Pricing- Over Pricing

Posted By: MikeFlick

Pricing- Over Pricing - 05/14/10 03:12 PM

How much is a days work worth to you? If you can do 4 squirrel jobs in a day, is it right to charge $950.00 each? I gave a phone quote to a lady in Chicago the other day and she was surprised at my prices. She said the other company was charging almost double!And no warantee! I get the feeling she was talking to YOU KNOW WHO in Utah.
Now how would it be if I were to charge 950 and give half away to a guy answering the phone, when I charge $450.00 to there neighbor with the same situation?
It just makes the field operator look bad.
And its realy not smart at all when you think about it, when the client stumbled upon there advertising somehow, and the next call will be coming to your phone anyway.
Posted By: warrior

Re: Over Pricing - 05/14/10 04:08 PM

IMO, it's whatever the market can bear. That's by no means a defense of overcharging. On the contrary I believe in a fair price for all.
If this is BH from Utah then it may be a case of the very thing that drives his "service". The buying public does not know where or how to purchase our services giving internet marketers (about one rung up from telemarketers) the opportunity to "quasi-monopolize" the market and pricing. Just plain wrong, IMO, and in need of correction.
On the other hand though I see that correction swinging to far the other way in my own market. With every Tom, Dick and Harry that has ever caught an animal plus the bug guys jumping into the game what is happening here in Atlanta is a race to the bottom driven for the most part by the idiot bug guys. Again JMO, but the PCO industry years ago drove their prices into the basement to the point that any opportunity to get inside a potential customer's home is free of charge. Seriously, $45 to drive to a customer's home and do a complete insect service. The only way they can do that is to sign up as many of these services that can be performed in a day plus pay the tech as little as possible and force him to run as tight as possible routes. Now they, and most johnny come latelys, are at it again.
If they want to soil their own nest then so be it but leave us the [Please excuse my language... I'm an idiot] alone!
Four years ago the first of next month I opened the southside of Atlanta and at that time there was only two major players in the game (and one wannbe) and I quickly pushed them back to the northside of town all the while charging 389 for two week trappings and 125 for inspections. I never did anything for free. Now I can count eight different outfits, and not the guys I pushed out either, within 15 miles of my base of operations. All of these guys are doing the "free inspection" bit and way undercharging for their services. BTW, none of these outfits have grown past the one man and a truck stage and I doubt they ever will. One bug guy does, I heard it from his own mouth, $20 squirrel trapping. That's for the whole shebang, not per squirrel and does not do exclusion!
What we desperately need in this state, and every other for that matter, is a strong industry with strong barriers to entry. The $30 and you are a NWCO in this state has got to go! It should be $30 for your residential license to fur trap PLUS a rigorous multipage exam on every aspect of wildlife biology and control with fees for the exam (may I suggest $75 to even take the test) and once passed the actual nusance wildlife permit should be an additional fee (may I suggest $150). I would also like to see a split in areas of service with certifications in select species such as bats, migratory birds, canines in urban settings (maybe the special certification would free us up to use currently prohibited tools like the collarum) and then prior to contracting with the general public either a mandatory proof of $1mil general liability insurance to be on file with the state ([Please excuse my language... I'm an idiot], even matching the $100,000 requirement the bug guys have to meet would be a start), even a security bond would suffice. There should also be system in place similar to what the PCOs have to meet with a Designated Certified Operator (with additional licensing requirements) in place in every company to ensure accountability to standards plus company registration. Under our current system a company can poorly train techs and/or teach them to break the law and the only recourse is on the tech. The company is not accountable in any way!
I would even entertain ideas to require us to meet general contractor regulations if it would protect the general public from our so called industry.
Posted By: warrior

Re: Over Pricing - 05/14/10 04:20 PM

By my own suggestions the total cost of license would be $255 plus if we matched the PCO on DCO and company registration an additional $45 to test for DCO plus $100 company registration.
$400 plus insurance is more than reasonable IMO.
Posted By: warrior

Re: Over Pricing - 05/14/10 04:21 PM

I just realized that I have totally hijacked this thread.
Sorry, I'll move this to it's own thread.
Posted By: MikeFlick

Re: Over Pricing - 05/14/10 04:43 PM

I wouldnt want to make it so expensive for the guy that helps out some people in his little town and doesnt charge much because people dont have any money. I wouldnt want to monopolise the industry in that way either.
Its easy in wisconsin now with a fur trappers license, and a contract to remove a fur bearing animal which has become a nuisance.
Posted By: warrior

Re: Over Pricing - 05/14/10 04:46 PM

Mike that's a concern of mine as well. Urban vs rural would be a definite concern. We would end up like the PCOs again in that Atlanta has a PCO on every street corner and the rural counties would be lucky if they have one.
Posted By: LT GREY

Re: Over Pricing - 05/14/10 04:47 PM

...think that's overpricing?

You shoud see what the Goverment (WS) charges!
Posted By: sgs

Re: Over Pricing - 05/15/10 02:07 AM

About a month ago I had a skunk job. Skunk under shed. The entry was obvious. Caught the skunk the first night. It was a male so I figured it was the only one there. I reset the trap and told the customer to call me if there was another one in the cage. I left it there for three nights.

I went back and picked up the trap and a check for $125. Seventy-five for setup and $50 per animal. I had about two hours total in the job.

The customer told me that he had contacted another guy before me and was told the charge was $200 setup and $150 per animal. "and there's 'ALWAYS' more than one".

Is that over charging? I think so.
Posted By: Probtrapper

Re: Over Pricing - 05/15/10 02:48 AM

For the most part I agree with whay you say. Strigent certification might discourage pco companies from doing trying to do wildlife work but imho no matter what state you live in you are always going to have people trying to low ball you. Even here where I live two different guys and one pco co. have started to do "wildlife control" in the last month. Both new guys are much cheaper than we are and the pco co.charges 3 times what we do for a set up and way less for each animal caught which tells me they aren't catching much but are making their money on the set up. This is a small market area and that way of doing business will catch up with them in a hurry. I'am already having to come in behind them on some jobs and finish what they screwed up. Time will take care of the low-ballers as they can't servive on what they are charging.

Posted By: MikeFlick

Re: Over Pricing - 05/15/10 04:23 AM

In my main area, where I spend most of my day, I charge $350.00 for squirrels or raccoons on a typical home. All animals included. and a 3yr warantee. unless the house is all ate up with holes, then we re negociate, or I drive on to the next one.
If i do 2-3 a day, I feel like I made enough for the day and I dont feel like I made anyone pay an un fair price.
I will travel anywhere, and if I have to go to idaho and get honey bees. Or Wyoming to get bats out of a building because nobody else will, my fees go up..... sometimes way up, but we are talkin about days of driving, and after ive looked for someone to help them from the local area.
I even help some people who have no choice but to do it them selves. One lady in Mississippi was a katrina widdow, living on half of nothing with bats in her home. She did all her own repairs and was desperate. I told her if I can teach her how to get bats out of her home, she can get them out for others, and she can fix her income situation.
Posted By: LT GREY

Re: Over Pricing - 05/15/10 04:27 AM

Do people actually spend "most of a day" getting animals out of someones house ?

My service calls are most generally an hour or less...
Posted By: ccary

Re: Over Pricing - 05/15/10 04:28 AM

i have at times quoted a job high and when i got done if it didn't take near as long as i had first thought, pass that price break to the customer. It built me some trust with those. I don't know if they ever gave me any good word of mouth but that's better than bad word of mouth.
Posted By: MikeFlick

Re: Over Pricing - 05/15/10 02:28 PM

What I said was I spend most of my day in my main area LT. and its easy to spend a day there if theres more than one job to do that day.
but, to a guy who checks mole traps in a Mercedes,.......LOL!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Over Pricing - 05/17/10 06:16 PM

Are you guys for real? Are you in business as a sideline or as a primary source of income? $950.00 for a squirrel job quote over the phone doesn't sound out of line to me - especially when we don't have all of the facts. How far is the operator coming from? What are his fixed and variable costs of doing business? How big is the structure the operator has to work on? Single story or two, or even three? Is he using ladders or a bucket lift? What is the income level of the complaintants neighborhood? Too many unknowns for us to be bashing prices as being gouging?

So 4 squirrel jobs a day are plenty of work? But can you keep that average up for 5 or 6 days a week for a year or more? Some people have to charge more to make up for slow periods or get another job to have a source of income during that time frame. As for myself, I would want all of the jobs I could handle for as long as I am able. And I want to charge the maximum the market will bear. That is why I am in business. Heck, we haven't even touched on expansion of an existing business. You know, hiring additional staff or contracting out certain aspects of the jobs, or adding additional services. Isn't that why we go into business - to maximize our investments and be our own bosses?

Warrior, I agree with you 100%. We need some barriers to entry into our industry. To protect the consumer from unscrupulous service providers. But I don't think we need to go so far as to require certifications for every little thing or specie.

