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TOPIC: Price check?

Price check? 06 Mar 2009 18:48 #1

Hey all, somewhat new to the farrier business and I was just wondering if some of you could give me a little feed back on my prices for this spring. I have checked with some of the guys around here and it seems I am in the ball park. I am charging 30 for trims, 50 for fronts, and 70 all around. I also tack on a 5 dollar trip charge if the client is more than 30 miles away but I waive that trip charge if they have 3 or more horses that I will be doing. I am in central Iowa so if any of you are located in this area or a similar area would you please let me know if I am in the right price range for being a year out of school? I had one guy call me wanting a trim and when I told him my prices he got upset and told me his old farrier charged 25 for trims. I asked why he doesn't continue to use him and he said he dropped him because he lamed his horse up. Just wondering if my prices are a little high or not. Thanks everybody.
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RE:Price check? 06 Mar 2009 20:31 #2

  • JimBondra
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Huskerfan23,
The best advice that i can give you.
And this is after 34 years in this business.
Find an accountant.
Take them a currant farrier supply catalog.
Pay them whatever they ask to help you set up a business.
Adhere to their advice.
DO NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Set your prices according to what the other farriers in the neighborhood charge.
DO NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Allow your customers to set your prices for you.
DO NOT!!!!!!!!!!
Post your prices on the internet for all to see.

DO!!!
Provide a better service and product than your competetors.
Good luck to you.
Jim Bondra CJF
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RE:Price check? 06 Mar 2009 22:55 #3

when I left Ohio, my average COST per horse was around $50-- that does not include health insurance, retirement, vacation time etc- just gross expenses divided by the total number of horses. Given my previous expenses and the rates you quoted I'd have starved in six months... Jim gives some good advice.
Jason
"Always listen to the experts. They tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it." Robert Heinlien
Jason Maki CJF, RJF
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RE:Price check? 07 Mar 2009 00:25 #4

  • vthorseshoe
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Huskerfan

34 years in the business ???? I heard Jim tell someone just the other day he had bought his first set of tongs and was wondering how to use them...

Jason would starve in 6 months on those wages ???
If Jason would quit ordering Steak for every meal and go back to oatmeal he'd be able to exhist on them wages.

Honestly fella; Jim gave some very good advice...

my 2 cents worth ;)
"you may not like what I say" !
-but-
"you'll never have any doubts where I stand
quote Cindy Matthews 1948-2006


I thought my life had come to a close with Cindy's passing, but there is life after death Thankyou Sharon !

Bruce Matthews
Southeast...
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RE:Price check? 07 Mar 2009 01:01 #5

  • Rick Talbert
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Huskerfan, whether your prices are too high or to low depends on what you are worth. If you can objectively evaluate your knowledge and ability you'll answer your own question. I've known guys charging twice what they were worth and some guys charging half what they are worth. Some guys charge 150 dollars for a job that looks like they shoulda been payin the owner for the practice on the horse. Too many recent graduates are trying to jump right into charging the rates of top farriers who have legitimately earned those prices. Build your business up at whatever is a reasonable price for your area, set educational goals and skill goals for each year. As you meet these personal goals your confidence and ability will begin to exceed your current prices. When you feel you have more work than you actually want, and you feel your skill (and knowledge) level has outgrown your prices, its time to reevaluate things. Never stop making goals and working towards them. Don't waste the money you earn. Reinvest a good portion of it back into your business, especially in the first few years. Investing money, time, and effort into your business all will pay off.
Rick Talbert
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RE:Price check? 07 Mar 2009 01:37 #6

all good advice23,mr.talbert explained it very well .if someone in your area has been doing this 20 yrs you cant get ahead of them on experience,but if your willing to study,do clinics etc. you have a shot at beating them on education.some folks get good enough to make a living and stop there.the winners never stop.good luck my friend.-gary
Gary W. Atchison-Mustang Farrier Service-Hillsboro Texas
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RE:Price check? 07 Mar 2009 02:56 #7

