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do you offer free leaf clean-ups?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Brianslawn, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,004

    if youre charging less than $40/hr per person then you might as well be. topsites is always ranting about not advertising leaf clean-ups, cause it not worth it... what if you charged same hourly average as mowing. $75/hr per person is our mow average gross. $60/hr/person on leaves. haul off fee depending on load for non mow customers that dont got woods to dump in. if youre out there with a rake and broom and a tarp or a few trash bags and charging $20/hr, this isnt for you.... youre overcharging! we been getting our weeklys done in an hour or less, so it aint like we're charging a fortune, but i make more than the hired hands after costs, rather than me working for free. leaves and dust are twice as hard on you and mower and are twice as hard to clean up vs simple mow, so why not charge twice youre mow average. $150/hr/person. why? cause market wont bare? cause lawnboys unlike educated doctors, give everything away for free. design and consoltations, round up, leaf clean-ups, weed pulling, trash pick-up, etc. guess what, ive been getting $100/hr for something as simple as pulling weeds for several years. most customers dont even flinch at the price. the ones that do think its too high call back after they try doing it themselves and cant find anyone else willing to do it for less. some of you dont give yourself enough credit.

    why pay when you can get something for free from some guy that dont know his costs? better offer free leaf clean-up so they dont leave you for some newbie offering free mowing next spring.

    topsites... if you made $150/hr on leaves, would you advertise leave clean-ups???
  2. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    Brianslawncare, if you will come on down to my area I will put you up for free and let you see if you can get these kind of prices and I do NOT sale myself short. Not being a smartbutt, location is everything!
  3. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,004

    a lot of people around here are only $20 hr. its cause so many lcos are competing for so few customers. there needs to be some sort of national price setting organization. theres a prevailing wage law for some industries that says you must be paid at least so much an hour reguardless of min wage. why not something like that for lcos nationwide. or maybe fewer solo lcos and a more monoplolistic market.

    not trying to be a smart @$$ either, but there are a lot of desperate people out there that cant hold a job at walmart, so theyre out picking up leaves for $10 or $20 an hour with no lic or insurance or tax reporting and they drive market prices down for the rest of us! :realmad:
  4. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    I agree 100%. Last time I lost a 40 dollar yard to another lco who would do it for 20 I asked the client if the new guy had insurance and license? His response was " I dont care he is cheaper than you". That about somes it up, some folks dont care just want the cheapest. I dont really want these kind of clients anyway.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Honestly, I don't mind the work one bit but it's just always the same old song and dance and it is at its WORST this time of year not because it is 2005 but because it always is like this EVERY year... The best way I can explain it is like this:
    EVERYBODY will call you for LEAVES, and I mean EVERYBODY - People who will NOT call you for ANYTHING the entire rest of the year WILL call you for LEAVES !!!
    How else can I say it, if that doesn't explain it then you really have to experience it yourself... Going out there and giving 20+ estimates for every 1 YES only AFTER you've lowered your prices to where you're ALMOST covering your cost...

    ... Yeah, IF I could earn $150/hr on leaves it would be nice but h3ll it's like pulling teeth to get $35/hr out of them because MOST people NEVER call the ENTIRE rest of the YEAR so they don't got a CLUE, omg... sorry... but Gfluck with that hi-dollar stuff, see how many dirty looks (or the 'you must be out of your mind' look) you get. This is my 4th season...

    Regular grass-customers who have BEEN with me the ENTIRE year only !

    I don't pick up any new work this time of year, sorry. Been burned one too many times with this leaf bowlshed...
  6. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    Have never done free leaf service and never will. And yes its not easy to sell leaf removal at the price it needs to be. But...either I get the right dollars for it, or I don't do leaves. Yesterday we did a big leaf removal and it reminded me again how hard this work is on worker bees and the equipment.
  7. LawnScapers of Dayton

    LawnScapers of Dayton LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Dayton, OH
    Messages: 2,572

    I had a customer call to inquire about her clean up bill last week. She said that it was a lot more than the guys who raked them last year. I use my Stander, BP blower and bagger if needed. Her lawn took 45-50 minutes and I charged her $60 +tax. I asked her if those guys had insurance. Of course not... Luckly she understands running a small business and appreciates good reliable service. She ended up by saying she didn't mind paying and actually enjoyed the fact that I wasn't there all day.....

    I agree..... I set the price and if they don't like it I walk. I guess I don't agree to national price standards. I have been able to show my customer that my work is worth what I charge. But, I am not that high...compared to others around here. But I know my costs and I bill appropriately.

    I also don't try to hard to pick up leaves only jobs. If they take the price I set fine.....if not let the rakers have it.....

  8. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,004

    thanks guys. i havent been listing a per hour fee on invoices. just flat rate based on how long it took. no one is home ever so we couldve been there 3 hrs for that $100 charge for all they know. i have been very fair with my long time regular customers as well.
  9. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,910

    We do quite a few leaf cleanups. I actually like doing them now that we have the equipment. Walker, front bumper mounted leaf loader, dump truck, back pack blowers and dry weather. Just did one tonight. 3 1/2 loads in my dump truck, my wife was running the Walker I ran to the bush for an hour deer hunting then came back and loaded the leaves while she finished up with the Walker. We dumped for free at a farm around the corner. Worked out to around $50 per hour which is good for around here. Told them next year the price would be higher due to raising costs. They used to hire local boy scouts to do the leaves before we came along.
  10. K.Carothers

    K.Carothers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,124

    Was that $50 pmh or $50/hr for the two of you?

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