How to price a job

Pinger05

New member

Equipment
Kubota 2380
May 14, 2022
6
8
3
Pennsylvania
youtube.com
Not sure if this is the place to ask this question. If not please educate me where it would go.

Since purchasing my BX2380 with the mower deck my neighbor has asked me to give her a quote to mow her yard. Her yard is a little less than 2 acres with some steep inclines. The contractor she normally uses charges $150 per mow. He uses a 54 inch zero turn.

I want to give her a discount because she is my neighbor and puts up with my chickens on her yard. I figure about 2 hours of work. With the price of diesel I would probably charge $150 for a non-neighbor. Would $60 be too low? What are your thoughts?
 

hagrid

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Equipment
K1600GTL, ZX-14R
Jun 11, 2018
446
341
63
Pittsburgh
I'd be surprised if you used more than 2 gallons of fuel. That's $12. What's your time worth? If she's OK with your chickens roaming her property then $60 sounds fair.
 

ejb11235

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Equipment
BX23S, Braber BBR4G Box Blade
Jan 20, 2022
316
174
43
Seattle, WA, USA
Whatever you do, I would make sure she knows she's getting a good deal. So I would anchor it on the full price.

"Normally I would also charge $150, but I'll give you a 50% nice neighbor discount and do it for $75"

You're basically giving away your time at these rates, but get something for fuel, operating costs, and value of your machine.
 
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ve9aa

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tg1860, bx2380
Apr 11, 2021
467
256
63
NB, Canada
Whatever you do, I would make sure she knows she's getting a good deal. So I would anchor it on the full price.

"Normally I would also charge $150, but I'll give you a 50% nice neighbor discount and do it for $75"

You're basically giving away your time at these rates, but get something for fuel, operating costs, and value of your machine.
THIS ^^^^
 
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William1

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Lifetime Member

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BX25D
Jul 28, 2015
918
129
43
Richmond, Virginia
Whatever you do, I would make sure she knows she's getting a good deal. So I would anchor it on the full price.

"Normally I would also charge $150, but I'll give you a 50% nice neighbor discount and do it for $75"

You're basically giving away your time at these rates, but get something for fuel, operating costs, and value of your machine.
Ditto. I'd invoice it every time at the $150 and then a line item for 'Neighbor Discount' 50%
 
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RCW

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Equipment
BX2360, FEL, MMM, BX2750D snowblower. 1953 Minneapolis Moline ZAU
Apr 28, 2013
6,702
1,974
113
Chenango County, NY
I think you've gotten good advice thus far.

Just a note, if you have KTAC insurance, your tractor is likely covered on the neighbor's property. If you rely on a homeowner's policy, it is likely not the case.

Not to muddy water, just want you to be aware. I've done work at all of my nearby neighbors' places without regard or worry about insurance. It is also limited to occasional mowing and snowblowing if they need help.

Did a one acre lawn most of a summer after neighbor had heart attack. I don't charge anyone if they just need a helping hand once in a while. Your example is a steady commitment on 2 acres, so I'd view that differently. My charity doesn't go that far.....how does she look again?!?!? ;)
 
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MattN03

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2011 B3200, LA504 FEL w/B2366 SSQA conversion, BH76 BH, EA Wicked 55
Sep 5, 2016
218
38
28
KY
Do you plan to get insurance to do this work? What happens if you kick up a rock and bust out a window, scratch the paint on her vehicle, worse yet, hit someone with debris? Neighbor or not, you should consider this and add the cost of insurance into the quote. $150 for 2 acres seems a little high, but high much trimming is it? Your tractor will be much slower than a zero turn, so plan on it taking a while with the tractor.
 

rc51stierhoff

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Equipment
B2650, MX6000
Sep 13, 2021
680
504
93
Ohio
Not sure if this is the place to ask this question. If not please educate me where it would go.

Since purchasing my BX2380 with the mower deck my neighbor has asked me to give her a quote to mow her yard. Her yard is a little less than 2 acres with some steep inclines. The contractor she normally uses charges $150 per mow. He uses a 54 inch zero turn.

