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was I wrong ?

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Pinelawncare, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. Pinelawncare

    Pinelawncare Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    Hi to all ,
    The other day I was called by a potential customer to come and look at her driveways....she has 2 of them . The first driveway is 120 ft. long by 10 ft. wide w/ one turn around area that is 8 ft. in width . The other driveway is 100 ft. long by 20 ft. wide with a turn around area that is also 8 ft. in width . When she asked me how much to plow them I told her $75 and she flipped out . I salt as well as Plow when I do driveways , does anyone else here think I charged too much or was she over reacting ?
  2. sgthawkusmc

    sgthawkusmc Member
    Messages: 76

    $75 for plowing and salting two driveways? She's a fool. Plan on a call back...

    MOW ME OVER Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    $75 does not sound to much for plowing both driveways but when you include salting in that price it sounds kind of low for my area. Not sure how your market is versus mine being in the DC metro area.
  4. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Yeah, unless she happens on a Jeep driver looking only for beer money she'll be a call back- that's a little cheap for me without salt.

    Oh, and if it were me, I would definatly add salting to the cost not include it- you should be able to get another $25 for salting them anyway- I would.
  5. sonjaab

    sonjaab PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    $75 with salt.........Good fair price for your service...........

    MOW..Up here in NY everybody and their sister has a plow !
    Prices are LOW.........

    Down where your at..Not too many plows so you fellas can charge
    MORE in your area...........Thats GOOD!...............geo :drinkup:
  6. DJL

    DJL Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    Absolutely not. It is YOUR business and only you know what you need to charge to make your profit. I'm a firm believer in sticking to your guns. MY advice is when the potential customer turns around and says the cost is too high explain, without saying it specifically, you get what you pay for. Say things like "We are reliable and have you out and ready for work just ask your neighbor Mr. Rogers whom we've been servicing for the last three seasons." Go into how you are insured for all damages covered, explain you have multiple trucks so downtime is minimized, or other things like this.
  7. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    I think you gave her a great price, but since I've had similar reactions from people I've quoted prices to, her reaction is no surprise.
    Did you give her a quote to just plow and not salt, maybe a bit lower?
    Alot also would depend on her location related to your regular route. If she's convenient and you can hit her quick, it may be worth doing for a little less in return for the convenience of not driving far off your route.
    People are always looking to get it all for nothing and tend to be really brave in negotiating price when the ground is dry.
    Like the guy above said, don't be surprised if you get a call back.
  8. zipp669

    zipp669 Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    I quit giving an hourly quote out.
    Everyone I told abut had a heart attack.
    I just tell them the minimum will be this, at least $35 out of town and could be up to $75.
    I do this on my other jobs to, seeding, mowing etc.
    I did tell my church the other day, when I was asked by the farmer that has been donating it the last few years, the rate of $65/hr and told him that dont think it will cost that.
    I think people think the worst when they hear the $75 or whatever per hour.
    All they think of is the top dollar and nothing else.
  9. drplow

    drplow Senior Member
    Messages: 174

    price sounds very fair but maybe she don't need the salt. take that out of the price and it might be reasonable for her then. wait for a call-back or stop back there in a few days. some people love to sweat others because thats the way they bargain. if i wanted you to do a job for me and i said the same thing as her then in one case were you wanted the driveway bad enough then hopefully you would lower the price.
    in the case you have with this lady, if you need the work bad enough then let her sweat for a few days then call her.
  10. Foz

    Foz Senior Member
    Messages: 119

    Welcome to Elmira & the cheap residential customers that we have in this depressed area. Your price was fine, actually even a little low if you are including salt. She will find someone to do them cheaper & then be making calls when "cheaper" doesn't show up.
  11. Ken1zk

    Ken1zk Senior Member
    Messages: 192

    I've gained 4 new customers who I quoted earlier in the season and told me my price was too high. One of them actually apologized for the way he spoke to me when I quoted his price and said "You were right about real low prices and the quality of the service". You and your customers best know the value of your services, so dont be offended by Mrs. Cheepskate. She'll learn the hard way.

    Here in Buffalo we have bad economic times compounded by everyone and his brother in the business. Only the strong will survive.

    MIAWPUKEK Senior Member
    Messages: 267

    I"m sure thats a reasonable price in your area, but I'd never be able to get away with that around here. Everybody's too much of a cheap scape. If I was ever going to do salting, I would have to charge 15-20 dollars for plowing (like I do now), and probably another 15-20 dollars for salt/sand. Thats why I don't do it. With the amount of work involved in getting the sand, loading it, etc. Its just not worth it around here.
  13. divihydroseed

    divihydroseed Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    Hang in there - your price sounds fair but your always competing with the guy plowing for beer money until that guys equipment breaks down and the homeowner is late for work and is threated with losing their job - then service becomes more important than price.

    I lose a lot of business over price. Example - I quote one property at $75. figuring it would take a half hour of work by myself. Yesterday, I finished plowing early and watched one contractor - with one guy plowing and one shoveling take over an hour to clear that property. The guy low balled me, but he's the one losing money on the job now.

    Don't worry about price, you have to make money - this is hard work and kids aren't exactly going door to door shoveling these days!!!
  14. SkykingHD

    SkykingHD Senior Member
    Messages: 368


    When we give quotes if we get half the quotes I feel we are being competitive. I do not expect to get all the jobs I quote. Here is one person I was happy we didn't get as a customer.

    Man called saying his snow plow contractor of past went out of business as he could not make it any more. We went out and gave him a bid of $50 to plow his lot. He said that is to much why I was only paying the other person $35 to plow this lot. Our response was "well we know you cant make a living at $35 per plow as your buddy went out of business. We need $50 to plow this lot and if we are going to loose money doing work I will set at home in front of fireplace drinking wine. We will not work to loose money, we will sell equipment and put money in bank and make something."

    You know after a while how much it costs to run your company and what the market will allow you to charge. My goal is to get job and not leave any money on table unless you get low balled. Then let that contractor learn how to bid the jobs. He will be out of business in time.

  15. Ken1zk

    Ken1zk Senior Member
    Messages: 192

    I've told customers like this guy "Gee, you just answered your own question, if he wasn't loosing money he would still be in business. I offer a fair price and give a terrific service. Yes I do cost more than most others, then again with me you the customer will get more service from me then you will get from most others."

    This is going to sound crazy, but if I close too many sales in a row I start thinking to myself "Am I charging too little?" My goal is $125.00 per hour when plowing. Thats how I base my prices, time to get the job done and the time to get to the job.

    In coming up with the price per hour one must consider vehicle & plow investment, gas, oil, maintenance, repairs, insurance (Vehicle & General Business Liability), time spent handling accounts receivable & payable, marketing, handling customer service issues that arise, taxes. It's way more then fill up truck, go push snow. I let my customers know that too. :nod: