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Am I quoting too high?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Dobber, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. Dobber

    Dobber Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    ok, i was out in the last snow storm trying to get some accounts and almost everyone i talked too told me that i was asking way too much or that they had a guy to do it for way less. but all the lots were covered in snow. there is a gas station by me that has a huge lot, pumps out front and back with a empty space behind it that needed plowing as well. im really horriable at guessing acreage, so bear with me on this please. i think it was about 3 acres. the best i could do is tell you it would take about 1.5-2 hours to do. i told him $ 100 and he told me he had a guy to do it for $40, but he couldnt get ahold of him. after a few more stops i went to a strip mall, about 0.5-1 hour of work, and i really wanted to make some $$$ so i told the guy $50 and he told me to do it for $15. when i told him no, he actually argued with me on it trying to make me do it for $15. i had half a mind to take it, go plow his car in and leave, but i was trying to be professional. what the heck am i charging too much? i mean i hear guys charging 35ish for residential drives so i figured i was being fair with my pricing? am i charging too much? and is there a good way to come up with a number or to you just eyeball it and say a number?

    thanks guys

  2. show-n-go

    show-n-go Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    Sounds low to me..

    I stopped at this place to eat after our forst session of plowing, there was about 4 inches on the ground, i asked the mgr if he had someone to do there lot since it was a mess, his answer was a ****** yes like he was mad that i asked about it. I figured they must not have the money to get it done on a 2 inch trigger. I saw a few like this and every one that i asked said we have someone and are not interested.. I was thinking how could you be happy when the storm has been over for hours and the only tracks in your lot are from cars..
  3. Mick

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

    No, I'd say way too low. Let other people go broke or work for that little. Don't get stuff just to say you plow. There's a lot of competition for commercial accounts. As a comparison, I quit plowing for health and other reasons, but I always averaged around $125/hr but mine were all driveways taking 5-10 minutes. Look around and keep handing out business cards this winter so you'll be learning for next winter.
  4. KCsnowman

    KCsnowman Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 30

    Just let those places see what it costs when someone slips and falls!!!
  5. AndyTblc

    AndyTblc Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    No way would I work 1 hour for only $15, if I'm going to work for $15, it's going to be a 1 car wide by 2 car long, not a whole parking lot
  6. DaySpring Services

    DaySpring Services PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,065

    I'd be looking more in the $200-300 range for 2 hours of work. You'll probably use $15 worth of gas lol
  7. KCsnowman

    KCsnowman Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 30

    $15 might get their doorways salted, thats it
  8. toptech72

    toptech72 Member
    from 21078
    Messages: 61

    I found out a long time again that whatever price you give its going to be to high. If you offered to pay them for the ability to plow their lot they would say they know someone that offered them more. When i give someone a price and they tell me its to high i just smile hand them a business card and tell them to call me if they change thier mind. About 1/3rd of them call us back to do the job.
  9. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    They were just seeing how low they could get you to do the work.
    Bet their "guy" doesn't do it for that...if he ever showed up.....lol
  10. snowfighter75

    snowfighter75 Senior Member
    Messages: 124

    No! I'd say your not. They're just testing you. $30 just to drop the blade. 3 acres for a $100 is a little cheap, I'd go for $110 at least. All the best!
  11. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    3 acres, 3 hours, $300.

    Honestly though there are not many 3 acre gas stations.

    It's supply and demand. Right now there are 50000000000000 guys with plows, and a lot of them are going crazy low just to feel like they are working.

    What you have to do is sell them on the HIGHER LEVEL OF SERVICE you provide.
  12. Dobber

    Dobber Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    Yes I did try to do that, but it didnt take. like i said im horriable at eyeballing measurements. in retrospect i guess that you guys are right i was quoting low, but i was out with nothing else to do in the middle of a storm and for a one time thing its really not that bad i guess.

    AND i drove by today and they werent cleared from the last snow and getting dumped on as i passed
  13. the new boss 92

    the new boss 92 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,989

    you jsut have to keep putting bids in and cheacking back, show proff of insurence and maybe snap a few pictures to show the quilty work that you do. you are on the rigt track with going about it. some guys might say your low balling though.
  14. REAPER

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,230

    An American football field, 360 feet by 160 feet, is about 1.3 acres.

    An acre is about the size of a football field without the endzones (the part behind the goal posts. Approximate but you can find one easily and stand there and think about it.
  15. plowking15

    plowking15 Member
    Messages: 91

    I hear what your saying. I used to plow driveways for myself,one year the truck got old and it had some major breakdowns. Stopped doing that and took job with the local highway department as winter help to plow ,sand roads with the town vehicle. When I had my plow business ,other guys had regular jobs and plowed after work,it was a hobby and most had no insurance or their pleasure vehicle had a plow. Wonder if their insurance agent know they plowed? I couldn't compete with somebody of that mentality. plowking
  16. plowinginma

    plowinginma Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 326

    I hope all is well Mick.... Wish you a happy healthy New Year!!!
  17. bob00

    bob00 Senior Member
    Messages: 143

    some pepole lowball just because they like plowing but that is relly wrong

    but stick to your price man don t go plowing just to work and break evean
    i do residensial lot 300$ sesonal 2 inch triger about 12 to 15 event 2 car max if bigger if anything in the way , down or up hill i trow some number up and some flag down at 20$ for the same size i quoting any thing bigger at 125$/hr if they dont want my service just too bad for them

    personaly i run a old truck so no truck payment and by keeping my price if my truck break i can affort calling some back up or paying extra to my mecanic to get it fix now

    of cours some lowballer are in my way and do the same drive i do but for 140 sesonal and same price for a drive on a main street with a near 45 degree angle down hill toward a garage door with no place to put snow and 10$ on flag down

    and also some costumer are trying to test you and try to make you down

    the most inportent thing in businisse is to make money with it
    if it dosen work stop it and go in something else

    i like more staying at home then going out plowing for nothing or plowing to loose
  18. leigh

    leigh 2000 Club Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,342

    The cheapest I would go is as low as the average sub gets in your area . Around my area that's 60-80.00$ hr.
  19. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    thats:D 50 Billion

  20. emerson

    emerson Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    You have happened upon the great truth of small business. If the sector is easy to get started in; there will be much competition and unsustainably low rates. Sectors that are expensive to get started in draw people with an understanding of the actual cost of doing sustainable business. If they have lots of resources, usually they are more likely to only do business in a way that actually makes them money in the long term. Most small time customers are cheap and haven't learned that cheap is ****. :realmad: