Are the DogVacay Sitters in your area undercutting your business with lowball pricing?

asked 2017-07-22 08:17:19 -0500

I'm used to seeing new faces pop-up in the search with that $25 price as part of what Rover does to help new sitters. That is not an issue because they usually have little to no reviews or repeat clients, so Owners can see why my price is higher by comparing those things. However, with the DogVacay sitters they have high review numbers AND a low price. Has anyone else noticed this? I'm wondering because I think Rover suggested they all do this because ALL of them have that price.

This is a truly crappy thing Rover has done to us Sitters that have been their backbone for the past few years. I've had a few clients call and ask if I'm willing to drop my price because they are seeing these other lower rates. I've even lost two former repeat clients to a DogVacay woman in my area. Doesn't matter how much a client likes me... they want to save money.

This merger might have been great for lining the pockets of the investors and board members but it STINKS for us Sitters.

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answered 2017-07-23 14:55:30 -0500

I was a dogvacay sitter and no, Rover did not ask us to have a low price, in fact I am the most expensive sitter in my area and I still get tons of business. Perhaps you are simply seeing more sitters since the merger and more of them with as many reviews as you have if not more but showing more competitive pricing. This is a personal choice sitters make when drafting their business strategy. Perhaps you are simply feeling the burn of normal healthy business competition and will need to review your strategy and pricing to better fit your demographics and market. Us ex-dogvacay sitters deserve the same treatment and visibility as the Rover ones and I find your comments about Rover sitters being the back bone of the company a tad offensive since it implies that dogvacay sitters did not and are just coming in to profit on your hard work and take your business away from you. We ex-dogvacay sitters have put in the same work and effort as you have and all sitters should be rewarded according to their work and not how long they have been with the company.

My clients do prefer to pay a higher rate for a higher quality of care, I am a certified animal trainer and care giver and have been for doing this for over 20 years, I have competed and championed dogs in both conformation and canine sports, I give great customer service and always do follow-ups, I maintain the relationship with my clients after the stay is over, I ask for news of their pets, I offer a wide range of services and I am super accommodating and flexible, I have a beautiful 2 floors home with central air, so these are my points of difference and why I have a very high client retention and re-booking rates even if my prices are the highest in my area. If my clients were to prefer other sitters based on price alone, I would look to see what I can offer as points of difference that would justify my asking for a higher rate or readjusting my pricing to better fit my market. So ask yourself, What are your points of difference, other than having good reviews, what makes you better than other sitters making your clients happy to pay a higher fee? Relying on having good reviews alone will not keep your business growing or stable in a competitive market, you need to offer more if you want to charge more, simple as that.

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What can I say? Canadians are smart & Americans are cheap (joking) I didn't mean to imply this is DV Sitters' fault. I'm aggravated by Rover bigshots making $$ off ALL of us & don't give a darn they threw a HUGE curve ball at their existing Sitters with no compensation while they line their pockets

Jill G.'s profile image Jill G.  ( 2017-07-23 23:09:18 -0500 ) edit

This is normal business and Rover does not owe you anything and did not throw you any more of a curve ball than the merger threw at DV sitters as we were the backbone of DV, they merged with an existing company who had its own service providers and this happens everyday in all sorts of businesses.

Fannie L.'s profile image Fannie L.  ( 2017-07-24 07:39:56 -0500 ) edit

Oh for God's sake. Of course I know these things. Can't a girl vent a little?? SMDH.

Jill G.'s profile image Jill G.  ( 2017-07-24 21:22:27 -0500 ) edit
answered 2017-07-22 12:42:32 -0500

I think this merging did stir a lot of sitters with many reviews together. If before there were only a few sitters with many reviews, now there are many more. I do feel that I wasn't getting a high number of new bookings as it was last year. However, I have my regular customers and it pays off. Actually, I am happy that everyone is accommodated and I don't have to turn people down because I am busy. As for dog vacay and rover sitters merging, I think with the time it will all even up. There are a lot of people with dogs and now rover is the major dog care website! When it comes to lower rates, I was tempted to lower them at first. Then I decided to keep them as they are because I value the services that I provide. I keep the house clean, walk dogs multiple times a day, keep the number of dogs small and I only care for smaller dogs. I want my client to be the one who values services that I provide, not looking for the cheapest rate.

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answered 2017-07-22 08:33:20 -0500

There are no DV sitters anymore, we are all Rover sitters!! Pet care is a very competitive business and you cannot control the prices others in your area offer. I searched your area and you are on the higher end of the price range, but you do have tons of reviews and repeat clients, so that is really good. You also show up on page 1 of the search results and in a good position. Many sitters will discount their rate to existing clients, when a few dollar a night cut will get you the booking. Business strategy is your decision, I wish you the best of luck.

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