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Price whiners

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Rather Be Fishing, Jul 1, 2003.

  1. Rather Be Fishing

    Rather Be Fishing LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 109

    I'm almost ready to quit. Charged some guy $25 an hour to edge and weed his beds and he nearly had a heart attack. When I started the job I cut new flower bed then got diverted to other "projects" he had in mind. I charged less for these due to my inexperience with those particular things. (my gas/time/ and hauling were involved though)

    It's 2003 and the guy played me like an idiot. My work always draws compliments. I'm honest and only bill for actual work time. I've worked for plenty of outfits over the years and I know how they bill, not to mention the turnover on workers that doesn't guarantee a quality job. With me, what you see is what you get. I don't send a crew of inexperienced workers who'll take unauthorized breaks ... And I've personally witnessed that countless times. If I have someone with me I can always find easier thing to keep them busy and let them clean-up after me

    I take pride in my work and do it to please myself as much as my client. It's not all about money, I do love to make 'em smile but I simply can't afford to be paid on the "friend-price" average.

    This job was far from complete in my opinion but when the guy offered $400 for a bill of $560 I was in a state of shock. Hmm, I pay the same for gas as him, same for a haircut, meals, vacations---the list goes on and on. Granted, I had worked for him for less in years past but this year no one was getting a break because I like them... I've been storing cash back, buying new equipment and hoping to finance a ZTR rider/stand-up unit.

    Sorry, had to whine.:cry:

    How do you deal with folks who wish to barter? Try to explain/justify your situation or just blow 'em off?
  2. polecat63

    polecat63 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,655

    Acyually barter means you trade something. Like he owns a car detail business and you trade him for landscaping etc... I tell people I charge x dollars per hour and that is the end of the discussion. If he was told you charge 25 an hour then that is what he pays. Period.
  3. Rather Be Fishing

    Rather Be Fishing LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 109

    Polecat, I agree. This guy has a "cash mentality" thinking somehow that cash is better than a check. Personally it makes no diff to me as long as the check doesn't bounce. :D

    He infers that the tax man doesn't need to know about our "arrangement". The way I see it I have to retire at some point, Social Security sure isn't much but it beats nothing. I'd like to at least have a home by then, cardboard boxes don't appeal to me.

    He's one of the few I have who wait until the bill is due to try to short-cut here and there. Most folks simply have a bill left with them or mailed. Sometimes the check comes right away, sometimes it takes a week. Point is, it comes without haggling.

    This is my only gripe with the guy, other than that he's a terrific guy. Pleasant, entertaining--an interesting fella.

    When I have down time I can work for an old friend who got me started in the buisness.. His rate of pay is $20/hr. because he knows I'll produce the expected results in a timely manner. If I'm using my truck and tools he offers me extra cash to cover fuel... Most of his employees average $12/hr., I usually get sent to finish what they forgot/neglected/screwed-up. Right now I'm only making a bit more than that on my own and would actually like to raise my rates. Just wish I didn't have to send his clients referrals back to him, but he does treat me well, it would be biting the hand that feeds.

    Guess I'll have to spend a little time talking to the more understanding clients I have and see how that goes. I've pretty much bailed on the mowing service side of the business, my accounts to spread too far apart to make it fly. Things are slightly more concentrated now, quite a few have inqiuired about mowing.

    Just hate being played like an apartment complex groundskeeper, you always see their ads for $8.00/hr help because they're too cheap to pay a landscape company. I've never had one complaint about my work in the past 13 years with the exception of folks who didn't get mowed on time due to the weather. This guy had nothing but praise for my work all the way through the job but when it was time to pay he belittled me by offering far less than the job was worth. Kinda like a smack in the face, it stung.
  4. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Posts: 1,557

    Most of the time you can tell alot about a customer when you go look around at what they would like to have done. The ones i knew i didnt want to mess with said to me first thing that they want to get this done cheap and i just tell them they need to keep calling around for a different company. The best way to handle people like that is to drop them right away and RUN.

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