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8" grass for w/k price

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Frank2, May 18, 2003.

  1. Frank2

    Frank2 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 102

    Wondering what some guys do in this instance.

    Get a call that a customer is interested in weekly maintenance. Go out and submit a bid. Customer says they will let you know. A few weeks pass by and you think you lost the bid. Then the phone rings and the customer says remember me, you gave me a bid of $50 a week....I would like to sign up.
    Then you go to the property for the first cut, and the lawn is now an overgrown mess....8"tall or more. I had one the other day i had to cut seven times to make it look good...no bagger yet on the z.
    Do you guys charge more for the initial cut or the same since you got the yearly contract?
  2. crazygator

    crazygator LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,048

    You need to make it a habit to tell them (when giving the estimate) that "This price is only good if I start within xx many days."

    Then simply tell them basically if more time goes by the first time price will be much more due to taller grass and more work involved.

    No it does not work everytime, but could save you a few freeby hours of work.
  3. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,619

    Yes, I charge more the first time. Just let them know you will have to double,triple,etc. cut it to get it down to 2-1/2 - 3" height. Also let them know they will have lots of grass clippings for the first few cuts since it needed cutting a few ??? weeks ago unless you plan on bagging it which I would never do that. I have never had any problems with explaining to them that they will have lots of grass clippings left on the lawn.

    The more information you give them the better then they don't feel like they are getting taken.
  4. Gr grass n Hi tides

    Gr grass n Hi tides LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    Be careful !!!!!!!!!! I just got burned by a lady that has (had) more than an acre that was overgrown. I did it at the proposed regular weekly price based on the understanding that I would be back to cut weekly. Then, you guessed it, she says, "well we're going to see if we can fix our lawn tractor.....if anything changes we'll get back to you."

    I learned fast.

    Just last week I mowed a waist high jungle on a big property & told the guy it would be $150.00. His jaw dropped, but after I was done he said, "I could hardly see your mower half the time....you earned it.......how about you come back for $50 per week." His price was exactly what I had in mind! So, I gained a great account.
  5. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    thats what customers do to jerk u around. they figure, hmmm, $50 a week, for 30 weeks, thats $1500 a season. now, if i dont call him for 5 weeks, i save $250. now i get the season for $1250! i had that, told her she had to pay me for every week that she spent "thinking it over" , and guess what, she did!
  6. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    When i give a bid they have to respond within 3 to 5 days. After that if the grass grows any higher the first mowing will be double.
  7. Frank2

    Frank2 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 102

    thanks for the input. The one that got me thinking on this was last Friday. I worked on the lawn for 4 hours....looked awesome, but for $45......I was pretty fired up. Will be switching the policy on this real quick.

    Have another customer that just called tonight. I have this customer on a fertilization program and some other small jobs. He calls and says his lawn-mower broke down. Now he can't cut his place or bring his mower and cut his sisters until he gets it fixed. He wants me to cut both this week.....one time cut. I had already quoted him prices for weekly maintenance on both properties....$60 and $40 per week, respectively. Guess I gave him sticker shock, because he said he would cut it himself. Both of these lawns are now high. One of them, I can't even fit my trailer down the road, so I have to put the walkbehind in the back of the truck. I know he will not be happy when I call him and tell him the $60 and $40 are not the prices for the one time deal. Try more like $200 and $120.
  8. Auroris

    Auroris LawnSite Member
    Posts: 155

    I have to say that I'm with the others.

    When I give a quote, bid, estimate, etc., the client is told at the same time that the given price is good for 3-5 days, and then a re-evaluation may be needed.

    Staying up-front with customers is simply good P/R and avoids a lot of problems later on.

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