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advice on pricing mulch jobs

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  • #16
    Wait, 5 Hours to spread 3 yards of mulch. Are you carrying one handful at a time? You know you can use a wheelbarrow and save a lot of time? In 5 hours I can spread over 30 yards of mulch.

    If you start using a wheelbarrow I expect some royalties on the savings...
    that 5 hr est would include all the prep work to get the bed ready, redo the edges weed the beds etc.
    http://www.lunchesruslawncare.com

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    • #17
      Wow $55 how much are you paying for it. I would have a hard time making any money at that price and most places around here selling mulch for $40 loaded into your truck. So delivered and spread for $15

      I pay $29 a yard and about 30 mins. getting the mulch (10 mins. driving to get the mulch 10 mins. loading 10 mins. driving to job) and $4 fuel

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      • #18
        Wow $55 how much are you paying for it. I would have a hard time making any money at that price and most places around here selling mulch for $40 loaded into your truck. So delivered and spread for $15

        I pay $29 a yard and about 30 mins. getting the mulch (10 mins. driving to get the mulch 10 mins. loading 10 mins. driving to job) and $4 fuel
        Quiet you! I was going to hire these guys to do my work. :lol:
        Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

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        • #19
          20 bucks a yard for black dyed mulch, plus I charge a delivery fee. Today we had 5 jobs took 7 hours cleared 600 after fuel, labor, and materials. Send me your mulch jobs, we have spread over 60 yards of mulch in one day.

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          • #20
            I charge $120 per yard of mulch. Then add on the man hours I figure it to take to complete the job. Ex. 5 hours @ 3 men = $150 labor. For 3 yds of mulch total would be $510
            This is a subject I have researched for quite some time, and some are lower some are higher. $105.oo an hour is about average, you will ALWAYS lose out work to lowballers, but my these customers are probably not worth having in the first place. Like said in this discussion they pay peanuts and get crap work what do you expect.

            I have to admit I use to be one of these lowballers starting out in the late 90's when things were booming. I only did this because I had no idea what to charge and was always scared of getting work. I would never lowball again, I found out that these clients I would get would be the pickiest I have seen to today's date, call you back a million times to try to get there "money's worth" and sometimes on top of that not even pay. Around this same time, one of my clients house appeared in a magazine for the work we did, as at the time we did such a wonderful job and above and beyond out of fear of losing a client. When they appeared in the mag they didn't even mention our name, took credit for all the work and to make matters worse still didn't pay the balance of the bill at time of the publication.

            The moral of the story is stick to your guns and charge a reasonable rate and you will get reasonable clients. I have charged Industry standard prices for the last ten years and I have had very few problems. You will always run into problem customers but when you charge accordingly it should be worth your while. Plus these low ball competitors you mention never stay in business long, and when a customer mentions that "they use to get it for this price form acme low ball LLC" I mention well there not in business anymore because they did not know the correct amount to charge there customers so they went under plus we heard from numerous customers that there quality was very poor. Usually this shuts them up and they sign up with us on the spot, it just boils down to everyone is going to haggle you or are looking for you to justify to them your rate.

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            • #21
              What ever I pay for for a yard I double it then add $10. The $10 is for spreading it. So, like right it's around $22, charge $44 add $10= $55 per yard. This is have most in my area do it. I have on lost only 2 jobs in 5 years.

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              • #22
                What ever I pay for for a yard I double it then add $10. The $10 is for spreading it. So, like right it's around $22, charge $44 add $10= $55 per yard. This is have most in my area do it. I have on lost only 2 jobs in 5 years.
                Wow if thats all you charge i will hire you and all your men and pay you that in cash no problem.

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                • #23
                  Wow if thats all you charge i will hire you and all your men and pay you that in cash no problem.
                  Yeah thats crazy. If your charging less then a $100 a yard your leaving money on the table. Guys in FL that get mulch for $20 a yard I could see doing $80 a yard installed. This doesnt include delivery, edging, or prep work.

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                  • #24
                    I think you missed one very important phase I said "In my area".

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                    • #25
                      I have on lost only 2 jobs in 5 years.
                      That should tell you everything right there. Unless your the only service provider in the area. You should never get much more then 50% of what you bid on. If you do your prices are to low.

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                      • #26
                        I have on lost only 2 jobs in 5 years.
                        After hearing some thoughts on the amount of jobs you win bidding on, does it make you reconsider your thoughts on pricing or no?
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                        • #27
                          what I charge for mulch.

