Help Me Explain Spring Cleanup Costs

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Chopper Lover, Apr 9, 2001.

  1. Chopper Lover

    Chopper Lover LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 288

    Hi Gang,

    I need some input on how to explain why the price is so high for Spring Cleanups.

    I will give you some background on my pricing.

    I determine the square footage of the areas to be mulched and determine how many cubic yards of mulch it will cost to apply 2", 2.5" and 3" of mulch to the area in need. I look at the prices and estimate the wealth of the neighborhood I am working in. The particular area in mention has homes valued in the $300k-500k range.

    The latest yard has 3244 sg/ft. of bed area to be cleaned, edged & mulched. I estimated to take 25 cubic yards of mulch at 2.5" and a cost to me of $500 ($20/cu.yrd). I charge $60/yard to for the entire spring cleanup which totaled $1500. The customer contracted me to cut the grass but feels the price is more on the high side. Mind you, he did not complain, he just thought it was high.

    Also keep in mind that amongst my local peer group I have been told that I am lower than they are in my pricing by about $5-15 per yard applied. I would raise my prices but I truly believe I am charging appropriately for my service.

    I explain to my customers it is labor intensive and how many days I think it will take to complete the project. I also explain that my fees include everything from blowing and raking (if needed), hand edging, delivery and applying mulch to the beds. Also included is cleaning up any mess I made while I was there and any associated dump fees.

    Here is the question to everyone here. Is there something I am missing in my explanation of the job or should I just accept the fact that not everyone is willing to pay for that kind of service?

    Thanks in advance for your help!
  2. Island Lawn

    Island Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 632

    Sounds like you're covering it pretty good to me.
    There are certainly people who dont understand.
    It is part of our job to educate them, but you certainly can't win them all!

    I have had some propects try to sell ME that clean up should be included w/ annual sign up!
    I kind of chuckled and explained that it was an additional sevice.
    In retrospect, I guess I could have said yes and just raise the monthly rate accordingly(Extra for time and trouble?)

    BTW I dont think that too many people do it that way.

    BTW BTW Customer service? Flexibility??
  3. lsylvain

    lsylvain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 779

    I always tell my customers that the price is just an estimate and promise them I will not charge more than the estimate but should my cost be lower I will lower the price.

    I've never had to lower my price. It seems to smooth over any dooubt in the customers mind about the price.
  4. jrebeiro

    jrebeiro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    Could just be that they have had mulch spread by either themselves or another company that didnt spread deep enough. I charge between $60-$75/yd installed depending on the type of mulch they want and how much they want spread. I have noticed that even at this price customers have had mulch spread previous years at higher prices. I price according to how much I feel comfortable making. I also think these prices are fair. Some accept that and others don't. You need to stay firm with your pricing and explain what makes you different from the rest. You may not know who the rest are but who cares!
  5. rats5656

    rats5656 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 150

    you seem to know what you talking about. Stand tall be firm with your prices and don't give in. we work to hard for are money
  6. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    "The customer contracted me to cut the grass but feels the price is more on the high side. Mind you, he did not complain, he just thought it was high."

    Then why bother with an explanation? Unless the customer asked for one, of course.

    Sometimes the best thing to do is pretend you didnt hear the comment and continue on with your pitch, contract signing, whatever.
  7. lawnboy82

    lawnboy82 Banned
    Messages: 957

    ok explain something to me. now you priced a spring clean-up or a mulch project? or does mulching come standard with your spring cleanups? cause when i do a spring cleanup it is just blow the yard, edge gardens, light thatching, and thats about it. am i missing something?
  8. Chopper Lover

    Chopper Lover LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 288

    Thanks all for your input so far. After reading the post Lawnboy had I realized I left out one work which caused part of my original post to be misleading.

    The customer accepted my contract to mow the lawn for the season... He felt my SPRING CLEANUP price was high. My mowing price was fine.

    My prices are my prices. I only adjust them if I found I made a significant mathematical mistake. Sometimes I am low, occasionally I am high, most times I am in the high side of the middle range.

    I keep my lawn work (mowing, trimming, etc.) and my spring cleanup (mulching, bed cleaning, edging, etc.) separate from one another. I do this so they have an option of accepting one package without the other.

    My Spring Cleanup packages do include mulching as part of my service.

  9. George777

    George777 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 305

    being new to the business I messed up big time on my first clean up. I had 2 acres on turf with about 1 foot on leaves and only charged 110.00. I could have kicked my butt for that one. It took 2 days to get it complete. I though I would just run the mower over it and everthing would disappear, right I bagged and bagged more leaves than I ever imagined was possible.Got so mad at myself I could not sleep.
    Since then I have learned my lesson and thus far Clean ups have been my most profitable part of business.
  10. Guest
    Messages: 0

    be flexible explain that that is your price for that thick of mulch you can do 1 inch for less or spray iw renewal if you have this problem alot add a bargaining price into your bid

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