing. I have another customer with a $700k house trimming his own shrubs (and doing an awful job) where last year I would have done it. I am getting undercut left and right and things in my area are dead. No one is doing any type of installs or anything other than mowing and people are starting to cut out mowing.
     
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I'm tired of this lean stuff myself but then it's been like that all year so the price of gas has little of anything to do with it. And if any of my customers were to tell me that they won't need as many services or whatever due to the price of fuel, then I will do us both a favor and take them off the schedule because we're obviously better off without that.

    Then again, I didn't use the price of fuel as an excuse to raise my own prices either.
    That might be a helpful pointer to some:
    If you use the price of fuel in conversation and as a reason to justify your means, then likely so will some of your customers.
    I find, if prices must go up, the best thing to say is they go up a little every year but once one of my customers sees an increase, that it usually takes at least 3-4 if not 5 years before they see another one (cauz an increase is $5). Still, only some of my customers see this annual increase, there's always some but never all.
     
  6. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    The recession of 2001-2002 was the worst (only) recession of my adult life. When I had lunch with Mike & TJ from Justmowit last fall, I asked them how they managed through that recession. They said they grew right through that recession as if it never even happened.

    Advertising is the solution.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  7. nephilim0167

    nephilim0167 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 144

    There is still a middle class?

    Haha.

    On a (more) serious note, I don't see it affecting anyone really.
     
  8. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 903

    Even if gas prices hit $10/gallon, I believe that most homeowners (the ones who could actually afford an LCO to begin with) would still pay to have their lawn mowed.
     
  9. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 4,205

    If 2001-2002 was the worst recession you've ever lived through and you thought it was tough you're in for a bit of an awakening.
     
  10. Hermanator

    Hermanator LawnSite Member
    Posts: 223

    A recession is a HUGE difference then high dollar gas. A recession does not effect everybody the same and it doesn't effect most or all at least. However, high gas effects every one. I know the rich will still have their yard cut for the most part, but I would say the for the majority of guys here on lawnsite, that the highest number of clients they have come from the so called middle class. You know the ones that can make all their payments, but don't have a nickle left at the end of the month.

    Yes DFW, advertising helps as it always does, but gas effects every one. i know last year when gas was at $3.00 the restaurants were bone empty. That's not the case right now as we are used to it, but at some point and time, people will start to pull back some place.

    If folks cut back, will it be the lawn mowing or the lawn spray/squirt?
     

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