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americanlawn
02-04-2008, 05:27 PM
Is anybody else tired of this LESCO bashing? I know I am.

Some say their business is too small to get a decent price from LESCO. Well -- if one makes small orders, one should also expect a higher price tag. That's common sence.

Others bring up the point that LESCO managers nolonger drive home company vehicles. Sounds like a good deal to me.............

I drove home a company vehicle for years, but when ChemLawn realized that start-up companies were competing, they chose to become more efficient. So there were no more "free" trucks for managers. BTW I never complained, cuz I understood.:usflag:

IMO - LESCO has been the only company which has most allowed my lawn care company to PROFIT. year after year.

It's so easy to complain, but life's short. I've been called a "LESCO lover" on previous posts, and I'm proud of it. Cuz of many reasons.

Anybody else glad they had LESCO for a friend?

Victor
02-04-2008, 05:44 PM
I'm really glad you have such a great relationship with Lesco. In your case, I have no doubt that they're your best option as a supplier. My stance on the issue has been and always will be that if anyone thinks they are their best option, they'd be crazy not to deal with them.

Like I've said on many other occasions though, in my situation, I have options available to me that would make it foolish for me to deal with them. Why would it make sense for me to pay $10 more for a bag of fertilizer from them, when I can get a bag of fert, with the exact same analysis from the vendor I do use, for $10 less? Buy a pallet of fert and the price difference is huge! The same thing goes for the example I used about a gallon jug of Q4. Paying $64 more for a gallon jug of Q4 than I need to just wouldn't make sense.

I'm really getting the impression that pricing structures vary widely with Lesco. When I see some people like you say that they get products from them that are competitive with other vendors in your area, that's the only thing that I can figure is going on.

Around here, they're not even close to any of the other suppliers. I hope you realize that I'm not trying to bash them, I'm just rationalizing my decision process.

rcreech
02-04-2008, 06:07 PM
BIG Lesco fan here!

I buy almost 100% of my fert and chem from them (excluding Lowes product :laugh:).

They treat me great and thier prices are the same on some things, and better on most!

I agree that it is a volume thing though!

Buying a few bags here and there from Lesco will put you out of business!

Mike Fronczak
02-04-2008, 06:19 PM
I used to buy everything from them (from mowers to fert & in between). Then the managers left new guys that didn't know me or my fleet, needless to say they lost 99% of my business. I now have 2 newer JD mower (still have the older Lescos as fleet gets updated there getting phased out), app stuff comes from different suppliers now also, uless I need to I rarely go there, where I used to stop in durring winter, chrismas card to them, etc.

moores
02-04-2008, 06:27 PM
I have had no major problems with Lesco at all and have been dealing with them for a few years now.. The thing that people don't realize is that yes if you go in there and buy a bag of fert once a month or whenever you need it.. You should be charged more than a guy like me who goes in there and buys 25 bags at once and spends alot of $$$ a year there.. And so far even though they have been bought out the same guys I have been dealing with are still there

Victor
02-04-2008, 06:43 PM
I have had no major problems with Lesco at all and have been dealing with them for a few years now.. The thing that people don't realize is that yes if you go in there and buy a bag of fert once a month or whenever you need it.. You should be charged more than a guy like me who goes in there and buys 25 bags at once and spends alot of $$$ a year there.. And so far even though they have been bought out the same guys I have been dealing with are still there

People in my area that buy considerably larger amounts of product from them, still pay much more than I pay my supplier for product even though I'm not a huge company. Like I said before though, I'm sure Lesco's prices vary from market to market. If you have a good situation going, that's great.

green horizons
02-04-2008, 07:21 PM
Lesco. Good product, fair service, poor business model. Literally, I buy two pallets for round one and three pallets for round two, at the same time on Monday. On Wednesday I need three additional bags for round one because I picked up new customers. How much more did I pay for those three bags? Nearly 3x my cost from Monday. I get the volume thing. I'm not buying a few bags per month. It's not bashing, it's business. South store calls, gives price quote, I happen to be at the North store but they want 30% more than the price quoted from the South store... What's my price today??

