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...does anyone think these people in this story are cheap or am I unfair?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by MowJoeLawnCare, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. MowJoeLawnCare

    MowJoeLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Ok here is the story of my first day. I had a lady today that I went and mowed for today. I got there picked up sticks and...wait I have to preface this with our first encounter, and please somebody anybody tell me if this what I am about to tell you sounds credible or if this lady was tryin to be slick......I went and bid her yard it was a smaller yard around 15 miles from my home and I have no accounts out there yet.....honestly its about a 30$ lawn. I told her 40 and explained the overhead and everything and she flips out and says that she....(now read this very closely)had a yard twice the size of this 30$ lawn and only paid 40$ a month to have it cut 4 times in a month in Houston..........SO I dropped the price a bit and said that this is temporary depending on the amount of business that I can drum up in her neighborhood. She agrees. .......So after the sticks (oh yeah another thing this grass was 8-10 inches in many parts of her yard)I tried to fire up my weedeaters to start trimming and they wouldn't start.....Now for all the critics NO they are not NEW but they are dependable and have not done this before I had one running the prior night and the other a week prior to that.
    I began to start worrying and then it turned to panic. So I began to mow and thought maybe they will start in a bit. After mowing Thank God one of them started I trimmed and cleaned up and go the lady. After all the stress:dizzy:
    I was not well equipped to deal with a pushy customer. I approached her about the payment and she said come back in 2 weeks and bill me at the end of the month. "Thats how they did it in Houston" was her answer for everything. So I told her I would be back in 2 weeks...............Now I feel like a dumba$$. I didn't collect for the work (which after the lost time from equipment failure I broke even on) and I didn't even have a contract with this lady.....Who I suspect of being shady maybe not but I don't know her and I don't have her signature. SOOOOO I thought of this, I will go back out there and mow it again but before I mow it again I am going to tell her I have to be paid for the last service before I preform this service or you can sign a contract for the minimum of 3 mows a month, Then I will bill you at the end of the month. .....Then to top it off I while mowing her yard I was approached by a man to bid his house...I arrived at his house. He wasn't there only his wife was. The yard was double the last yard I was just talkin about and I bid 50$ I thought it was fair and the lady said "NO WAY the guy that cut our lawn for the last 10 years did it for 25$." " I asked what happened to him and he just got to old to do it. but she said it only took him an hour. I drove off kind of insulted.....I mean the only way I could see her getting it mowed that cheap would be the kid down the street........MY MY what a day.........
  2. lowballer17

    lowballer17 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    You are just a shmuck
  3. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Is this a real thread, or just a troller? Really.
  4. CutInEdge Lawn Care

    CutInEdge Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 677

    Boy oh Boy did they see you comming a mile away!!! When a customer gives me their speal it's time to move on. Ten years ago gas was a buck a gallon avg. But has been steadily climbing in leaps and bound since then. Well since the first BUSH anyway. I have estimates that go that way all the time. I say well here is the delima we can either do this today for $5o or you can call others to come out and give an estimate here is the local paper with other LCO's please call them and if your not satisfied please call me back. But in another week you can sure bet the first cut is going to be $10 to $15 more.
    Always charge more for the first cut by $5 to $10 on small res, $15 to $20 more on med to large. You have shown yourself as someone they can manipulate. What are you going to do about it. Stand up and take charge or get out of the business cause it hurts everyone.
  5. MowJoeLawnCare

    MowJoeLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    You know I am a schmuck... only sometimes though...and everyone is at least once. I have to say after reading what I wrote I understand that perception and I feel like an a$$. It was wrong from the jump. I'm just trying to learn. Thats all.
  6. trent515

    trent515 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    I think it is something with Missouri, seriously. I am in Springfield (my first year on my own) and we run into cheap, nasty people often. Luckily, we meet with them before, and WE make the decisions. If they start making the decisions, I walk the opposite direction and find someone else.
  7. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    Mowjoe, when a customer starts that "I got it done cheaper in Houston" end the conversation right then. I dont give a crap if they paid 10 or 100 my price is firm and I will not budge and will walk in a hurry. If you do go down they smell blood and it never ends. I dont have the patience or the time for it no more and my attitude has changed greatly in the past year.

    TURF DOCTOR LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,138

    What you are doing is cutting for a living ,commercial cutters run it like a buissiness not past time people can see right thru you, set your price hold on it, sometimes i bend we make it up down the road.
  9. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,064

    That's prolly How I would have handled the situation to, having just started it this spring. Actually I haven't even cut my first lawn yet, still some snow on the ground here.

    But just talking with a few of my snow customers I've heard the same story already and not being experienced I was taking aback. This lady wants me to cut her lawn its 7600 sq ft before improvements (Yes I'm copying JustMowit) and she wants me to do it for $15 bucks a cut and take away the clippings. When I told her no she said well what if she goes on a 10 day shedule to save money, then she told me her son was always doing it for free last few years but she seemed to know more LCO lingo than me, lol.
    Thing is my flyers that are going out next week have that size of yard listed at $25 bucks a cut. So now I am all stressed out wondering if my flyers will be wasted, am I over pricing, will I get work, look stupid, waste money on lawn equipment... and so on.
  10. trent515

    trent515 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    you'd be foolish to lower your prices to $15 a cut....how will you ever make money at that price, especially hauling all the clippings away and bagging. There's a point at which every company has to turn down cheap lawns....I can sit at home and make nothing easier than working my butt off for the same exact thing

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