BID THAT TREE !

flyingsquirrel25

Well-Known Member
How many of you have gone to meet a client to talk about the work only to have the client nickel and dime you from the start? For me that gets my spidey senses tingling in a bad way. I normally switch my mode of negotiation to... my schedule is incredibly full for the next few months so if you want the work done sooner .... At that point I just want to end the conversation and move on. I will not do work for people that try to cheap me out. Sometimes I may say, if you can’t afford to do the job maybe you should either get another quote or hold off until you can feel better about the price.
Normally if you are gonna get stiffed it will be by a nickel and dime client.
This happens all the time. It’s not something to try and control or attempt to understand. Just something to recognize as soon as possible. I don’t normally negotiate price, or let myself be nickel and dimed. I very seldom give a client their number while standing there. I seldom even write their number down Incase they glance at my iPad. A simple description of the work and a value that indicates the number of hours expected. Sure I may loose some work but I gain a ton more. Less of a chance of me stepping on my tongue trying to explain why, when there is no need to.

I really struggle with bidding larger jobs. It’s hard for me to say big numbers with confidence
I don’t mind sending big numbers out. I actually enjoy it. Last year I put one out for 58K and nailed it getting it done. This year we have been consistently handing out the 10k bids. The clients receiving these estimates are normally not the type that question why, just get it done by next week! Biggest thing is knowing your clients, provide the value they desire and do great work. Then the number won’t matter, just that you are there for them!
 

christreez

Active Member
When I'm pricing I look at it this way is it something super easy some Mexican guy is gonna do for peanuts or is it something I can stick our crane in and do in 2 hours vs all day roping it down. If it's easy work I give them our minimum pricing where we make a little money. if it's a complicated job or has big material to move and our equip gets it done way faster and easier I'll put a higher hourly rate on it but I'm still done in way less hours and still profit more on that job then the other guy then I go do another job after that. Right now I'm doing a bid on an all day job but they are requesting it must be done on a Saturday sorry that's on overtime and guess what price is 50% higher!

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Stephen Moore

Well-Known Member
I have no doubt i would suck at bidding too, which is why i support a thread discussing the challenges and gleaning knowledge from other dudes that do it a lot.
Most of the jobs i do seem to only have enough man hours to do the cutting.
That’s nice to hear you like the idea of this thread.
You know, one thing we tend to do is sell ourselves short, we worry about asking for too much. It’s important to remember that we are not only selling our time and heartbeats, but we are selling our skill and investment into our equipment. That equipment will eventually need repair or replacement, and one day you will need to retire. Believe it or not, most of us cut our own throats when bidding jobs.
A very wealthy friend of mine proposed that when your phone rings more often than you’d like and you are too busy to answer all the calls, chances are you are not charging enough. If people are telling you that the other guy was way more than you, there could be evidence you are undercutting the market, bad for you and your competitors. A healthy, competitive market is a good thing. Not the same as price fixing! Always refer clients to competitors when you can’t find the time and thank them for giving you the first crack! They will still pass your name along.
 
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ATH

Well-Known Member
How many of you have gone to meet a client to talk about the work only to have the client nickel and dime you from the start? For me that gets my spidey senses tingling in a bad way. I normally switch my mode of negotiation to... my schedule is incredibly full for the next few months so if you want the work done sooner .... At that point I just want to end the conversation and move on. I will not do work for people that try to cheap me out. Sometimes I may say, if you can’t afford to do the job maybe you should either get another quote or hold off until you can feel better about the price.
Normally if you are gonna get stiffed it will be by a nickel and dime client.
Honestly, I don't get that too terribly often, but there are some. Depends on how excited I am about doing the work to start with...if it is a job I want, I'll give them a little. Other times I'll say "there really isn't much room there...but if you want to do everything on the list and we can have a couple extra weeks to get it done, I can take (either 5% or 10%, depending) off".

Funniest one like that: a doctor - only doc of his specialty in town...usually booked solid. I bid $350 to get some 4-5" diameter dead limbs out of a pin oak over his roof. Then pointed out two storm-damaged trees in the front yard - another $200 each to get the broken stuff out of those. "Oh wow...that is a lot of money. Do you do any winter discounts?" I said "We can probably take 10% off if you want to call back to schedule the work this winter". I left there, went to 'average Joe's' house, in an 'average Joe' neighborhood. Bid pruning of several small-medium trees and removal of 2 small trees. Really just aesthetic stuff...nothing presenting hazards like at the Doc's house. Just so happened that one worked up to also be exactly $750 once I added everything up. His reply: "Oh wow, that is less than I expected. How soon can you have it done?"

Go figure. A guy making probably $300-400K a year thinks $750 is too much to prevent limbs from crashing through his roof, but a guy in a $175-200K house thinks $750 to tidy things up a bit is a great deal. (I never did hear back from the 1st guy...)
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
When I'm pricing I look at it this way is it something super easy some Mexican guy is gonna do for peanuts or is it something I can stick our crane in and do in 2 hours vs all day roping it down. If it's easy work I give them our minimum pricing where we make a little money. if it's a complicated job or has big material to move and our equip gets it done way faster and easier I'll put a higher hourly rate on it but I'm still done in way less hours and still profit more on that job then the other guy then I go do another job after that. Right now I'm doing a bid on an all day job but they are requesting it must be done on a Saturday sorry that's on overtime and guess what price is 50% higher!

