Charging for getting materials...?

Hi all.I hope I find you all enjoying the spring...I am on the horns ov a dilemma....I usually spend most of my Sundays driving around Sussex buying plants, compost, fence panels and trellis and anything else I need for my weeks work...I obviously charge customers for the materials but what about my work in the Sunday... I drive around for at least 4 hours and usually have to fuel up the van to do so...Should I charge for this time and fuel?Im thinking of just waiting for the weekly workday and go off then to get everything?Then the customer pays for my time "on the day"Is this a good idea?What do you do?Thank you in advance for any replies.They are much appreciatedXx

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  • PRO
    Yes definitely charge for your time whether it's on the weekend or not. I normally allow for collecting materials on the day of their job so all part of my day rate but if it's more convenient to do at the weekend and you don't mind working extra hours then do it all on the Sunday and divide up the time/cost between the various customers. Ps where in Sussex are you? I'm Brighton.
    • Thank you GGGC.
      Yes I'm in Brighton.
      It's funny as I've been gardening for decades now and seem to have slipped into the "getting stuff at the weekend" headspace without realising it... I have a few "old dears" that I'm happy to go the extra for but some customers do seem to be benefiting from this "service" without realising it's a presumption.
      Thank you babes.
      Btw, isn't working in this town feeling more and more pressured?
      Parking in the centre is just a no-no for me now as some places are £3 per hour to park. (Again, do we charge the customer and add another £18 onto the bill!!??)
      Anyway, thanx again for ya feedback.
      • PRO
        Yes I charge for the parking if it's in town. I find people here are just mega thankfull to get someone reliable in to help them so don't mind paying for it so absolutely make sure you're not out of pocket. It's not a cheap place to live! Are you in a sign written van? I'll look out for you! Mine's a silver Renault with green girl on.
        • Indeed.
          No actually I'm one ov those anonymous small white van women! Lol. Though I have an orange wheelbarrow strapped to the roof rack so I'm like a Belisha Beacon!!! Lol.
          I'll look out for you as well.
          • PRO

            @Seána @Helen

            Sounds like you could both benefit from a meet-up:)

  • PRO
    Charge your clients for everything , time, fuel , materials. However make it clear to them from the beginning that collecting materials/ plants etc is not a "free" service, you have costs and they must cover them, if your doing projects as separate jobs then price it into the task, do not do it for free, people won't appreciate it, that will just take advantage of your good nature.
    • Thank you Harry.
      Yes your right.
      Some don't appreciate it and I've been feeling more and more resentful and with fuel prices up as usual it's hitting my pocket!
      Thank you again Harry.
  • you're mad. you need to factor that time and the cost into the job and do it on the days you do the job, or set aside some time. you are effectively doing the work cheaper than what you are charging  and running yourself into an early grave. im guessing most of it is small stuff you're buying that cant be delivered to the jobs by suppliers?

    Im in shoreham and we cover brighton and hove, but ive given up doing anything in central brighton, or east of the lewes road. its a waste of time and therefore money and far too much hassle to even contemplate working n those areas. in areas we do work lke hove etc then its part of our terms and conditions that they provide visitors permits for all our vehicles. You HAVE to charge the client for these things. its part of business, not charity. still a nightmare even fining places to park and arranging street licences and bay suspensions for materials etc. mind you they were goo last week. turned up to a job, with 2 cars parked in a suspended bay we had parked for. they had ticketed them already and the tow truck turned up 5 minutes after we got there to move them out of the way

  • PRO

    Yes, you have to charge... but I agree that some (typically elderly) clients seem to object.

    The other dilemma I have is do I pass on any discounts you achieve becasue of trade accounts.... so the easy one is Wickes - 10% trade discount, do you pass it on, or pocket it? . I don't declare it to my clients - and on a patio recently that meant I charged around £500 more than it cost in materials thanks to a deal that was going at the local builder merchants.

    • Yes I suppose that discount is a reward for our continued custom.
      It's straight in the ol' sky-rocket, and off to the Pie shop!
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