Free estimates

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Luvs2Play, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. Luvs2Play

    Luvs2Play LawnSite Member
    Messages: 246

    I know everybody puts "Free Estimates" on their flyers. door hangers, and websites. I have it on my cards, it's been there for 7 years. Does this really mean anything to prospective customers? Are there any lawn service companies that charge for estimates? I have always wondered this, and just what would I charge a customer? I'd like to get $20 for an estimate. Wouldn't that be great?
  2. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    For the most part, it is superfluous. 95% of customers know or assume you won't charge for estimates. It's certainly the norm. 99-99% of LCOs and landscapers don't charge for estimates.

    But to answer the question in more detail, Yes, there are companies who charge for estimates. Two specifically that I know of. One charges a flat $25 fee last I heard. The other guy charges an hourly rate for his time if the estimate lasts any longer than 5 minutes.

    So yah, there are bozos out there who charge for estimates. And unfortunately, that makes some people a little ticked off when they find out they are being charged for something they assumed would just be free. So some customers are now a little gunshy to ask for an estimate. Puting "free estimates" on your stuff lets people know it's okay to call you and you're not going to be digging into their pocket books just for an estimate.
  3. Luvs2Play

    Luvs2Play LawnSite Member
    Messages: 246

    I guess it could be called a "Consultation", which is what I had to pay an oral surgeon once. I guess to me that was BS too. I would have had to pay him several hundred for a 10 minute procedure. Went back to the dentist, got some satisfaction "chewing" him out for sending me to the oral guy. Then he pulled the teeth! I could see it if there were blueprints, but for general lawn maintenance, I will be more than happy to spend some time making that a customer for several years. Thanks Mr. Lewis for your information, like I said, I have always had that in all of my advertising, only because everyone else does it here. Call me a Lemming!
  4. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    Free estimates are pretty much the standard any more. I have had a older lady call me a week ago and asked if I gave free estimates though. I haven't heard that in awhile.
  5. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    Kind of off the topic, but I dont think i would be brave enough to yell at the dentist, then sit down and have him pull my teeth!!

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