pre-pay letter

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by David Gretzmier, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    Just sent out our letter to all our Christmas light clients to give them a chance to pre-pay and get a discount. 2 questions- are you guys looking to do a price increase this year because of fuel ( I will on many ) and do you guys offer discounts for early and super early hang, etc. ( we do that as well ).
  2. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    Yes to both. We upped our prices 5 to 10% depending on what it is. Our light cost came down this year as well, but I havn't done the math on everything to see what my total in my pocket increase is on each item. Should be about 15 to 20% higher than last year, or in that ball park.
    We offer 10% off to all clients who order (that means 50% down in my hand) by Oct. 15th.
    I do like the early hang discount idea though!
  3. bigclawnman

    bigclawnman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 121

    Have thought about getting into the light hanging aspect of things, to keep some revenue generated in the Fall and winter. How are you guys makiing out. Is it some thing worth while to get into?
  4. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    You would have to decide if there is enough interest in your area, and what people are willing to pay. Then decide if that is worth it.
  5. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    Sent the letter out and have already signed up several folks for early hang and some pre-pay. I am raising prices this year on rehangs by an average of 50 bucks or so per customer, as my fuel bill this Christmas season should be going from 10 grand to 15 grand. I'll also be raising prices for new product and new customers as well, as my main supplier has really raised prices again this year. I'm seeing 10-20% plus increases in Christmas cost of goods, and I'm just not gonna eat it.

    Be careful out there guys, cords that were a buck last year are 1.29, cords that were 3.50 are around 5 etc. Cords are easily 10% of our cost of goods, and they have went up this year by around 25-30%.

    many of my returning employees have already made requests for raises this year to help cover thier gas to work. even though my guys make 12, 13 bucks an hour, It does not go very far when it takes 80 bucks to fill the tank.

    Although I think we will do ok, I am also fearful this is the year for a perfect storm on Christmas light economics. gas and lights will be much higher, labor will be higher, cords are higher, and the economic "mood " along with a higher price tag is going to make alot of folks, even wealthier folks, think twice about spending disposable dollars.

    I encourage everyone out there to really watch costs to make this a profitable year.
  6. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    Are you really spending $60 per customer on fuel? I would be trying to find ways to cut that back if that is the case.

    As far as things getting more expensive... That is the cause of gas going up, Chinese labor laws taking effect, and the weak dollar. China just isn't as cheap as it used to be.

    David is right, you have to pass it on to your customer, you really don't have a choice.
  7. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 6,464

    Well im going to offer christmas lighting this year. I have been told im stupid for not offering it around this area. that sold me!
  8. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    to answer the question- we have many, many clients that are 30 plus miles from my shop. doing the math, our rigs get about 10-12 miles per gallon, some less, and at 60 miles for install, 60 miles for takedown, that is 120 miles. at 10mpg, that's 12 gallons, at 4 bucks per gallon that is 48 bucks. I average one service call per year per client, so add another 24 bucks.

    we are actually closer to 70 bucks gas per customer on rehangs, and probably more on new customers, as you have the drive to do the bid and the drive to pick up the down payment check. add in I collect the 2nd half in person many times rather than rely on mail, you got alot of gas flowing.

    Last year I budgeted 10 grand for fuel and this year it is closer to 15 grand.

    I tell you , I am seriously considering buying/building an electric box van to add to my fleet. It costs aprox 1/10 the cost of gas to "fuel" them . I'm guessing 60 batteries, overnight charge, and 125 mile range.
  9. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    I'd move my shop and buy better trucks! My silverado gets 15 around town and 20-22 on the highway. Also, I would be finding ways to cut down on the service calls. One per customer is alot.

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