The inherient problem to starting out in this business is your operating costs (if you are a full time shoer) can only be so low... supplies, fuel, insurance, clinic costs, eating up pick-ups every three years, cost the same for everyone. It can be a steep rough road to learn the trade and make a living at the same time--- build in a living wage to your price structure would be my advice- it always seems to take me longer and cost me more than I think it will to do something.:cool:
Jason
"Always listen to the experts. They tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it." Robert Heinlien
Jason Maki CJF, RJF
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RE:Price check? 07 Mar 2009 04:10 #8

  • beslagsmed
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Your first reply got it covered. I base my business on the service I offer, doing a first class job, and being able to listen to my customers in how they use their horses, and most of all take that little extra time with the customer so they think they are special and you do really care!!
Mikel Dawson, RJF

(Denmark)
What part of "NO" don't you understand!!

Caution: Watch for hoof in mouth disease!!!
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RE:Price check? 07 Mar 2009 05:57 #9

  • JimBondra
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vthorseshoe
34 years in the business ???? I heard Jim tell someone just the other day he had bought his first set of tongs and was wondering how to use them...

TONGS! I don't need no stinkin' TONGS!:D
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RE:Price check? 08 Mar 2009 13:17 #10

  • tbloomer
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Jim you NAILED it.

I'm going to throw some things out here for you to think about.
  1. What kind of reputation do you want to have as a farrier? The better your reputation, the more you can charge.
  2. What are you going to have to learn and what obstacles will prevent you from having a good reputation?
  3. RIGHT NOW - with no experience and no reputation, what do you have to offer that is more valuable than what your competition offers?
Tom Bloomer
http://blackburnforge.com
302-222-6404


Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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RE:Price check? 08 Mar 2009 13:23 #11

  • tbloomer
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Rick Talbert wrote:
Too many recent graduates are trying to jump right into charging the rates of top farriers who have legitimately earned those prices.
AND this is a bad thing? Have you lost clients to recent graduates that charge the same as you? I don't understand your point on this one. Please explain.
Tom Bloomer
http://blackburnforge.com
302-222-6404


Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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RE:Price check? 08 Mar 2009 21:46 #12

  • Rick Talbert
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The point is a very simple one. Its called ripping people off. I've known a few shoers who set there prices too high directly out of school (barely knowing which end of a hammer to grab hold of) and they quickly priced themselves out of business. I've never lost a client to a recent graduate, but I've helped many build their businesses, and I've watched others fall by the wayside. If a product is overpriced it will not sell. It is good that established farriers encourage green farriers starting out to charge a decent amount and not run around undercutting others in the area. But to build a clientele from scratch you must be realistic and practical. If you graduate from school thinking you "DESERVE" to be making what the top 5% of farriers get per horse then you have either been brainwashed or you are delusional. My point was merely to build a business you should be fair in your pricing and honest with yourself. Once it is built you can then rein it in by raising your rates given the increase in demand. So to further explain and answer your question directly, "And this is a BAD thing?" for those of us already established its not a bad thing, what they do has no affect on us, but it is a bad thing for 1) the owner who is getting ripped off, and 2) for the naive farrier who will soon be out of business and wondering why he/she couldn't make it work. Its just about helping those guys get established.
Rick Talbert
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RE:Price check? 09 Mar 2009 09:50 #13

Rick Talbert wrote:
Too many recent graduates are trying to jump right into charging the rates of top farriers who have legitimately earned those prices.

I set my rates when I started in the top third. It was the best thing i ever did. As I slowly built up clients they were the type that valued my services and they have been very loyal.

18 months after starting the business a guy moved in from texas and began to charge rates 20 to 25% less than the cheapest guy in the county. Had I been following a "get business by being the cheapest" strategy I would have lost the price sensitive customers to him.

