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Tuff negotiating!!


LawnSite Member
Its cooling down and I'm expanding my services including landscaping and landscape clean outs, heavy pruning, etc.

Most of my customers are very relaxed when I give them an estimate. They say something like, thats fine, okay, or i'm sure you'll take good care of me.

But, I have this one customer who is a real tuff guy. He's from NY. Today, I hit him for a $250 clean up/ heavy pruning job. He flipped out, his voice got really high, told me that my price is :dizzy: , CRAZY and that he never heard of such of thing.

I told him that this is a low/good price and many of my customers are doing similar work to their properties. (salesmanship)

I told him his landscape will look very nice when we finish (selling again).

I told him that Corvettes use to cost $5,000. Now they are $50,000. (selling).

Then he returned his voice to normal and said "the best I can do is $200." :cool:

He was just trying to see if I would do it for a much lower price , basically he was negotiating.

Cash paid. 2.5 hours work/ 2 workers. . payup


LawnSite Silver Member
the last bid he got was $500. they just try and scam you to see if you'll work for free. ask him what price he thinks is fair, then tell him you'll pay him that much to clean up your yard. if he thought the work was easy he wouldve done it himself. he wouldve easily paid $1000 if there werent so many desperate lcos out there willing to do it for a big mac. :dizzy:


LawnSite Silver Member
Cocoa Florida
premierlawncare said:
Cash paid. 2.5 hours work/ 2 workers. . payup
You got sold.

5 man hours at $40 per hour for pruning and clean up work. Cash check it is all the same. You gotta declare it, pay taxes and pay workers and their comp bill.

A recent job we did was 20 man hours (4 of which were me) and $2250. Sure I don't get all of them, but if I am doing that kind of work, making a run to the dump (two in this case) I am getting paid.


LawnSite Gold Member
So what did you do it for, $200 or $250???


LawnSite Member
Kuna, Idaho
The price you quoted did not matter. Any number would have gotten the same reaction. You say " Sir, we have a thousand hours of work to do to get this yard in shape. I'll do it for $50." He says "What!!!????:realmad: Are you kidding? Tell you what, do it for $25 and we have a deal." That's when you say "The lowest I can go is $49." Give him a buck and he'll be happy because for some people, it's all in getting whatever they can for less than the asking price. The real trick is to recognize these people before you give them a price and build it in, assuming of course you are willing to do business with someone like them at all.


LawnSite Silver Member
Morgantown, WV
You should have walked away. You undersold the job , and then even lowered it more. He was the one who made out, not you.


LawnSite Bronze Member
premierlawncare said:
....He was just trying to see if I would do it for a much lower price , basically he was negotiating....
I think you did well. I'm guessing this is the first year for you with this customer due to his surprised attitude. You felt that the negotiated price was still acceptable and would yield a profit for you. I have found that it is better to make a little bit less on a job than to refuse to negotiate and make nothing at all.

When giving a per-job price for the first time, it is hard to estimate work time correctly. I have found that on jobs which I have under bid, I can usually raise my price the next year.