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I need help with this particular pricing!

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by sir spaniourd, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. sir spaniourd

    sir spaniourd Senior Member
    Messages: 286

    I am plowing a 100 yard driveway for a customer.After this past major storm I had some problems with this particular customer. We agreed at one point long before the blizzard of 2005 to charge $30 for the first visit, $10 for any additional push that I could consider appropriate (being 3-4'' that additional push). I only had time to come back to that property 3 times because it was physically impossible for me to work faster with that huge storm. I measured 35'' total for the storm and I asked to be paid $150 for 35" of snow. He said I will get paid $60.
    I wrote $150 because I planned to come back every 3" but in reality I ended up pushing up to 10" each time. I, of course will agree with his offer of $60 but it makes me feel :angry: . I don't even think $150 was enough. What could be a decent price?
    from a very upset compadre
  2. Mower For Less

    Mower For Less Senior Member
    Messages: 108

    Thats so far below fair pricing that you'll be lucky if everyone here dosent give you hell for being a lowballer. But it is really your fault becuase thats the deal you made with him. Hopefully this will be a learning experience and you will modify your contracts and price structure for next year (if you can still afford to plow next year).

  3. sir spaniourd

    sir spaniourd Senior Member
    Messages: 286

    Thanks for replying Mower for Less.

    I am almost done with my brand new renewed plowing proposal. It just kills me knowing that I spent so much time plowing that property for just $60.
    This is what I thought of charging him. Does anybody think this price is still too low?
    Between 3-4” $30
    6” $40
    8” $50
    12”$70 (1 foot)
    24”$160 (2 feet)
    36”$280 (3 feet)

    By the way, This past major storm was the first time I plowed.

    I agreed to be paid $10 per push for every 3" because this customer told me this was what he was paying before so I thought it was a normal price.
    I am just trying to learn and get better. I DO NOT want to be a Lowballer. This is a hard job to do and I want to get paid for what I do.
    I have showed this price chart to many friends and they say it is too expensive and i should lower the price. I am now completely lost, please help.
    I appreciate any advice.
    Thanks again
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2005
  4. SCSIndust

    SCSIndust Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    I never believe what someone tells me that they 'paid before'. They are trying to get you to come in lower. They may have paid 50 before, but said 30 to get you to go lower. I always go to someone with a price in mind. If you don't know pricing very well, just think, what would I expect to pay someone to do the drive if it was mine.
  5. sir spaniourd

    sir spaniourd Senior Member
    Messages: 286

    You are absolutely right. The more I think about it, the more I believe this customer is taking advantage of me. I will stick to my new price. No more $10 per push :nono: I should have been paid at least 3 times what he offered me.
    Thank you guys.
  6. bushwoods1

    bushwoods1 Member
    Messages: 31

    $10.00 per push for 3" ? YIKES!!!! I would'nt even start my truck for that price. Your prices are way to low. If the guy told you that is what he was paying before, what happened to that guy? I agree with Jlawn. I have a very good idea what I am going to charge before I even get to the estimate. When the customer says "this is what I payed before" I tell them to hang on to that guy, because that's an unbelievable deal your getting. This is usually followed by the comment, "he doesn't't always show up", or he does a lousy job" well then, you got exactly what you paid for then.

    Do'nt forget you have a big investment with the truck, plow, insurance, fuel, maintenance cost, etc... Good luck to you. Bill
  7. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    Driving away laughing

    As I was doing one of my customers, I saw this older lady shoveling her drive, (10'x100'ish) so on my way back I stop and ask if she's really planning on shoveling the 6" of snow all by herself :p She reply's How Much? I think to myself, well she is older, and I'm already here, so $20. She says, $10 and you got yourself a deal sonny. I reply with, Have fun and drive off to my next drive with her standing there looking all confused :D
  8. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,257

    If you were thinking of $30 for your first plow and then only 1" of snow falls and you come back to push that then that is one thing. If it is still snowing and you are pushing over 3" every time then thats something different. With your new pricing schedule, if it is snowing really hard, are you going to measure every driveway as you are doing it? The one you do at 8am will have more then the one at 6am. Looks like at lot of work. I think you need less prices with wider categories. I only have 1 big contract on a per push and it is under 6" one price and over 6" it is double. We start at 2am to be done by 7am. our trigger to go is 1".
  9. murphy4trees

    murphy4trees Member
    Messages: 62

    I was getting $150 per driveway for just under 12" of light powder here in Philly, for anyone calling in from the yellow pages ad.. Regular customers were paying 75-90 for the first plowing of over 8", and 50-60 for the return plowing, on average... I know prices up north are a lot cheaper.... But $10 is hard to justify under any circumstances... Feel free to re-negotiate or walk from the contract... Sounds like the customer is taking advantage of your inexperience...
  10. Gusco

    Gusco Senior Member
    Messages: 117

    $10 ??? Good God Man!

    My intial charge is $20 for a short one car paved drive with a length of no longer than 20 feet.

    I would rate a straight single car paved drive of 100 yards at $50 the first push then $35 each additional push over 4"

    I do one lowball priced drive. It is a switchback dirt road that measures approx 475 feet. And has a 4 space park and turnaround area. She is a senior of 97 yrs old and i clear it for her for $30 and keep it clear regardless of how much more dumps on it. I got this account when i was new and felt compassionate for her.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2005
  11. IndySnowPlow

    IndySnowPlow Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 214

    DRiveways.....Yak !!! :cry: JMO
  12. lawnmedic

    lawnmedic Senior Member
    Messages: 703

    I price at base price up to 6" 1 1/2 times the price if over 6" per push. If 6" or less is predicted we generally wait until it's done. If over 6" predicted we start with about 3" down. I have yet to plow over 12", I would never wait that long.....
  13. SK1 Whynot

    SK1 Whynot Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    What about a runway???

    I have a 1700' x 30' private runway I've been offered..Straight down -straight back... I charged $85 for the previous clearing....about 6+ inches...

    I've been plowing for 15 years...and have been told I'm to cheap.. I don't do it to get rich...but to give me spending and repair $$$.

    I live 25 miles west of Boston and right now - I figure there is 24-30 inches on the ground.... Any opinions on pricing???
  14. sir spaniourd

    sir spaniourd Senior Member
    Messages: 286

    thank you so much to all of you who replied to my post. I think I am walking out from my contract. Wait a minute! there is nothing written with this customer, so technically I have no contract with him.
    i am getting a lot of feedback and this is helping me tremendously. I am changing my strategy now in a totally different way.
    thanks again
  15. Stripe This

    Stripe This Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 31

    Ouch!!! All I can do is shake my head when I read those prices! I get more money for shoveling a 5' x 3' walk. The market you work in can't be that bad...you need to really adjust your prices. Plowing involves long hours, tough work, and the abuse your equipment takes has to come into play when you give an estimate. You didn't make any money, you took a big hit/loss.