Pet Sitting Rates in Scottsdale. Why aren't they published?

Pet Sitting Rates in Scottsdale. Why aren’t they published?

Posted by on Feb 2, 2011 in Events, Pet Care, Pet Sitting | 11 comments

Recently we came across a interesting and very bold statement….

It eluded to the fact that companies that do not publish pet sitting rates on their website do so because it enables the companies to change the prices depending on where the client lives.

As you will see here, we do not publish our rates.

This statement sparked my interest and I wanted to shed some light on it. You see, as a business coach I always urge my clients to never post prices. My reasoning? I believe in always selling a quality service, not a quantity service. My focus is different. While the economy is tough for some we (as business owners) all need to have our target demographics and they all must align with our business goals and marketing plans.


Who is the Bella’s Client?
To define a Bella’s House & Pet Sitting client is to describe the type of parent where price is the last factor they consider. Our clients include many of the characteristics that are described on the front page of our website.

To quantify our services into time blocks, or to charge extra for things like medications, pills, extra time, or emergency services… is not within the unique company culture I have worked hard to create. We believe in charging one price, full service, no time limit, quality pet sitting service.

The Bella’s client looks for a unique experience and exclusivity that only we can provide. By being one of the very few companies in Arizona that has employees (not independent contractors) we are able to maintain our brand’s promise. More importantly I, as the Pack Leader, am able to have the control over the way things are done. In addition, becasue I am not trying to be everything to everyone personally… my trusted staff is there to help “be me” so we are not running around with overloaded schedules. This allows us to have no time limit. There is no stress about trying to squeeze in 20 pet visits a day!

Okay, so why no prices?
Simply put…our website is an advertisement. Our call to action is to CONTACT US! One of Bella’s founding principles is building relationships with our two and four legged clients, and the community. We can only have the opportunity to do this if we talk to prospective clients. Only then, can we really get to start knowing you, your fur kid, and make suggestions for services or even pass on referrals through our Concierge Program. We want to get to know you! We INVITE you to get to know us! What a concept, huh?

You always get what you pay for…
My mom always said, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Lets just break this down.

If a pet visit costs $15 for 30 minutes (lets just say…)

And you can only make $20 an hour. (Even if you had two appointments scheduled back to back there is drive time)

Lets have Uncle Sam take his expenses out… and then the expenses of a pet sitting business (there are a lot, trust me! Car, gas, insurance, associations, supplies, computer, website, phone, advertising, health insurance, etc…)

In my professional, business coaching, experience most pet sitters run at least a 40% profit rate (that is being generous). So that means a pet sitter who charges about $15 a visit is roughly making $8.00/hr take home.

Folks, we do this as our full time job. As such, your pets and your home are our number one priority. This job is what puts the roof over our head and food in our mouths. We are not stopping in on the way to work or trying to cram a bunch of pet sits in our schedule while working from 6am to 9pm at night. We are a professional company, with professional fees. With that, you can be assured you are going to get our full attention becasue our clients are our livelihood!

Bella and Woodson

What do you get when you pay for Bella’s House & Pet Sitting?
Glad you were wondering! We have a whole list of why Bella’s is the Best right here
In addition to this list, we also:

  • Accept credit cards to make it easier on our clients.
  • Have exclusive relationships with only the BEST veterinarians in the city.
  • Relationships with a lot of our community businesses.
  • Relationships with community leaders.
  • Give back and help with lots of charity events
  • Lead the McDowell Mountain Ranch Business Networking Group.
  • …and a lot more (really!)

Basically our name and brand supersedes us.


So are your prices fair?
As a God fearing woman, who works hard to live her life with integrity, I can confidently tell you, YES our pet sitting rates are fair to everyone. We have mathematical formula’s that determine who pays what. If there is a client who is outside our service area, there is a mileage charge.  If you have more than one pet, the first one is FREE and then there is a nominal additional pet charge. You want to know what they are? Call me! I will personally answer the phone and be delighted to get to know you.

In closing…
(I know this blog was longer than normal…thanks for sticking with me!) All I am going to say is that most small businesses fold in five years. In the pet sitting world, that rate is more than doubled with them folding in TWO years. Bella’s House and Pet Sitting has been walking dogs, pet sitting, sleeping over night with pets and more for over eight years. Last year we grew by 31%.

We must be doing something right….

