some people are clueless

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by bigkid, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. bigkid

    bigkid LawnSite Member
    from Gap pa
    Posts: 48

    I have a lady that has called me to her house to give her quotes on multiple jobs so far. First job was to build her a pergola and a small privacy fence. She wanted the fence done first so i gave her a price and she signed the contract but asked me to hold off until she had money from tax return. Before i had the pergola proposal done she says her buyfriend moved out and now she doesn't have money to do the fence or pergola but she does need me to give her a quote to build her a raised garden and do some grading around a new patio she had done last fall. She never had any grading done back then because the ground froze so the ground is all big clumps that will have to be broken up and rough graded and then covered with screened topsoil which she said she would provide so she wouldn't have to pay for my mark-up. Then i get an e-mail saying that she remembers me talking about having a machine that i could use to do the grading to save time and make the job easier. She asked me to give her a price and i told her i charge 500 per day or i can do 300 for half a day. She then responds that the price should only be about 150 or 225 because 300 comes out to 75 an hr and it shouldn't take 4 hrs. I respond by saying your right i won't be their for 4 hrs but i am looking at an hour and a half of roundtrip travel time plus fuel cost for both the truck and trailer. The machine i have is a yanmar cbl 40. The machine and trailer combined are jst about 10 thousand pounds so i will probably spend about 30-40 dollars just in diesel fuel between the truck and tractor. After my lengthy e-mail to her she responds back that she understands but 300 is still a lot of money and she will have to get back to me. I don't know what people expect these days. They want you to drive 45 minutes to their house towing an 8 thousand pound 40 thousand dollar piece of equipment spend time to unload the equipment, complete the job, spend more time to reload equipment, drive 45 minutes back home and then spend more time to unload equipment again and only make 150-225.If i did it for 225 and then took out money for taxes, fuel and wear and tear on tractor i might make 175. I thought 300 was fair considering the travel involved and the price of diesel fuel right now. Does she sound like a PITA and i should just walk away now or is my price to high? Sorry for the long post, i just needed to vent rather than go off on a potential customer. Thanks in advance for your opinions.
     
  2. Lefet

    Lefet LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,887

    Keep your prices where they are, give her another chance or two then politely tell her to find someone else. She obviously can't make up her mind and in the meantime she's just doing a lot of tire kicking. I know we can't make any money with the equipment parked in the yard, but I've about had it with people telling me what they WANT to pay me and expect me to fit my work into their payment plan.

    Now that I've ranted, I probably wouldn't even give her another bite at the apple. Next phone call or email I'd ask her to find somebody else.
     
  3. Leo the Landscaper

    Leo the Landscaper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 116

    Never ceases to amaze me....

    Yet they dont question a pumbler or HVAC tech that charges $80-90/hr? All he has is a half ton van!

    You can pull up with easily over $100,000 in equipment alone and they want to nickle and dime all the way!!
     
  4. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,746

    ("Then i get an e-mail saying that she remembers me talking about having a machine that i could use to do the grading to save time and make the job easier.")

    HMM!!!

    In the customers eyes........easier means less money!
    Tell them that you are equipped with the means to do the job effectively and never give the hint that less time is less money! Any piece of machinery is acquisitioned for time and life of hours. The machine makes its own price per hour also.

    Another good reason why I dont estimate jobs by the hour.
     
  5. HPSInc

    HPSInc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 739

    its a joke how people think they can question and barter with professionals in the landscape field. i would stand on your price and if she doesnt like it dont give her the time or day. the price is the price. im sick and tired of people wanting the world on our behalf for pennies. i had similair situations with people for plow contracts. its like, they may as well tell US what were doing and name THEIR price. atleast thats what they try to do. imo what you described your price is not too high. gotta make a living and lugging expensive equipment over doesnt mean it gets cheaper. IMO it gets more expensive.
     
  6. bigkid

    bigkid LawnSite Member
    from Gap pa
    Posts: 48

    thanks for the comments guys. I didn't think i was to high but just wanted to see what you guys thought. I have no idea why people continue to question us contractors when they are the ones that call us. I remind people all the time that you don't go to the doctors or take your car to the garage and tell them what your gona pay. If i came knocking on your door begging for work then feel free to play the name your price game. I don't have a get rich quick plan, but i do have a plan to make sure my business continues to thrive, and that plan is no different than most of you on here, provide excellent service at an affordable price.
     
  7. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 37,805

    I'd have torn up the contract if she told me she needed to wait for her tax check to come in. That's not my problem. You either want my service or you don't, I'm not going to bend out of my way around your schedule and finances. I have my own stuff to worry about.
     
  8. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,746

    Bigkid,
    No, your prices reflect your overhead expenses. There are customers like this out there whom will auctioneer off your business and then pull their buy back number. She had all this money until the boyfriend moved out---RED FLAGS!!!!. Now she is waiting on her tax refund check!?? This person is obviously struggling......a gold digger and a manipulator. Leave the account before something worse occurs.......involving a lot of money!
     
  9. McG_Landscaping

    McG_Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,737

    Your price seems on track with the machine. When I work with my uncle and his company he charges $75 an hour plus what I make on top of it. I hate people questioning the cost of what it takes to do a job. Even to rent the machine herself she would pay about the same. Stupid people.
     
  10. Turf Commando

    Turf Commando LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,185

    Plumber is a skill trade, mowing requires no formal training..
     

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