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how to charge the neighbor

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by HotMountain, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. HotMountain

    HotMountain Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    Gave a quote to this lady in a wealthy neighborhood for a cornerlot. Now she replyed:

    Hello Rudi,

    Since you were here with your quote of $195/month, I've had 2 others each for
    $120/month. I appreciated your professional approach and was hoping that you'd be
    able to match that price.

    To make it more appealing, our neighbour is looking for snow removal as well -- he
    has a very short piece of sidewalk and a driveway.

    Please let me know as soon as possible.

    What would work to get the two lots without cutting myself? Was thinking giving the lady a 5% referral discount and charge the neighbor regular rate. Last year I had clients who paid $185 without raising an eyebrow.

    Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
  2. Mick

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

    Two classic games. How bad do you want the neighbor? Lower your estimate and she'll keep "playing" you to get you to go lower yet. Don't count on the second one unless you get them as a package (doing one or the other depends on having both with one person paying you for both).

    You submitted a bid based on your costs and profit margin. To lower your bid means you're losing money. Then you'll be paying her to plow her drive.
  3. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    Walk away
    Thank her for her time and consideration and walk away.

    Does she really have bids or is she just playing you?
    your bid is 30% higher than the other ones, it's not even close, dropping it 5% isn't going to change much in regards to your bid vs the "imaginary" $120.. (is that the right bid, is theirs, is yours? I dunno, but you better find out, are you still competitive or is it too much?)

    Price jumpers will always dump you in a heartbeat for a cheaper person. They are never regular reliable customers. All they care about is price (wal mart nation).

    It's not her driveway that's she's "sweetening" the pot with, it's her neighbors. So, unless she's writing one check it's not the same thing as doing two properties for her.

    If it was me, I'd walk away (and go bid the neighbor's house separately)
  4. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    I would tell her that your price is your price..."this is what I have to have, to provide you with the best service around"..........If you get the neighbors job, you could give her a one time discount of some kind, like knocking 30% off the first bill (just an example). The "refferal disount" would be something you need to figure what is worth it for you. Good luck.
  5. deicepro

    deicepro PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,124

    I would not budge on your price, this is exactly how the hourly rate in my town went from $125 to $65 per hour for a truck, guys start cutting prices to get started and its hard to get those prices back up there. she might have a bid for $120, but he will realize he was too cheap or he will do a crappy job, also if "her neighbor" wants her drive done, why isnt she calling you instead of talking through her neighbor:dizzy: JMO keep firm on your prices
  6. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    Ask to see the written estimates. This will give you all the info you need. Who is bidding and if they have all the insurance, experience, and equipment to do the job.

    You can then come back with "the reason their bid is lower than mine is because of ________"

    Don't lower your price. It is like the guy that was buying a salter from a local dealer and his price was $500 more than out of town. The in town guy said he could match the price which means he was ripping him off in the first place. If you lower your price, she will think you were ripping her off the first time.

    If you realize that you are too high, lower it on the next bid for the next person.
  7. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    I would tell her you apreciate her honesty, ask to see the other "estimates" & re-write your proposal with a neighbor discount price seperate. "Due to less mobilization charge" (drive time), maybe the other contractors don't have insurance, maybe they plow 2 out of three house on the street. We do drives cheap in some areas, but have 30 drives with out a minute in between (25-30 drives/hour is average), that said I have found the saying "If they hire you on price...they'll fire you on price" to be true. Only loyalty is to their wallet.
  8. HotMountain

    HotMountain Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    Thanks guys, That was very helpful.

    Stayed firm with my price but offered her a referral discount. Let's see...
  9. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    it's all about what you can live with. if you can live with going lower, go lower, if not, stand firm.