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Do sitters normally give some sort of discount for extended stay clients?

asked 2018-05-03 09:58:52 -0500

We have someone looking for an "extended stay" opportunity and we are trying to figure out what price to tell her. (she is in between houses.. her house sold, but her other house isn't done being built yet. She is going to be staying in a place that isn't conducive to two dogs). She has 2 dogs who will be staying with us from July - October (or whenever her house is done!). It will be flexible in that she may take them for weekends here and there. (she is going to miss her babies!) Also, she is aware that we have 2 weeks of vacations in that time frame & she will make other arrangements for her dogs in that time.

Our normal rate is $25/dog + $15/additional dog. that's $40/day total for her. My question is, do sitters normally give some sort of discount for extended stay clients? Or should we stick to the $40/day rate for the family? I'm thinking of giving her a weekly rate that is somewhat discounted? Or, do we give her a flat rate for the whole 4 months?

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answered 2018-05-03 15:24:04 -0500

Did the client ask for a discount? If so, then you should really be looking at your local market. Check the prices at boarding facilities to see if they offer extended stay discounts and what those discounts are? Also look at what you may be giving up for having another dog for that length of time. You only take one dog per night, but take up to two dogs for daycare. Will that affect your ability to take care of other clients' pets?

I don't offer any extended stay discounts but there are many sitters who do after a week or so. If you do decide to give one, I like the idea of a weekly one that is only slightly discounted.

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No, they did not ask for a discount. I liked your idea of checking local boarding facilities, I did this to kind of compare and see what her other options would be. In the end, we decided not to give a discounted rate. Thanks for your thoughts!

Sarah & Jared L.'s profile image Sarah & Jared L.  ( 2018-05-07 14:51:05 -0500 ) edit
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answered 2018-05-03 16:49:55 -0500

I am on the same side as Karen, I do not offer extended stay discounts. How I look at it is, you are still giving their pet the same amount of love, attention and care as you would on day one as you would on day 20. (and truthfully, I think the longer they stay the more you fall in love with them so really you probably give them more love and affection. lol) In all fairness you still are putting in the same amount of time and work, so discounting the price honestly does not really make a lot of sense to me personally.

What you do also want to take into consideration is that you do not get paid until after the reservation is completed. You may want to break the reservation up into 2 weeks at a time so you get paid in a timely manor. but keep in mind if you do decide to offer a discount then you may run into some issues if her house is done way before expected. (depending on what day you decided to do an extended stay on, lets say her house is done before that date. Are than going to adjust the cost back to the original price?) I think that you are just asking for problems when you start offering discounts and you open the door for clients to try and take advantage of you that way. (Example lets say you offer clients a discount if their pet says 15 days or more. You than have that client that has 2 pets who stay 14 days and wants to know why they can't have a discount also, its only 1 day or a couple of days and so on.

You just open yourself up for too many problems once you start offering discounts. You have to price yourself out for what you think you are worth.

I think that your prices are low as it is. I don't know what other sitters in your area are charging but your prices are very low as it is. (I am in San Diego so maybe our prices are just overall higher??) Right now you are only charging them $40 a day for 2 dogs (that is $20 a day) I know in here in San Diego there is no where that you can board two large dogs for that price, plus not to mention all the benefits that the dogs will get being in your home vs a kennel. (your yard alone is big and beautiful... a puppies paradise!)
At the end of the day, it is what ever you feel comfortable with. Best of Luck! Erica

P.S. Not sure if you realized it but I think you House sitting holiday charge is wrong... you have it at $28. just thought I would bring it to your attention. Take care and best of Luck!!

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Thanks for taking the time to give your thoughts on this, Erica! We did decide not to give a discount. Still giving the same amount of time, energy, love, etc throughout the stay. I also liked your suggestion of doing a payment plan of sorts, we are going to do weekly payments!

Sarah & Jared L.'s profile image Sarah & Jared L.  ( 2018-05-07 14:49:06 -0500 ) edit
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answered 2018-05-04 11:27:53 -0500

I do not generally offer a discount. Since it fills a spot I could lose money if it is during a busy season. So far no complaints from clients!

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Good point! Thank you!

Sarah & Jared L.'s profile image Sarah & Jared L.  ( 2018-05-07 14:49:25 -0500 ) edit
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answered 2018-05-09 15:48:07 -0500

I do offer an extended stay discount for boarding only, and it only applies to the first dog. Additional dogs are charged at my regular additional dog rate, which is $10 less than my regular boarding rate. My extended stay discount kicks in if the stay is more than 10 days and is only $5 less than my normal rate. Not a lot of discount and I've only had a few clients stay that long. I only take one dog or one dog family at a time so longer stays actually work better for me - less stress looking for clients, the dogs have settled into a routine.

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