Core Aeration Pricing

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by The Turfinator, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. The Turfinator

    The Turfinator LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    How does everyone price aeration? My pricing has always been about 15% less than scotts Lawn service (my prevoius emloyer before starting on my own.) However my pricing seems alittle high do to the fact I don't sell alot of aerations over 10k sq. ft. am I wrong. Is $15. per k reasonable? Maybe $10. per k anything over 15k sq. ft. Thanks in advance for the feed back.
     
  2. philk17088

    philk17088 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 17,386

    If you're selling them and getting them done profitably what does it matter what others charge?
    And why would you go 15% less than Scotts?
    Are you telling me your skills are worth less since you are on your own?
     
  3. The Turfinator

    The Turfinator LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    It matters what others charge because I may be losing bids do to higher pricing. I feel I am worth more than my compition, however scotts seemed higher than most when it came to aeration. To be competitive in my market I need to know the market average!
     
  4. philk17088

    philk17088 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 17,386

    You cannot run a business on what others are charging. This isn't retailing.
    Determine your casts, figure your profit and price for yourself. You can't worry about losing bids. There will always be a scrub out there willing to work for nothing.
    Never sell on price or you will only get customers who buy on price.
     
  5. The Turfinator

    The Turfinator LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    Thanks Phil, I understand where your coming from. There are alot of low ballers out there, and I'm not trying to compete with them, they can have those customers. I do beleive you can price yourself out of the market though and it is important to not be the highest price out of 6 or 7 bids. I know my (application) prices are fair, I am just re-evaluating my aeration prices to maximize sales.
    The customers who choose my service understand a good value and not just a cheap price!
     
  6. turfsurfer

    turfsurfer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 364

    Turfinator, You are absolutely right. I wuld like to charge $4000 to aerate a 10,000 sq ft yard, but I'm not going to sell any aerations unless I pay at least SOME attention to the going rate in my area. Since rates change from location to location, I suggest you enlist a few friends with various size yards to get quotes from several reputable non-lowballing companies, then you'll have an idea for your area. Yeah it seems cheesy, but I guarantee I've given a few estimates to competitors over time.
     
  7. The Turfinator

    The Turfinator LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    Thanks Turfsurfer I think I'll do that. I think when I lose a bid to a competitor alot of times its because they severly under measured the lawn, but its nice to know if they under measured or their prices really are that low.

    I see your from Columbus, are you going to the O.T.F show? It looks like alot of great seminars this year.
     
  8. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    My pricing it is 25 stop fee and 10 per k. that means that if I do a 2000 sq ft of turf it would be 45. Now, that is my min. If I have 4500 sq ft of turf it is right at 45 also. Now in my area the average turf area is right at 3000. some are 8000 and some are 1500 min is 45. go 10 per k with a min or a 25 stop fee and 8 per k.
    With a walk behind aerator I can do 10000 min in an hour. Usually around 18-20 k in an hour. That puts me at 100 or more per hour. add the stop fee and you are at a min of 125 per hour.
    Once you go larger than 20000 you need a pull behind to make decent money. that means less profits utill you hit the 2 acre mark then you make as much or more.

    obsticals are more and play a major judgement in what you charge.
    IMO aeration is the number one money maker there is once you figure what you can get.
     
  9. turfsurfer

    turfsurfer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 364

    Turfinator, Sildoc made a great point in that obstacles can play a major role in how you price. A small yard with lots of obstacles that you bid on size alone can really add to your time and aggravation when aerating.
    I usually go to the OTF show. I think the education is actually scaled down this year compared to last. My problem is I still have about 4 days of fertilizing left and winter is closing in fast!! What a year, it went from 70 to 95 degrees and stayed there, now it went from 60 to 25 and staying there!! Need to finish this last round before grass goes dormant. I think alot of guys are probably WAY behind. I may only make it to the trade show part for a few hours this year.
     

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