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Carpet Cleaning Issues - Carpet construction, upholstery cleaning, stain removal, equipment, events, etc.

Crazy Prices / pricing structures

Posted by martin_606 (martin_606), 28 October 2003
Hi guys

just got a leaflet through the door for carpet/upholstery cleaning and quoting a 4 bed house from £85...

Surley this a crazy price. They are yellow page listed and don't seem to be 'splash and dash'.

Of course the trick is in the 'from' bit. Not a carpet cleaner (yet) this is in the SE UK...


Martin Cool
Posted by Alan_Kennedy (Alan_Kennedy), 31 October 2003
Hi Martin
I'm just starting in carpet cleaning. Opened the local newspaper to check my first ad and found a competitor advertising 3piece suite and two carpets for £50 - Special Xmas Offer.  At the other end of the scale a franchise in the area (SW Scotland) quoted someone I know 39p per sq. ft. (inc. VAT) to clean their carpet.
I'm pitching in at 25p per sq. ft.  Anyone found cheaper or dearer than this?

Regards   Alan.
Posted by Dave_Lee (Dave_Lee), 31 October 2003
Cheaper yeah, cheap as you want to go, YP listing means nothing in the way of quality, at that price TM or what ever it is splash & dash. I know a couple of lads in total diferent parts of the country whose base line is 56p per sqare foot Plus vat, and they are always booked out.
Posted by Dave_Parry (Dave Parry), 31 October 2003
We get a leaflet in the freebie newspaper about 3 or 4 times a year, "In your area for the next 2 -3 weeks" (they're based about 10 miles away)
lounge £15, 3 seater £ 15,  3 bed house £ 50 thousands of satisfied customers each week !
Members of the guild of mastercraftsmen !

When they arrive they state, thats only for a water clean, your carpets need Shampoo, thats extra, infact everything is extra. A person I heard of had 3 rooms done, cost £145 and took 2 days to dry.  Most people realise " you get what you pay for".
Posted by Dave_Lee (Dave_Lee), 31 October 2003
Slightly diferent angle, but i did a job last week, TM on lounge and suite, had to call back next day to sort out a separate problem with a door plate. Client delighted with cleaning job and dry in less than 6 hours. It was then she told me the same items had been cleaned before with a Stain Beating franchise outfit (Get the Jist) using a guaranteed dry in 30 minutes slogan. They took almost FOUR days to dry.
Posted by Ian_G. (Ian_G.), 1 November 2003
Dave that it interesting as I have a slight complex about drying times and it is good to know these companies exagirate.

Ive also wondered what these bait and switch companies do to switch the price.

I saw a 3 year old DFS suite that had been ruined by one of these companies today and the response was tough. lucl
Client was amazed at my through clean of his carpet
He did not think I would get out all the stains etc
Posted by poolking (poolking), 3 November 2003
our prices for a 4 bed house is £57-50 , all cleaning chemicals included , no vat . obviously stainguards and cnditioners are extra to that . longes are £14-50, lounge/diners £24-50 and a 3+1+1 is £29.50.

we are certainly no fly by night company , in fact we have been in business for over 10 years and have 14 full time cleaners working 5 days a week !!.

beat those prices if you can !!  Wink Grin
Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 3 November 2003
No thank you

Wouldn't want to even try

Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 3 November 2003
Poolking How come with 14 cleaners you're not VAT reg' and what is conditioner? is'nt that what you put on your hair Wink

I'm actually glad someone has come forward who charges your prices I'm getting sick of all the 'I'm charging £200 to clean a livingroom' talk.

all the new kids coming into the bussiness will think they have to charge the big prices to survive.

Posted by A_to_Z_Clean (A_to_Z_Clean), 3 November 2003
HI martin-606

Don't worry be happy Grin Grin

If customer will use them for "cleaning" in my opinion it will cost them twice the money. First they will pay for” cleaning" and after that for proper carpet cleaner to really clean!!!

On the end of the day cheap is always crap!!!

I know this - 1 customer, done 1 off cleaning of 2 bed house and paid 60£!!!, after that I come and charge him 150£ to really clean Grin Grin Grin

AtoZ Clean

Posted by woodman (woodman), 3 November 2003

All the new starts Mike would be out of business in very short time if they started out at Poolkings prices.

