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Example of a mizerly customer.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DennisF, May 5, 2004.

  1. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,381

    I got a call for an estimate today on a 13k SF yard. I told the person that my schedule was full and that the best I could do was put him on a waiting list of 7 people. He said fine just give me an estimate and I'll wait until there is an opening. After arriving at the house an old guy about 75 without teeth wearing bib overalls comes out and shakes my hand and says my name's Preston. I need a new lawn guy cause mine is charging too much. I measured the yard and tell him $25 (figured I would cut him a little break since he couldn't afford teeth). WHAT!!! you must be crazy to try and charge that much. The guy I have now is charging me $17 and he just raised it from $15 beacuse of gas prices. I told him the guy cutting his lawn right now is losing money cutting his grass at $17. He didn't buy it, but at that point I didn't care or want to carry on the conversation and longer.

    It absolutely amazes me how cheap and mizerly some individuals can be where lawn care is concerned. I told the old guy to hold on the the current LCO and pray he doesn't quit, because he won't find anyone else to do it that cheap and be around for very long.

    Anybody else run into these kind of people or am I the only lucky one?
  2. two_planks

    two_planks LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206

    Quoted a lady $30 bucks on a lawn that her current lco charges $15. I told her to stick with him and pray he doesn't find out shes shopping him on price.
  3. DFW Area Landscaper

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

    Left a long note for a customer last Friday. Explained that my price to do her shrubs would be $.60 per man per minute and we're probably looking at a one hour stop for a two man crew...probably around $70. Went on to explain that we had finally killed all the bermuda roots in her beds and that I had spent a lot of time over the winter resaerching a small pallet of seasonal color. If she was interested in some seasonal color in her beds, we'll guarantee the plants to her satisfaction if she has us install the plants, ammend the soil and takes our seasonal color maintenance plan. Lastly, I explain that her stop is taking just a little more time each week than we had anticipated, and if it seems reasonable, we'd like to increase the price per cut by $3.00, from $24.50 to $27.50.

    She writes a note back with her payment (she is good about paying on time), but here is what she says: I'll let you know if I need you to trim the shrubs. The guy from last year is going to do it again, I believe. (At a cheaper price, no doubt. Why isn't he mowing the lawn too???) My son and I planted some flowers over the weekend, so we won't be needing that. As for the price increase, blah, blah, blah, blah...I don't think it's necessary.

    Installs. Irrigation. Tree work. That's where the money is. It's something that homeowners either don't have the equipment to do it themselves or don't know how to do it themselves. Almost just as importantly, they don't know what these things should cost. Everyone thinks they should be able to get their lawn mowed for 25 bucks. Maintenance is a tough gig.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  4. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,369

    Gotta ask ..........Why is the old fart shopping around if hes paying $17?
    Does he expect a bid of $10.
  5. Turf Technologies

    Turf Technologies LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 587

    Dennis had a guy in Beverly Hills wanting me to do his for $15 I said no thanks. We live in a sad county, even those in Citrus hills and black diamond are tight wads.
  6. The C Man

    The C Man LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 527

    Why, it's only grass :confused:

    I wouldn't pay someone more than $10 to mow my lawn, I'm just glad there are lots of people out there willing to pay 3x that for me to mow theirs :D
  7. new2thebiz

    new2thebiz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    This is only my first year in the business, but I get alot of that around here. I've been amazed at the amount of people who tell me that they are already getting some outrageously low price from some other LCO when I go to give them a quote. I'm just guessing, but I would be willing to bet that most of them are just making those prices up to try to get us to lower ours. Either that or there really are some LCO's out there who like to mow peoples lawns for no profit.
  8. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 4,205

    $17,It would have been my best laugh for that day guaranteed.
  9. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,381

    Turf Tech:

    I agree..this county seems to have more than its fair share of price shoppers and tightwads. I have a few accounts in Citrus Hills on homes in the $400,000 range and those people seem to be the worst ones for cheapness. I can't imagine someone spending that much money on a custom home then spend 50K on a landscape package and want someone to maintain it for $20-25 per visit. Some of these individuals have absolutely no respect for people who do manual labor.

    I had one old lady in Pine Ridge tell me no one was worth $25 to cut her 1/2 acre lawn. I told her she wasn't worth the time it would take to cut her lawn.
  10. Tonyr

    Tonyr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,973

    it's also the amount of time running around for these useless quotes that costs us, the nature of the beast is there is always someone cheaper and a lot of people actually enjoy the hunt to find the cheapest. I cop this a lot and it annoys me a lot, a few lately saying ''it's only cutting grass and whipper snipping!'' I now say after they rave on about the quote that if it is so easy and cheap to do, why don't you do it? They always say they haven't the time or the gear....more like the energy!

    But as I've said before, these wankers going around working for beer money does effect us all, they lower standards and the market worth, healthy competition is one thing, competing against beer money warriors is another.

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