Customer got scared

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by cleancutccl, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. cleancutccl

    cleancutccl LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 698

    I put in an estimate on a complete install on a brand new house, the customer response lead me to believe that they thought it was overpriced. The install includes 309 plants of various varieties, 4 trellises for climbing varieties, 8 trees, stake kits for the trees, 19 cubic yards of mulch, placing and leveling of 50 stepping stones, rock placed for the downspouts runoff, cutting a new edge for all the mulch beds, and treating all mulch with snapshot. The cost also carried a one year warranty on the plants and trees. My price was 18,000.00. What do you think was it too high?

    Many of the plants were shrubs like rhododendron, hydrangea, burning bush, rose of sharon, sweetspire, and forsythia.
  2. blafleur

    blafleur LawnSite Member
    Messages: 229

    I think stick to your pricing and dont worry about price shoppers.

    Bryan Lafleur
  3. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Cut down on the amount of plant material,use smaller tree's and 6 not 8 use 1x1 or 2x2 stakes and tree tie instead of kits,Pathway instead of stepping stones,or take that feature out completely.And concider makeing your own trellises with 1x1 wood and give them that bid.See how they react to that.I usually try to submit two bids one with everthing they want and one with less than what they want
  4. cleancutccl

    cleancutccl LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 698

    two bids is a pretty good idea. The customer had said that she had used a landscape architect in the past and to just make up a CAD drawing, so based on that I didn't think the price would freak them out.
  5. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    In my opinion you did the right thing. You priced out the job to what was spec'd for. If it was too much, you need to sit down with them, if you have the time and inclination, and look at what can be reduced in terms of size or quantity. Then recalculate it. This forces the customer to compromise the design and allows you to stick to your pricing. Don't ask them how much they want to spend and then design to that. It takes too long and they will be disappointed.

    You can not negotiate price without having them give something up. It shows that your pricing is arbitrary and that you can be negotiated with. They will relentlessly negotiate everything from that point forward which will drop your price and take up volumes of your time - neither is acceptable.
  6. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    Sheshovel, do you submit two bids at once? If so, why would you take the time to submit two bids? A budget should be discussed before submitting anything. If a customer calls us and wants us to submit a price on a specific design then we will. However, if the customer wants us to design or give suggestions then we get a budget number before we do anything. If you have a budget number then there is no need for two bids.
  7. qualitylandscaping

    qualitylandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,581

    i just signed a job last week.. Customer decided to go with another contractor because my price was almost double his..

    He was going to remove the "tress" and "ade" 5yds of topsoil.. Well 19 yards of topsoil into this thing, and we are still going... Someone doesn't know how to estimate materials very well..

    Make sure they are comparing apples to apples are far as price goes. If they got another quote check on plant size, exact type of mulch, how much of each product, etc..

    Usually with the lowballers price, it's easy to find where they made their stupid mistakes
  8. crawdad

    crawdad LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,938

    Don't let her use you. She might get a CAD drawing from you, and have somone else do the work.
    Q- "Can you leave me the drawing, so I can show my husband?"
    A- "I'll bring it back when he's here."
  9. cleancutccl

    cleancutccl LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 698

    Crawdad that brings up another question, what or do you guys charge for doing a landscape design. I run pro landscape and am thinking about charging around 100.00 for design, if they take the job there is no cost but if not they have to pay up. Of course they would then have the right to the drawing. What do you think?
  10. Smithers

    Smithers LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,265

    we charge between $75-$150 for a design. if they take it, the final bill is deducted.

    they reallly dont like it when we tell them that there is a design cost. byt my wife draws it on paper and it takes her time.

    as far as your first post, i think you were correct with the price. that's a LOT of stuff for $18K. if i were to do it, i'd probably charge more. remind are starting from scratch.

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