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TOPIC: Pricing for extras?

Pricing for extras? 26 May 2009 03:37 #1

  • Dan Puckett
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I graduated from Kentucky Horseshoeing School in March, and have been trying to build up a business. So far it's been slow, which isnt unexpected. I do have a few questions, though- What do you charge for extras? I get a lot of trail riders who want/need Drill Tech on their shoes. I currently charge $20 per horse. I figure the stuff aint cheap, and there is a certain amount of skill in applying it. Am I out of line? I fugre it's an easy way to make up for some of the cheap people around here.

My "basic" rate includes 4 hot fit shoes (have to heat them up to shape them, may as well smoke them on), includes clips, trailers, extended heels, rocker/ square toe, etc; basically, if I dont have to weld the shoe, or do any drilling, it's included. That takes some of the choice out of the (sometimes cheap) hands of what the clients want to pay for vs what the horse needs. But, what about bar shoes, drill & tap, borium, and the rest? I havent had the opportunity to ask my mentor about it, or more correctly, havent thought of it when I was around him.

Dan
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RE:Pricing for extras? 26 May 2009 03:48 #2

  • westtxshoer
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Dan, it sounds like you and I are in about the same type of geographic area for pricing. However, I feel you're cutting yourself short on the shoe mods. If you hot fit clipped kegs, that's included. If you pull a clip, it isn't. Trailers, extended heels, etc. should also be extra. It's extra work, should be extra pay. I roll the toe on almost everything, so I include that. If I rocker the toe, its extra. Bar shoes are extra.

I don't do much drill and tap, but I do add Borium. I add $35 for a full set. That covers torch gas, material, labor, and expenses.

Pads, flat or wedge, are extra. Hoof packing is extra. Anything beyond fitting a hot shoe should be extra.

For us that have to shoe a horse for $75, we have to charge for any extras or we lose money. The other guy that shoes for $45 or $50 doesn't even offer extras so don't worry about charging for them. They cost you more in material cost and labor, so they should be charged to the owner accordingly.
RJ Little
Merkel, Texas
817-341-9857

"I ain't askin' nobody for nuthin', if I can't get it on my own." - Charlie Daniels
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RE:Pricing for extras? 26 May 2009 12:01 #3

  • J.H. shoeing
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R.J.
If you charge differently for shoe modifications and you think a horse needs it but the owner wants no extra charges what do you do?

Why would factory clippped keggers be cheaper than you pulling the clips?
they cost more to buy.

I dont want an uninformed person dictating what I put on a horse just because they dont want to spend any money.

Charge for the appliances but not for the mods.
Jeff Holder

Some people are like Slinky’s, pretty much useless but make you smile when you push them down the stairs.
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RE:Pricing for extras? 26 May 2009 12:25 #4

  • Mike Ferrara
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Everybody can do it how they want but I guess I agree with Jeff. I don't charge extra for basic shoe modifications. I do charge extra for pads and handmade shoes. I also charge for more for aluminum or other shoes that cost significantly more than a steel keg shoe.

I should probably also mention that, in the case of steel kegs, I charge the same for new as I do for reset. I'm not sure whether that's a good idea or not but it makes billing easier. The profit averages out. You make a little more when resetting and a little less when putting on new.

I don't know what the national average is, or even that we should care, but $75 sounds awful cheap to me. It seems to me that it was a good price 20 years ago. I can't be sure without being in the situation but I think that if that's all I could get, I might get a job.
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RE:Pricing for extras? 26 May 2009 12:35 #5

  • George Geist
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Dan Puckett wrote:
But, what about bar shoes, drill & tap, borium, and the rest? I havent had the opportunity to ask my mentor about it, or more correctly, havent thought of it when I was around him.

Dan
Figure it takes you an hour to shoe one. (Yeah we all know it takes you a lot longer than that but that's only because at this stage you're still too slow)

How long does it take you to make a bar shoe? If using a gas forge a single or pair should be about the same time. Most of us can do it in about 1/2 hr.

Therefore, Bars should be about 1/2 your shoeing rate.

On the track we charged double the price of shoeing because it only took about 1/2 hr to plate a runner. Get the idea? Is all about time.

We also know you'll be buying bars and not making them. IMO factory made bar shoes are too much money and unsatisfactory in quality. Nonetheless, if you charge that much you'll ensure a profit.

Get good at making them guys will buy them from you rather than use store boughts which can be lucrative in it's own right:)

Borium is extremely expensive. Try to get away from that and use studs instead. Till then I'd say if you don't get at least between $50 and $75 extra for it you're just screwing yourself.

For stuff like pads, aluminum, packing, etc. I'd say double whatever it costs you should work well.