(£29.50 for a 3 piece suite Undecided)

The figures just don't add up, to be able to remain below VAT threshold at £55k while having 14 cleaners working full time.

I don't think so.

Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 3 November 2003
Woodman there's lots of companies out there charging low prices who are still in business. a lad near me charges £35 for a suite and has been  going 6 years.

all they need to do is clean a suite and a  couple of carpet a day to make £70 this is £350 a week. a lot of families survive on much less.

i know we all have expenses but you don't have to earning £50k a year to keep your head above water.

once they claim Family income suplement, and all the other benefits they are entitled too they can make a comfortable living on £35 suite cleaning.

Also they fill a very large gap in the market, not everyone can afford to pay £130+ to have their suite cleaned. who else would clean all the low income or unemployed families if these companies did'nt exist.


Posted by Tony_Browning (Tony_Browning), 3 November 2003
Why do you find it neccesary to charge such rediculously cheap prices....3 pcs suite £29 ..2 Hours Labour, overheads for traveling, advertising, chemical and contigiency for repairs/new equipment's that work thenHuh Roll Eyes
(just imagine you could double/triple your turnover, without working any harder, and still not be the most expensive in town  Shocked
Posted by Tony_Browning (Tony_Browning), 3 November 2003
In that case mike, wouldn't they be better getting a job at tescos and earning this rather than grafting so hard all dayHuh
Tony  Roll Eyes
Posted by woodman (woodman), 3 November 2003

My back and my knees are worth a hell of a lot more than £30 a suite. Smiley

We all know suite cleaning can be hard graft, as Tony says I would rather stack shelves than face having to do 2 suites a day for £60.

If people charge those kinds of figures then more fool them but I wouldn't encourage any potential new business to start on those prices.

Posted by MB (Mark Betts), 3 November 2003

Lets do some sums!!!

Assuming Mr Poolking is above board regarding his "accounting" and he is trading Legally just below the VAT threshold of £55k

So, 14 cleaners out in the field working 5 days a week (he he)

Divide the 14 cleaners by £55k assumed turnover, equates to a turnover of £3928 per YEAR per cleaner or a whopping £75 a week!!!!!!

Blimey book the cruise now lads I want summa dat!!!!!


I can only assume he is employing the 14 cleaners on a self employed basis and they are supplying there own machines and tools etc.

Even so I would be a bit worried about a little knock on the door from the vat man!!!!!


Posted by John_Flynn (John_Flynn), 3 November 2003
When 1st started 4 years ago, I did some sub-contracting for a Splash and  Dash outfit, he paid me £70.00 per day I used my own vehicle (volvo estate) my own machine and provided the chemicals!!
One Saturday I cleaned 5 x 3 piece suites, 3 Hall/Stairs/Landings and 2 Lounges.
That was for £70.00 less all my expences!!

I have now seen the light and would not do it for less than £75.00.  Cool Cool Cool
Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 3 November 2003
since when did Tescos start paying shelve stackers £350 a week Shocked, they Pay £5.10

start living in the real world. my wife is a nurse and after 17 years she does'nt take home £350 a week, perhaps i should tell her to go stack shelves.

How much tax will they pay on that £350? and Nat Ins at £5.20 for a PAYE employee to take home what these cheap guys are earning  they would be on £24k a year

this is assuming they are totally legit Wink.

Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 3 November 2003
I remember a guy coming on a training course a few years ago who worked for one of these outfits.. he was horrified when we talked about three hours to clean a three piece suite

I asked how long he took and he said he was allocated fifty minutes.
He was  also allocated one hour to clean all the carpets in a house..  do peanuts and monkeys ring any bells here