FdLLawnMan
02-04-2008, 07:43 PM
Lesco, or should I say John Deere Landscapes, because that is who they are now, have been very fair to me. One of the things that they did do was take some of the pricing power from the service center mangers. It seems like the pricing discretion between stores was leading to stores competing against each other, which I think JDL is trying to stop. The prices I paid for my fertilizer is very fair compared to other vendors in my area. One thing that is important to me is the type of polycoat that Lesco/JDL uses. There are basically three coatings that are used. Poly-S from Scotts, Poly Plus from Lesco and a generic poly coating used by many fertilizer blenders. I firmly believe that the Lesco & Scotts to be superior to the generic one in that it lasts loner by several weeks in my little experiments. Also, the fertilizer from Lesco is a consistent prill size and is extremely clean. I have used other ferts and my spreader does get dirtier faster and I have more problems plugging. As far as chemical prices, they have been very competitive in my area.
As far as the truck usage goes. Would you give one of your employees a vehicle for personal use and pay all the expenses. I know I wouldn't. They should give the service center managers a raise for taking it away but that is corporate America.
My opinion is this, use what works for you and keeps you competitive. If you have a problem with Lesco/JDL, no one is forcing you to use them, just move on. No need to bash the heck out of them.

Runner
02-04-2008, 08:03 PM
They've always been good to me, too. But for some reason, they have raised their prices this year.... (Just being facetious). The thing that gets me, is that people always put the blame for the world market on Lesco (or better yet, the JDL buyout).

ted putnam
02-04-2008, 08:19 PM
I have stood back and watched several of these threads about Lesco...good and bad. Everyone is going to purchase their products with the suppliers they are comfortable with. This comfort can be from the price they get, the quality of product they get or the assistance they get from that suppliers rep whether it be Lesco or anybody else. LCO's are going to deal with who they're going to deal with for their own reasons. Not everyone is going to understand why or why not. That's just the way it is. Prices are going up across the board. There's no way around that. On a more cheerful note! For those that do buy from JDL. I got some good news today from a trusted and old friend that now works there. He said barring major disaster, Fertilizer prices are now stable for the upcoming year. All I know for sure is we are in for a challenging year no matter who we buy our supplies from. Good Luck to everyone!

Jerry Andersen
02-04-2008, 08:22 PM
I love the guys at the lesco service centers. They have always treated me kind. But it is like this $5.00 x 100bags= $500 in my pocket. 6 rounds at $500= $3000. What i have found is you don't have to due business with anyone to be friends with them. I am friends with most of the lesco employees but i have a business to run.

GravelyGuy
02-04-2008, 08:28 PM
I am just a small time applicator that just started last year so take this for what it's worth. When I called Lesco here it was like pulling teeth to get them to give me an idea on prices. They wanted to set up a meeting and everything else to give me a price on a bag of fert.:rolleyes:

They pretty much in a round about way told me that if they thought you were worthy or credible enough(if they liked you) then you would get a better price.

DUSTYCEDAR
02-04-2008, 08:29 PM
lesco has been a big help in the past and i have been quoated prices this year and i feel the price increese i got was not out of line

tremor
02-04-2008, 09:08 PM
LawnMan brings a fresh opportunity for a learned conversation instead of just bashing on a green industry supplier. There are many misconceptions about bulk blended coated slow Nitrogen fertilizers.

Maybe for once we can have an intelligent conversation where folks learn something other than how to cut a deal & where to rent real estate.

One thing that is important to me is the type of polycoat that Lesco/JDL uses. There are basically three coatings that are used. Poly-S from Scotts, Poly Plus from Lesco and a generic poly coating used by many fertilizer blenders. I firmly believe that the Lesco & Scotts to be superior to the generic one in that it lasts loner by several weeks in my little experiments. Also, the fertilizer from Lesco is a consistent prill size and is extremely clean. I have used other ferts and my spreader does get dirtier faster and I have more problems plugging.

