Bids for a one time cut to beat $22

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Meier, Sep 22, 2003.

  1. Meier

    Meier LawnSite Senior Member
    from DFW
    Posts: 269

    This lady calls me up Saturday morning. She says she got my door hanger and she wants me to come mow her lawn. She wants a one time cut and mentions something about some guy who was doing it for $25 or something to that effect. I tell her I'll be by on Monday to get her a price.

    I pull up to her lawn and ring the bell. She answers, we talk and she once again indicates that she isn't interested in weekly service. She just wants it mowed one friggin' time.

    Now I'm still starving, and I need all the work I can get. At some point, hopefully I'll be able to turn down the one time work and not even bother estimating it.

    Anyway, I walk the property and decide this is a $25 account if it's done every week. I figure if it's done every other week, maybe $30 to $35 or so.

    Anyway, the lawn isn't bad at all, so I tell her, "Well, if I were doing this every week, this would be $25, but I just can't do that on a one time cut. For a one time, I could do this for $32 if you can let me do it tomorrow."

    I totally expected her to say something like "OK. Just do it."

    She goes on to say that the guy who had been doing it was unavailable but that she had been paying him $22.00 and now he's available again.

    How do people have the time to be so cheap? I mean, she's worried about taking multiple bids on one time work that's in the $20 to $30 price range? It wouldn't be bad if this was retail merchandise on the shelf. People do that all the time. But when you're calling contractors to drive out to your house and give you a free estimate? Geez.

    Later,
    DFW, TX
     
  2. TRex

    TRex LawnSite Senior Member
    from DFW ,TX
    Posts: 487

    Sorry to here that. There are so many friggin cheap people out there. I have never had that happen every one timer I bid I got. But that has been way to many times, and I have always made out well on them. I will give the customer the price for one time and the price for weekly which on an average 20 min. lawn is about $10 dollars cheaper than one time. I have had this one lady call me a few times to cut it one time and she never remembers its me till I get there. She always has the carpet cleaners there or a differant service provider every time I go.Lonely. Some people have way to much time.
     
  3. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    happens a lot with me...someone always calls up and I tell her the hourly wage for doing work and she says, well I have so and so here that will do it for this much.

    I'm like thinking in the back of my heard, "well, why the heck did you call me then if you have them there????"
    :rolleyes:
     
  4. goodbeus

    goodbeus LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 392

    Yea, situations like that is why I charge for an estimate...that way I weed out those who aren't really serious or they're cheap...if I get the account, I'll apply that estimate charge to the lawn service...:cool:
     
  5. crawdad

    crawdad LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,939

    How much do you charge for a mowing estimate?
    Crawdad
     
  6. Shultz

    Shultz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 83

    "Now I'm still starving, and I need all the work I can get. At some point, hopefully I'll be able to turn down the one time work and not even bother estimating it."

    You're not that hungry yet. If you could do it and make a reduced profit margin, you at least did not waste your time looking at it. Mow it and move on until your plate is full.
     
  7. Meier

    Meier LawnSite Senior Member
    from DFW
    Posts: 269

    ++++Yea, situations like that is why I charge for an estimate...that way I weed out those who aren't really serious or they're cheap...if I get the account, I'll apply that estimate charge to the lawn service...++++

    How much do you charge for an estimate? What percentage of folks say "Don't bother" when you tell them there's a fee?

    I probably spend on average 30 to 45 minutes to knock out one estimate by the time I check the map, figure out how to get there, drive out there, talk to them and drive back home.

    I've already figured out how to weed out one form of crappy estimating: If they won't commit to meet me on the property, if they can't find 10 minutes in the next three days to meet me on their property at a time that's convenient for them, I won't bother driving out. You know, the ones that tell you to leave the estimate on their door or leave them a message...they almost NEVER sign up for service. I've closed one of those customers all year out of probably 20 or so...not worth the time to do the estimate if you ask me. I stopped estimating those opportunities about a month ago. I probably bat 60% when they meet me face to face, but if they won't meet with me, forget about it. Those people, I'm convinced, already have someone and they're looking to save a couple of bucks per cut or something. I don't even waste my time anymore if they won't or can't meet me on their property. I guess it puts a certain amount of pressure on those with class when you meet them on the property face to face.

    Later,
    osu2winbig12
     
  8. goodbeus

    goodbeus LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 392

    On a residential, $35.00...in and out in 5 minutes...I hardly ever meet potential clients on the property while estimating...they get in the way and tie up my time...have quite a few good clients I've never seen face to face...that's the way I like it...get the info before I go out to the property of what they want and what I offer...no need to meet them...:cool:
     
  9. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,910

    For cutting only we prefer that the customer not be home when we do the estimate then we call them and give it to them. On all other work we prefer that the customer be there to answer questions so the estimate is accurate and we make no mistakes on the quote. I also find that my wife closes more deals that I do so we try to both talk to the customer.
     
  10. mower_babe

    mower_babe LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 790

    Not to sound sour - but you might as well get used to it. This happens to us, to carpenters, to electricians, to anyone that has anything to sell - beit goods or services. I realize it is frustrating and really p!sses you off, but honestly, charging for an estimate is not realistic - in this cut throat competitive society. You just gotta deal with it. THEY (the customers) are not going to change - the only thing that is going to change is us and the way that we perceive things. Cannot let it get to you. This will not be the last time, I promise.:)
     

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