Posted by Dave_Lee (Dave_Lee), 3 November 2003
All I can say, is this type of company is one of many, they are all basically the same, getting their work from the many thousands of cheap leaflets usually delivered with free papers. Usually no business address rarely an area code telephone number. Normally these prices but at the moment These half prices. They think they are doing it right, but they are ripping off the customer and the cleaing operator and the truth is THEY HAVENT GOT AN INCKLING WHAT PROFESSIONAL CLEANING IS ABOUT,
whatever they say - they are, Splash & Dash.
Posted by stevegunn (Steve Gunn), 3 November 2003
You are always going to get this people perceive that if you charge £75 for a suite you will not get the job so they charge £25 do four a day thats £100 five days a week thats £500 quite a decent living for some people.I actually started 3 years ago doing exactly the same charging low prices but I saw the light if people want a good job done then they are going to have to pay for it.I'm in business to make money I'm not a charity doing jobs for  nothing.
Posted by martin_606 (martin_606), 3 November 2003
When I started this post I never envisioned it would get so heated but i guess we all feel the same way when we come across these guys. They give us that want and offer a good, professional service a bad name.

I am on my carpet course tomorrow (4th) and upholstery on the 5th. At least I know I will be offering a professional service.

I wonder if the 'splash 'n dash guys even bother to go on these courses?

It will be those guys that will be splashed all over the 'rouge trader' programs that come on the box...

Thanks for the posts guys, keep 'em coming!


Martin Cool
Posted by stevegunn (Steve Gunn), 3 November 2003
The other question you have to ask yourself is are these fellas insured?  
Posted by Dave_Lee (Dave_Lee), 3 November 2003
You can only make a reasonable living, pulling in that kind of money if you overheads are low to zero. I went through a period of several years - doing a good job but too frightened of losing clients to charge enough (Even though I was nowhere near the cheapest in the area). I was worried about,when that vac motor, that had been working six months,would break down and how was I going to afford another one. My van was on its last legs, and when it finally gave up I was back to square one using my car. I was fed up disillusioned, but realised I was was as low as I could probably go in this business without giving up all together. Throughout all this I was very busy with work as always - but hardly making any money out of it. Things had to change - that was around 8 years ago. I now make a better living out of it (Still improving) can afford new equipment etc, my enthusiasm is restored, doing more work than ever, and my prices are right and rising. The whole point of all this is - IF you are doing the job right - you can not do it cheap. You can only do it cheap - if you are Not doing it right.
Posted by pre-vac_Nick (pre-vac_Nick), 3 November 2003
Well said Dave Wink

As thoses boys on the bud adverts say

"True" "True"
Posted by poolking (poolking), 3 November 2003
first things first , its not my business , i am only a mortal cleaner like the rest of you guys . i work on a self employed basis using company machines /vehicle.
i earn 35% of what i clean , average days work is about £220-£250 ,so i get between £75-£105 a day .
the company is vat registered , although we absorb the vat for domestic customers , our commercial work is subject to vat .

i resent the fact that because we are cheap you so called 'proper' cleaners feel you then have a right to slag my work off without even seeing how i clean. how narrow-minded are you lot or are you worried that people are seeing the light and realising that you CAN  have a good quality job doing without having to re-mortgage the house in order to pay for it , therefore reducing your own income at the same time ?.

we have always operated on a long-term profit over short -term gain policy when it comes to our prices and being as about 70% of our work comes through recommendation , i guess this policy works .

as an indicator , in the last 3 months i have had 1 complaint about my own work - that from a woman who said i missed one side of a cushion on her 3 peice suite....... which is a load of tosh as i am far too methodical in my working practices for that to happen  Grin...... so thats one complaint out of about 450 customers in that period............. not bad for a cowboy eh guys..?  Wink

as for all these courses you lot prattle on about , all you are after is paper qualifications- i got all mine at school and college , and in my lowly opinion there is no better qualification than being time-served tradesmen . simple as that. you CANNOT seriously expect me to believe that someone who goes on a little course , gets a piece of paper then sets up a business as a carpet cleaner is better than someone who has years of experience behind them , cos if you do then you have got to be froma different planet!!. TIME SERVED EXPERIENCE IS BETTER THAN ANY COURSE!!!.

bottom line is that if we are so bad we would have gone under years ago. but we are expanding all the time and you never know , the next area we go into may well be yours!!  Tongue Grin Grin
Posted by Ken_Wainwright (Ken Wainwright), 3 November 2003
I have to admit that I totally disagree with Poolkings' way of conducting his business.


