Why Bagged Mulch is a Better Investment

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by PlantscapeSolutions, Sep 18, 2010.

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  1. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,859

    :rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
  2. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    no you can't with 100% certainty get the amount right but.....

    if i estimate 2 yards of mulch thats what they get. even if i bring 3. i roughly take back with me 1 yard for the next job. it all depends on how much i have left.

    my truck will hold 2 yards of mulch. so i bring with me 2 yards and spread it. if i have a lot left over i estimate how much is left and charge accordingly. if i have say half a yard or less left in the truck i throw that little bit down and charge them for the full 2 yards.

    any estimate i give is what i charge, when giving one solid number. if i say 2 yards thats what i put down and charge. if i tell you it's gonna cost $60 to prune your hedges thats what i charge. if i say between $70 and $105 then of course the price will be no less than $70 and no more than $105.

    but i would never charge a client for 3 yard of mulch and only put down 2 yards and take the rest with me, or charge them for 20 bags and only use 15 bags and take the rest with me.
     
  3. RussellB

    RussellB LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,030

    I am not sure what the point is. I also use bagged mulch. I calulate pretty closely what it will take to cover the area. If I have a bag or two left over they go with me. Customer pays the estimated cost. Next job I may be a bag or two short. I still put down what I estimated and the customer pays that cost. No BIG deal. Customers are happy and so am I. I hear some say they wont even drop their tailgate to mow for less than $40. I don't charge anyone $40 but I don't come on here and say so and so is ripping off their customer. Just my 2 cents. Peace
     
  4. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    i thought the point was that some dude on here was charging the client for say 100 bags of mulch and only putting down 90 and taking the other bags with him and of course pocketing that extra money.

    i like you charge the client the price i estimated. jobs like mowing and mulch are set prices, so if i tell them $40 its gonna be $40. i usually give a min. and max price on shrub prunning and fall clean ups. because for me those are done by man hours. mulching is charged by the yard so i can take as much time as i want or need to get the job done.
     
  5. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,859

    I believe this was the point.

    Mr Plantscape Solutions is telling everyone that bagged product is the only way to go: no shortages, no leftovers and scientific and all that rot but ends up with hundreds of bags leftover.

    He sort of ruins one of his points of why it is soooooo wonderful.
     
  6. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,979

    Here is a good analogy. I treat my mulch expenses just like my labor expenses on landscape installs. If my guys work hard and get the job done under budget we keep the extra money. I don't tell the customer my crew worked too hard and now I need to give you some of your money back. The mulch is the same way.

    As long as the job is done correctly we're going to keep the extra few bags here and there. If there is any spare mulch it's going to usually be a single digit percentage of the whole amount used. If we end up being off by a few bags it's going to come out of my pocket. Landscaping is always a bit of a gamble.

    Here's another analogy for you. When you go to a garage to get you truck fixed they look online at a website that tells them exactly what to budget for the labor. An experience mechanic often gets the job done quicker. You never know how long it really took that mechanic to fix your truck but it's a gamble your willing to take. You got the end result you wanted at an agreed upon price. That how I view mulch and labor on landscape install projects. There's always a little bit of a gamble. Some times you finish ahead of the estimate and other times your a little behind.

    My maintenance customer are given a variable figure for labor and mulch. They pay for exactly what they get every time. This scenario is most landscapers dream. You do the work and never end up over budget. It's rare to have that trusting relationship with your customers like that but I do. We have the BBB highest AAA rating as well.
     
  7. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,979

    Glad to see some other people who think like real business people. This is the way the real business world operates. You need to think like a fox not a lamb to survive in this world.
     
  8. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    i don't do business that way. i charge for the work performed. thats why when quoting jobs based on labor i give a min. amount and maximum amount. so if i finish in 2 hours it's this much, if it takes 3 it's this much, 2.5 hours this much.

    i feel that extra money kept is ripping off the client by over charging.

    of course my services that have set prices don't change. if i say i'm gonna cut your grass for $50 bucks it's $50 buckes whether it takes me 2 hours or all day. same with mulch. its charged by the yard. if i spread 2 yards and it takes me an hour i will still charge the same if it took me 3 hours to spread that 2 yards of mulch.

    i also wait until the job is finished to charge the client on most services. the exception being 1 time jobs from 1 time clients. those pay 50% up front and the rest when the job is complete.
     
  9. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,979

    Read post 78 on this thread and I think it will clear things up for you.
     
  10. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    I see exactly what he is saying and if he had worded his original post correctly he could have avoided this. He said that he resold the same bag of mulch multiple times.

    According to his revised explanation he is now saying that he agrees to do a job for a specific amount of money. When he estimates the job he is consistantly over-estimating the amount of mulch required. That's fine as far as the customer is concerned. The bean counters would tear him a new one for it though.
     
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