LESCO/Deere does not manufacture fertilizer. The manufacturing assets (liability?) was sold to Platinum Equity who name the plants Turf Care Supply. Many independents & even some larger regional/quasi national suppliers have access to this material.

http://www.turfcaresupply.com/index.php

"Poly Plus" is better than straight SCU & releases similarly to the superior (size & cleaner) Anderson's NS52. Scott's PolyS is statistically the same.

Turf Care Supply (TCS) also makes a Landscape & Ornamental grade Poly Coat (Lesco's 14-14-14 for instance) that is superior to Poly Plus but you can't get it in a lawn fertilizer at this time.

Scott's doesn't bother with this step. Via acquisition, they ended up owning the Osmocoat line which is also not used for turf but is far superior to the Lesco 14-14-14 & can be mixed directly with container media without fear of root injury. There are competitive & superior versions of this resin coat from Japan but they are not relevant to this conversation.

A step way beyond any of the turf grade coated materials so far mentioned is Polyon which is now owned by Agrium.

http://www.agriumat.com/

Agrium now owns virtually ALL of the slow release Nitrogen sources so they have the greatest product offering of any of the potential buying opportunities.

More later if this thread permits.

rcreech
02-04-2008, 09:54 PM
I have stood back and watched several of these threads about Lesco...good and bad. Everyone is going to purchase their products with the suppliers they are comfortable with. This comfort can be from the price they get, the quality of product they get or the assistance they get from that suppliers rep whether it be Lesco or anybody else. LCO's are going to deal with who they're going to deal with for their own reasons. Not everyone is going to understand why or why not. That's just the way it is. Prices are going up across the board. There's no way around that. On a more cheerful note! For those that do buy from JDL. I got some good news today from a trusted and old friend that now works there. He said barring major disaster, Fertilizer prices are now stable for the upcoming year. All I know for sure is we are in for a challenging year no matter who we buy our supplies from. Good Luck to everyone!


VERY WELL PUT TED!

FdLLawnMan
02-04-2008, 11:17 PM
[QUOTE=tremor;2134760]LawnMan brings a fresh opportunity for a learned conversation instead of just bashing on a green industry supplier. There are many misconceptions about bulk blended coated slow Nitrogen fertilizers.

Maybe for once we can have an intelligent conversation where folks learn something other than how to cut a deal & where to rent real estate.

Thank you very much Tremor. It is obvious you are very learned on this subject and look forward to anything else you have to say about tis or anything else. I knew that Lesco sold the manufacturing facilities to someone else, I just didn't know who and if I could get the same product someone else. I am a firm believer that all scu fertilizers are not the same. In my experience you pretty much get what you pay for.

AintNoFun
02-05-2008, 12:01 AM
i did business with lesco for about 2 years, probably upwards of 250k worth of product if not more... last big job we did with lesco products was 6 acres of hydroseeding at an airport.. out of 6 acres not 1 seed grew, not fing one. had some bags of the seed left at the shop brought them into lesco, they couldn't get them to grow themselves. what did they do. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.. got 2 soil tests one from lesco one from another lab, this was an FAA job and the topsoil was tested and approved prior to placement so i knew it was good. of course the tests came back great. still lesco does nothing, did not stand behind their product, did not even want to come look at the job... meanwhile the gc is practically ripping my arse apart because the seed didn't grow. i go back and redo the job at MY COST with another suppliers seed... the gc was so pissed and i never recieved any work from them again. the airport was pissed because it was a huge nightmere to get us out on the runways, shut them down, send us out with escorts, etc.. i hope lesco goes outta business!