Non of us here know how he conducts his business. Non of us here know how the work is carried out and to what standards. If I were to presume that his company were to receive very little in the way of complaints or callbacks, who am I to say that he is unprofessional? He is obviously filling a need within the market place. Many of his customers would be unwilling or even unable to afford the sort of prices I  and many others here charge. If, however, his technicians carry out poor quality, un safe work, then any negative criticism is justified. But it is dangerous to make presumptions purely on price. Where should you draw the line? Is someone who charges £400 for a suite a true professional but he who charges £250 a cowboy? Or £150? or £140? 0r £130......

Safe and happy cleaning Smiley

Posted by poolking (poolking), 3 November 2003
oh and for your information , our leaflets are printed 'in-house' and distributed by 3 methods:
1- royal mail - although this is expensive per 1000 and in the current climate ,not the best way Grin

2- local papers

3- hand distribution- cost to us is about £25 per 1000 leaflets.

and from the gaffer's perspective , if he has 14 cleaners earning him on average £120 a day gross , then he must be doing something right ..although as you guys have said expenses probably eat a good chunk out of that!!.

we are also fully insured , i believe our liability is about 100k , more than enough to cover any suite/carpet that you say we fuck up on a regular basis  Wink Grin
Posted by Ken_Wainwright (Ken Wainwright), 3 November 2003

Just read your second posting. What I said above still stands, but I feel that you too are now being a little guilty of presumption. You appear to have a realistic appraisal of you and your companies place and role within the market place, and I feel you defend your position admirably and with pride and passion. You have served your time in the industry and have had good, sound initial training at your college. In the NCCA we have a motto: "Training is an investment, not an expense". The products and the treatments that we work on are forever evolving. Dyes, fibres and blends, topical treatments, backings etc. etc. We also have to comply and deal with changing chemistry and equipment, health and safety issues, different techniques and so on. Like others on this and other forums, I have over the years invested £000's in my own training. I'm now at a stage whereby I know enough to realise I don't know enough. And I never will, no matter how many different courses I attend.

May I be so bold as to make a suggestion. You have taken the trouble to seek out this forum, enrol and to make a valuable contribution. Why? I believe that you want to learn even more about our wonderful industry/profession. You could do a lot worse than attend a quality training course. Naturally I feel the NCCA offer the best value for money. But equally valuable are those from the IICRC and Prochem, with several others snapping at their heals. I'm confident that if you take this step, you'll never regret it.

Safe and happy cleaning Smiley
Posted by John_Flynn (John_Flynn), 3 November 2003
i earn 35% of what i clean , average days work is about £220-£250 ,so i get between £75-£105 a day .

Would it not make sense to be Self-Employed and work for yourself??

Why are you lining another guys pocket with 600 quid a week??

Sorry but am I NOT seeing the point here??
Posted by poolking (poolking), 3 November 2003
problem is that the company i work for so large , they can easily wipe me out as and when they see fit , time old problem , he has a lot more money than me and he would quite easily run me into the ground by operating in the same area as i would , at a huge loss , just to remove the competition. believe me , i know , a coouple of cleaners have flown the nest previously , and the most that any of them lasted was about 4 months .!!

plus of course that equation can be placed onto any employee in the country.... why assemble a car for ford when they sell it and earn all the profit?? .

re ken , i actually stumbled across the site looking for machines and to pick up tips from you pro's.. and i saw this thread and decided to stick my two penneth worth in - when will i learn Wink  ...
Posted by John_Flynn (John_Flynn), 3 November 2003
But NOT every client wants to pay Peanuts and get the Monkies, many have been there and know the score!!  

