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late signup fee

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by snocrete, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    I had a small HOA contact me on Thurs. I went and met them Fri. Called them yesterday and said that I was interested in bidding and that "I would have a contract in ther hands by Mon". I was told by the president that they have a meeting on Oct *th & **th, and that is when they will make a decision by. Now I will mention that this HOA comes from a VERY good refferal, and its close to other accounts I have.....but I really wasnt looking to sign anyone new at this point. Now my question is, has anyone implemented a "upfront late signup fee" on a contract? I was thinking of something I can do to hold them to the dates they gave me a little more. I thought of charging them $XX.XX up front at signing if it is after the dates they gave me. This charge would not amount to much, but I feel my time/stress involved, hurrying up to be prepared with routes and preperations to service them properly is. (not that it matters to much in relation to my ?, but this is a per inch bid....so the only other upfront fee they have is a staking fee) How have some worded this if at all?..or is it just a bad idea?..thoughts/ideas please.

    P.S. As I finish typing this, I think to myself that "I should just suck it up and face the fact this is part of the game, and be glad I'm not losing half my work to USM/Etc"....I dunno..:realmad:
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2010
  2. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,392

    You answered your own question good luck
  3. Matson Snow

    Matson Snow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,985

    I guess it all boils down to how bad you want the account....I can tell you from sitting on a HOA board we would probably not consider a bid with the Extras tacked on...Staking fee and any other fees on the bid most likely would not be considerd....So, how bad do you want it,.....
  4. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862


    I think that may be what I am struggling with most?

    The staking fee works with the other HOA I have(they love the fact they dont have to mess with it) and that is where the refferal came from. I am giving this HOA the same kind of contract.....which I admit didnt include a late signup fee:eek:
  5. erkoehler

    erkoehler PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,279

    I think we are kind of early on for that fee still. If we were taking about dates in November then I'd agree.
  6. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    Where is bloomingdale? I know getting a plowable or salting event round here by Nov 1rst is quite possible. I like having routes establish for all the guys over the next couple weeks....but we'll see.
  7. Fatality

    Fatality Senior Member
    Messages: 226

    I hope we have an event by Nov 1st!
  8. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    Me 2 Branden! Me 2! payup...but like i said, its "possible"...not "probable" :rolleyes:
  9. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    I always put on my bids
    "this bid is good until XYZ date (usually 30 to 45 days) or until 24 hours before the first snowfall.

    After it snows, the price has gone up.

    I still can't believe some of you charge for stakes.
  10. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    We're hopefully getting one of our condo's back this year but won't know until the end of October. Its not a small, 5 or 6 unit complex, there's 51 units its kind of a big undertaking. Of course we'll gladly take them back but then will need another truck and a very reliable sidewalk crew for the 4 hrs of sidewalk shoveling. But it will be a good problem to have!
  11. erkoehler

    erkoehler PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,279

    355 and army trail....by Bartlett, Glendale Heights, Hanover park
  12. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    On some of our bids we tell them its so much if signed by a X date, after that date the price is 5% more. Its a nice incentive to sign early.
  13. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    Whats the big deal about charging for stakes? If I go and plow your lot/driveway, you pay me.....If I go shovel your walk, you pay me.......If I go stake all 90 units in your subdivision, you pay me. I would like to try and sell a seasonal to someone around here and see how I do with it, but it seems to scare everyone. I would then incorporate this expense into my price....but when I am only getting paid if I work (like with per push or by the inch), I feel I should be paid for staking when I do it.

    BTW, the only people I know of around here getting seasonal contracts are people doing year round maintenance, or the guys working for nationals. I have no interest in either of those things at this time.

    Good luck to you on that. Hope you get em back.
  14. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    So in a way that is an upfront cost to them, because you charge seasonally right? and they pay for the whole season at the begininning of the winter, correct? or is it spread out into payments?
  15. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    what value does it have for me? (as the owner of the subdivision). The stakes are for the plower's benefit, not mine. I pay you to clear my driveways and walks edge to edge. how you do that without damage is your problem and part of your costs.

    we don't do seasonals here, I've only ever heard of one person doing a seasonal around here (he's on this board, we're all waiting to see what happens with it). It's just part of the cost of plowing. Sometimes you make that day or two of time back, some years you don't. It's just a cost, like doing maintenance on the plows in August and September. Just like liability insurance, you don't expect to need it, but you have to pay every year, no matter how much it snows.

    It's like FREE shipping on something you buy. You "know" it's really in the cost of buying the item, but it's FREE shipping and your mind sticks on that and not the overall cost. (Ebay is notorious for this. $5 for the item, $120 to ship it). If you brought a bid to me with staking cost in it, I'd ask to have it removed and now your prices are stuck down low, and if you don't remove it, people move on and take someone that's basically the same price.. People don't like to be nickled and dimed to death. Just charge them a price and move on.

    do you charge separately for fuel? Insurance? taxes? backup equipment? Or is all that included in your price?

    As a customer, it's not my problem. if someone chooses not to stake, then they'll pay me (customer) at the end of the year in repairs or insurance. The guy who eats the cost up front of staking, has few if any repairs. insurance of another sort.

    You'll never know, but I bet you lose customers on bids because of it. JMHO
  16. snowman6

    snowman6 Senior Member
    Messages: 364

    I put in a bid on a local church on Tuesday of last week and they told me they were having a board meeting in the middle of October and that's fine for me we did not even have a plowable event last year until early December I would like to know sooner simply because I am anxious:yow!: I do not charge for plow stakes either:salute: So IMO do not charge a late fee simply because it's so hard to find work these days with all the lowballers lol
  17. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    First off I will say that I see your point to some degree. But I guess I never thought of it that way. In fact I dont do this on any of my commercials..but they dont require the amount of stakes a decent sized HOA does.....But this was proposed to me by the HOA I currently have. They wanted ME to start installing all the stakes instead of dealing with it themselves(which is what they had been doing for the past 6 or so years with previous contractors that they were disatisfied with). So they approached me and asked what it would cost to include it in the 3yr contract they wanted to sign up with me on this past spring. I have never done HOA's or any resi, other than a handfull of driveways I have always done until this last season...never thought there was any money in it...silly me.:blush2: So all I can say is, if ther happy, I'm happy. And I am under the impression this new HOA wants the same thing my current HOA has, since that is where the refferal came from.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2010
  18. KBTConst

    KBTConst Senior Member
    Messages: 426

    I don't give them a dead line I just say contracts must be signed and returned by posted date to assure there spot on my route if not there is no guarantee that spot will be open after that date. they always get it back to me before the date. as for the staking I was staking a long time customer about 3 yrs ago and he came out and said he appreciated that I cared enough about there lawn to stake and he offered to pay I declined the offer then he sent a $200.00 bonus in the mail most of the time if you give alittle you get back its all about karma.
  19. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    We don't give a deadline per se, but we do say that prices are valid for 30 days after the presentation of the contract, less time as it gets closer to the possibility of snow. I like that or until 24 hours before a snow event, reality is that we could and have dealt with last minute contracts, but avoiding the last minute Charlies is always good. History has proven that those who sign after Dec 1 are headaches one way or another.
  20. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    I got the contract to them this a.m..... Put a little sticky note in there saying if they sign by oct 11 I would waive my staking fee. Well they called me about 4 o'clock and said they are going with me and want to meet on the 8th to seal the deal.

    Got the feeling I would have got it without putting the sticky note in there (good refferals & reputations go a long way)....Oh well, It will be a nice addition to our accounts. Will be shooting to sign a multi yr in spring with them if things go good.