I want to give her a discount because she is my neighbor and puts up with my chickens on her yard. I figure about 2 hours of work. With the price of diesel I would probably charge $150 for a non-neighbor. Would $60 be too low? What are your thoughts?
I mean no disrespect what you charge is what’s it’s worth to you…and honestly this is none of my business but why did neighbor or ask for a quote? If you offered that is one thing. But if not they do they value your time less than their own and much less than who has been doing it? To me unless you offered it seems strange you would undercut someone when asked…again that maybe not appropriate for me to ask. I mean no offense. If my neighbors asked me to give them a price to mow their yard and I was not looking for work I would be offended. The price you are considering is very under valued in my world. So that seems strange. For any of my neighbors I would plow their drive or mow for them if they were injured or not home and accept no money for it. But I would be insulted if they hired me as staff to do their chores as a regular thing for less than a fair wage. If you want to do for less that is your business. But you are sort of commented to it then…it’s your time…not to mention I don’t see fuel coming down or the cost of any good or service coming down. So as all your bills go up the neighbors maintenance costs go down. I’d give away some eggs or a free butchered chicken if you feel guilty about the free range chickens…although I would also argue they are eating bugs and fertilizing the lawn the same as any other bird that comes through…but maybe that is fowl of me to think that way😉. Anyway have fun with the neighbor.
 
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ejb11235

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Equipment
BX23S, Braber BBR4G Box Blade
Jan 20, 2022
316
174
43
Seattle, WA, USA
I mean no disrespect what you charge is what’s it’s worth to you…and honestly this is none of my business but why did neighbor or ask for a quote? If you offered that is one thing. But if not they do they value your time less than their own and much less than who has been doing it? To me unless you offered it seems strange you would undercut someone when asked…again that maybe not appropriate for me to ask. I mean no offense. If my neighbors asked me to give them a price to mow their yard and I was not looking for work I would be offended. The price you are considering is very under valued in my world. So that seems strange. For any of my neighbors I would plow their drive or mow for them if they were injured or not home and accept no money for it. But I would be insulted if they hired me as staff to do their chores as a regular thing for less than a fair wage. If you want to do for less that is your business. But you are sort of commented to it then…it’s your time…not to mention I don’t see fuel coming down or the cost of any good or service coming down. So as all your bills go up the neighbors maintenance costs go down. I’d give away some eggs or a free butchered chicken if you feel guilty about the free range chickens…although I would also argue they are eating bugs and fertilizing the lawn the same as any other bird that comes through…but maybe that is fowl of me to think that way😉. Anyway have fun with the neighbor.
I hope OP gives us more information but I can see the conversation having gone like this:

OP: "Hey how are you today? I'm excited because I just got a new tractor with a mower!"
Neighbor (N): "Oh congratulations! Are you looking for side work?"
OP: "Why yes, why do you ask?"
N: "Oh, well you know I pay XYZ $150 to mow my grass. I'd be just as happy to pay you, if you're interested."
OP: "Well, I am interested. Let me think about it and get back to you."

OP posts to Orange Tractor Talks...

It's not clear if the neighbor was trying to get her mowing done for less than she's paying now, or if she asked for a quote when OP wasn't looking for side work.
 

Dieseldonato

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Equipment
B7510 hydro, yanmar ym146, cub cadet 1450, 582,782
Mar 15, 2022
709
407
63
Pa
My 2 cents. I do a lot of side work for my neighbors and people that live close by. Few times I've been approached to mow laws. (I hate mowing grass, but like to make a buck) I tell them $50.00 for the first hour $35.00 hour after that. Kind of funny to watch the reactions. Nearly always a no thanks. the one neighbor did paid me for a summer then bought a new mower the next year. Oddly enough its the same rate I charge to work on their mowers, trimmers etc and no one ever gets bent out of shape about paying for that.
A 2 hour job is $85.00. Cash. I believe that is fair for side work.
I base this off of something I was told by the owner of the machine shop I worked it. "If your working on your stuff, your time is worthless. If your working on other people's stuff your time is priceless." (Leon Rutt.)
Basically a fair rate for services rendered. Doesn't matter if it's a business or side work.
 
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JimmyJazz

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B2601
Aug 8, 2020
892
502
93
Pittsburgh, Pa
Do you plan to get insurance to do this work? What happens if you kick up a rock and bust out a window, scratch the paint on her vehicle, worse yet, hit someone with debris? Neighbor or not, you should consider this and add the cost of insurance into the quote. $150 for 2 acres seems a little high, but high much trimming is it? Your tractor will be much slower than a zero turn, so plan on it taking a while with the tractor.
$150 for 2 acres would be a bargain in my neighborhood. The cheapest I could find 5 years ago was $180 for my 2 acres. Thats when I acquainted myself with the "Power of Kubota". I used my newish loader forks to load my unwieldy log splitter into the back of my pickup yesterday, a previously backbreaking task. The wonders never cease!
 
