Mow for Free for 2 years?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by soloscaperman, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. soloscaperman

    soloscaperman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,045

    There is a guy that owns his own shop working on Amercian Muscle cars. I mow a lot of lawns on his street. I talked to him plenty of times and he is tired of mowing his huge lawn. My question is he wants to do the headgaskets on my LT1 in my Camaro for $1200 labor. After the parts I buy it will come to around $1400. Should I talk him into bardering ? The other idea is maybe pay him half and mow for a year? The reason why is I am a little low in money since I am buying 4 high quality tires for my truck for snow plowing and want to gt my truck ready for plowing. The drought screwed me over and this is my 3rd year and I am almost down paying off my mower :)

    I know in every business you should have money saved but when starting any business usually your out of the clear under 5 years. After that it's all profit.
  2. mbrew

    mbrew LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 491

    Personally, I don't like those type of obligations hanging over my head. If I and he have a difference of opinion for whatever reason, I want to be able to make a clean break and that would be hard to do in this case. I'd also bet that you would begin to resent having to do that lawn after a few months.

    Just my 2 cents. You get them for free.
  3. 2brothersyardcare

    2brothersyardcare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,116

    i would do it did it for my volvo
  4. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    The term would be BARTERING. Just an FYI, not being critical. I traded a farily large leaf cleanup for the machine shop labor and fab work on the brake conversion for my Ferris Hydrocut. The leaf cleanup took me 3 or 4 hours and he spent about the same amount of time. Tit for tat.

    Bartering is no different than any other means of exchanging valuable items. What I mean by that would be if you went out, cut other lawns for money, and then took that money and paid this guy to do your head gaskets. As long as both sides are happy then everything is fine.
  5. soloscaperman

    soloscaperman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,045

    In a way it's like giving him small payments without interest. His lawn is worth about $50 to cut. My plan is he will be comfortable with my mowing and once that contract is finished he might want to start paying for my services then I cane get him with fall cleanups, mulch, etc. People get lazy and don't want to change. That's why AOL back in the day gave you free internet for 6 months then they start charging and most people didn't change.
  6. SuperPROlawnScalper

    SuperPROlawnScalper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60

    you are getting a one time thing. i wouldn't do a 1 or 2 year deal, i would do an amount of cuts along with being allowed to keep a sign out by the road.

    i mow for a concrete company that i used to work for in exchange for using their equipment when i need it - no rentals:)
  7. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,868

    You guys are funny. It's the mechanic who should be asking, "Should I do this barter deal?", not you. If he goes out of business after the deal, no big deal. You're not out anything. On the other hand, if you go out of business, he's totally screwed! He's taking all the risk here, not you. You should jump at the chance for a deal like this.

    There's absolutely no downside or risk for you. Let me explain. Right now you have two choices;

    1) Pay for the head gasket job.
    2) Trade for the head gasket job.

    If you chose Option 2, you are always going to have the opportunity to go back to option 1. If he's unhappy with your work for some reason after a few months, then you just pay him off - option 1. You're no worse off. In fact, better off because you got to delay a few months paying for a large expense AND you got to work some of it off too! No downside!

    Barter is almost always a good deal as long as you're receiving the benefit right away (as opposed to over time). Reason being; if you have to pay for a $1000 item with cash or pay for a $1000 item with landscaping, you're always better off with the latter, because the landscaping never costs you as much as the cash.

    Unless you're so busy that you can't take on another account, this is a great deal for you.

    I'm more worried about the rates your charging. We care for about 250 properties each week and most all of them are what most people on Lawnsite would consider "postage stamp" lawns. And I can't think of one that would be less than $1800 PER YEAR! And you're talking about $1400 for two years??? At those rates, I'm worried for the mechanic - that you'd go out of business before you were able to repay him. But that's a whole other thread. I know we all charge different rates. That just seems inordinately low to me.
  8. GravyTrain

    GravyTrain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    As far as the rates go, although $700 sound slow for a years worth of work, I have only a handful of yards I charge more than $800 a year for. I average between 17 and 18 cuts per year for most of my yards, and average cut is about $45 a cut. That is between $765 and $810. Mind you, that doesn't include mulch installation, leaf removal, etc. In CT, I would imagine the cutting season is shorter which probably means fewer cuts and therefore the $700 range.

    I don't have a single customer who would even consider $1800 a year, even if that included leaf removal, mulch application, etc. And I've got some decent sized yards.
  9. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,142

    Wow, need to find better accounts.
  10. soloscaperman

    soloscaperman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,045

    Calm down I will not go out of business from mowing his lawn and his shop won't go out of business over a head gasket job.

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