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How much should I charge?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by JeepPlow18, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. JeepPlow18

    JeepPlow18 Senior Member
    Messages: 658

    I am new to plowing this year and have a lot that I have no idea what to charge. It has about 45 parking spaces and is a big oval with an apartment building in the middle. I dont know if I should charge an hour or 1''-3'', 4''-6''.....I have also seen others guys do it in no more that an hour. How about salt applications? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks

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  2. JeepPlow18

    JeepPlow18 Senior Member
    Messages: 658

    Also I forgot that there is 7 walkways about 20-30 feet in length. How much extra for those plus salt?
     
  3. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    125 and 200,or a but higher and I dont do alot of salting but you'll need to come up with an average price and most people times 2 their cost for what it cost them. I actually think salting is worth a bit more than that.

    You'll need to average out your salt costs considering sometimes its a light app, sometimes a medium app and sometimes a heavy app is required depending on conditions.

    And please dont listen to the crowd that will tell you that you price off of what your expenses are and how much you spent on breakfast.

    Shoot. Didnt see the second pic/area.....but 125 an hour would be a good rate for you per hour.

    That site may be worth 175 for 1-3, and 275 for 4-6 for walks and parking all included.

    off the top of my head.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2006
  4. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Keep in mind....thats what I think its worth. Chances are someone else thinks its only worth half that and will bid it at half that.

    This business is a crap shoot and guys that have done it for 30 years still get anxious and worried when bidding jobs because of low ballers etc etc.

    Hopefully its your parents that own it.

    lol
     
  5. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Sometimes I just don't "get it", but are you serious? How can a person in Michigan price a job in New Jersey - especially by only seeing part of the areas? Or are you being sarcastic? I think he might have taken your post seriously, too. I'd like to know so I can help guys better.
     
  6. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Honestly Mick I dont care if he lives on Mars with all due respect. Im advocating some sort of standardized pricing so we can start winning or losing jobs based on the real issues that concern the customer besides getting work done for free.


    And Im tired of hearing people claim you need to bid off of your expenses and what you need to to make a profit, and then when someone bids low because their expenses are low, having to sit here and listen to them be called a low baller when all they did was take the advice they were given.

    No offense.
     
  7. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    None taken, just wondering where you were coming from. As I'm sure you've also read, standarizing pricing (or price-setting) would be illegal so it gets discouraged on sites like this. But really, keep the ideas coming.

    I also agree about the "lowballer" part... People tend to (improperly) use the term to mean anyone who bids lower than they.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2006
  8. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Standardized pricing is illegal? Im not even sure how to respond to that.

    All's Im saying is one man, one truck with a 7.5 foot blade should be worth a certain amount of money per hour within reason. The discrepency in pricing in this business is so out of whack. That should be illegal.


    Im not saying price fixing. As if that could ever happen in this business.


    Is setting minimum wage at $6.35 not price fixing in effect?

    Comon Mick. I know you're experienced but I've been around the block a few times too.
     
  9. jcesar

    jcesar Senior Member
    from Mi
    Messages: 492

    I want to kow what this so called standard pricing is? Can you explain that to us so we see a point?
     
  10. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

  11. jcesar

    jcesar Senior Member
    from Mi
    Messages: 492

    Thank you Mick. That was very insiteful. Appreciate the information, so now I know what LLM ANN ARBOR is griping about.
     
  12. jcesar

    jcesar Senior Member
    from Mi
    Messages: 492

    Sorry to hijack the thread, but to answer your original question, Charge what you think is reasonable. Might want to find some local guys and ask them what the going rate in NJ is. Sorry I cant be of more service, but as Mick Said, i live in Michigan and can not say what the market is in NJ> Good luck and hopefully you will get the answer you are looking for.
     
  13. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    My point is exactly that it shouldn't matter whether you live in NJ or Michigan, and that a certain piece of equipment with a qualified efficient man behind the wheel should draw and command the same price per hour within reasinable fluctuatuations.


    I dont see whats so hard to understand about that.
     
  14. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Why is milk the same price in Maine as it is in Michigan?

    Why is gasoline the same price on this side of the street, and on the opposite corner?

    Why is the labor rate the same at a Chevy dealer in Michigan as it is with a Ford dealer in Arizona?
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2006
  15. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Why does one snowplow man in Michigan charge 40 dollars per man hour and another charge 125 for the same equipment providing the same service.

    And why do you guys like that so much.

    The reason I dont is because sooner or later we will all be working for 40 dollars an hour.
     
  16. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    And what you call price fixing is called Collusion, and its not collusion unless you are secretly agreeing to be fraudulent or treacherous.

    I dont consider getting a fair price for emergency services in the middle of the night with an overpriced rig collusion, or fraudulent, and neither would the government.

    *haliburton/martin marrietta*
     
  17. jcesar

    jcesar Senior Member
    from Mi
    Messages: 492

    No one is saying that you have to work for 40.00 per hour. All we are saying, is that if someone has to have 125.00 / hr, then he should be prepared for the fact that the other guy will work for 40.00 / hr. You can't tell someone that they have to set their prices according to everyone elses. As an example, there are 2 Gas stations on opposite corners. One charges 5.50 for a pack of smokes. The other charges 5.25 for the same. That is called competition. I agree with you, in the fact that there are guys that should raise the prices to a competent level ( AKA Lowballers) but you can not make them do it. If you get outbid on a job, then let the other guy have it. Only he can tell you what his work is worth !!! If your work is worth 125 / hr, then charge that. Sooner or later, that customer is going to determine the value of your workmanship, and if smart, they will pay for quality.
     
  18. 2moresleeps

    2moresleeps Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 131



    :salute: Finally, the voice of reason.
     
  19. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Thank you. Im here all week. Two shows a night and three on Saturdays. lol


    And I understand monopolization, and the guys have some points. All's Im saying is that if we cant get on the same page, can we at least get in the same book?

    I know it will never happen. Im just tired of seeing such a huge discrepancy in the prices people charge.
     
  20. jcesar

    jcesar Senior Member
    from Mi
    Messages: 492

    Ann Arbor,
    I understand what you are saying, and I agree with you in the fact that there are guys out there killing the industry, but like I said, You cant make them do it, and every market is different. Would you plow 10in for the same as 2 in? Probably not. I go through this all the time with my customers as well. But if you get more snow in Maine, than in Michigan, then why would your rate be higher in Michigan? Valid question, or have I lost my mind?