Thanks to all you forumites I got a $400 resi bid and survived the price negotiation without dropping the price yesterday. A year ago I would have bid less and probably wavered during the negotiation. This year I am starting at $4 per pane, I used to start at $3.
Customer "The last guy did it for $200."
Me "You should go with whatever you are comfortable with, it's your home."
As we kept talking it turned out that the last guy got $225. He also scraped and scratched a pane and would have scratched more if she wasn't onsite. She told him to never come back.
"One of my employees said that you would probably be adding for transportation (> 80 miles)."
"No, my price would be the same if I lived a mile from here. I will be expanding my route to Fairbanks (600 miles) this spring so I will be batching this job with others in the area."
Then the shocker: "So, how does this work, should I give you some money?" I assume she meant an advance.
Me: (Shocked and suppressing a long HUUUUUHHHH & DUUUUUHHHH)"No, I get paid after I do the job." We had the job tentatively scheduled for warmer weather in March.
I brought my wfp and 16" brush to the bid so she could get familiar with the process. Doing that and excitedly explaining the DI process also helped get the bid. In addition to being insured and bonded I also do background checks so I made sure she was aware of that. Although I will probably do this job solo it still pays off to highlight the company's professionalism.