Is this price right?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by wglawncare, Feb 23, 2006.

  1. wglawncare

    wglawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    I just hand raked a gentleman's lawn. I didnt quote him an exact price, he just said go ahead and do it. Last year I charged him $80, @ $15/hour for his approx. 22000 sq foot yard. This year I have a better understanding of the prices in my area and am charging $22/hour. If I use this rate I get for the 11 hours I was there( hand raking his lawn) I get $242. That is a 300% increase. Should I try to shave off some not to piss him off to start the year off. ( He tells me he will be getting me about 5 jobs in his area, neighbors) Or should I stick to what the price came out to be? I really need some help on this one!!:dizzy:
     
  2. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,075

    Not good to surprise a customer with that kind of increase. You should have discussed this before you did the job.
     
  3. cush

    cush LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 352

    I think you screwed yourself on this one. first it looks like it only took 5.5 hours last year and second you did'nt tell him you increased your hourly rate. You better eat it this time if he is a good customer. but be sure to let him know your new prices and that you gave hime a deal
     
  4. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    $22 per man-hour is too low for this kind of sporadic work. For this kind of labor, we are at $44 per man-hour but we discount that to $36 per man-hour if the customer doesn't require that we drive out for a free estimate first.

    98% elect to go with the discounted labor rate. If they say they want a free estimate first, we never get around to it. It always seems to "accidentally" slip through the cracks every time.

    I agree that if you increase your price 300%, your customer will probably be unhappy.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  5. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    1st off WHY ARE YOU HAND RAKING A YARD TO BEGIN WITH. I haven't raked a lawn since I was a little kid.
    What is the purpose?

    Secondly $240 isn't that bad b/c cause yo are not running a machine, the onlything you are putting wear on is your body, I don't think anybody would be so ANAL as to count a 1 $15 Rake into the hourly rate.

    Honestly im alittle confused.......Maybe I missed the point?

    Someone clarify the
     
  6. wglawncare

    wglawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    The guy asked SPECIFICALLY for the lawn to be handraked. He feels that it does a better job in getting rid of the thatch, leaves, ect. There is a willow tree on the lakeside of the property that has millions of little tiny leaves, and my mower cant pick up every single one. The guy has a good chunck of change and owns a $500,000 property on the lake. This is his summer home.
     
  7. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995


    When people specify the type of equipment I am allowed to use. My estimate doubles. That way either they call someone else or I get PAID

    Using a rake to do 22000sq ft. Not bloody likely.
     
  8. palawnman

    palawnman LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 159

    I have to admit I hate to rake, I will do anything possible to get out of it. The way I look at it, there has to be a better way. Anyways, as far as the price, you definitely did that to yourself, nothing wrong with increasing your rate, but you have to say that upfront. Because more often than not, people expect at least something close to the bill from the previous year. I think that you are better off eating the big price difference, I would still try to charge more than last year but not as much as you had planned. Because you can explain it being a little more, if there was more work, but not that much.

    Ron
     
  9. wglawncare

    wglawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    He knew my rates were being increased to $22/hour. But I did not give him an exact estimate on the total price. I really do feel bad on the price it came out to be. But I did hand rake every square inch of his lawn. I atleast can say that. I think I will just eat some of it and go on. Thats the consensus I am getting from you guys.
     
  10. o-so-n-so

    o-so-n-so LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,218

    I would tell him that "his" price is different from everyone else's because he is getting you business. He is a preferred customer and your deducting a referral bonus from his total cost. Tell him that if the people he is referring to you will refer 5 customers they to will get a discount and so on. Make sense......Know your discount before hand and show it on your invoice.

    Total cost $242.00
    Discount 5 x $25.00= $125.00

    His cost $117.00 and charge your normal price to his referrals and offer a $25.00 referral bonus.
     

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