View Full Version : Would you ever consider helping a lowballer?

07-05-2006, 10:53 PM
I went in to the local auto parts store for some parts this spring and ask the manager if he had found anyone to do the lawn maintenance this year at the store. They told me they had and then the manager decided to tell me they were paying him $55 per mow. Now, for our area and the size of the lot, this is low. In fact, the manager then told me he was willing to pay a lot more and said he had actually contacted the corporate office to see if they would pay him more than what he bid it for (I know, bizarre). Of course, corporate said pay him what he bid it for.
Here is my dilemma. I know the company that mows this property (not personally, though). Do I help establish higher prices in our local market by letting him in on the fact that they would pay a lot more (and also help this poor guy out in the process). Or do I mind my own business (literally) and let this low baller go out of business and have another replace him 2 years down the road?

07-05-2006, 10:58 PM
Either way YOU lose IMO.

07-05-2006, 11:08 PM
I'm not sure I can come out of this as a winner either. Anyone else?

07-05-2006, 11:08 PM
Let em go man....Everyone has there own agenda in this business.

Mowing Freak
07-05-2006, 11:11 PM
My opinion, mind your own business. I have the same thing happen to me but the low ballers here don't do a good job so don't last very long then the customer calls me. I have had people tell me well so and so bid x amount of money, and I tell them to let them do it and if anything changes, to call me. I have plenty of work and when the customer wants quality they will call me. If a low baller ask for advice, I would tell them the truth. Believe it or not, I have done this with 2 of my competitors with out being hurt by either one.

07-05-2006, 11:16 PM
I disagree. Maybe let him do it for a while then let him know you knew he could have gotten more. Explain to him why the low prices hurt business for everyone. He does need to do it for a while. I have been burnt bidding low myself. I know how it feels. Don't tell him how much he could have raised it to, just tell him more. He might just be able to help you out later on when you need some extra hands on deck. He might return the favor. Just my 2 cents.

07-06-2006, 12:28 AM
They target a different market than us. We know several smaller landscapers and send referrals to them all the time. Those targeting the same market? They can kiss my ass (you know who you are), but we have respect for the companies that carry & conduct themselves in a respectable manner.

To answer your question, IF you tell him they're willing to pay more, you open a can of worms. Why? You open it up for another low-baller to undercut him/her and possibly get this guy pissed at you (people will blame anyone and anything but themselves when **** hits the fan).

Jay Ray
07-06-2006, 12:39 AM
If you tell the guy and he raises the price next year, it can't hurt anybody and it might help everybody.

07-06-2006, 12:40 AM
If he was my friend, maybe...

Anyone else, no.

07-06-2006, 07:49 AM
I was a fulltime newbie 4 years ago, and I know I had no idea on alot of things and learned the hard way on alot of them. I respect all of the other guys in my area that cut also. I made friends with another LCO and he has helped me so much, both with advice and he also will give me a yard if he gets a call and its in my area. Also Im not a liscensed applicator so I send that work his way.We have became the best of friends so.............I say yes help him out, you never know when it may come back and he may be a big help to you one day


07-08-2006, 08:33 AM
Liquid fast said "either way I lose." At first I thought the same way... but now I am thinking I may win if I talk to him. If his prices are more in line with everyone elses, would it not be better for all of us in the area. I could seee how he would be mad at me if he changed his bid and then I got it. But aside from that...

You guys have been doing this a lot longer than me, I will probably go with whatever the consensus is.

07-08-2006, 09:15 AM
i can see your point .i think really people find out the hard way and there must be an easier way.strangley enough i would feel alot better if there was a better quality operator around the place so that the customer chasing the lowballer would have really no choice but to use a professional service,word gets around


07-08-2006, 09:31 AM
There was a guy on here a couple of months ago who was mowing a large area, when an old hand stopped to talk to him, gave him an idea what he would charge etc which was a lot more than this guy was getting, any way by giving advice you can help adjust his prices, i believe a lot of people do not low ball on purpose, just have little experience in pricing, in some areas LCOs are tight lipped about prices so the newbie under prices with out ever knowing, it may take a year before they find they are not making any money.
so every body loses.


07-08-2006, 10:29 AM
I agree with Sandgropher.

07-10-2006, 10:48 PM
6 say I should talk to this guy, 5 say no. I guess I will. I will let you know how I think it went.

07-10-2006, 11:42 PM
it sounds like a waste to me, because corporate is now used to paying 55 bucks for it so even if the guy gets fired they're going to expect to find another person willing to do it for 50 bucks or so.

Mower For Less
07-11-2006, 12:01 AM
How long has he been in business? If its a year or less, I would try to enlighten him. If he's been around awhile, let him suffer. He should have learned by now. Also, is he doing quality work? If it looks like he's making the right effort, I would try to help him out. If it looks like he dont care, I would not talk to him.

See if you can figure out how long it takes him to do the job before you talk to him, then maybe you can give him a crash course on hourly rate charges and figuring costs. Telling him the cost of one job might help him, but telling him how to figure it out for himself will help everybody.


Envy Lawn Service
07-11-2006, 03:06 AM
Forgive me my attitude, as I am a bit frustrated by this thread.

I can't believe some of what I have read here!
This in a nutshell is why this industry goes nowhere but down every passing year.

