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View Full Version : How do you react to being the highest bidder?


leaflandscape
08-13-2007, 09:07 PM
I just put in a bid to do a raised patio (approx 9"), in Unilock Roman Pisa with brussels block pavers, and a set of two half round steps off the back door, pretty simple stuff. I priced it at 9700, and the homeowner tells me that the next highest bid is 6500. I told him that there's really no way to change the price without changing the project. How do you guys react to being told you're the highest price, and do you show the potential customer how you came to that price?:hammerhead:

SKAPES
08-13-2007, 09:11 PM
Stick to your pricing. If you think that it is fair so be it!!

Captains Landscape
08-13-2007, 09:15 PM
I'm underbid by all my competition, but I get the work by going over the details with the customer. ICPI & NCMA certification, references, and work portfolio seem to go a long way.

mrusk
08-13-2007, 10:05 PM
I bet the other guys are not rasing it up 9 inches with wall block. 9" can be made up with just some grading and dirt.

cgland
08-13-2007, 10:05 PM
I don't sell the project, I sell my company.

Chris

Mike33
08-13-2007, 10:09 PM
Experience, equipt., cert., ins., and quality work. Never lower your price, my theory is if i bidded 7k and my comp. was 4k homeowner asks to match his price that means i was scewing him an extra 3k. I had that happen last year on a 14k wall a compt. said he would lower his price 3k to match mine homeowner picked right up and said than you admit you was screwing me 3k and made him madder. Also some of the best jobs are ones you dont get.
mike

leaflandscape
08-13-2007, 10:27 PM
Yep, people don't like when you can drop your price at the drop of a hat.

We can't really make up the 9" on this one just by grading, it's way too close to the fence and the property line (within 38"), and that side of the patios the main access to the rear yard. You're probably right, though, somebody's gonna do it with no wall. I just told them that's the best I can do.

PlatinumLandCon
08-14-2007, 09:13 AM
This is going to be pretty fummy. Go back to the site in a few weeks and see what $6500 gets you. It'll either be a) incomplete, b) horrible work, or c) he'll go back to the homeowner to get a few extra grand from him to save him from any losses.

Otherwise, sitck to your price. Tell the homeowner you might not be the cheapest, but nobody will do better work than you. Tell them to go with the $6500 bid, and when its all screwed up in a few weeks, tell them to call you.

This happens to my Uncle all the time in his construction company (mostly commercial/industrial construction/reno's). He goes back and corrects 80% of jobs he's undercut on and he's amazingly successful in his business.

MarcSmith
08-14-2007, 09:26 AM
you don't ever see BWM lowering their prices to compete with Chevy do ya????

You know what it takes to make money you know your cost. bid work accordingly. and you'll do ok...

If I was hungry for work or it was really slow I could see dropping price a few % to keep the crews working and keep the payroll covered, but you talking about 30% price cut...Might as well be doing the work for cost...

Humble Earth Mover
08-14-2007, 10:25 AM
Let's say this particular homeowner walks out onto his new $6500 dollar patio, trips over his poorly build steps and does a nose dive...blood everywhere..blah, blah, blah. Let's say he totally trashes his face and needs to get reconstructive surgery and he needs to pick a good plastic surgeon. Let's say he gets three quotes....one from a guy in Mexico, one from a guy in Back Alley, USA and one from a reputable and qualified surgeon who happens to be 4 times the costs of the other two. Do you think he will even hesitate to go with the more expensive guy? What do you think the surgeon would say if this guy told him he got a cheaper quote from a guy in Mexico and he asks him to match his price? Do you think that surgeon is going to go home and feel bad about being more expensive than the next guy? I doubt it. Get paid what you feel you deserve and don't ever think twice about it. My wife is always watching those damn plastic surgery shows and this thought came into my head last night as I was watching this surgeon, who had three patients in a row where he was fixing other (and I'm sure cheaper) surgeon's screw ups.

