Rates for family, friends, and low-income

Serf Life

Active Member
Owners and sole proprietors, do you use a sliding scale or have some wisdom regarding relative pricing based on wealth? There are a few old threads I read with varied opinions, checking in on current thoughts. I have a history been nice to a fault, but friends and poor people have trees too...
 

evo

Well-Known Member
I bid and do all jobs in the feild. Always make sure my expenses are paid unless I’m doing the job for free.

Family is free or just charged for labor
Friends charged for labor plus a little if they are close or low income.

Neighbors get a better rate, because it’s more relaxed, and I don’t want to see their trees hacked by others every day. I get to walk home for lunch too!

I don’t have fixed prices, so none of it is a percentage or anything like that. I do operate under if you scratch my back I will scratch yours.

Low income folks, I will work with. If it’s too much, I try harder to find ways to only do the critical skilled work. Sometimes I will dump brush and come back another day after they drug and staged all the brush themselves. Then chunk wood, and chip (if wanted). Or just dump it and leave.
 

Serf Life

Active Member
If you are thinking that you can charge the rich more because they have money, then you don't understand why the rich have money.
With all due respect, that isn't the question. Anyways, one can charge whatever they want to anyone regardless of anything, so great point. Kidding aside do you work with customers who can't pay the normal amount for complete treecare? Do a lower rate or less cleanup?
 

Serf Life

Active Member
I bid and do all jobs in the feild. Always make sure my expenses are paid unless I’m doing the job for free.

Family is free or just charged for labor
Friends charged for labor plus a little if they are close or low income.

Neighbors get a better rate, because it’s more relaxed, and I don’t want to see their trees hacked by others every day. I get to walk home for lunch too!

I don’t have fixed prices, so none of it is a percentage or anything like that. I do operate under if you scratch my back I will scratch yours.

Low income folks, I will work with. If it’s too much, I try harder to find ways to only do the critical skilled work. Sometimes I will dump brush and come back another day after they drug and staged all the brush themselves. Then chunk wood, and chip (if wanted). Or just dump it and leave.
Gotcha, I'm assuming you have more wiggle room with employees and not crazy overhead? Good point with neighborhood trees too, gotta look at them everyday
 

ATH

Well-Known Member
I do reduce rates for friends and local family. Work for free for my parents (but not often...they are 2.5 hours away). However, I've also had friends who insist on paying full rate. Similar example in another industry...I have a friend who owns a meat market. I want him to succeed. Should I ask for price brakes...should I tell him "keep the change" when I buy something?

I do NOT jack up the prices because people have more money. I try to keep prices even for the service being provided.

However, like @evo said, I'll try to work with people who have a smaller budget and scale back the amount of work we are going to do. "Does that really need done" "It won't cause a problem if we leave it alone - might not look the best, but isn't a hazard", etc... Of course, that is the same reply I'd give to anybody...but to some spending a few hundred dollars to make their house look nice is a drop in the bucket while it is a budget breaker for others. I've also offered to let people pay me over 2 or 3 months (no extra interest...I just write "due in 90 days" on the invoice instead of 30). I don't advertise that and try to avoid it, but if it is the difference between necessary work getting done or not, I try to help.

Finally, there is an "event" (for lack of better word) in town where a bunch of churches and hundreds (or 1000+) volunteers get together once a year to help people accomplish projects they cannot. Some of it is inside stuff. Some is landscaping. People apply for the work through the program. I volunteer a couple of days the week ahead of that event to take care of difficult tree stuff (that is 'necessary' to safety, etc.) and let the other volunteers clean up the mess I make. I used to try to get it all done on the Saturday of the event, but found crews spent the day waiting for me. So now, I find a non-tree project to do that day knowing others get to drag my brush ;)
 

evo

Well-Known Member
I do reduce rates for friends and local family. Work for free for my parents (but not often...they are 2.5 hours away). However, I've also had friends who insist on paying full rate. Similar example in another industry...I have a friend who owns a meat market. I want him to succeed. Should I ask for price brakes...should I tell him "keep the change" when I buy something?

I do NOT jack up the prices because people have more money. I try to keep prices even for the service being provided.

However, like @evo said, I'll try to work with people who have a smaller budget and scale back the amount of work we are going to do. "Does that really need done" "It won't cause a problem if we leave it alone - might not look the best, but isn't a hazard", etc... Of course, that is the same reply I'd give to anybody...but to some spending a few hundred dollars to make their house look nice is a drop in the bucket while it is a budget breaker for others. I've also offered to let people pay me over 2 or 3 months (no extra interest...I just write "due in 90 days" on the invoice instead of 30). I don't advertise that and try to avoid it, but if it is the difference between necessary work getting done or not, I try to help.

Finally, there is an "event" (for lack of better word) in town where a bunch of churches and hundreds (or 1000+) volunteers get together once a year to help people accomplish projects they cannot. Some of it is inside stuff. Some is landscaping. People apply for the work through the program. I volunteer a couple of days the week ahead of that event to take care of difficult tree stuff (that is 'necessary' to safety, etc.) and let the other volunteers clean up the mess I make. I used to try to get it all done on the Saturday of the event, but found crews spent the day waiting for me. So now, I find a non-tree project to do that day knowing others get to drag my brush ;)
It’s funny that the lower income folk are ALWAYS the fastest to pay, or pay ontime if arrangements are made. The upper classes are the only ones who I have to nag.

We have the same deal here, they call it hearts and hammers. The turn out of community memebers is mind boggling. It’s like a any colony fixing stuff
 

Serf Life

Active Member
For sure, have yet to get a tip or baked good from a rich client. We got home made panatone from a client this winter which brightened up the snowy day. If it's their 2nd home with a stored car no dice.
In regards to over charging rich clients, that just doesn't make sense. They have the scratch to have multiple visits a year. Shear a sheep many times or skin it once.
 
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