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Gas Price increases--can I do this?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by chevyman1, May 10, 2004.

  1. chevyman1

    chevyman1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    I want to place a printed sticker on May's invoices that reads---"Due to increased gas prices above and beyond normal convention, I regretfully must add an extra 5% (or more?) charge to your bill. This is not a profit margin at all. This increase merely will balance the mowers and truck gas charges that have so rapidly hurt us all. When these prices come back down to where they were just a few months ago, this % will be eliminated. Thank you for your understanding.

    what do you guys think?
  2. zmowing

    zmowing LawnSite Member
    from York,PA
    Messages: 85

    I'm going up 3% for every .25 over $1.75. But I'm not going back down
  3. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    Personally I think that you should have pre-warned the customer before slapping the charge on. I would say that this month is a loss for you but include a letter with the bill stating your intent and ask for input if you can take the heat.

    At the start of this season all my customers were made aware that the 5% charge will be in effect for every week that regular unleaded is 2.00 per gallon or more. I had no complaints about that. Our prices are at 1.99 9/10 now and I know that I will be using the 5% charge in a week or two.

    I think your customers will respond better if they have a little warning before you give them an increase. Just be sure you can justify what you are doing as you may have people shop your competition if they are not happy. Good Luck
  4. GRT

    GRT LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    Let me present another side of the story for the sake of arguement: your customers.

    I think the fact that you are raising prices in the middle of a season is atrocious. These people are (most likely) under contract withyou to do a job at a price they agreed to for a season.

    "This is not a profit margin at all." Are you serious? How can you say that? How much do you allow (for each service) for gas in you overall price? What is your cost per house? You're telling me it's going to cost you 5% more to operate overall? Gas prices have only increased about 20%, how does that affect your overall service by 5%?

    It just seems to me that you didn't account for such things when you gave quotes, and you just use the $1 a minute method. You quoted a certain price and under most circumstances, you should keep that price. Next year, learn a lesson and allow for gas price increases that seemt to happen every summer.

    Sorry, but then $1 a minute method can be very inaccurate, and that's why I don't use it.

  5. Doster's L & L

    Doster's L & L LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 616

    I'm gonna try raising prices too. For the sake of keeping htings simple, i'm gonna have an increase of $5 on properties that are about 2 acres, $4 for those around 1 acre, then $3 and $2 for the smaller ones. I've never tried ot increase the price on many of my customers, but now i'm gonna have to do it. I can't take the beating anymore from ridculous gas prices.
  6. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,565

    I don't think I use more than a gallon of gas total on a lot of my jobs...maybe a gallon and a half on some, so an increase in prices would have to reflect that reality.

    So then I have to decide on a benchmark. $1.75 per gallon? That means only a 25 cent raise per cut on some of my customers. That's a buck a month. Frankly, I don't think I'm going to bring it up.
  7. chevyman1

    chevyman1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    Include you truck, the mowers and the trimmers/weedeaters. It does add up, and what the heck, 5% is 5% ya know
  8. charlies

    charlies LawnSite Senior Member
    from earth
    Messages: 587

    well my 12k fuel bill per year came from somewhere. and a 40% (paying 1.459 may 3rd last year, 1.99 yesterday) increase in fuel price = $4800 that has to come from somewhere too. i would rather it not be my profit.
  9. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    I think if a lot of guys were to actually break out the cost of fuel per job (including getting there) that they would find that the increase per lawn is pretty much negligable. I figured mine out to a 20¢ increase for every 15¢ increase at the pump. That is an average across all yards from 1/8 acre to 3 acres.

    The thing that everybody is seeing is called Sticker Shock. That is where you see the money you are paying for all of the fuel together instead of a per lawn cost.

    It's like giving a customer a bill for their lawn service once a year. There is no way they would want to pay it but if you spread it out weekly or monthly it doesn't seem so bad to them.
  10. Cleatus

    Cleatus LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 61

    i guess it depends on how big you are. the bigger you are, the more your going to feel it. our fuel expense for april was $680 higher than last year, and we are running almost the exact same routes. i don't want that coming out of my pocket either, that's more than my mortgage.

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