They now want the services of The Organ Grinder.
Posted by poolking (poolking), 3 November 2003
in that case then i guess you are the man to call Grin

and aren't we ALL evolved from primates , so i guess that makes you as much of a monkey as i am  Grin
Posted by Dave_Lee (Dave_Lee), 3 November 2003
Sorry, but Ive been in this business 24 years and Im still learning. I doubt anyone who knows me would call me narrow minded as I always look for the bigger piture in everything. I get the impression you are greatly influenced by your employer and Im afraid to say, you are probably a real decent guy, but Your comments make you seem narrow minded and I just cant understand how anyone can claim to do the job right, working at the rate of four full houses a day.
Posted by poolking (poolking), 3 November 2003
But NOT every client wants to pay Peanuts and get the Monkies, many have been there and know the score!!  

oh and by the way one of our operatives recently cleaned carpets in Christopher Wreh's house ( footballer , used to play for arsenal a couple of seasons ago ) . so we have even the top clients using our services  Tongue Tongue

oh and the operative got a 3 quid tip as well!!!!  Roll Eyes
Posted by poolking (poolking), 3 November 2003
Sorry, but Ive been in this business 24 years and Im still learning. I doubt anyone who knows me would call me narrow minded as I always look for the bigger piture in everything. I get the impression you are greatly influenced by your employer and Im afraid to say, you are probably a real decent guy, but Your comments make you seem narrow minded and I just cant understand how anyone can claim to do the job right, working at the rate of four full houses a day.

where did i say i wasn't still learning? i dont believe i am narrowminded at all , in fact i believe that even someone of your great experience in the trade can still pick up tips from people who are just starting out - i know i certainly do!!.

so if person a takes 2 hours to do a job and charges £50 but person b takes 3 hours and charges £150 to do the same job , who is betterHuhHuh?
Posted by Ian_G. (Ian_G.), 4 November 2003
What training did you have, Are the jobs close at hand. How many hours do you work a day . what is the equipment. Does the boss pay for adds how long has company been going.
Do you use chemicals

Maybee you are the Easy Jet of Carpet Cleaning
Posted by A_to_Z_Clean (A_to_Z_Clean), 4 November 2003
HI Grin
It is very simple how mr,Poolking is doing this.
14 cleaners no problem no N.I. paid for them , becuse they don't have right to work,foreignes - and they will work for 3.75£/h cash on hand!!!and they harge 25-40 per hour profit 25-3.75=
VAT the same scheme.Work is paid cash in hand no invioces no vat.
I know wath i'm talkin about, I'm polish so i know that kind of "bussines"3 years ago i try to work for "company" like that Tongue
And to be clear i don't know mr.Poolking and his company but i know the system!!!
AtoZ Clean
Posted by Mike_Boxall (Mike_Boxall), 4 November 2003
Adam - sorry but the suggestion that his colleagues are illegal immigrants is way out of order Angry

I'd suggest an apology is in order, he has already explained the figures!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hi PoolKing

Fair play to you - I think you put across a good argument where others would have bottled out of the discussion long ago!
I'm curious though - have you ever done a recognised carpet cleaning course or do you just rely on your experience? You would be the first carpet cleaner I ever met who didn't think the courses mentioned weren't worth it after actually doing one!
Posted by safecleanlakes (safecleanlakes), 4 November 2003
Souldn't we be grateful to all the "cowboys" etc who are out there. Yes, when people see their prices, it makes it harder to justify charging, realistic rates. But when they get fed up of wading thru soggy, shrunken carpets, and upholstery that can be sat on sometime next week, then the message gets across, "YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR". I wonder how many repeat customers and referrals these guys get??, but as the saying goes, "You can fool some of the people some of the time".....etc
Posted by A_to_Z_Clean (A_to_Z_Clean), 4 November 2003
Hi Grin
I'm not pointing fingers on enyone. I don't know how he is doing this, but the immigrants are in this country, and the do work like this!!!

If my post was to strong i'm really sorry.

If you want the names of the companies with that practise call any cleaning company with employes  from filipines, rusia,poland,macedonia, and many more .

I do pay propely, and i check work permit etc.

