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Do you give written quotes ?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Sandgropher, Aug 18, 2006.

  1. Sandgropher

    Sandgropher LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 909

    How many people give written quotes? i get people who say they have more people coming out and can they have a written quote.

    In all cases that i have given written quotes i have not got the job, but have a good success rate other wise.

    I feel giving it in writing helps undermine my price ie they just show it to the next idiot and then the next, getting cheaper each time.

    How do others feel about it on small to medium size jobs ???
  2. Brendan Smith

    Brendan Smith LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,196

    i only do written quotes and/or contracts on large, commercial,or 1 time jobs. otherwise it is verbal. i'm sure it will haunt me at some point, but people in this area are really turned off by contracts for residential. again, if it is a one time gig, then i do use a contract so they can't keep adding crap that was not agreed on initally.
  3. PROCUT1

    PROCUT1 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from TN
    Posts: 4,909

    I find for smaller services such as mowing or a small mulch job and such, if the customer dosent give you a go ahead at the time of the estimate, most of the time you wont get the job.

    Ill give a written estimate if its asked for.
  4. CutInEdge Lawn Care

    CutInEdge Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 677

    We dont give written estimates either. However, for annual agreements the price is right on the paper, so yes they could potentialy show to another LCO for the next season. I feel for the most part that anytime someone calls for an estimate and then asks for a written estimate they are only price shopping. We are getting more and more emails where people say can you go buy and let us know what it would cost to do xx yrd.
  5. AAELI

    AAELI LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 362

    Yes! For all commercial jobs and for all landscaping jobs. Mowing and maintenance given verbal est. with written to follow when agreed upon. Then the verbal est. becomes a written contract. I have had several customers shop around using my written contract but in most but not all cases find myself still on the job. Written estimates are a means of clearly stating the scope of work to be performed. Generally takes care of most conflicts when both sides understand what is to be done and for what price.
  6. westwind

    westwind LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 444

    all estimates are written. carbon copy. 12 years and would never do it any different.
  7. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,096

    I give written estimates on larger jobs with new customers. For mowing and such, I will verbally quote a price and once its aggreed on, I write everything down and get it signed.
  8. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    This is the way a professional handles their business in any field. If you don't present yourself as a professional to your client from the very beginning how do you expect them to see you as anything but the lawn boy?
  9. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    Every time I go to bid a residential customer, I'll wear decent clothes, be clean shaven, and I carry my binder to take notes. I believe I give a good professional impression this way. But I don't write out estimates for residential stuff.

    I'll give a good, thourough verbal estimate. If the customer agrees to have me do the service and agrees on the price, I'll put together an agreement that states the work to be performed and the price. I'll have them sign it, that way therre is no dispute on the price or the services to be performed. That way I'm not writing something out everytime a potential customer wants an estimate.

    Of course commercial is a different story. Every bid is written out.
  10. AAELI

    AAELI LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 362

    Learned to keep it on paper for mutual understanding and protection. Contracting with the federal gov't on grounds maintenance on military bases for over ten years, '82-'93 provided good experience in this matter. Contracts contained massive amounts of boilerplate. Federal Aquisition Regs (FAR) cover virtually every possible aspect of work. I used a very condensed version when doing contracts with commercial and residential customers. So far it has paid off.

    It does wonders for your image to show up properly groomed and dressed. This applies to military, commercial and residential estimate meetings.

    Once had a passdown logbook that I had copied the definition of a professional into so as to remind myself and others what one really is. Some traditions diehard in this Marines life.

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