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Price complaint!!!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by stevenf, Jul 7, 2007.

  1. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    A good one at that!
    I went today to give this women an estimate for cleaning out her flowerbed and laying mulch for her. I gave her a price of $200.00. I estmated $50.00 for material and pickup, And I estimated $75.00 an hour for two hours. It will be a very easy clean, Its just weeds that will be killed/pulled(no trimming).
    I gave her the price and without hesitation, she yells out, "Ill give you $300.00"..... In shock, I simply smiled and said ok, cant argue with that.....

    What is the deal with this lady? Did I undercharge that much or was she just looking to spend money?
    I estimated for $75.00 an hour and I even added a $20.00 profit to the material and gas......

    Rather then making another post:
    I now have 7 weekly and bi-weekly yards and growing pretty fast. Am I charging them right by accepting payments weekly or should I request monthly and start getting them to sign contracts?
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    You might want to read through, I'm not saying you're doing it wrong but I don't know.

    See I don't estimate too much per hour but by how much work it is...

    For example, a 1/4 acre lot grass cut goes for 30-35 dollars, whether I use a pushmower and it takes me 2 hours or whether I get it done in 20 minutes with some commercial equipment. But if you read around you might see most Lco's don't get it down to 20-30 minutes for a few years, like 3-4, maybe 5.

    Thus it boils down to if you have the experience then you can estimate at that rate but it's not by the hour, it's by how much work it is. The only time I estimate by the hour is when a customer insists on having me do something that I've already said I don't do, oddball stuff or off the wall or have me do it 'their' way, that kind of thing, and maybe.

    Now if this customer was expecting you to pull weeds by hand, then I respect you for that $75 / hr quote :laugh:
    Matter of fact I'd charge closer to 120 for that, but I don't run into it much anymore, and you can't assume they expected it unless they argued with you if they asked how you planned on doing it.

    I had someone a few years ago insisted I NOT use weed killer around the fence line, but trim it all...
    Ok, that costs extra. Otherwise, cleaning the beds I usually include it with the price of mulch, so long it's not super bad. But no I don't pull the crap by hand, and yes I used to get that and if anyone ever insists on it then it's going to cost.

    Hope that helps, there's a fine line there
  3. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    Its not alot of work.Simply pulling the big weeds, spraying the small ones, and loading with mulch. No edging, No trimming, No planting.

    Also, what about the weekly payments?
  4. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    When you're small, get paid however it works for you and the customer. As you grow larger, it will be really difficult to collect that way. At 50-100 customers you will need a billing "system" that works for all customers.
  5. LushGreenLawn

    LushGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,120

    I guess I'l be the first to ask before you get someone making a nasty post.

    Are you licenced to spray weeds? I realize you are new, and may not know, but you do need to have a pesticide license to spray for weeds. The penaltys are pretty stiff if you are caught spraying without one.

    That may be why the lady was nice enough to give you more, she is expecting you to pull all by hand. I get customers like this sometimes, they want to make sure they pay you enough to do a good job, they may even have had a bad experience with another person that was charging to little and did bad work.
  6. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    watch out for the ole, "While your here" statements,

    it's been my experance when people do this, they will have ya doing other things..
  7. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    Im not undertsnding how you price on how much work it is... The reason I decided to go by the hour is because I am starting to get jobs on word of mouth. I dont want one cuctomer to have a $400.00 job and the other have a $200.00 job and wonder why without me beingh able to give a good answer.
    Also, Ive read on the internet that you must have a lisense to spray fertilizers. but didnt know for killers...
  8. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,413

    you know there is a saying: "if 3 people give you a bid and one of them is way less than the other 2 you better stay away from that guy." you need to figure every cost before bidding. when i bid a job i know about what is is gonna cost me just to ride over there, then what it is gonna cost me to ride to the nursery, then to ride to the mulch yard then to ride back to the job. it takes me a while to figure out what i am gonna charge someone. i never ever give a quote while i am standing there, i always take the time to figure every detail.
  9. Frontier-Lawn

    Frontier-Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,955

    when they say stuff to me like that i say you cant get a quality plasma tv for the price of a cheap wallmart 20" tv can you. So i only do quality work for a appropriate price nothing less. (I'M NOT WALLY WORLD LADY :waving: )
  10. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    Did you READ the WHOLE post?

    She offered him more than he was going to charge.

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