AtoZ Clean
Posted by harvey (harvey), 4 November 2003
I havn't started my CC business yet but plan to after the turn of the year but i am planning something like the following  opening residential offer.
Two carpets cleaned for £49.00 (upto 40 sq yds) then £1.50 per sq yard after
I will be working a few fairly rural towns with around 15k population plus the inbetween areas and from what i have found out so far this £1.50 rate is similar to the other more established local outfits.
Your thoughts!
Posted by Tony_Browning (Tony_Browning), 4 November 2003
This one draged on didn't it!!!
Oh don't have any overheads when employed by tesco's!!!
Posted by Ken_Wainwright (Ken Wainwright), 4 November 2003
I may be wrong, but I get the feeling that Poolking and perhaps others may think that my postings here are having a dig at him. That couldn't be further from the truth. Poolking is the first person I am aware of from the lower priced end of the market who has the confidence to stand up and defend his position. I truly admire and respect you for that. My grumble has been about others here who, without any knowledge of the individual circumstances, have presumed that Poolking must be a "Cowboy" because his prices are so low. As I stated originally, the low price/high volume  market is an area I wish to avoid. So, rather than knock Poolking down, lets encourage him to continue to contribute, maybe he will encourage some of his colleagues to join in, and we should all be richer for the experience of being able to have an insight into ALL areas of the marketplace rather than just the middle and upper ends.

Safe and happy cleaning Smiley

Posted by woodman (woodman), 4 November 2003
Agreed, but....

I don't agree with the methods/prices etc and with many on here have campaigned for higher prices for professional cleaners but he stood his ground and fought his corner well and must be happy slogging away for his guvnor.

Trouble is his first posting gave the impression that he was the employer of 14 badly paid cleaners and was reveling in it, hence the response.

Posted by Dave_Lee (Dave_Lee), 4 November 2003
Interesting your last post. You are thinking of charging less for the first two rooms than those after. Most operators do it ither way round. e.g. 15% discount after the first 25 - 30 sq mtr, then 25% discount after 60 sq mtr etc. Some go High price for the first room then half price for any others.

Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 4 November 2003
Wow... what a debate

The sad fact is that the people who get wrapped up in this type of blanket operation do so out of innocence and often desperation following a redundancy.

I have met many in recent years and I sympathise with their plight. they themselves get ripped off... Paying £2400 for a machine at a catalogue price of £900 for a start

These people are then left to their own devices with very little or no training.

I know of at least two NCCA members who started out with such Companys and left realising that there was far more to it.

Poolking... May I suggest you do go on a training course and get into business on your can do it.

Both of the people I mentioned within the NCCA have gone on to have very successful businesses and one of them now runs a Truck Mount. If I mentioned the names many of you reading this would know them as 'very' respected carpet cleaners within the business.

Posted by poolking (poolking), 4 November 2003
hi guys Grin back again to continue to defend myself!!

i will address the main questions from the reponses since my last post :

re safeclean : soggy ,shrunken carpets?? you only get soggy carpets if operatives don't dry them off after cleaning. my average dry time for carpets is about 2 hours , depending on the time of year . and i have never EVER  shrunk any carpets !!. and if you read a previous post i stated that circa 70% of our work comes via recommendation in one way or another.. Grin

re Mike Boxall : i ,for one , am of the opinion that these courses are valuable , although i have never done one , i would not turn down the offer if it came my way  Wink

re Tony A-Z : careful what you type mate , the statement you made is bordering on libellous , and i ,along with others it seems , think you are way out of line. apology accepted though  Smiley

re Ian G : maybe we are the 'easyjet' of the carpet cleaning industry . i was only thinking about using them as an example earlier today! you kind of make my point for me Ian , if B.A fly me to madrid for say £200 and easyjet will fly me there for £39 , who is to say that B.A is better , just because its more expensive?? . now you may get a meal for your money on B.A , just my opinion is as long as you get me from heathrow to madrid , i don't care about the meal!! . it is the fact that we don't have minimum order values etc that helps us succeed maybe where others might fail . i will gladly do a 20 mile round trip to clean a £5 bathroom as that job may bring others in and that then is where you see profit as these are jobs that you would not have got otherwise. an example of this is today , i cleaned a lounge ( 10'x12') for a couple who were on the breadline. both worked long hours for no money and the lady was due to give birth next week. she wanted the carpet cleaning so that it was ok for her baby to be on ( it was a mess to be honest!). 45 minutes i spent there , until the carpet was spotless. all for £14-50. now with respect guys , none of you would have done that i bet for less than £40 , which is way above the amount she could afford. i get back to the office tonight and she has phoned up to book us to go and clean her 3 piece suite as she was over the moon with what i had done..( her mother is paying for the suite to be cleaned as an xmas present!!)