There are only 2 choices of business plan. You can sell on price or sell quality and service same as in any other business. Oh and by the way if you start off as "cheap charlie" good luck transitioning down the road. Most folks need to move to another state to "reboot" the business as a high quality high price company.
George Spear
CNBBT, CNBF, CLS


".....and I said to the horse: Trust no man in whose eyes you do not see yourself reflected as an equal."
Don Vincenzo Giobbe
CA. 1700

"What people do not appreciate is that every time a horse submits to...
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RE:Price check? 10 Mar 2009 02:59 #14

  • Rick Talbert
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Okay, again, I was not suggesting that a recent graduate start out getting business by being the cheapest around. I was suggesting that a recent graduate be fair and realistic with their pricing. What is fair and realistic, depends on the area your in, and the quality of the product you are selling. In our business the product we sell is our own knowledge and ability. I have yet to meet a farrier fresh out of school who had very much of either. I have met new farriers who were aware of this and worked with other farriers and took advantage of opportunities to learn and consequently built very successful businesses. On the other hand, I've met many who took a short 6 or 12 week course, (from a sorry school) and got out thinking they knew everything they'd ever need to know. They buy a few basic tools and market themselves as experts. They price themselves as experts, then they struggle to keep clients. To be honest, these guys make me money, but that does not mean I want them to fail. My advice is that the quality of the product should be sufficient enough to justify the price. This is true in every business no matter what the product.
If we were apple salesmen, and I was selling apples for 1.00 each and say you were selling apples for 1.20 each and someone else was selling apples for .80 each; all of our apples are of fine quality and we are running successful apple vending businesses. Of course we have a few part time apple sellers or fly by night apple venders who occasionally sell apples in our area for .60 each, but they don't last long, they have rotten apples, no one really wants their apples and they have no affect on our business, because we have a reputation for wonderful apples and a loyal customer base. Now we have little johny applseed fresh out of a short course on apple selling. Johny's apples are wormy and bruised but he thinks his apples are outstanding. Little johny prices his wormy apples at 1.35ea and a few suckers buy them, but those suckers get worms in their stomach and die. Everyone hears that johny's apples are wormy. We try to help Johny, but Johny is still convinced he has the best apples around. Apple buyers and apple sellers laugh at poor johny as he sits in his apple booth cryin and he is so broke he has to eat his own wormy apples then he dies too! How bought them apples? If johny had gotten out of apple school and priced his apples at say .90 each and then listened as we showed him how to get rid of his bad apples and recognize good apples, he could then learn how to sell good apples and soon raise his apple prices to 1.10. (Notice I did not suggest that johny start out sellin his apples at .60 each with the apple sellin hacks)
Rick Talbert
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RE:Price check? 18 Mar 2009 01:44 #15

  • Dan Puckett
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Huskerfan- How does the quality of you work compare to other farriers? I think that should be the number 1 criteria for determining what you charge. Sadly for horse owners, my quality of work is in the upper end of the local scale, and I set my prices accordingly. Most people in this area, regardless of trade, just do enough to get by (if the customer doesnt complain to them, the job is good enough). Few push themselves to constantly improve, and it is espeically prevalent in our field. I charge rates similar to yours, but I also return calls, and show up when I say I will- something few others in my area do. I am also apprenticing with a good well-known farrier not far from here, and learn lots of new things from him every day. He thinks I should do fine here.

I charge 50cents a mile after 25mi, one way. If I have one client, he pays the whole trip fee, regardless if he has 1 or 10 head. If I have more than one client in an area, I split the fee, based (loosely) on horse behavior and client attitude. Also, my prices are non-negotiable. If I go to an area where the "going rate" is higher, my prices go up accordingly, to avoid undercutting others, and to keep relations in a positive light. I told a classmate at Kentucky Horseshoeing School what I was getting, and his jaw dropped to the floor- a basic full set is nearly $200 where he's from. Lot of it depends on geography.

I am by no means trying to come across as, or think, I'm the greatest thing to come to my town, but I can tell by looking at other guys' work that I am better than they are, based on what I see on the feet I've looked at. Could they have been having a really bad day when they did that shoe job I saw? Sure, but when you have shoes that in no way cover the heels, or I take twice as much off the heel as toe (and 8 wks later, take off an even amount from the toe and heel), something doesnt add up.

Dan
Dan Puckett, CF
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