Customer said my estimate was way off... whats your input

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Johnny H, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. Johnny H

    Johnny H LawnSite Member
    from 10940
    Messages: 3

    Ha, thanks guys! I am new to this but I'm not a dumb @$$ either. I sat down, calculated cost of material and labor, gave him the price and he stepped back and said "woah, wait a minute". I was confident with my estimate and I did exactly what Liquidfast said I told him to call the "other guy". He also wanted about 780 square feet of grass removed so he can put stone around his pool and I quoted him at $240 for that and he said "the other guy" gave him an estimate of $150 and another guy gave him a price at $175. But then the shmuck tells me and he really wants ME to do it and he wants to know what i can do about the price. This was all on friday. He called me 2 times since then asking me what the deal was. I told him I already told him my price and thats that. He said he'll give me a call tomorrow. He also wants me to do his lawn but I can just tell that this guy has been through quite a few different "guys" taking care of his yard just by the BS he's putting me through already.

    I was just wondering if I was really far off on my estimate. I dont think I was and I still dont think I was even after really thinking about it.
  2. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 2,994

    Yeah he sounds like a PITA.
    As far as price's all relative to your area. Prices are different everywhere so it is hard to say. Call around to all the suppliers in your area. But it sounds like the guy just thinks the price is negotiable. Your price sounded right to me. And the price for grass removal sounds right on too. There is no way in h-e-l-l I would remove that much grass for 150 or 175. $240 or a little more.
  3. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Messages: 2,419

    Tell him you can accept the price in cash or check.
  4. Johnny H

    Johnny H LawnSite Member
    from 10940
    Messages: 3

    will do.. I gues it's worth a shot

    Thanks to everyone else. You guys have been a great help!

    BTW this is a really great site!:drinkup:
  5. Raven386

    Raven386 LawnSite Silver Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,169

    Good luck and have a great night!
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Well, it depends how good a job he wants, and current condition...

    He has a 5/8th's of an acre lot, now a light seeding for this size turf would be 50 pounds, and 100 pounds is heavy.
    Not quite, that's for 1/2 an acre but to make things easy, I charge $2 / pound and I use Oregon University certified seed (min. 90% germ. rate) so right there's 100 bucks if his lawn is in any kind of shape.

    Then, you really want to put down a quality starter fertilizer, likely 80-100 pounds of 15-40-8 or so, and 300 pounds of calcium carbonate and magnesium (lime) wouldn't hurt, so there's 80 in supplies and another 60 in labor so 140 + 100 = $240.00

    Depending on the clay content, it might not hurt to throw down some calcium sulfate (gypsum), but Idk, it could get into 300'ish... Oh, I forgot, you really ought to core aerate it, that's another 70. Yeah, so 300-350.

    That's if he wants it done right.
    But I guess I could throw down 25 pounds of seed, and 40 pounds of 30-0-0 (which that's a 1/4 acre formula and the 30-0-0 is the cheapest fert I can find and it won't help germination) and blam it runs $100 but the results won't be much to notice, if it even is noticeable. For all that, I'd rather pay for a special made formulation of 50 pounds of 100-0-0 and just throw that down for $75 and be done with it. That will have an effect, but no seed and nothing else.

    He wants something for nothing, in this world he will get right next to nothing.

    Next time he calls, you can explain this to him or it might be as well you just tell him I am not interested, thank you for your time.
  7. crawdad

    crawdad LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,938

    When he calls back, tell him you've been working on his price. He will be happy to hear that. Then, tell him when you examined the estimate, you had to raise the price.
  8. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    Sounds like someone that wants something for nothing to me as well.

    Not sure what your app rate is for grass in your area and the type of seed we are talking about? This has a huge impact.

    If the guy is this much trouble before hand, expect more afterwards.
  9. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,570

    I like that.

    If the other guy is that much cheaper ask him why he is wasting your time?
  10. NJSalesPro

    NJSalesPro LawnSite Member
    Male, from New Jersey
    Messages: 39

    Yo Johnny H - as a former sales pro now working in Landscaping industry - I can honestly tell you: don't waste any more time with this prospect! There is a lot of business out there - focus on getting the business from people and homeowners who respect your time and energy! You gave your price, you followed up - thank him for his time (because a true professional takes the high road always) and be on your way to the next prospect!

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