How often do you get this.

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by shovelracer, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    I get called on an a referral estimate last friday, Im in the area so I stop by. Lady wants a modest raised patio with a few steps and 240 square feet of pavers. The deck stairs needed to be removed and rebuilt for proper look, but she requested that they be reused. So I spend an hour drawing up a real basic plan and price and go meet her Saturday since she seemed to be in a rush. I tell her it will cost around 13k, but she needs to give me more info on her product choice to really narrow it down. She is nice, but short with me. By the time I get home there is an email for me stating that my price was way more than they had in budget even though she told me she expected it to be over 10K upon first meet. She would not be using any of our services. The referring customer is a good customer and knows we expect premium pricing for our other services. So I figure OK Ive had lots of tire kickers this spring so no big deal.

    Today I pass the house and guess what? I see an old man that my brother worked for many years ago that only did premium hardscapes long before I was around. He retired a few years ago supposedly. No trucks just a few cars and a few workers and wheelbarrows. The deck was completely gone, the area for the patio had been stripped of its old landscaping, and there was maybe 50 tons of stone in the middle of this ladies lawn. 4 days after I get the call? So was this lady looking to waste my time? Was she going to cancel on this guy after he most likely ordered his material? This is the second time this happened to me since last summer. Makes me wonder if the people I do contract are doing the same thing. I would be real mad if I got cancelled after materials where purchased. Who else has had this happen? Im tired of waisting my time. Almost makes me want to raise my prices even higher and then advertise them.
  2. Meezer

    Meezer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 272

    She was price shopping & did waste your time. She had other quotes before you got to her. The fact that she was short with you after you gave her the 13k figure exposes her.
  3. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    I figured she had other quotes, but to start work you need a permit that takes 10 days, and she needs to give a deposit. Either this guy was back in business and desperate or she had been planning this for a while and I was her last ditch attempt to bail on her current contract.
  4. Meezer

    Meezer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 272

    I think the guy was desperate & lowballed you. She was price shopping & you were the last one quoting. I wouldn't hold this against the referring customer. Unfortunately, this stuff happens.

    SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 763

    it sounds like a simple exuse. My guess is he came in with a more pleasing design than you and she decided she needed to tell you something to get you out of the picture. Most people do that so that they don't leave the door open for you to say, "well, let me quote the same job and tie up more of your time." she sees something she wants and goes for it. I see that more often than someone selling out to the lowest bidder. If the other guys presentation or design is better, they don't even compare the prices if it is within their budget. That is why i typically will design what i want and let them figure out if they want to scale back or come up with more money.
  6. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,369

  7. Meezer

    Meezer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 272

    OP posted: Lady wants a modest raised patio with a few steps and 240 square feet of pavers. + it's in NJ
  8. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Messages: 1,209

    It is more likely that the guy sold her on the spot and she did not want to be rude and cancel. This time of year for us it is ALL about the quick close. I sold a patio the other day simply because I was the first one back with a price and was in their ballpark of numbers. Maybe the cache this guy had and with a good number she was excited to have him do the proposal but because you were refferred to her by an existing customer she was just being nice.
  9. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 993

    To schedule a job I require 50% down. That handles material cost if they back out on you and you can't get screwed.
  10. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    From the look of things she is in the 20k range. I think she was looking for the something at half price. Didnt get it so she went with the old guy. This guy has been doing major stuff since before I was born so Im not bummed about that. I dont know why he was there, since he supposedly has been retired for a few years. As for lowball I dont think so. 240 foot patio, raised 18" with 3 stairs built in and another 3 stair landing, pure rock subgrade, mess of an old landscape tearout, drainage, and grading. My absolute break even no personal pay or business profit was around 9K.

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