Retail Fertilizer Prices

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by Whitey4, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,448

    Does anyone have a handle on how much the home owner outlets like Lowes and the Home Despot fertilizer prices have gone up for this coming season? Are their increases matching the percentages we are getting from suppliers like Lesco?

    I went by my local Home Depot today... this years ferts are arriving, but they are still on the skids. They haven't brought them down from the rafters and marked the prices yet. In particular, I'm interested in the Scotts 4 step prices, as that is what my customers will be looking at when they consider doing their own fert apps.

    I know this doesn't interest you guys that go through tons and tons of fertilizer, but my market niche is in the 3k sized properties, and justifying price increases can be helped along if the retailers have bumped their prices the way our suppliers have.

    I imagine the southern states retailers might have posted the new prices by now... any help here? Thanks for any info....
     
  2. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,541

    I went by Lowes today. No new prices yet. They're still try to get rid of last years scott's. I was thinking the same as you. Looked to be that everything was still marked at last years prices. $26-$28/ bag.
     
  3. MStine315

    MStine315 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 789

    That's scary! I was just thinking the same thing tonight (as I was shoveling sidewalks, lol) I wondered how much retail fert. is going up so I have an argument if anyone decides to do their own. I'll check things out when the snow settles down. Anyone else see retail pricing lately?
     
  4. sclawndr

    sclawndr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 326

    It would be nice if the DIY price went through the roof but don't get too hung up on that as your justification for using your service. It's always cheaper to do it yourself regardless of the topic. When was the last time a plumber worried whether it was cheaper for you to do it yourself? We're just like the plumber - we sell knowledge, experience and professional equipment - and the really obvious - we've got the time to do the job. When customers tell me they can do it cheaper, I thank them for their time and tell them to call me when they're ready for professional help.
     
  5. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,072

    The funny thing with the homeowner is they "do it themselves", but it is very rarely at the right time!

    I picked up a 2.1 acre lawn in the fall and only did one app (fert and chem). Ran into the fella yesterday and the coffee shop and he told me his lawn looked better after my one app vs. all the apps he did during the year.

    I told him that it isn't what product you put down that makes the difference...but that it is the product and timing!

    He said....just put me on your schedule for next year because my wife loves it!

    Remember if you keep the wives happy (and I don't mean in bed :laugh:) , they will be a long time customer!
     
  6. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,448

    The point is, if the retail prices have gone up as much as "our" prices have, then customers will understand the price increase we want. That makes the increase in charge per app much easier to sell. "Mr customer, fertilizer prices have gone up 50% across the board. Retail fertilizer is up 60% this year." That's the point.... this isn't about the do it yourselfer vs. having a certified applicator contracted for it. It's about justifying my prices. Two different things entirely.

    So, anyone seen the retail prices for this season yet?
     
  7. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,072


    I hear ya on that point!

    I thought that too! If they see the large increase in the store then they will know that we are not sticking it to them!

    Had a customer call yesterday as she wants to prepay and I told her I wasn't real sure of my price increase yet as fertilizer prices were on going crazy!

    She acted like it was not big deal and said everything is going up so it didn't really surprise her.

    I am sure that everyone won't deal with it like that, but it is a good start!
     
  8. sclawndr

    sclawndr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 326

     
  9. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,072

     
  10. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,448

    Any time a price goes up, there will be customers who won't like it. If the retail prices have gone up, it's just another tool to use when talking to those customers. Price isn't the only issue, I never said it was. You make it sound like doubling your prices wouldn't be a problam at all, and you would not explain the price increase? If a customer asks, you bet I will explain the increase.

    I don't sell on price either, but this year, it's going to be brought up, you can count on that. This is a point not even worth debating. It's the reality of the situation. Geeze, all I asked was if anyone has seen the prices at the retailers yet.
     

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