Family discount- am i an a@@ or what

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by newleaflandscape, Oct 8, 2003.

  1. newleaflandscape

    newleaflandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 348

    This has really been driving me nuts lately. How much of a deal do you HAVE to give family. I dont mean like parents or grandparents or brothers and sisters or close in laws. I mean cousins and great uncles and that part of the family. I do everything for close family for free of course. But Lately I have had a ton of ---- from not close family wanting to be done. And to tell you the truth i just cringe when they ask me basically will i do it for free, and how good of a deal can i get them. The worst one that put me over the top was my non relation uncle's dad. Ive talked to the guy on like five occasions. And he wants a ton of ----- work done. By this I mean, he wants all his landscaping ripped out. Huge Yews 20 of them not together( we all know how much we hate these damn things) and about 10 broadmoar junipers that are spread like hell(another shrub that is a ----- to rip out.) not to mention all the ware and tear on my equipment. And he wants all the stone inside the beds dug out and halled away. there is at least ten yards. AND he has timbers as eding for these beds, and of course he wants those removed, and all the timbers have good footing on them. He wants all this ripped out, and the he wants me to do a design to redo his landscaping. He wants bark instead and so on. AND OF COURSE HE THINKS I WILL JUST DO IT on a weekend or when i have spare time for free. That has just put me over the top. I just dont know how to handle these situations. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Or tell me if I am just a jackass to not do it for free. HELP
  2. glenjr10

    glenjr10 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 98

    tell him your are just busy, and that you would love to help him, but due to your schedule, you can not handle any more work without sacraficing any family time.

    Just my .02
  3. dvmcmrhp52

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

    You just tell the uncles dad that you will get back to him with a price......end of story. As for discounts for family......My mother wants us to do my aunts lawn,Sorry no can do.There is some history with that one, but even if not they expect everything to come for free or next to nothing....I'm busy enough I don't need any thing to fill my spare time with.JMO.
  4. newleaflandscape

    newleaflandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 348

    thats the problem is we are kinda slow right now and he know it. Ive actually been avoiding him since last fall with that excuse. I wish it were that easy!
  5. leadarrows

    leadarrows LawnSite Senior Member
    from N/A
    Messages: 925

    Rule # 1 Never give away what you do for a living.
    Help them in any other way you wish.
    There are only two exceptions to this rule. Mom and Dad.

    Rule # 2 never do business with relatives.

    Rule # 2 is why you do Mom and Dad for Free.
    All others business as usual. It's too bad but any thing else is asking for problems.
    See post above. :)
  6. dvmcmrhp52

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

    So give him a real price....If he wants to do it great, if not he will stop bothering you.
  7. work_it

    work_it LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 976

    I have to agree with everything you've been told so far. Mom and Dad is expected. Brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles pay just like everyone else. The guy who you've been avoiding; stop avoiding him and give him an actual bid. What the heck, go ahead and charge him for all of the work you've done for the whole family. Better yet, next family get together compile a list of services you've done with prices and a totals. Then make a note on the bottom stating that you need new equipment and would appreciate everyone pitching in. Then you'll find out how grateful they really are.
  8. lawncare3

    lawncare3 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,981

    I guess i'm lucky closest family is in michigan and next closest is in jamaica. :)
  9. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,194

    Helping friend or family out in an emergency situation is one thing, but to service their lawn as you would a regular client should require them to pay like a regular client.
    Is it somehow cheaper for you to do their lawn than someone else's?
  10. Simone Lawn Service

    Simone Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    Messages: 158

    New Leaf,
    I don't know all of the history behind this, but it sounds as though these people are trying to take advantage of you PLAIN AND SIMPLE! I'm grateful my family and friends never expect services from me for free. Of course, I have helped family/close friends out on occasion, but they never EXPECT it for free. If you ask me, these people are being just plain rude! I would send him a professional written estimate, like you would any other customer. Make it look like their getting "a deal" by knocking off xx% for whatever reason if it makes you feel better. After seeing the estimate, I would think it would open his eyes. I checked out your website, and your not "the kid down the street" trying to make a few extra dollars, looks like you do really nice work. You are working to make money-plain and simple. There's no need to feel guilty about that. Just be professional and polite.

    Good Luck!

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