This every man for himself stuff just doesn't cut it in a 'minority' situation.
Yes... today a profiting, professional and legitimate LCO is a 'minority'.

I don't know why some people think everyone with a lawn mower is there mortal enemy?
Why feel every decent LCO is your competition and your enemy?
Why dog-eat-dog compete like that?

When you have the opportunity to give something back to your industry, you should do it. But anymore, people are all about take-take-take. Well, if there is ever anything you take from me, let it be this....

When you have this rare opportunity to help your industry, help your fellow legit LCO, and possibly create allies out there... do it. Low prices, lowballers, poachers and illegals are the enemy... not the good ol' boys.... and there are a LOT MORE of them than they are of us. So it doesn't hurt to learn to stick together.

07-11-2006, 03:32 AM
Well said Envy, we are all brothers in this industry.*aussieflag* *newusflag* :canadaflag:

I always wave to any LCO i see, i always chat at the dump with them and get and give advice and share war storys.:D

If you broke a leg tommorow could you rely on the other LCOS in your area to help you out with your lawns, until you are able to continue again ??? most LCOs here would say yes.:D

If you had a break down with your trimmer would you be able to get another from one of your friends ??? you may find it hard to if you havn't made any friends amongst LCOs:(

I say help any body you can, espicialy new people having problems with pricing, business people seem to sense when they are talking to a newbie and will take advantage of them and screw them with a low price, you lose and they lose.:D

Your home work for this month boys and girls is to be on speaking terms with as many brothers and sisters as you can (fellow LCOS) GOOD LUCK.:usflag:

mark lagasse
07-12-2006, 11:06 PM
I am new myself but I have a friend who did over 100000 last year and he always helps me. He even drove 45 minutes to help me bid a job because I was just getting started. He has told me he wished I lived closer so he could give my some smaller accts that he doesn't want. Even though we both are LCO's we can help each other. He has told me he will even drive over to help with a new acct I just picked up. 1100.00 per month, it is a big job for me, a church and it's house.

TNT LawnCare Inc.
07-12-2006, 11:44 PM
Maybe this was his 1st commercial bid ? Maybe he's not a real lowballer. A lowballer to me are the people who sneak behind my back to try to get an account for a alot less. These are the people THAT HAVE KNOW IDEA ON HOW TO BID ,LET ALONE RUN A BUSINESS,thus hurting the reall business for us who do. If this guy is running a business or been at it awhile maybe he just under bid? You'll figure it out.

TNT Lawncare
07-12-2006, 11:46 PM
I thought I was TNT Lawncare.

TNT LawnCare Inc.
07-13-2006, 12:01 AM
You mean theres another TNT LAWNCARE ...Cool Name Bro.

TNT Lawncare
07-13-2006, 12:02 AM
I thought it was funny too.

J&R Landscaping
07-13-2006, 02:23 PM
It might be a good idea to say something, If you get the property next season or season after, corporate might not want to pay a higher but resonable price. Big corps like to save money, thats no secret so they might set sail and search for another lowballer. The way they pop up, in wouldn't be all that hard( unfortunitly)

Fantasy Lawns
07-13-2006, 02:38 PM
Not too step on anyone's toes .... but who said he's a lowballer ....$55 per cut ..... maybe he cut's it with a 60" n is in n out in less than a hour ..... maybe he get's alot on extra's ..... maybe he bid it too get the job ...make them luv him so he can bid on the other auto stores

Way ttoooo much to consider fore someone who's only been cuttin 1 year (nothing personal) .....but really

N really who cares ...if he is a lowballer ....ever scope these places out ....auto store's ....not like it's Disney ..... trash everywhere .....bottles .... people chaning out wiper blades n pitching em ....oil spills ....

Maybe their different in KC .... but everywhere I've been ..... auto stores are busy ....in n out places .... how real big can this place be ....even larger stores are sq foot inside ....with lots of parking .... little turf n some hedges ...if has turf ....it's gonna be in one area along the road way

Let's see a photo of the place ..... ya ...it's hot out today ....n not too step on toes ....but $55 per cut at 4 cuts per month is $220 ....not too bad if it represents a total of less than 4 man hr per month

07-13-2006, 03:31 PM
There is turf on all sides of the building. There is also one of those water retention ponds for the drainage of the parking lot that has to be mowed. He uses a Walker and its not the 62' deck. Its an odd shape parking lot with lots of perimeter (if that makes sense). I am not here to argue whether he is low or not, but rather would you help him out? Even the manager who signs the contracts says it is low.:dizzy: So low in fact, that he called corporate to see if they could pay him more because he felt bad for him.:dizzy:

Fantasy Lawns
07-13-2006, 03:45 PM
Understood Ryan ....n yes not to argue .... but really I know how you feel .... but really you'd have to educate alot of lco's out there to make an impact

But if it's the way you feel ... then talk too him ....fore me ....it's a waste of time ...especially if you really don't know him ... I mean how would you take it

07-13-2006, 06:16 PM
yeah, I don't know how I would take it. He could be embarrassed, angry and tell me to mind my own business, call me a little snot nosed brat (he is probably twice my age). Who knows. Good point about how I would have to "educate" several to make an impact. I think you are right there. Maybe I won't waste my time.