Plant pricing questions

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by FIRESCOOBY, May 16, 2008.


    FIRESCOOBY LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 981

    I've found that most charge 2.5-3 times the wholesale price for plants. Does this include plant, labor and soil amedments?

  2. JNyz

    JNyz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,086

    Three times includes plant and labor. Soil amendments are additional. I usually also add three times to the price of soil amendments. If you stick to this system you will usually show a nice profit.
  3. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    Since I bid against other companies... that formula is worthless. I price by the day.
  4. JNyz

    JNyz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,086

    I also bid on jobs and this has worked for me for 21 years. If you bid planting jobs by the day you are leaving to much money on the table. Just putting a price in front of a customer is not enough. You must sell the job, tell them why you are the right person to do the job, why your jobs look better then the competition, why your prices are a little more. Why settle for a day rate on a 1000.00 material job when at three times there will be 2000.00 left over by 12:00pm????????? So I would say your formula hurts your bank statement.
  5. Ford2000

    Ford2000 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 121

    2.5 at least
  6. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    Actually, I usually am the highbidder. I need to get a certain amount per day for labor, and if I can get the plants wholesale for additional mark-up... even better. Formulas have never worked for me... I bid by the man hours and the plant mark-up. And my "forumula" has my schedule booked up for a month.
  7. bullethead

    bullethead LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 273

    That's the only way to do it in my humble opinion. If you think you are leaving money on the table - increase your labor rate and/or plant mark-up.
  8. JeffNY

    JeffNY LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 257

    2.5x what I pay?

    So say a 2gal shrub, $39 at the nursery, Im supposed to charge $97.50 for it?

    Seems like the customer would tell me to GFY. I have to give this lady a price today on some shrubs and maybe a couple dwarf pines, if 2.5x is the case, this is going to be an expensive little job.
    I don't have a problem with it, I just don't want the customer to snap, but if thats going rate.....guess she'll expect it.
  9. JNyz

    JNyz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,086

    Three times is the rate you should be charging. A two gallon shrub should not cost 39.00. All of your material should be purchased at wholesale. I just purchase twenty Korean boxwood in three gallon containers for 18.00 each. My proposal to the customer[not estimate] was 54.00 each installed. These boxwood were a very nice size and I do not believe the client could of purchased these for less then 38.00 at a retail store. So if you look at it this way the client is only paying 16.00 each for installation cost, delivery charge, bed cut out, edged and a one year warranty. To me that sounds like a good price. You must develop a relationship with the wholesale nursery and just because the sign says 25.00 each does not mean they are 25.00 each and could be had for 21.00 each. Too many landscapers leave too much money on the table because for some reason they want to do all the work. If you are doing all the work you are too cheap. Just do quality work and charge the going rate. If mulching in your area is 125/yard charge 125. There is no reason to go 115.00, there is plenty of good work out there. This is one of the only industries where I see prices going down when costs are going up. I just do not understand it. This is a business where an owner can make 125,000 a year and be 100% legit with a three man crew. Just get out there and sell jobs and not just drop prices off on a back of a business card. Sorry if it sounds like I am venting but I laugh at clients when they tell me they got a price at a third of what I told them. I just try to sell them my price. Some I get some I don't but I am still making more money then the guy who got the job for a third less. Good luck and have a nice holiday weekend.
  10. JNyz

    JNyz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,086

    One more thing. I do not think you can sell an installation job for 2.5 to 3 times the retail price of a shrub.

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