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Minimum Charge

Discussion in 'Bidding, Estimating and Pricing' started by BigJlittleC, May 21, 2019.

  1. kemco

    kemco LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,361

    Let's go back 15 years... Every customer of mine was weekly. Never complained about the price. Which is dang near what it is now but dang near everything is every other week. I just don't get what happened. I understand the crash of real estate and anyone that could swing a hammer was now a lawn mower. But I'm still confused.
  2. ShowCaseLawnCare

    ShowCaseLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 580

    My concern is if this type of work hasn’t changed much in 20 years price wise. Why not change careers? Go in a different direction start a new business ? If not in 20 more years if lawnsite is still around it will be the same old thing talking about prices etc. If you look back year after year on this site its usually the same thing people complaining about lowballing prices .
    zlandman likes this.
  3. Mumblingboutmowers

    Mumblingboutmowers LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 936

    To me, minimum is pulling in and getting out of the truck, whether your there for 1 minute or 1 hour, you have to drive there and that's not free.

    My minimum has been $40 for a quite a few years now, however I make a couple exceptions if a job is on the way to another job or next to it. For example, I trim around a sign for a lady in front of her little business, I go right by it so it's not out of my way and it only takes 5 minutes, I charge her $20. I also made an exception to my minimum today when a neighbor of an existing customer walked over and asked for a price on mowing his small piece of lawn. Probably a 10 minute job tops, so I told him as long as I do it when I come to do the neighbors it would be $30, but I told him if I ever stopped doing his neighbors grass then there would be no way I could do it for $30 because it is too far off of a regular route.

    Forgot to add, I am thinking about raising my minimum to $45 this year.
    Cam15 likes this.
  4. OP

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Fanatic
    from Chicago
    Messages: 8,266

    At what point then do you charge above minimum?
    Mark Oomkes likes this.
  5. Mitty87

    Mitty87 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,529

    Do you see much resistance to the $125 per hour? Is it just because most gardening or install jobs are small enough thats it doesn't seem like so much when a 1 day install only costs $1900 or whatever to have one of those mini lots landscaped?
  6. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,597

    I do sort of. Problem is my minimum keeps going up for everything...mowing, fert.

    I have been doing 6 hours for extra work. But it's hard to do that when a customer asks us to take out a tree that will take a half hour.

    Reading that other thread about $1500 or $500 to reduce estimates, I'm liking the $500 minimum and telling them that upfront. My time is valuable, arguably more valuable than my employees' time.

    One question: Do customers really know what they get for $500?
  7. caseysmowing

    caseysmowing LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,438

    I've been at $40 for probably 5 years and only have 2 at that price. They take no more than 30 mins solo and they are in my normal route. Odd jobs when I'm already there are still my normal rate $75ph.
    zlandman likes this.
  8. Mitty87

    Mitty87 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,529

    Thats one problem, they don't know how hard a crew can actually work, so they might think in their terms of working in the garden with their tools. They also dont know a landscapers average hourly. I think it basically tells them that you aren't going to plant 4 $22 shrubs and pick up a pile of sticks that they had raked up, then they might be able to do at least a bit of rough estimate in their head to imagine what they might get for that $500.
    zlandman likes this.
  9. Jasburrito

    Jasburrito LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    I am a newb. But getting a feel for the industry and pricing. Learning more from every new customer. So far i really like it. I have a postage stamp i do in a condo community for 25. (Cash)Thats the going rate. I give a very fair price to my first customer in a subdivision or ?. I take my time and do excellent work. I use that property like a advertising tool. Sign in yard, lettered trailer. My most expensive is 45. I am only looking for ideal customers for my company though. Around 2,000 to 20,000. Sqft. I am cherry picking. I have timed a few jobs. I am at about $1 per minute mowing. Nintey eight percent of people that have called about weeding or odd jobs have passed on my 45 to 60 an hr. They want to pay 25.
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
  10. OP

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Fanatic
    from Chicago
    Messages: 8,266

    I rarely tell them my hourly rate for these types of jobs. I think your accurate that with the smaller yards a couple grand can get you a big change so it's a easier sell.
    zlandman, Cam15 and Mark Oomkes like this.

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