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Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by theguynextdoor, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. theguynextdoor

    theguynextdoor Senior Member
    Messages: 307

    I plowed a small parking lot last year for a guy who asked me in the drive thru at Tim Hortons. He sold the building and the new owner asked me to plow also. I gave him a price for the remainder of the season which I found out was way to low, so I didn't make any money on it. I gave him a price of 1200 plus tax for this season to plow the parking lot, shovel and salt sidewalks (small property) He called me and said go ahead and come by to pick up the contract and check. I finally got a hold of him to meet up and he said he lost the contract, what is the price? I told him and he said, "Are you killing me?" So i talked to him for a while on the phone and he goes, "someone else will do it for 400 for the season and another guy 600 for the season, but he won't plow till January." I told him I would look over the numbers and call him back. He said taxes are killing him and he's trying to run a business. I guess I'm not trying to run a business though. I'm not changing my price, and I'm sure I'll hear from him after one of those guy with no insurance crashes through the building or an old person who lives there slips. Ridiculous. I'm sure you guys get this crap all the time too.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2008
  2. johnnard

    johnnard Junior Member
    from NH
    Messages: 10

    Anytime someone says another will do it for $400 or $600, I'll respond with 'let me see the quote to see exactly what they're bidding on'. It's non-threatening and will start to build a relationship because you're 'helping them out'. If it truly is a great deal for whatever reason, tell him to call quick before the guy changes his mind. If it's a bluff on his part, it will become obvious very quickly. Explain about insurance and liability and all the other thing it takes to do commercial snow removal...you'll have an ally very quickly - OR - he's just a jerk so 'run away, run away!'
     
  3. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    So who is plowing the lot in Nov/Dec? The guy is just fishing if your going to lose money why would you plow it? Now if you told him you'll do it for a 1,000.00 in Tim cards that could be a deal for both of you. As you know it won't cost him a grand but he can write it off and you'll be set with coffee money for the season.
     
  4. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    Grandview
    Do you take gift cirtificates on a regular basis? I have a customer that wants to trade a gift card for 50% of the cost to plow the lot. It is a resturaunt, that I don't frequent often, but has good food. I just think that they are overpriced, (hence the reason I don't go often). Anyhow it is a 100 dollar lot and the price is by the push. I just thought it was not a fair deal for me because I know he is going to write it off as either a loss, or a donation. The entire cost of plowing and salting is a write off as well, so I don't see the benefit of it to him, other than the food he is selling me is over priced, and he is making a huge profit, and I am only getting my actual cost for it. I guess if he offered me 70 in gift cards, and 50 in cash or check that would be a fair trade since I don't go there often anyhow.
     
  5. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Note:barter is still taxable. If he offers 100 in gift cards it don't cost him a hundred. If you don't like the place better to get the money.

    Yes I do do trades for snowplowing.If it benefits me! You just have to make it look like he's getting the deal though.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2008
  6. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Trading services or gift cards can be a very good thing. Just have to do it right.
     
  7. mike33

    mike33 Senior Member
    Messages: 335

    I always thought in trades 1 person will get screwed. I like the theory i pay you, now u pay me.
    Mike
     
  8. omsk

    omsk Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    I've bartered for various things off and on over the years. It can be a great tool, but it can be a danger to an otherwise good relationship as well.

    Too often when parties in an ongoing business relationship barter, one or the other ends up feeling like they're getting the short end of the deal, and often they continue to maintain the relationship until there's just too much resentment built up and the whole thing collapses. Then no one is happy.

    In my experience to avoid this both parties need to be honest. Many times one (or both) of the bartering parties use "overvalued" methods for payment - like gift certificates, or other items/services. What you both need to do is be honest with each other, and trade based on "like" value. For me the best "like" value is profit - in other words I'll provide a service on which I would have made $100 profit, in exchange for a service that my counterpart would have made $100 profit on. In the end you both "gave up" the same dollar value - and so the trade was fair.

    Other than that I stick to cash...

    Gregg
     
  9. 18lmslcsr

    18lmslcsr Senior Member
    from WI.
    Messages: 113

    You know what the biz has taught me? After 8 full seasons! Ask your price (AND STICK TO IT)! It took allot of wheelin, dealin, haglin, experience...to know this service 18lmslcsr is worth the price. If the people say " well fred's plowing and toiletry can do it for zxy xyz" thank God i'm learnin to say bless fred's plow have at it. U know it really does pay off in the long run!

    experience, strength, hope......I'm a learn'

    C.
     
  10. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,198

    I find it very helpful to detail my prices.

    Take your price of 1200.00 and detail it. plowing $600.00
    sidewalks $275.00
    salting of parking and lane ways $250.00
    salting of sidewalks $ 75.00
    Total $1200.00

    Now your price looks more reasonable. It also looks more professional, like you gave it some thought. It becomes easier to show that the other prices are to low.
    The last pitch I would give for this client is.
    You own a restaurant, that is open 24/7. Before someone spends a dime in your establishment, they need to park in a properly cleared lot. Then they need to walk on a sidewalk that needs to be clear of snow and ice. So even a couple of poor service events, and it could cost you more, than the difference in price alone. Do you really believe that someone can give you the proper service that you deserve for $400.00.
    Thats all you can do. At least you gave it your best, and in the back of his mind, you will be remembered as a professional, and not a guy with excessive prices. JM2C:drinkup:
     
  11. plownoob

    plownoob Senior Member
    from ny
    Messages: 128

    I have to admit I was guilty of this while truck shopping this past fall. I went from dealer to dealer telling each one that the guy before him was offering me $xx, sometimes fudging the numbers. I finally got to one dealer and he said, the last dealer gave me a great deal and to go for it...that's when I knew I had a great deal. :eek: Only difference being I knew I was getting the same product no matter what place I went to.
     
  12. theguynextdoor

    theguynextdoor Senior Member
    Messages: 307

    So this same guy calls me today and says, I really want you to do it. You did a great job last year. I can go as high as 800. I said I can't go below 1100 (he raised trigger depth) and I'll give you a deal on your personal driveway. He says, hes trying to run a business and I'm killing him with my price. He said the guy who wanted 600 does a bad job as is unreliable. THAT IS WHY YOU PAY MY PRICE AND YOU KNOW I DO GOOD WORK. I said, I understand you're running a business and so am I, but my insurance won't give my a break on my rates and I can't go below this price. He'll think about it...

    This is ridiculous. Pay the price or go with the unreliable guy. Sick of dealing with this.

    Anyways....might snow tonight. Bet I'll get a call in the morning
     
  13. v-plower

    v-plower Senior Member
    Messages: 118

    Gregg AWESOME ADVICE!
    I just ran into this EXACT situation.
    I did some trade with a very good customer and it didn't work out well.
    He felt like he was being screwed and so did I.
    I'm thankful that I have known him for a long time and we worked out a deal that we were both somewhat happy with and I know that I will always take extremely good care of him when he buys products in the future.
    I will ALWAYS work out the details right off the bat from now on!