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JimmyJazz

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B2601
Aug 8, 2020
892
502
93
Pittsburgh, Pa
My 2 cents. I do a lot of side work for my neighbors and people that live close by. Few times I've been approached to mow laws. (I hate mowing grass, but like to make a buck) I tell them $50.00 for the first hour $35.00 hour after that. Kind of funny to watch the reactions. Nearly always a no thanks. the one neighbor did paid me for a summer then bought a new mower the next year. Oddly enough its the same rate I charge to work on their mowers, trimmers etc and no one ever gets bent out of shape about paying for that.
A 2 hour job is $85.00. Cash. I believe that is fair for side work.
I base this off of something I was told by the owner of the machine shop I worked it. "If your working on your stuff, your time is worthless. If your working on other people's stuff your time is priceless." (Leon Rutt.)
Basically a fair rate for services rendered. Doesn't matter if it's a business or side work.
I would be pleased to pay $85 to a competent person to perform 2 hours of work. I think auto dealership shop rates are $125 per hour around here.
 
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D2Cat

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Lifetime Member

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L305DT, B7100HST, TG1860, TG1860D, L4240
Mar 27, 2014
10,846
2,012
113
40 miles south of Kansas City
Eleven years ago we got quotes from 3 lawn services for a 2 acre area to mow and weed eat. The lowest of the three was $135.
 

ejb11235

Active member

Equipment
BX23S, Braber BBR4G Box Blade
Jan 20, 2022
316
174
43
Seattle, WA, USA
A couple of weeks ago I charged a neighbor $100/hour for two hours to spread gravel on her parking area. I was happy, and she was happy, and paid me an extra $25.

However, with the 50 hour service due, I've started thinking more about rates ... I need $100/hour to make it worth my time (I make over twice that doing computer consulting), so that means my hourly rate needs to be higher to cover the operating costs, maintenance and equipment depreciation. I figure at least an additional $20/hour for that, but probably more.

I don't know what the useful life is on a tractor, but if we were to take 2,000 hours, on a $25K tractor, that's $12.5/hour just for depreciation. If the useful life is only 1,000 hours, then we're at $20/hour.
 

rc51stierhoff

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Equipment
B2650, MX6000
Sep 13, 2021
680
504
93
Ohio
I don’t mean to be the donkey today (yes I know that doesn’t prevent it 😂). But when we you or me start doing extra, especially when it has a regular cadence it’s going to more double than your maintenance…fluid and lube blades repairs etc…if you do it yourself that’s more of your time which has a tradeable / sellable value or you pay to have it done then…one way or another you lose your time and / or money, so I’d just recommend you plan accordingly when you set your value especially with a friend or neighbor. Either way were talking about 15-20k asset and labor cutting lawn has a tradeable value. Doing to help a friend is very different than even covering your costs with side jobs. If our labor is tradeable would you be willing to clean my bathroom for one hour and I mow you lawn for an hour? Cleaning the bathroom requires very little in terms of assets. Mowing a lawn with a 20k asset is a very different thing especially since it requires costs to operate before during and after.
 
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ejb11235

Active member

Equipment
BX23S, Braber BBR4G Box Blade
Jan 20, 2022
316
174
43
Seattle, WA, USA
I don’t mean to be the donkey today (yes I know that doesn’t prevent it 😂). But when we you or me start doing extra, especially when it has a regular cadence it’s going to more double than your maintenance…fluid and lube blades repairs etc…if you do it yourself that’s more of your time which has a tradeable / sellable value or you pay to have it done then…one way or another you lose your time and / or money, so I’d just recommend you plan accordingly when you set your value especially with a friend or neighbor. Either way were talking about 15-20k asset and labor cutting lawn has a tradeable value. Doing to help a friend is very different than even covering your costs with side jobs. If our labor is tradeable would you be willing to clean my bathroom for one hour and I mow you lawn for an hour? Cleaning the bathroom requires very little in terms of assets. Mowing a lawn with a 20k asset is a very different thing especially since it requires costs to operate before during and after.
I would not be willing to clean your bathroom. :geek:
 
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