my training was 15 weeks on the job , quite a long time . i felt after 2 or 3 weeks that i was 'ready' but hindsight proved me wrong! .jobs are all within a 1 hr drive of me so i dont mind that . i use an old hydromist machine at the moment , i love the machine but spares can be a problem apparently.....

re ken :the prices are not my prices , they are the company prices!! i personally would love to charge £30 or £40 for a lounge!!  Grin
i fully understand you and others wanting to avoid the low price/high volume market ,but as highlighted by the example above , we do provide a good service to those people who cannot afford you guys to do the work. as i see it , you dont actually lose that much,if any, work to us because the majority of people we clean for simply could not afford most of you to do the work that we do.

hope this answers a few questions and poses a few more Grin Grin Grin
Posted by Ian_G. (Ian_G.), 4 November 2003
I am still learning about this business.
Your business depends on your company putting out lots of leaflets each week.

I presume you have someone answing the phone.

Do they book you on sensible distances apart.

How do you achieve two hour dry time, is the hydromist twin vac. How heavey
From what you have said you are working in the low end market.

I find the carpets are dirty at one house I was cleaning mud.

How many passes do you do.

Sorry to keep pumping you but I have heard how the top  end lads work

From what you have said you have been doing it a number of years.

Are you self employed.

Did the boss provide van

Posted by poolking (poolking), 4 November 2003
yes mainly bottom end of the market , not many passes to be honest , mainly asians in inner city who expect their 15 year old wilton to look like it did the day it was laid!! .

hydromist is twin vac single jet , quite large and can do a four bed house with the machine parked by the front door!

we have 2 secretarys booking jobs in the same postal areas . i.e if the first job is in liverpool for example , then we will work in liverpool all day.

i am self employed , the wife takes care of my ni , tax and insurances , company suppplied my van and pay me a diesel allownace each day depending on where i am working.

hope this helps! Grin
Posted by harvey (harvey), 4 November 2003

if you and your boss are happy with the incomes you both generate and you do a good job, then good for you! its a different market that you are catering for than most others in this Forum.  I think there is room for all of us out there. (ever the diplomat)


Yes i realise that most other CC'c discount the other way around but as a marketing exersice to get me through people's front doors, i think it will work.
As far as i can see that is the most difficult bit 'finding the customer in the first place'.  One thing i didn't mention is that i will also mention discounts for complete house cleans etc etc.

I dont want to be the cheapie Carpet Cleaner but do want the work and in my early days am willing to work for a liitle less than some, after all if i can hit my target of 3 jobs a day then i will be more than happy earning Approx £150.00 per day for approx 4/5 hours on site cleaning!

Your thoughts please

Too Cheap?  Too Dear?

Good Idea?  Bad Idea?

PS I want to do this with a Truck Mount    
Posted by Nigel_W (Nigel_W), 4 November 2003

When you start up you will find it very difficult to find 3 jobs per day for every day in the week. You need to allow for the fact that you will have some days where you don't have any work. Also you need to allow for quoting, sales calls, leaflets etc. Also for time off, maintenance etc. It strikes me that even if you could meet your target you will struggle to pay the running costs of a truck mount business with £150.00 per day. That is roughly £39000 per annum. By the time you deduct advertising/leaflets/phones/fuel/chemicals/equipment leases/spare parts/insurance and van insurance, parking charges etc - you will have a small profit. Every day you don't make your target a bit of that profit disappears.

I am not doubting your ability - it is just that it seems to takes some time in this industry to fill your diary every day of the week.

