One time cuts... What do you charge?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jimsny, Mar 11, 2001.

  1. jimsny

    jimsny LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    It seems every year I cut enough of what I call "One time cuts" to equal another account for me.

    If I am not in need of another new account I usually price them 5$ to 10$ more on what should be a $30-40 yard. I sometimes explain (once I am done and have an accurate cutting time on the yard) the regular price if I think there is a chance I may land the yard as a regular account.

    What do you folk charge when you know it will be a true one time cut assuming the grass is not out of control. Do you charge any more? a particular percentage? a flat hourly rate at a higher rate per hour?

    What is your strategy to handle this?

  2. 1stclasslawns

    1stclasslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 565

    I charged $100.00 for a one time last year on a 10m foot lawn, it hadnt been mowed all year and it was in july!
    took me 2 hours.
    Charge at least time and 12 what youd regularly charge. Goahead and tell them the regular price like you said you did, but be ready for them to call you again in 3 weeks to a month.
  3. Majestic

    Majestic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    Dont do any one time cuts anymore.Used to do them when smaller.BE CAREFUL sometimes those people dont pay,have had a few of them.usually the grass is 3-4 weeks overdue and they are looking to get bailed out,after you bail them out they dont pay.If they are going on vacation they over extend and you wait weeks for your money.I would charge 50-60% more and make them PREPAY!voice of experience.
  4. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,516

    Last season my customers were getting me a lot of 1 timers while the neighbors were on vacation and I would do them.I did 2 jobs and the people talked to me a month before I was to do the cutting,when I arrived to cut the lawn the grass had at least two weeks growth, and the grass was grown over the sidewalk 4-5 inches. I guess the husband said he will work for his money on this job. From then on, I would charge 15-20 dollars more for the extra time it would take to do the job.If ti was a one time cut that was not cut in a while I would charge the 100.00 like naturalawn did.
  5. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,205

    a lot of times, you'll bail the people out and then they'll ask for a price and they'll go with somebody else. favors to one timers dont stand a lot of the time.
  6. Chopper Lover

    Chopper Lover LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 288

    I normally charge $5-10 more for a one time cut if the yard is in good shape. If it is over grown I figure on about $30-40/hour. If it is just totally out of control, a lot more. Of course, when I make those prices I tend to utilize the sometimes dependable "what mood am I in today" formula of pricing.

    If I get a referral from one of my customers to help out one of their neighbors while on vacation, I may give the one timer a little slack as a courtesy to my regular customer on the hope that I can get some free word of mouth advertising and maybe future work from them. Of course, as I stated earlier, that depends on "the mood of the day".

    Taking into account what Majestic said, I see the point of getting the money up front, or at least a substantial down payment depending on the condition of the lawn. Things like that get me thinking about "Roundup Balloons, Rock Salt lawn applications, and the like". (For those of you with no sense of humor, that last sentence was a joke!)

    Anyway, I hope my comments were helpful in some way.

  7. dmk395

    dmk395 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 1,006

    I do one time cuts for people all the time, basically I just name my price, and they are always happy to pay. If they ever question it, I just walk away, since I dont really need the business.
  8. jimsny

    jimsny LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    Thanks for the input. Chopperlover, I too have JOKINGLY thought of round up baloons but have never had to implement them... HA HA.

    DMK395.. I too sometimes name my own price. If they take it greate if they don't that's OK too. I will treate new accounts this way sometimes if I am already packed for the year. I price it high. If they take it great if they don't I have more than I can do anyway.

    What are your thoughts on FOCUSING on the OTC (one time cut) market???

    I was considering advertising this service and getting a flat rate for EVERY yard of say $35-40 up front (I would not cut unless paid in advance) and then billing them for the balance in hopes 75% of the people will pay it. I'm sure I will get stiffed on the balance quite often. If it happens I may raise the up front $ to $45.

    I'm sure this will be time consuming and involve alot more scheduling than usual. Not to mention time on the phone explaining and selling the service. I'm just asking myself and you for this matter what sort of premium I should charge? I was thinking maby 30 to 40% more.

    What do you think of the whole Idea and the pricing schedule?

    [Edited by jimsny on 03-11-2001 at 05:16 PM]
  9. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,226

    i agree with most of the guys and what their saying, i also know that most 1 time cuts in my area are because they haven't cut the yard all year and its late may or something like that so i chagre most likely $10 extra depending on the size of the yard and the height.

    if the yard is in perfect shape and they are just going out of town or something like that and its the begening of summer and i have extra time i don't over charge any. hope this helps goood luck
  10. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    I no longer do the one time cut jobs. usually the grass is long, full of 4 inch high stumps, bricks, dog run cables etc.

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