                          I need some serious advice on pricing mulch i have lost to 10 mulch jobs this year how do you guys charge for a much job by the hour- by the yard - by the foot ? im lost and im tired of not making any $$$

                          I was told by the guy i bought out to charge by the foot "$8 A foot if it is 3ft wide x the length im confused on that

                          So i came up with charging for regular mulch $65 a load delivered and install if local i can get a yard of reg for $20 then each step up is $20 more so for the red it would be $105 delivered and install i know it high but im not sure what else any suggestions ??
                          I charge 75.00 per cubic yard, I pay 28.00 per cubic yard. 75.00 includes hauling and spreading but any other labor such as deweeding/trenching etc. is sold separately. I always try to upsale when doing mulch to make more money but 75.00 is in my opinion a fair price for 1 cubic yard.

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                          • #28
                            I think you missed one very important phase I said "In my area".
                            Unless your area is a third world country, $10.00 a yard is absurd. I get it you charge more for the mulch, but that is a given. You need to to compensate for waiting in the yard to get loaded, time gas etc. And to read in this forum and chime in and brag that you get $10.00 a yard installed is insane. You should have read this forum and said...hmmm..obviously I am charging to little of a price. You obviously are a very poor business man and need to seriously work on this aspect before anything else or you will not go very far at all in business or life.

                            I can read in this forum who is a professional and who is not, you can see that a mile away. Also I see a couple of people brag about how much mulch they can spread and how much money they can clean house with. I think a lot of people are losing site of what this business is about!

                            I own a nursery and get mulch by the semi load and I could wipe out my competition with one swoop if I wanted to. I have state of the art equipment and since I buy in huge volume I get mulch very low priced. I still charge industry standard because I am not a low baller and do not want to hurt the industry. What I focus on in this business is Quality, I didn't start the business saying I want to be ****y and only lose two jobs in five years, I do not want to get rich quick. I started this business because I like to create beautiful things and do nice landscapes. I brag about the before and after's, I like going to a property that is overgrown and has weeds and etc. I like after we leave the job site and the bushes and trees and shrubs are manicured and there is no mulch on the grass, or on the retaining walls. All the mulch is spread evenly. I have laid out two yards of mulch and took me a whole day, that is because of the landscape and the intricate of the landscape and also when we left the property looked like it could be in the a magazine.

                            If someone showed me an entire pick up bed full of mulch(which is about two yards depending on the truck) and said to me I will pay you $20.00 to unload this I would laugh in there face and walk away. My point to this is I would like to see people start bragging about quality of the job site which is what this business should be all about. If you are creating a beautiful landscape the price should reflect it. Case in point I can not imagine creating any beautiful landscape for ten dollars a yard, use this as advice and step your game up, good luck and thanks for your time reading this.

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                            • #29
                              The first thing you must know in order to make an accurate estimate is how much mulch your getting/spreading if you don't have an accurate idea of how much mulch you are putting down how can you charge your customer accordingly. For instance lets look at the two popular ways of spreading mulch Bags and by the scoop.

                              Bags. Realize that bags usually come in 2 basic sizes at your Home Depot/Lowes/Local nursery. 3cu Ft and 2 Cubic Feet. A yard is a cubic yard or 3x3x3 or 27 cu Ft. So either 9 bags or 13 1/2 bags equal a yard depending on what you are using.

                              By the scoop. It is important to realize that there are more then one size scoop. A lot of these scoops are 3/4 yd scoops and some are full yard scoops. In practice a level scoop equals the bucket size and a heaping scoop is 25%-50% more depending on the scoop. Hence a heaping 3/4 scoop is close to a yard but a heaping yard scoop can be a yard and a third or more.....

                              I made a few mistakes early on not realizing the different size scoops. Because the local nursery is nice to you and gives you extra mulch because you do a lot of business with them, is that something you want to give to free for your customer?

                              The absolute best thing you can do for estimating mulch prices is get used to what a yard is. What it looks like on your vehicle in bags or bulk. Get used to what it looks like spread on the ground. Let it soak in how much time and effort it takes locate the mulch, pick it up, drive it to the job, and spread it. Once you start to do this your mulch charges will go up. At least mine have...I've increased my prices by as much as some are charging over the past 3 years and plan on increasing again this year.....and I still seldom loose jobs as the customers know it will look right.

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                              • #30
                                Take whatever you pay for a scoop and double it. So if you pay $40 for a scoop and it takes you 5 scoops there's $200 so $400 for the job. This is just a rough estimate for a small job. If it's a big job and you have someone help you then you might go $45 per scoop and double that. That extra $5 will add at least $50 onto the total and that'll pay your worker or come pretty close. Ask around, mulching is not cheap.

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