$4.00 gal/gas. are you still charging same as 20 years ago?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Brianslawn, May 27, 2008.

  1. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,004

    when i was 10 i was getting $20/yard. as much as cost have gone up over the last 20 years... $80/yard should be the cheapest i hear of. yet i still hear of (not lil 10 year olds).... but grown men (with the mentallity of lil 10 year olds) charging $20/yard or less even.

    what? are you on walmarts and taco bells non-rehire list or something? ive picked up homeless guys in front of home cheapo charging more than that to cut grass. the illegal mexicans wont even drive by your yard for under $60.

    if you lawnboys are so dam desperate to make $1.00/hr... i'll gladly hire you.
     
  2. swingset

    swingset LawnSite Member
    Posts: 231

    $80 a cut? Good luck with that. I'd lose almost every account I have if I made that my minimum. I guess there's places where it might work, but not in my world.

    I'm at the middle of the pack in my area charging between $35-55 for a typical subdivision home, lots of guys on either side of that price but I'm keeping ahold of my customers. If I raise my prices, or lower my quality, I'm done.
     
  3. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    Brian I know that you have a good point but I know that you do not have any 3000 sq ft yards that you charge 80 bucks a cut. The sad thing is that it takes a "visable" event such as 4.00 a gallon gas to allow us to increase our prices without losing most customers to the cash only scrub that is in all of our markets.
    Customers know that gas is rising by the week. We use gas in our mowers so when we tell the customer we need to charge more, most agree. That is an oversimplification but true. If you tried rasing rates to the same percentage 10 years ago you would be out and some kid or local cash only $hitbag would have that lawn as there was no visable event for the customer to see such as skyrocketing gas prices.
    So as your thread title asks, No I am not charging the same as 20 years ago (only been in for 13) nowhere near but I can't justify a minimum of 80 bucks a cut. It would be great but I have a pretty good handle on my numbers and if I could convince all my customers to pay at this rate I would be making more that the neurosurgeon, without the degree or responsibility.
    These times will (pardon the pun) weed out the ones who will survive and the ones who won't. Overall you have to know your numbers and take jobs that make you money. I am paying more for gas but I am not using more gas. That is an expense of mine but it isn't the defining factor of my pricing. Yes I have raised ALL of my rates for everything I do and I am still making money and getting customers. This is the art of owning and operating a business, anyone can mow a lawn. Not everyone can run a successful business.
     
  4. Frue

    Frue LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,472

    It makes me laugh that people living in other areas paint a broad stroke of pricing for all of america:hammerhead:
     
  5. Yes, yes I am.


    Someone told me when I started in this business in the 70's that to get schools, parks etc. I'd have to bid as low as $12/acre.
    I said then I won't mow schools!

    Someone posted on Lawnsite recently that they won a bid at $9/acre for wide area mowing!

    With inflation that's like getting pennies on the dollar!

    How can that be???

    I blame equipment manufacturers. Equipment is just so much better now. And it's selling like hot-cakes! I get six different magazines just to sell me equipment.

    And manufacturers really have no incentive to protect my income. They'd be content for me to go bankrupt. Then they could sell more to my replacement. There is no shortage of people trying to get into this business.
     
  6. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 17,353

    Ill work for 60$ per hour, even use my own equiptment.
     
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    And if you don't, someone else will.

    My last month's electric bill: $50.91
    Yesterday's cart full of groceries (and it was full): $66.47

    Yes sir, I live the way I do so rich folks can exist, too.
    They so get OFF on having a little lawn boy...
    And I so get OFF when they treat me like I'm one of them.

    Whether this increases my chances of going to heaven, that I could not tell you.
    Because you don't even want to know lol.
    But, I have my faith.
     
  8. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 17,353

    60$ per hour at 50 hours = 3k per week, at 3k I can run my aircon, and eat steak and use people shampoo. Just a thought
     
  9. LawnBrother

    LawnBrother LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW Ohio
    Posts: 867

    Granted I'm no long term veteran, but it seems to me that lawn service started out as a luxury that only the rich could afford. As time went on prices barely went up and more and more people could afford it, so it is still a luxury item but one that more people can afford. So I think low prices spurred growth in this industry. I guess if it keeps up like this, eventually lawnboys will be netting $300 a week and everybody in the country can have their lawn cut for $10 a cut, LOL. Wait, maybe that's not funny...........
     
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Because, the economy is just bad, and fuel eats everyone's spare cash, it digs into my electric and grocery bills, yes because my truck gets 11.5 mpg's and there's nothing I can do about it... And if a customer WANTS to pay me more I am very grateful but more than a few of mine can hardly afford it any more than I can, and you might think I can just get the rich customers but the simple fact is the middle class outnumber the rich 10 to 1.

    The only part that makes me sick is by me being thrifty I'm actually undermining the economy in ways, too.

    No doubt but every year there's more, and more...
    And more, and more, and more, and more...
    And still more...
     

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