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Does anyone else have this problem with clients on shrubs?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by QualityLawnCare4u, Jul 19, 2006.

  1. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    I have posted a few times about my frustrations with clients over shrubs (sorry if repetive or boring) but wanted to know if folks in other areas/states encounter this. I can mow a yard for up to 50 bucks and most folks will pay without much complaining. But the same client will expect you to do a 10 hour shrub job for 35 bucks! I have encountered it so many times will not even go look at a one time job or solicit any new ones. I posted a few weeks ago about a lady I quoted 1400 bucks for a big job and she went balistic. Talked with another LCO today that she called to give her a bid and he quoted her 2000:laugh: He said she went balistic on him and he told her he was not interested in doing biz with her:laugh: I priced 2 today, one 2 hour one for 80 bucks and one 4 hour one for 150 and both looked like they had seen a ghost. Both of these are my regular clients and one is a 50 dollar yard and one is a 100 dollar yard, neither complain about the yard price but why does everyone thing shubs should be done for less than minimum wage? Maybe its just a south Georgia thing.:dizzy:
  2. Rhinox29

    Rhinox29 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    No, I have that same problem in Florida.
  3. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,386

    No, it happens here too. I think the common thinking is that we just use a pair of cheapo shears from Walmart and shear everything. Also, alot of homeowners don't pick up the clippings so they figure we all do the same way.
  4. ChadsLawn

    ChadsLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,110

    hell let them find the low low ballers and when they come outside to see that shrubs are all hacked. Maybe the higher price is worth it.
    I did a estimate yesterday. Nothing over 3 foot tall. May take me all of 45 minutes to do.I told her $55 every 3 months. She told me her last guy was charging her $35. I asked her what happened to him. She said he gave up the business. I said outloud "no wander why". She asked what I meant by that. I told her he was cheap and probably couldnt survive by his prices.

    Is there a proper way to bid hedge trimming? I try to guess how long it will take me and X's that by like $60 an hour. Then ask myself if I would pay that price.
  5. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,095

    I have the same problem. Don't worry, someday somewhere you will find people who will pay your prices for hedge trimming. LOL
  6. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,526

    lol same in va, will pay decent for a yard mow, but think shrubs must be a charity thing or something. I give the price and they can take it or leave it. If Im gonna work for min wage or below I will just sit at home in the ac and post on Lawnsite

  7. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    I don't understand why anyone would quote a firm price on shrub trimming. The danger of you underestimating the time requirements is phenominal. It is just too easy to underestimate this stuff.

    I guess I do understand why people do it that way because I did that way my first year in the business. By year two, I was quoting hourly rates.

    $44 per man-hour, but we discount that $36 per man-hour if the client doesn't require a free estimate before we do the work.

    I have billed, with a one-man crew, over $28K this year so don't tell me it can't be done. We currently have a 10 day wait on shrub trimming/clean-ups. We just started selling 4 automatic, hourly visits a year and already we have 19 clients on this service.

    We've also billed over $4,200 on this crew just in delivery fees this year...that is another place where LCO's often underbid or, more often times, do it for free. If we bring anything to the site (mulch, flowers, sod, top soil, irrigation parts), we charge a $60 delivery fee. Our first 2.5 years in the business, we didn't charge a delivery fee at all and taht was a GIANT mistake.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  8. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,465

    The problem is most of time customers like to only have bushes done a couple times a year. And of course the darn things are so tall and big that you have to chain saw some braches and you have a lot of debris. We offer a cheap bush trimming in our contracts but hardly nobody bites on that. The good part is that nobody wants to do bushes so it isn't easy to find a low bidding guy.
  9. ClayMcC

    ClayMcC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

    In the dictionary under, "Shrubs, underestimating time/labor requirements," is a picture of me.

    In my second season, and I'm still dumb enough to say, "No big deal, I'll trim 'em for ya, no charge." or, "I'll remove it... probably about $10."

    Done. Thank you.

    Now, what are you going to charge to just cut grass when gas is $4.00 gallon?
  10. wski4fun

    wski4fun LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 323

    I have the opposite problem. No one wants to pay for a lawn cut but I can get what I ask for with everything else.

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