Drill and tap just depends. Is really not that big a deal to do. Consider who it is and how much money they got.

As to what you said on the other thread your base price is way too low. Go to the barber and get a haircut. Going rate for price of getting a horse shod in an area should be at least 8 times the price of a haircut. :cool:
George
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RE:Pricing for extras? 26 May 2009 12:57 #6

  • Mike Ferrara
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I'm not sure what horseshoeing has to do with cutting hair but I agree your price is too low. Besides, I can get a haircut around here for $5 but I ain't shoeing for $40.

Everybody knows that I'm not for licensing or unions and I'm not against using price as a marketing tool but at the same time I'd encourage others to sell themselves and charge well for what they do. If you don't value what you do, you can't expect anybody else to. If you're willing to work cheap, I promise that the the market will let you and be happy to keep their money in their pocket or spend it on something else.

It's the consumers job to try to get the most for the least (value). It's the vendors job to try to provide the least for the most (profit). Do your part and try to get the absolute best profit you can.
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RE:Pricing for extras? 26 May 2009 13:40 #7

  • Mark_Gough
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Dan, I've found that the simplest way to manage fees it to set a base hourly rate, than add materials and time for anything over that base fee.

I don't "sell" shoes, pads, studs or anything else. I treat all materials as consumables (tax reasons) and the customer pays whatever it cost me.

My profit is built into the cost of service and based on an hourly rate with a 1 hour minimum fee.

It may be a model you'd like to consider.

Cheers,
Mark
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RE:Pricing for extras? 26 May 2009 13:54 #8

  • Mike Ferrara
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Mark_Gough wrote:
I don't "sell" shoes, pads, studs or anything else. I treat all materials as consumables (tax reasons) and the customer pays whatever it cost me.

Pretty much the same here. What I charge for pads or handmade shoes is a charge for the exrtra labor.

Shoe mods are extra labor too and I don't know that I could do a good job of justifying not charging extra for them aside from saying that it seems to have worked well.

If you get into retail sales, then you technically need to be paying or charging sales tax.
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RE:Pricing for extras? 26 May 2009 14:19 #9

  • Rick Burten
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Dan Puckett wrote:
I get a lot of trail riders who want/need Drill Tech on their shoes. I currently charge $20 per horse. I figure the stuff aint cheap, and there is a certain amount of skill in applying it. Am I out of line?
Yes, you most certainly are out of line. About $100.00 or more out of line. And that's just for Drill Tec. :eek::o
I fugre it's an easy way to make up for some of the cheap people around here.
At $20.00/horse you are losing money hand over fist.
My "basic" rate includes 4 hot fit shoes (have to heat them up to shape them, may as well smoke them on), includes clips, trailers, extended heels, rocker/ square toe, etc;
With the exception of clips (for which I charge an extra $5.00/clip) I don't charge for basic modifications such as you enumerated.
basically, if I dont have to weld the shoe, or do any drilling, it's included.
My fee to drill and tap for studs is $6.00/hole(minimum) and drill and add drive-in studs is $8.00/hole.
Pads and packing are $20.00 each, new and $10.00 each at reset if they are resettable. Specialty pads that cost me more cost the customer more too.
Most other stuff is time and materials.

And, remember, while the goods you provide have a price, you personally have a fee. First you have to separate the two then put them back together to determine what your fee for services provided should be.

When folks complain about your fees, you can gently remind them that you didn't become a farrier to either become or remain, poor.

Rick
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RE:Pricing for extras? 26 May 2009 14:58 #10

  • Alicia Thompson
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Wow such a useful thread I am taking notes.
Thanks for providing such detail.
Forget thinking outside the box, instead realize there is no box.
- Alicia Thompson


http://thompsonfarrierservice.com
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RE:Pricing for extras? 26 May 2009 23:36 #11

  • westtxshoer
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J.H. shoeing wrote:
R.J.
If you charge differently for shoe modifications and you think a horse needs it but the owner wants no extra charges what do you do?
Truthfully, it depends on the customer. Some believe that they should pay extra for mods and I charge accordingly. Some would balk at the idea of paying extra and will often get just what the horse needs. I feel I have to be flexible and I constantly rethink my charging practices.
Why would factory clippped keggers be cheaper than you pulling the clips?
they cost more to buy.
Actually, I don't charge for all appliances. I do charge for the extra labor to apply them. Except, in the case of bar shoes. After I am out of my pre-clipped shoe stock, I am going to pulling all my clips so that will be resolved. I need all the practice anyway.
RJ Little
Merkel, Texas
817-341-9857

"I ain't askin' nobody for nuthin', if I can't get it on my own." - Charlie Daniels
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RE:Pricing for extras? 26 May 2009 23:41 #12

  • westtxshoer
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Mike Ferrara wrote:
I don't know what the national average is, or even that we should care, but $75 sounds awful cheap to me. It seems to me that it was a good price 20 years ago. I can't be sure without being in the situation but I think that if that's all I could get, I might get a job.