Posted by Kinver_Clean (Kinver_Clean), 5 November 2003
I have a lad working for me who worked for one of these outfits a few years ago and when he ran out of powder a few days after starting was told to buy some Bold.......
Posted by Dave_Lee (Dave_Lee), 5 November 2003
I think your doing the right thing gathering as much info as possible before starting up, after all the better the foundation the better the chance of success.
Refering to your last post, I understand what you mean about initial pricing. The main danger is that if you start low you may well find yourself in a position where it then becomes difficult to change to the higher price, especially when it comes to repeat work. It happened to me. One lad on the Fast Track just starting up last year, started out at 35p per sq ft and stuck with it. Initially he had some resistance, but the jobs he did get more than compensated for the ones he didnt. Hes now on 40p per sq foot using a portable and doing very well, now that the repeats and referalls are coming in.
Posted by Ian_G. (Ian_G.), 5 November 2003
Interesting post about BOLD

I mentined about Carpet Cleaners using Tide somewhere a week ago.

I felt no one believed me

Posted by Dynafoam (Dynafoam), 5 November 2003

I would have believed you- I met a 'carpet cleaner' in a local janitorial suppliers who, chatting whilst waiting to be served, told me I should always use Bold 3 Automatic....."Does a good job and the punters love the smell"

Further discussion was interupted by the counter hand returning with the scrim an squeegee inserts.

Well, I supose he needs an indoor job for rainy days Grin
Posted by chrisw (chrisw), 6 November 2003
Used to clean for one of those 'bait + switch' outfits until I made my escape and wised up. Had on quite a few occasions done 6 suites in a day at £36 where I got paid £9 per suite, plus extra if we convinced the customer to allow us to put ' comfort' conditioner on their fabrics at an additional cost of £16, also we were allocated 1hr 30mins to set up , clean and be at the next one Shocked.  Disgraceful and shameful antics
Posted by Alan_Kennedy (Alan_Kennedy), 6 November 2003

I agree with your analogy about easyJet but I'm afraid that your theory of doing a 20 mile round trip for £5 to bring in extra work will only result in more very poorly paid work. You have merely trained your customer to expect all work by you to be at rock bottom prices.

Regards   Alan
Posted by admin (Forum Admin), 4 December 2003
on 12/04/03 at 13:37:08, Steve Gunn wrote:
Can anyone suggest a workable pricing structure along the lines of bronze,silver and gold service.I'm thinking bronze service vacuum & hwe clean,silver service vacuum,hwe & turbo dry.Gold service vacuum,hwe,protection & turbo dry.I don't know wether this would work but do any of you guys do this sort of thing?Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

Posted by strakercleaning (strakercleaning), 4 December 2003
Shocked OOOOOOOOOOPS looks like another 3 page thread on prices starts here Lips Sealed
I have only just joined and missed all the fun when this PRICING thread began but I admire poolking for fighting his corner. We all start somewhere and usually there is a boss earning of our backs. No one I know admits to preferring McDonalds to TGI Fridays for burgers  Undecided but I bet most people eat at McD's once a month and TGI's once a year..........same principle. Most of us go for cheap to get job done and for dear if you can afford the treat. (Now i get sued by Burger bars Roll Eyes Not all of us have customers that can afford to spend 100's each visit. I price to my pricelist but discount accordingly, old couple on pension get better discount than proffessional couple in Chelsea/Battersea. Makes sense to me Wink
Posted by Scots_cleaner (Scots_cleaner), 4 December 2003

When i started out i bought into the Home'n'dry Thing!
Bought Host extractor vac and VonSchrader Upholstery

All for Wait for it 9950 Plus Vat.

I could talk all night about it but ive moved on.

I now employ 6 part time staff how many home n dry operators do you no that still operate.... Cheesy
They advertise that can earn 30k per year these days no thanks

Posted by peewa (neil 47), 5 December 2003
moved onto what?
Posted by carpet_bright (carpet_bright), 9 December 2003
Here's another add I came across in today's local paper.

Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning
Domestic and commercial.
Prices from £49.50 for all your carpets.
Ring now!

It's amazing what you can do with a Vax nowadays Angry
Didn't have a company name, probably bodgit & leggit!
It's so tempting to ring for a quote but will probably burst out laughing.

Posted by stevegunn (Steve Gunn), 10 December 2003
ad in local paper tonight "Summer Special" carpet & suite £20
Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 10 December 2003
The only highlight to some of these very low prices is that the Inland Revenue people also read the classified adverts  Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes on a regular basis.


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