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another "working for neighbors" thread


LawnSite Fanatic
i have these nieghbors, sweetest people u ever wanna meet. every wednesday they have thier grandkids over, and invite my boys over for snacks and playtime. they are in thier early 60's. he asked me the dreaded question yesterday, "i want you to put me on your schedule for a fert program. just send me a bill." well i've decided i like them too much to do business with them. i will do the service, for the price of the material. no markup, nothing. the old saying "don't poop where you eat" came to mind, and i'm not about to risk losing thier friendship over a $300 fert program, i'd rather do it for free.it's nothing more than a walk accross the street. he has helped me many times in the past. opinions?


LawnSite Bronze Member
Sounds great, Bob. Sounds like the neighborly thing to do, which from the sound of things is a rarity in your neck of the woods. I would do the same for someone that treated my kids with respect, and opened their home to them. Kudos to you.:drinkup:


LawnSite Senior Member
Indianapolis, IN
If you didn't do it, they'd have to call TRU-GREEN/CHEM-LAWN or someone else to do it. Are they going to do it for COST of Chemicals only? H@LL NO! I do 6 houses in my subdivision (of probably 35 houses total). Including my 3 nearest neighbors. I charge them my REGULAR RATE! (One is an attorney, I charge him 1.50 times my regular rate because he is a PITA!)

This is my 7th year in business. The first couple of years I tried to do "nice" things like a reduced rate for old people or extra work. In my case I decided that 1) They don't APPRECIATE it if they aren't paying for it. 2) They aren't any more loyal - often comes down to straight pricing. After determining these 2 items by the end of my 2nd season, I said "Screw it" and charge everyone for EVERYTHING! Period.

That is just my thoughts on it. But hey, you are the CAPTAIN OF YOUR SHIP!!!

Bobby, by the way, sounds like you have gotten "soft" over the winter. Maybe dealing with a couple of grouchy old bags will "toughen you up" quick! :)



LawnSite Fanatic
Clinton, NJ
Nice touch bobby...you're finally mellowing in your old age. Wait and see how mellow you become at my age...LOL


LawnSite Bronze Member
Originally posted by proenterprises
sounds like this is the best thing to do. their should be no problems this way bobby.
No problems? You haven't been paying attention to bobby's other posts, have you? There are always problems.

Just kidding, bobby. It'll be all right. Let 'em pay in beer.


LawnSite Fanatic
Flint, Michigan
No, I'm behind it one hundred percent. Sure, if those people hire tru-brown or someone else to do it, yes, they WOULD charge them full price. But then again, they don't have the grace, the compassion, and the friendship that is at risk of jeopardizing. Give them your best, Bobby, and it will come back to you. You watch and see. You may get 3 referrals out of the deal. Who's to say?


LawnSite Gold Member
A2, Michigan
I did a leaf pickup for my next door neighbor last fall for free. Just sucked his leaves up off the curb, where he put them for me. I would have charged $50 normally, but I told him he could owe me a favor.


LawnSite Bronze Member
My neighbor is a wheat farmer and he has a 1 acre lawn. I have done his weed & fert several times and sprayed his trees for free. We borrow each others tools & trucks. I usually come out ahead. Good neighbors are good to have.


LawnSite Gold Member
I would do it Bobby,( just for the cost of the product, no labor) you say he has helped you before and having a good place for your kids to play means alot. Who knows you may even get more buisness from them or from the neighborhood because of it in the future