Stillwater
08-14-2007, 12:07 PM
I just put in a bid to do a raised patio (approx 9"), in Unilock Roman Pisa with brussels block pavers, and a set of two half round steps off the back door, pretty simple stuff. I priced it at 9700, and the homeowner tells me that the next highest bid is 6500. I told him that there's really no way to change the price without changing the project. How do you guys react to being told you're the highest price, and do you show the potential customer how you came to that price?:hammerhead:

Their is no reaction, customers do this to me every week. if he trys to get me to come down in price I need copies of the other bids if he doesen't comply with that simple request I merely suggest he should go with the lower bid. My prices are just that..... my prices. I move on........be self assured and confident.

DVS Hardscaper
08-14-2007, 09:15 PM
We are typically 10 to 20% higher than others.

I create a *PERCEPTION of VALUE*. I do this by dressing like a pro. Knowing my stuff. And my educating the buyer. Our portfolio speaks for itself.


BTW - unless there is some sort of water drainage issue - you DO NOT need to build a wall to raise the patio nine inches. Simply build it up with crusher run aggregate, and backfill outer perimeter(s) with soil and taper the soil out.

cedarcroft
08-15-2007, 06:01 AM
all good advice here so far. my $.02: say these words " You shouldn't be asking me why my price is high, you should be asking him why his price is so low. My price is right for the job, if he is doing it for that much less, he is doing something wrong."

PerfiCut L&L
08-15-2007, 07:11 AM
I be sure to tell them up front before I give the estimate, why we are the best for the job. Sometimes you have to "brag" a little about your affiliations, certifications, and past projects. This way, when we do come in higher than the others, the customer decides to go with us because they "feel" more confident we are the right company for the job.

Dont bargain, or negotiate price!

The price is what it is (as long as its reasonable, and justifiable). This isn't a flea market. If you hint that your a bargaining man, then the customer will assume your prices are over inflated and will go with the runner up.

I've found that we are often close to our competiators' price, sometimes higher sometimes lower. You probably shouldnt be more than 20-25% higher. If you are then you may want to re-evaluate where you can cut costs.

Perhaps buying certain pieces of equipment instead of renting them. This way you can lower the pass on costs. (Just a thought)

Good Luck

zedosix
08-16-2007, 01:13 PM
We are typically 10 to 20% higher than others.

I create a *PERCEPTION of VALUE*. I do this by dressing like a pro. Knowing my stuff. And my educating the buyer. Our portfolio speaks for itself.


BTW - unless there is some sort of water drainage issue - you DO NOT need to build a wall to raise the patio nine inches. Simply build it up with crusher run aggregate, and backfill outer perimeter(s) with soil and taper the soil out.

DVS. How does a pro dress? I need to know. My estimates usually involve past clients and if I have a pair of dirty shorts and construction boots on they still give me the job. Now if I was to wear clothes like a pro, what would I be wearing? Have a nice day.

forestfireguy
08-16-2007, 03:03 PM
I agree with DVS, looking good makes a lot of sales, I don't mean looking like Rico Suave, I mean looking presentable, not a t shirt with sleeves cut off or a tank top with a a nest of chest hair hanging out. My standard is a collared shirt, either button down or polo, with the company logo. All of our employees wear tan pants or shorts, nothing beat up, no jeans. These rules are somewhat relaxed for the winter while plowing. I think pulling up in a clean truck goes along way too, we get lots and lots of comments on the trucks, people also comment on our professionalism, little things, like sending out a follow thank you note after an initial appointment is big for people. We have a sizable porfolio, people love visuals, we will be updating the website as it is severely lacking. We are generally 10-20 percent higher in price than the other guys, we don't haggle, if people want to show me another estimate I'll analzye it for them and show them why my price is higher, often it's differences in materials, be it quality or qauntity, but I won't drop it, unless I have made a mistake, in which case I adjust accordingly.