was i over estimating

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by cfosceola, Jul 2, 2004.

  1. cfosceola

    cfosceola LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    Had a call from a retired orthopoedic surgeon, wanted a bid for the normal cut, trim, edge and blow and once a year wanted his trees trimmed, which i would have subbed out to a friend. This yard was a little over half an acre, wanted the grass kept out from under the trees, about 7 of them. the whole backyard has a privacy fence, which is most of the half acre, a huge pool enclosure about 80 feet long by 30 feet, which would require alot of trimming, about 120 feet of curbit in the front to edge around. I figured about a 2 hour job, since i am by myself. I use a 36" metro. So i called him back with an estimate of 65.00 a cut, he then proceeded to tell me that was over too much, he was use to paying 90 to 105 a month, which would be less than 30.00 a cut, Im getting 20-25 a cut for matchbox yards that are 50 x 100. do you guys think i overbid or was i right on.
  2. barringtonbrothers

    barringtonbrothers LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    One thing on this forum I have noticed is every one will tell you is to stick to your price. If that is what you think it is worth, than stick with it. If some one else is willing to mow it for less than let em, and let the customer have crappy service. Why is he used to 95-105 a month, why is his old service or services not cutting for him? Best of luck.
  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    I'm with you other than 65 bucks might have been too cheap. He a retired, relocated snow bird btw?
  4. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,905

    I Haven't seen the place but it sounds about right. It sounds like He's possibly a PITB waiting to happen. I have a 52" surfer, and it wouldn't take me as much mow time as you, but trimming and edgeing would be the same. I'd still try to get @ $60...
  5. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,227

    who cares what we think,,,,,the question is can you REALLY do it for the price the homeowner quoted you?

    ok then dont agonize over a guy trying to get you to do free work!
  6. hartslawnmain

    hartslawnmain LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    cfo...my take's a little different on this than some others. Your profile doesn't say how long you've been in business or if you're full time. I see it like this. If I'm just starting out, and have holes in my schedule, I can afford to take some lawns for less than I normally would. If I go out and make $35.oo for a cut and I didn't have to drive too far to get to it, then I've made money I wouldn't have otherwise. As your schedule gets fuller, you can afford to be pickier but in the meantime I would take $35-40 instead of sitting on my butt watching Jerry Springer. This guy may lead to others in the neighborhood. Ya' never know. Just my .02 worth.
  7. locutus

    locutus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,266

    This is good advice. Take heed.
  8. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    I think you must be low. It will take 2 hours, so at $60 per hour that would be $120. $120 a cut for a 1/2 acre yard is about right isnt it? That would be about $240 an acre, correct? See how wrong you are? First off he pays monthly, so its every week in summer, and every other in winter, way way different than pay per cut. And a 1/2 acre lot here wont take you 2 hours, evan with a 36 inch mower. Just because hes a retired neurosergeon doesnt mean hes going to throw his money away.
  9. Likestomow

    Likestomow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 997

    I would find it really hard to believe even a "___" would cut this yard for less than $30, but it maybe true. From what I've been reading, Florida seems to be a different market from all other states because of the large amount of retired folk.

    Now for the $60 per hour thing. A guy cutting with a 36" Metro can't begin to expect to make $60 an hour. cfosceola's own bid was for just over $30/ hr.

    In my area I notice that there are many "low priced" cutters working in the best subdivisions. Why is that? They are partimers who are thrilled to work for peanuts. But beyond that, the wealthiest of people are also thrilled to find such service people! I say let they have each other. If this prospect really wanted good work and dependablity he would be glad to pay for it. But he's not going to pay for it, and there is always some one else who is willing to do the work for next to nothing.
  10. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Don't you just love potential customers who ask for an estimate, and then TELL YOU what they will pay you. A little haggling is to be expected, but I am in charge, not them. So I set the prices.

    -and remember, "the rich people don't stay rich by throwing their money around. That's why they're so d*** cheap!"

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