Charging for estimates

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Paradise Landscapes, Jun 18, 2003.

  1. Paradise Landscapes

    Paradise Landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 959

    I believe we should start charging for estimates. Putting just so many estmates out and not getting jobs? Too much wear and tear, Gasoline, ETC.

    I might start charging for estimates. What about you fellow members?
  2. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    I haven't, nor will I, charge for estimates. It smells of greediness. Just my opinion, though.

  3. Georgiehopper

    Georgiehopper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 187

    I dont charge for an estimate unless it is further than 20 miles away from my office...then its $40.00 just to get me out the door...
  4. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    It would make it difficult to compete with others not charging for estimates.

  5. Rex Mann

    Rex Mann LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 621

    I do not charge for an estimate, however I do charge for a design. A design I have to sit down and invest time into. My usual design is to put paint lines down and mark the areas pretty well. then I'll do a sketch, which they do not get a copy to keep.


  6. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,934

    I think a minamal charge should be requested, since you are going to consult about a job. The estimate( a written piece of paper with prices) should be free, not your expertise.

    I've been charging non-referred calls a consultation fee of $20 which I apply to an awarded job. Yes I get people that say forget it, but once i explain that you want me to spend anytime with you discussing work, I am now a consultant rather than a contractor.
    It has stopped the shoppy loos dead in their tracks.

  7. Paradise Landscapes

    Paradise Landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 959

    I was thinking about maybe a few bucks just for gas. And maybe it will stop the shoppy ones in thier tracks. Every call I gotten they ask for FREE estimates.

    What Exactly is a Free Estimate?
    We have the overhead expense just to get there and it costs.

    What about a Write-up Proposal?
    Some want a written proposal, two days latter they cancel. (In OHIO, Contract law is 3 days until customer is under binding contract. Many people know this.)
  8. B. Phagan

    B. Phagan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 95

    If you really want to separate yourself from all the competition out there, start charging for estimates.........trying calling the AC guy or an electrician or CPA or any other professional.....they realize they have expertise and will charge for it!!
  9. Advanced Lawncare

    Advanced Lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    I do not and doubt that I will start charging for "simple" estimates. Examples would be for mowing, seeding, etc. Estimates for more involved work, landscaping, installing etc will have a charge.
  10. drobson

    drobson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 237

    I don't charge for estimates, but like other I do charge for a design or for consulting.

    I know that I personally would never pay for an estimate from any company in any industry. There are enough businesses out there looking for work that I don't have to do that.

    I think charging for an estimate would repel many potential customers. I know that I'm not in the position to be doing something to purposely keep people from calling me.

    Of course anyone that does charge for an estimate should credit that amount back if the estimate is accepted.

    Then again, try telling a commercial account that you want to charge them for bidding on their property :D

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