ohhh the penny pinchers, what do you do?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by topsites, Apr 15, 2006.

  1. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I been servicing this one lot for some years now and it's been a slow nag most of the time. I won't get into many details other than it's always over the lousy buck, but not until just now did it dawn on me that I must've ran into some real experts.

    Being in an older neighborhood and the house not being huge and the lot being smaller, I never figured much further thou the motorhome didn't help matters a whole lot. Because of that and just for kicks I thought I'd pull up the value which is an estimate and could be off (but my house is on the money by the dollar) and wouldn't you know it, 300,000 dollar home they live in.

    I think I'm going by tomorrow to re-estimate some fees since it had to wait this year for the first grass cut (we all know this one, right)...
    Yeah, and it can't be done anyday except wednesday... Ok, ok, I can do it thursday.

    About the only thing I can't figure out is how to say it, because most everything going through my mind right now is nothing rosy.
    How do I say it, how do I get it across without biting off any heads?
  2. Stuttering Stan

    Stuttering Stan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,503

    Tell them that your prices (just like everything else in this day and time) are going up, and you shouldn't be expected to work for less than you made last year.
  3. The landscaper

    The landscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 845

    Try and not take too much time with them. Some will just drive you nuts. Just have to let them know your costs have gone up and so have the prices.
  4. StBalor

    StBalor LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 798

    ohhh the penny pinchers, what do you do?

    Pinch them back!
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    LOL !!! Yeah, I'll have to make sure to plan my schedule accordingly so I have another stop up the road someplace, this will help ease the bite of pulling up with a take it or leave it attitude when the next stop is but 5 minutes away it makes it easier :)

    I did drive by yesterday and the grass didn't look that bad (about ankle height) but there's no telling until I stick my foot in it and even then it's not for sure until it's done. So when I pull up, ring the door bell and just let them know it will cost based on how long it takes, and it could take twice as long or whatever, and the price will be what it is... If they want the price upfront, it's double.

    And if that means losing the customer then I've done myself a favor, that part I'm ok with.
  6. Paradise Landscapes

    Paradise Landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 960

    Penny pichers: When I mention my price, I mainly stick with it. They wanna lowwer it? I raise it by how much they lower it. Example: a 600.00 job.
    Customer: 500.00 then me,: 700.00 some get the point some won't. The ones that won't, I run.
  7. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    Well Topsites..you sure don't say.."Hey Customer..I just figured out that you live in a $300,000.00 home and I see you have a new motor home there in the driveway so Duhuh I uh I am going to have to charge you more this year."
    Ya sure don't say that Topsites.
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    No but I'm also not cutting 10-inch tall grass for the usual price, either... And even thou I shouldn't say it, it tempts me sometimes but so far I use this information for myself because it's just one of those things... I give folks a break because they act like they don't got no money, and sure enough later I find out they must have plenty.

    Btw, the motorhome's been there for years, since the day I started. Granted, the house just recently rose in value this past year (and drastically so) so it is possible they are not aware of this but it makes no difference: I am NOT cutting 10-inch tall grass for any less than 1.5 to twice the rate. We're not talking thinned out stuff, this is halfway decent turf that was treated by a national chemco until later last year, so it will likely be thick.

    And that's what I'm going to tell them when I pull up is basically first I will figure out roughly how much it should cost, then I will ring the bell and inform them of the estimate, and that's all I'm saying.

    Now if they don't like it, they can call someone else who is willing to do it for less, because I'm not. I'm already being too nice by leaving this yard at last year's price of $30, but regardless of this I am NOT cutting 10-inch tall grass for $30, no way, no how, not even close... At least 40-45, maybe 50-60, all depends how long it takes.

    I'll even be sure to show up the exact day they wanted me there, just so nobody can say I took too long - oh yeah, customer-based scheduling ought to cost extra, too... Do you allow your customers to set their days? Well, I don't like it, either.
  9. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    Well see that's where you made the first mistake is giving people a break cuz they act like they don't have any money..Nobody I know acts like they have money when they are talking about their lawn maintenance.Nobody.So if you give them a price YOU can live with in they 1st place..then you only have to deal with raising your yearly rate slightly to cover the raiseing cost of living and doing business rather than a BIG increase when you figure out you have been screwing yourself for years on doing their lawn.That is all I am saying.
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Ok, you're right.

    Now what?
    I still say I do what I said earlier, I'll likely lose the account but that's the way these things usually work out while it's the last time I have to pay for my original mistake.

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