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  1. Bella,

    I applaud you for this post. It’s honest, it’s revealing and it confronts the debate head on.

    I, too, don’t publish all prices on my site (we do post some, but not all) and the reason we don’t – or I should say *can’t* post prices is because we provide a custom service (like I believe all pet sitters do).

    For one, we offer private in-home boarding that starts at $65 per night. I can’t list a “one size fits all” price because I don’t know any particulars about the person’s request and their situation or needs.

    Meaning, we give discounts for longer term boarding, we charge more if it’s a puppy or requires something specific on the client’s part, we adjust pricing for multiple pets, and on and on…

    Go to any service provider’s website and you’ll notice the same thing. A plumber, for example, can’t publish a price on their website for what it will cost to come to my home and fix my faucet.

    They will write “Free Estimate – Call Us Now!”

    Then on the phone they will listen to the specific problem I am having with my faucet, determine my specific needs and the appropriate fee, and give me the estimate on the phone or in person – only after a needed discussion.

    There is nothing malicious about this kind of practice. The strength of a pet sitter is built on her reputation.

    I can’t possibly as a business owner offering this customized service publish one price for certain services. I do need to write that on our pet sitting website so potential clients understand that we are giving personal service based on each client’s needs.

    The bold statement you cited above makes no sense at all.

    As a pet sitter, you need to ask yourself, “Am I providing a standard service that costs $xx, or am I building a relationship with each client that is unique and requires an initial chat to determine the exact needs of this client?”

    It’s OK if publishing works for your particular business. But not publishing prices is just as OK too.

    -Joshua Cary

  2. Joshua,

    As the leader of a National Pet Sitting Association, ( I am glad that you agree with my posting. I was disappointed and floored that the other person would make such claims.

    I am glad this post didn’t fall on deaf ears and appreciate your feedback and the time you took to writing it! :)


  3. Bella,

    Fantastic post….as a “young” pet-sitting company my business partner and I look to you as a leader in the industry. Our website does list “starts at” pricing, but we have been re-evaluating listing our prices because of the reasons you state above. There is no cookie-cutter client…they all have different needs and want customized plans. We do not have employees YET but are growing fast and looking forward to being able to hire a qualified candidate and pay them what they deserve because we have been wise about our pricing methods and business decisions.

    Thanks for your leadership!

    Beth Green
    Owner, Paws Pet Care
    Louisville, Kentucky

  4. Thank you Beth!

    I appreciate hearing your thoughts on the matter and am glad to help any way I can! :-) It is a crazy debate and it works differently for all, but to make such a general statement to explain why they are not published is a disservice to the industry. :)

    Employees are a great way to go. You know that I coach many pet sitters in the US, CA, and Australia…I love chatting about hiring :) if you are interested!

    Thanks again,

  5. Betheny,

    The “Starting at” approach is one that I use and recommend. Again, each approach of listing all prices, no prices or some prices is a business-to-business decision that must be made depending on your market, your goals, your style, your approach and your service model.

    Case in point… We began with all prices listed… then after some evaluation removed all the prices… then further explored listing only some prices.

    Doing so allows us to see exactly what works best for our business and our clients.

  6. I’m a “starting at” person too because I have three difference services which have their own pricing structure. For pet sitting especially, I say “starting at” because to determine the price I need to know where they live (as we also have a travel charge if outside of our service area) and what they really require. Then for our live in house sitting / overnight stay service depends on the length of time they require our service.

    The reason I’ve done so personally is because of the reason other people as well as Bella has stated – we need the people to contact us so as we can determine what they EXACTLY require.

    It’s because I do have integrity I do not list my prices.

  7. This last year I also took the detailed pricing from my site and now stick with the “starting at” wording. Good article!

  8. Thanks Danielle! I appreciate your feedback!!!!! Especially as the other have to the National Pet Sitting Association! :)

  9. Awesome post Vanessa and thank you! I especially love your last line. “It’s becasue I do have integrity that I do not list my prices”
    Thank you for your comments!

  10. Took my prices OFF last week! Scored two QUALITY clients this past weekend who value the service, peace of mind, and maturity, I provide. These new clients are not going to call on the second day of their vacation and request a refund if it rains and I can’t walk their dog (I am still going to your house for a visit!)

  11. Great job! I am glad you are taking good info from our coaching sessions! I get so excited when people take my advise and see the results!!!! :)

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