What do you guys charge for plants?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by lawnscapesLLC, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. lawnscapesLLC

    lawnscapesLLC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 113

    Do most of you charge the plant price and then add a percentage or just charge a plant price and your hourly rate to plant? I normally charge the plant price plus 50-100% for planting to cover my costs.
    Just curious as to what others do.
     
  2. nlminc

    nlminc LawnSite Bronze Member
    from GA
    Posts: 1,671

    I usually sell/install the plants to the customer for wholesale and warranty them for at least a year. Some are still not happy with that deal and want to make sure I have nothing for dinner at night!

    ;-)

    2 to 2.5 times wholesale is what I charge.
     
  3. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Posts: 3,497

    If you warranty you need to budget to cover.

    2-3.5 depending
     
  4. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    In the area I live in, there are a LOT of wholesale nurseries. Some sell us plants at 30% off retail prices. Others 50%, others up to 70%. But on average, I get plants at about half of what most homeowners would pay at a retail nursery.

    So I always double the price of every plant or tree I buy, and that's the price the customer pays. PLUS, they pay the labor to install the plant or tree too.

    It's a good deal for them, because they couldn't buy the plant any cheaper anyway. I am maybe buying the 5 gallon Nandina for $20. But they would have paid $40 for the same plant if they had bought it. So I sell it to them for $40.

    In doing so, I am able to make a nice profit but it also covers three things;

    1) My time picking them out
    2) My time delivering them
    3) My warranty

    So on a typical planting job, we may spend $500 on plant materials. The customer will pay us $1000 for the plants and maybe another $750 for the labor to install them. Total price of the job = $1750.00. That's how we do it.
     
  5. SpartanBill

    SpartanBill LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    We usually charged 2.5 times the book price of a few specific local wholesale nurseries. It gave us a good base line, both nurseries had great selections, very good product. If we could find the quality at a better price somewhere else we could make some extra $$$$, if not we were still covered.
    All plants carried a 1 year warranty. I would be very explict in the contract as to what will and won't be covered and the H/O's responsibility . My previous employer lost his AZZ because he didn't. If the plants require special attention, pH, drainage etc. (rhodies and Azalia around here) let the H/O know.
    The idea that I am expected to trust someone who doesn't even own a mower and to keep thousands of dollars in plants alive for a year is the reason I went into maint./service work.

    Just some things Ive seen along the way
    --Bill
     
  6. Chilehead

    Chilehead LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Stockbridge, GA
    Posts: 1,926

    I have always believed in quantifying my efforts. I know how long it takes me to plant everything from a flat of annuals to various sized pots to b&b trees. I usually will calculate how many minutes worth of planting I have, divide it into my hourly rate, and that's how I get my figure. Sorry, I will not divulge my hourly rate here.
     
  7. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 806

    Yeah, you're better to keep your prices a secret. (they have spies around here).






    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :hammerhead:
     
  8. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    Right! And here's what they'll do! All the other guys from Hampton, they'll see your post, and then they'll figure out which company is yours and they'll say to themselves, "Aha! those guys are charging $60 an hour for their labor! So I'm going to charge $58 an hour and I'll win all the bids in this area and put them out of business. Brilliant! I will own this town! OOOOWWWNNN It, I tell you!!! Muuuuhaaahaaa!!!!"

    Yah. Definitely keep that to yourself.....

    :rolleyes:
     
  9. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,749

    The thing that always gets left out of this discussion is where you buy or what you pay.

    If you look at Jim's post, he can $x for retail at one place, 70% of $x at another, 50% at the next, or 30% at yet another. He is in one of the biggest nursery growing areas in the country, so their price ranges are more extreme, but there are retailers, wholesalers, and rewholesalers in any major market. There is a big difference between you doubling the price of things you buy from a retailer and those from a wholesaler.

    Everytime this discussion comes up, it is treated as if all suppliers sold the plants at the same price. You have to figure out how much your customers will tolerate - the point where they still sign the contract, but you make good money.

    If you want to use a markup formula, you have to standardize it withing your own company. Use one nursery's catalog as your base price whether you buy from them or not. Then multiply by your factor to have a standard price list. That will keep it simple when you do proposals. Also, it is easy to adjust the pricing if you find you need to raise or lower your pricing.

    Every market will be different by what you have to pay for plants. Every market will be different by how much the customer will pay. And within any market there are economic demographics that will or will not pay a certain amount - a person landscaping $200k houses is not going to be able to mark up as high as those doing $2m houses.

    1. how much do you pay for plants
    2. how competitive is your market
    3. who do you landscape for
     
  10. nlminc

    nlminc LawnSite Bronze Member
    from GA
    Posts: 1,671


    The good old days when I used to receive my catalog from Sylvan Nursery! Down here in the Atlanta area I have yet to come across a nursery that will give you prices unless it's by the job. They don't have catalogs here. Major PITA.
     

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