Marking up price of material

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Decoste76, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. Decoste76

    Decoste76 LawnSite Member
    from MASS
    Messages: 155

    how much do some of you mark up your products you buy.. just recently but a few bags of topsoil and a bag of seed for a small job prob. cost about 25$ how much would you mark that up
  2. domain311

    domain311 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 177

    At least 20% over retail...more if wholesale of course...and you should probably be getting it somewhere where they give trade discounts, correct?
  3. AzLawnMan

    AzLawnMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 409

    I bought 4 bags of multch today, I pay $4.37 a bag and I sell them for $11. Sprinkler heads I buy for .96, I sell for $6.50. I mark my stuff up alot. If they question the bill I say the same thing, "Take the time to buy the product yourself, make sure you buy the right product the first time because you will have to go back. If you dont install the product correctly your gonna have to take it out and do it all over again." Time, gas, labor and convience all factor in to my prices. I am expensive, but if there is a problem I am right back to take care of it. No offense but for 20% above cost is simply not worth it.
  4. Decoste76

    Decoste76 LawnSite Member
    from MASS
    Messages: 155

    correct so how much would mark up be about like 30$
  5. Decoste76

    Decoste76 LawnSite Member
    from MASS
    Messages: 155

    ya i was just going to say the same thing 20% whats another 5 bucks
  6. domain311

    domain311 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 177

    Well, right...5 bucks is nothing and its all relative, I should have clarified...I am talking about what we usually do and in that case we would add more otherwise it wouldnt be worth it. So yeah, I would charge more in your case.

    If we buy 200 bags of mulch for example at $4.50 I will probably charge around 6 bucks per basically 300 is added on just for getting it and bringing to the job, which for us would almost always be less than an hours time. Thats with a trade discount so it also adds up to more than 20% for my end. There is no way I could charge $10 per bag or more, plus labor. In that case I would be adding on another 1k+ just for getting it and delivery? I don't think so...

    If we do something small for like 10-15 bags of mulch we usually wont even go into the material cost-it will just be billed out combined with the labor or if we do something like a $60 pick up and delivery charge would be added.

    Irrigation heads are different-I don't tell them the price or bill it that way-if its a 5 dollar mist head I might install it for $50.00...a rotary that's 9 bucks I will install usually for $60.00...and so on.

    Everything is different...but yeah, if its a small item or amount, I will add more for sure or just add labor/truck time onto it.
  7. AzLawnMan

    AzLawnMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 409

    What difference is there if they buy 1 or 100 bags of multch? I put multch under sod and of course with new plantings but if I am putting 20 bags of multch with the sod and 8 bags with the new plants and trees my price is still $11 a bag. Customers know the price of multch, they know the price of sprinkler heads and consumers will go to Home Depot and Lowes and both of those companies are lowering their prices to just above wholesale. It makes no diffference to me if a customer says, "Well that same bag of multch is only X amount of dollars" I say, "Then you go buy it" My labor is included in that price. To each his own, I dont know what your costs of doing business is and I have no clue what your market is like, I just know if you want me to do something I will give you my prices and we can go from there. I tell my customers that I will be the most expensive and they will find someone cheaper, that I can guarentee. But I stand by my work and my product. I have a new customer who put in 2-15 gallon queen palms, she paid the guy $90 each, both died and he said he couldnt replace them because it has been over 30 days. I put new ones in for her and she paid me $135 each. Now I buy them for $29 each, but if the situation happens where it dies and I have to replace it, well there goes gas, travel time, the cost of a new palm and a 2nd trip back, not to mention labor to have 2 of my guys re-plant. Explain why you charge what you charge and they will understand.
  8. As far as plant material, say 1-3 gal. stuff, I charge what the nursery charges for retail. Example-Plumbago is $5 wholesale(my cost) and $9 retail(consumer cost). I charge the consumer $9 JUST for the plant. Then I charge for pickup/delivery and labor.

    It is a little trickier right now down here for bigger material like palms and trees. I like to make at least $25+ per palm/tree, but you also have to be sensible and think of the job in whole. On commonplace stuff, you can't mark up too much but on more expensive pieces like Canary Island's, Sylvester's, etc. you can tack on more b/c the consumer already knows it's going to be expensive.

    On mulch, rock,etc. I charge what the nursery charges and double that price for my labor and add pickup/delivery. You can't really screw up laying mulch, but you can get bad plant material, incorrectly install it,etc. These things can be avoided by looking over the stuff first and knowing how to install. I have never had to replace a plant due to improper installation, only from fungus, insect,etc.
  9. Andover Landscape Co.

    Andover Landscape Co. LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Lexington,KY
    Messages: 573

    I agree with diamond. I charge the customer no more than retail... If you do and they see the plant in the store for less? you will definitely will not get anymore business from them...

    This is what I do. If I have a customer that wants a install. I get some sort of design or idea.

    I tell that customer to go down to the local Nursery and pick out the material they want.. The nursery knows me. I used to work there!!! (No that was not by accident:rolleyes:) They help my customer pick out exactly what they want. If some shrubs they have in stock don't look to good? they will recommend a swap out...The nursery tags all the plants my customer picked...And it is all put aside for me to pick up when I'm ready..(up to 2 weeks)

    The customer doesn't pay for the material at the nursery.

    I pick up the plants and either pay for them or put them on my 20% off retail...sometimes 30%-60% depending how out of season they are...

    I then invoice my customer for 90%-100% retail..

    Depending how hard up I am I usually give 10% discount to my customer and I keep 10%

    It's a win for everyone.. I'm happy I was allowed to do the install plus 10% of material...

    The nursery's happy. They sold the material...

    The customers happy. They got to hand pick every plant and got it 10% off

    NOTE: You definitely want to develop a outstanding relationship with your nursery... :rolleyes: It pays literally!!!

    Another note: If my customer ends up being a a$$ ? Well, guess what happens... NO SOUP FOR YOU!!!
  10. domain311

    domain311 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 177

    There is a big difference now if that is what you are saying...I was under the impression that you charged $11.00 per bag plus labor....but the above contradicts I guess its included?

    Sorry, I'm still a bit confused though...from your first post you mentioned 4 bags of mulch you bought for $4.73 that you sell for $11.00. That equals $25.08 over your cost. I would assume you also charged labor on top of that?

    Yes, 100 bags vs. 1 bag is actually quite a big difference if just for pick up and delivery-if thats what we're talking about. In your case it would be $6.27for one bag or $627.00 for 100. So I can't see how anyone could charge $627.00 for getting the mulch and delivering, plus labor on top of that.

    There are plenty of cheap guys out here that will do something cheap, will not back it up if/when the time comes and are only in it for the quick buck in and out. I am not one of them either...wherever we are I always look for long term relationships, no matter what we're doing-so customer service and following through is very important.

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