$75 is cheap, I agree. But, here it is the high end. This area is about 20 years behind most of the country in income and everyone here knows that. We deal with it or go live in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Austin, or San Antonio. I have several Heating/AC licenses and certifications and have worked on three continents using them. Here, I can make more shoeing horses.
RJ Little
Merkel, Texas
817-341-9857

"I ain't askin' nobody for nuthin', if I can't get it on my own." - Charlie Daniels
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RE:Pricing for extras? 27 May 2009 00:26 #13

  • wwhite1973
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I can attest for Dan that he is probably one of the higher priced farriers in his area. My wife is from Jackson, near Cape, and we were thinking of relocating so I did some research and soon decided that I couldn't do it for the average price that shoeing was going for down there. My father-in-law called some of his friends and the average shoe job was $50 and my hay guy gets his horses done for $45 and he lives near Cape. I hear everyone when they tell people they need to charge more. I think Dan has done just that for the area he is in. In my area I get $85 for a full set up to size 2. I know of three shoers in the area that get $45, $50 and $65. I called them all when I raised my prices and told them they could raise their prices. I am not positive but I think I am the highest price in the area and I stay busy. In the county I live the median family income is $47,000 but the next county I shoe in it is only $28,000. So I guess when we say how much we should charge, "It all depends". So don't be too hard on Dan for what he charges and if you want to take a shot at me for what I charge feel free. All I know, the guy that charges $50 in my area has been making a living at it since 1976and he has a nice house and barn and I don't think he married into money. I think the last national average that I saw in the AFJ was $75.
Wayne White
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RE:Pricing for extras? 27 May 2009 01:15 #14

I charge for extras such as trailers and rolled toes/rocker toes most of the time. However if I have a client that is on a regular schedule and their horse needs something special, usually I will just charge that type of work at cost. I figure the cost of propane and materials, and add that on to the bill. However I charge 90 for 4 flat steels shoes, so I figure my profit margin in. I am not looking to make my money off of the extra stuff. My profit comes from the basic shoeing. Things like drilltek are expensive and I have to order out of the states for it, so I figure my shipping costs in to it as well as the time and propane with a little added in for profit. In my experience in the area I live in now, If I charge less for special mods, I will get the client on a regular basis compared to more money at longer intervals. It ends up being the same, but the horse doesn't suffer from overdue feet. And the owner is a little happier.
James Cockrell
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RE:Pricing for extras? 04 Jun 2009 23:45 #15

  • Dan Puckett
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Wayne, I am the highest guy in the area who will go to your barn and shoe. One guy works for a vet but has it set up so it is more feasable and cost effectiv to take your horse in to him at the clinic. If it works for him....

JH shoeing- that is exactly why I dont charge for clips, extensions, etc. I dont want some cheapskate (and there seems to be an over-abundance in this area) telling me not to clip their shoes or extend their heels because "the last guy didnt do it and the horse did just fine" (he also used all 8-10 nail holes, too.:D)

To the others- yes, $75 sounds cheap for now, and was a good price about 20 yeras ago, which brings up another point. We are about 15-20 years behind the rest of the country in terms of wages and cost of living. My fiancee and I have less than $100k in 2 houses (fixer- uppers, but nothing structural needed work- paint and cleaning is about all), one is 1500sq-ft; the other 2500+. I have a (temporary) job in a warehouse for $10 an hour, and it is one of the better paying jobs of its type in the area. You normally have to work here for 2-3 years to get that kind of pay. I made 2 days' wages trimming horses Monday evening, and was done by dark-thirty. So, I may not drive a new pickup with a new Stonewell (nothing against Stonewells, they are nice), but my prices do pay better than the average job in this area by a goodly bit.

Until I remember to buy some bar stock and get some shoes built in the evenings, I am building my shoes on site (trail riders get concave- real easy for me, and it's a novelty here), and taking right at 2hrs per head. Resets are about 50min. Right now, I'm at the point that even at my relatively low prices, shoeing pays so much better than a job, I'm not turning down much, but I'm also non-negotiable in my pricing.

Another question- how do you guys figure/ charge mileage? I currently charge 50cents per mi for anything over 20-25mi (if it's mostly interstate, I'm a little more forgiving than if I have to go down 8mi of gravel). My 92 Dodge gets around 18-20mpg mixed driving at $2.30/gal; havent had the new pump on long enough to see what it does on the highway. Old pump got 17 no matter what.

Thanks for the ideas, guys.
Dan Puckett, CF
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