Additionally, I have been forced into situations where I had to compete against "low-ballers". Even had a couple of my competitors slandering and defaming me. And don't believe for one minute that they go away after awhile. Some of mine are still here - they just don't slander or defame me anymore. LOL.
Posted By: Paul Winkelmann

Re: Over Pricing - 05/17/10 10:40 PM

I like this post. I've been ( and continue to be ) on both sides of the fence. Some of my competitors who charge more than we do, want us to raise our prices. Well, I will be glad to, as soon as our local economy picks up.

Most of my competitors, however, charge less than me, so some perspective customers think we're overpriced. Some of you guys get $20 or $30 more per raccoon than we do. We have some fairly well to do clientele but we average 5 raccoons per job. When you guys charge $65 to $80 dollars per raccoon and $175 and up for a service call, how many raccoons do you catch in a year?

I'm not talking about you guys in New York And California. You guys need that kind of money. You probably pay $4.50 for a 25 cent hotdog.
Posted By: Nathan Krause

Re: Over Pricing - 05/18/10 01:40 AM

Originally Posted By: Paul Winkelmann
I like this post. I've been ( and continue to be ) on both sides of the fence. Some of my competitors who charge more than we do, want us to raise our prices. Well, I will be glad to, as soon as our local economy picks up.

Most of my competitors, however, charge less than me, so some perspective customers think we're overpriced. Some of you guys get $20 or $30 more per raccoon than we do. We have some fairly well to do clientele but we average 5 raccoons per job. When you guys charge $65 to $80 dollars per raccoon and $175 and up for a service call, how many raccoons do you catch in a year?

I'm not talking about you guys in New York And California. You guys need that kind of money. You probably pay $4.50 for a 25 cent hotdog.

I have bought quite a few of those $4.50 hot dogs while in California. I remember the $8.00 value meal I bought in Brooklyn 12 years ago. It's gotta be up to $15 by now.
Posted By: MikeFlick

Re: Over Pricing - 05/18/10 02:42 AM

Pat, I charge what I want to because I can affoard to. I get into 3-4 squirrel or raccoon jobs, and Ive made over $1000.00 a day. Im happy with that. Im not low balling. Im just not subbing work sold from Utah, Then I would have to double my prices LOL!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Over Pricing - 05/18/10 11:49 AM

Mike, I apologize if I offended you. My comments weren't meant to be personal in nature except for my comment that was directed to you concerning the number of squirrel jobs per day that you felt were enough.

But Mike I am concerned now about your comment where you said, "I charge what I want to because I can afford to." That is a statement that is rarely heard being said by serious business people. In business, fair minded business people generally set their prices for products and/or services based on their fixed and variable costs plus a predetermined profit margin. You make it sound like your prices are based on how much financial pain you can afford to provide your service, not on will your target market be able to afford your services at a price level that will cover your costs and allow you to turn a reasonable profit margin on your investment. Right or wrong that is how I have taken your comments. I'm just concerned that you might be hurting yourself financially without even knowing it. A good general barometer if your prices are too low or too high is if you are landing more than 3 out of 5 potential jobs you are charging too low, and if you are landing less than 3 out of 5 then your prices are too high. But there are numerous other factors to take into account besides price in increasing the number of potential jobs that you can land.
Posted By: MikeFlick

Re: Over Pricing - 05/18/10 02:03 PM

No offence taken Pat, in ten years Ive got it figured out, and i appreciate it. As far as overhead, id say advertizing WAS my biggest expence. Thats no Longer an issue(Thanks to Robb Russell)
other than that, ive learned cheeper and more effective ways to do the job, I pass those savings on to the consumer, and dont nickle and dime them to death. My bid is over the phone after asking a few questions about the home, and my bid is solid if the answers are honest.
Posted By: beavernator

Re: Over Pricing - 05/20/10 02:01 PM

Originally Posted By: LT GREY
...think that's overpricing?

You shoud see what the Goverment (WS) charges!

You ain't kiddin'. The govt. around here has the specific goal of keeping water from impeding county roadways. They do those jobs for free because of the threat to the road and shoulder. You would not believe how many people around here think they do ALL beaver work for free because of this. When I tell someone who owns a $500,000 tractor that I charge $350/week per location, they act like I'm crazy as h-e-double hockey sticks! When they call the gov,t. guy because the back half of their corn field is flooded they find out (since they are only concerned about the integrity of roadways and not personal property) that they charge almost 5X what I charge. I have to go through the rigamarole of letting them call and find out for themselves before they call me back every dang time.
Posted By: Scott Conley

Re: Over Pricing - 05/20/10 08:19 PM

If they are calling you back every dang time raise your prices.
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