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I suggest giving people both prices. Sometimes you lose out if you don't, as with with a bid for no/ low impact, and the next person sells it for a lot less, for doing a lot less work because they impacted things, either agreed upon, or de facto.
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
Honestly, I don't get that too terribly often, but there are some. Depends on how excited I am about doing the work to start with...if it is a job I want, I'll give them a little. Other times I'll say "there really isn't much room there...but if you want to do everything on the list and we can have a couple extra weeks to get it done, I can take (either 5% or 10%, depending) off".

Funniest one like that: a doctor - only doc of his specialty in town...usually booked solid. I bid $350 to get some 4-5" diameter dead limbs out of a pin oak over his roof. Then pointed out two storm-damaged trees in the front yard - another $200 each to get the broken stuff out of those. "Oh wow...that is a lot of money. Do you do any winter discounts?" I said "We can probably take 10% off if you want to call back to schedule the work this winter". I left there, went to 'average Joe's' house, in an 'average Joe' neighborhood. Bid pruning of several small-medium trees and removal of 2 small trees. Really just aesthetic stuff...nothing presenting hazards like at the Doc's house. Just so happened that one worked up to also be exactly $750 once I added everything up. His reply: "Oh wow, that is less than I expected. How soon can you have it done?"

Go figure. A guy making probably $300-400K a year thinks $750 is too much to prevent limbs from crashing through his roof, but a guy in a $175-200K house thinks $750 to tidy things up a bit is a great deal. (I never did hear back from the 1st guy...)

For a retort to "that's a lot of money", you might say, "Really, is it? Its a fair price for a lot of skilled aerial work over important property that we will not be damaging. Any time my truck or tree equipment, which is naturally hard worked equipment, comes out of the shop for under $750, I think it's a blessing.'

Sometimes calling BS is okay. Maybe he thinks you just have a trailer that comes behind the pick-up you might drive to the bid.

I'm guessing a doctor wouldn't want to be asked by a 'tree guy' if $750 is a lot of money.




"Winter discount? I look forward to those 3 weeks where I can work 40 hours a week, maybe less. We do quality work, so the phone is always ringing, or we're catching up on being booked out. Winter is harder work and less productive due to weather, short days, extra preventative maintenance, increased travel time and risk, etc. There are lots of guys desperate in the winter that will be cheap, but..."
 
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flyingsquirrel25

Well-Known Member
Honestly, I don't get that too terribly often, but there are some. Depends on how excited I am about doing the work to start with...if it is a job I want, I'll give them a little. Other times I'll say "there really isn't much room there...but if you want to do everything on the list and we can have a couple extra weeks to get it done, I can take (either 5% or 10%, depending) off".

Funniest one like that: a doctor - only doc of his specialty in town...usually booked solid. I bid $350 to get some 4-5" diameter dead limbs out of a pin oak over his roof. Then pointed out two storm-damaged trees in the front yard - another $200 each to get the broken stuff out of those. "Oh wow...that is a lot of money. Do you do any winter discounts?" I said "We can probably take 10% off if you want to call back to schedule the work this winter". I left there, went to 'average Joe's' house, in an 'average Joe' neighborhood. Bid pruning of several small-medium trees and removal of 2 small trees. Really just aesthetic stuff...nothing presenting hazards like at the Doc's house. Just so happened that one worked up to also be exactly $750 once I added everything up. His reply: "Oh wow, that is less than I expected. How soon can you have it done?"

Go figure. A guy making probably $300-400K a year thinks $750 is too much to prevent limbs from crashing through his roof, but a guy in a $175-200K house thinks $750 to tidy things up a bit is a great deal. (I never did hear back from the 1st guy...)
We use the “bulk discount” all the time now. Normally it’s when the person is really interested in getting a lot of work done and I can make it worth our while. If we can get enough work to get three climbers in on that’s where we can really crank some work out. We completed one Friday 40T crane and a bunch of pines. Individually 6500 if I remember right. We dropped a it to around 4100 and we were rolling to the shop by 2pm. And we pruned and extra tree for 675.

I think one of the reasons your doctor balked about the price is he may not spend a lot of time outdoors looking at the unsightly trees. With all the garden parties he may attend and traveling he may do. Average joe looks at his trees everyday, works under them, plays under them and relaxes under them. They are more important to him. What you need is the tree educated doctor! Those are the clients that are awesome to work for. Just keep them happy! They want hand pruned arborvitae, guess what guys get your pruners out!

Edit: wow auto correct got me good a couple times. Sorry about that, contentions of death removed! :X3:
 
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Stephen Moore

Well-Known Member
And because they are short, can you skin them and rig for a pull? Can you drop the spars in one piece or do they have to be levitated?
 

christreez

Active Member
Yes. Clear ground between camera and trees
Well this is a total guess cause we don't have big pines like that around here and I've never cut a big pine so I don't know how they nickle and dime you time wise but my views are stick the bucket in follow it with our cute little 18t crane (this is where the guess is) 3 hrs apiece?
Our market has two pricing ranges November to end of April then may to November. Fall to spring price $2580 to ground level late spring to early fall price 3200.

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Flex Abednego

Well-Known Member
80’-90’ tall. I’d give them a price for full removal or the option to deal with the wood themselves. It’s Monterey pine, so the limbs are quite heavy. No crane available in our area.
 
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