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Charging for estimates

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

  1. Haley Lawn Care

    Haley Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Messages: 119

    The last estimate I gave cost me over an hour of time and about 30 miles total driving. Then the lady said "I might call you" I will not give another "free" estimate. I am going to tell them a minimun of $20.00 for an estimate and then if I get the job the total price will include everything. That should stop all the loafers and price shoppers. I will give a price for mowing over the phone but I tell the customer that it might be more once I get there and see the property. They will usually say okay.

    David :)
  2. jeff_0

    jeff_0 LawnSite Senior Member
    from md
    Messages: 401

    on some things we should charge.. like this guy wanted me out to asked about weed control.. when i got there he wanted suggestions to overseed and renovating his yard.. at the end of the conversation he told me he has been reading on turf management.. i think he just wanted my ideas to see if he can go and do it his self.. that ended up being a half hr. of my time.. driver there, walk around and talk, drive to my next destination... things like that there should be a fee.. but for someone calling just to get a price to cut there lawn it shouldn't be...just my option
  3. smburgess

    smburgess LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 467

    My advice as well as my estimates have been and always will be FREE.
  4. broken leg

    broken leg LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 285

    I do not charge for estiments but I tell customer over phone my minimum charge which is 45.00. This does away with the 20.00 dollar customer real fast and saves me the gas.You might want to think of ways to qualify a little over the phone but you do not want to scare away a good customer. The way i do an estimate is to give a customer a price on work they want done but I charge for advise that is a consult.
  5. B. Phagan

    B. Phagan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 95

    Hey Broken Leg,

    You have hit upon two of the secrets to charging for estimates, those being qualifying the customer and setting a minimum fee. Let the customer know the above and you will eliminate the tire kickers and get the most profitable accounts.

    A great point!!
  6. broken leg

    broken leg LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 285

    I sat in your course in burlinton NC and also have all your books
  7. Georgiehopper

    Georgiehopper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 187

    I have had people ask if I charge for estimates. I tell them if they are local, no..so they make an appointment with me. I get out there and they start picking my brain for advice, ideas,etc..then they show me a drawing that some other poor soul created for them...but they felt that their "estimate" was too high.... so they were shopping around using the other guy's design.

    I told that person, that I didnt want to do business with them.

    Free estimates within a reasonable distance are one thing...but many people try to take advantage of us once we get there. They do not put landscapers and horticulturists in the same category as lawyers, consultants, etc.... these types of people think we "owe" them free advice and free estimates. These are the people that I get through the phone book..and that is why I do very little advertising in the phone book.
  8. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    we don't charge for estimates, but we do charge for consultations

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