Victor
02-05-2008, 12:13 AM
Sorry to hear about that. That had to be rough to deal with.

mikesturf
02-05-2008, 06:49 PM
Lesco. Good product, fair service, poor business model. Literally, I buy two pallets for round one and three pallets for round two, at the same time on Monday. On Wednesday I need three additional bags for round one because I picked up new customers. How much more did I pay for those three bags? Nearly 3x my cost from Monday. I get the volume thing. I'm not buying a few bags per month. It's not bashing, it's business. South store calls, gives price quote, I happen to be at the North store but they want 30% more than the price quoted from the South store... What's my price today??


I equate going to Lesco as to buying a used car from a sleazy car dealer. I think Lesco has very unprofessional pricing and business practices. I can ask 5 different Lesco "reps" for a price and the price will vary 30%!!! Other business owners who are lovers of Lesco, please don't give me a quick knee jerk reaction-oh Lesco is great, etc. By not having some sort of "SET" pricing structure-for all to view, I feel like they are trying to screw me for every penny they can, without conern to building a business relationship with me. Every time I walk out of Lesco I feel like I've been screwed and sometimes resent having shopped there. My current fert vendor has all his pricing in a catalog and it spells out what quantity you need to reach the next discount level. Sure Lesco may have made some extra $$$ off me in the past by charging me the most they could, but I will tell every person I see to not use Lesco! If anyone agrees with what I'm saying you are probably a very successful business person and may also be a fan of Jeffery Gitomer (www.Gitomer.com). He has awesome books and CDs on customer service.

Midstate Lawncare
02-05-2008, 08:29 PM
Price quote from Lesco in Springfield, IL 2 weeks ago. 1 bag of 24-0-11 50% scu = $22.33 what is the big deal? I am just starting on my own but have 5 years chemical experience.... I know the prices and really don't see the problem. If these prices are putting you out of business you need to charge more. I mean $.45 per pound x 4lbs per 1,000 x 6,000 ft2 lawn = $10.80 that is not a bad profit margin when priced right.

Jerry Andersen
02-05-2008, 08:40 PM
not a big deal but if you could buy the same bag for $18.00 would you go some where else

quiet
02-05-2008, 10:45 PM
Pricing inconsistencies from Lesco aside, I quickly found other suppliers had better quality products. For just a little bit more I found I could buy methylene urea blends, MESA, or UMaxx blends with SOP instead of SCU + MOP from Lesco.

It elevated our reputation from "just another lawn company" to "the guy who really knows what he's doing."

rshofcols
02-05-2008, 11:21 PM
Lesco is the Wal-mart of fert and squirt,inferior products,sub-standard spreaders and iffy and over priced bags of fert. You get what you pay for
Roger

Runner
02-05-2008, 11:24 PM
Price quote from Lesco in Springfield, IL 2 weeks ago. 1 bag of 24-0-11 50% scu = $22.33 what is the big deal? I am just starting on my own but have 5 years chemical experience.... I know the prices and really don't see the problem. If these prices are putting you out of business you need to charge more. I mean $.45 per pound x 4lbs per 1,000 x 6,000 ft2 lawn = $10.80 that is not a bad profit margin when priced right.
Except when you are applying 4# per M, and are covering 20 M. $1.80x20=$36. 1/2 acre lots (20M actual turf) around here go for around $55 and even less by most companies. 55-36=19 bucks. That won't work. As it is, even with what we ARE paying (quite a bit less than that [22 bucks]), it is going to be a hard time. We definitely have some price increases coming on our services this year. We are also going to have to get very lean in other areas - like our routing. Everything is going to have to be concise.

Lesco is the Wal-mart of fert and squirt,inferior products,sub-standard spreaders and iffy and over priced bags of fert. You get what you pay for
Roger
Now I'm sorry, but I certainly don't agree with that, at all. Thereis absolutely no comparison to walmart and Lesco. They d not sell inferior products, either. And as fa as the spreaders go, I believe they are some of the best in the industry. They must be worth something, because they are used on golf courses nationwide.

quiet
02-05-2008, 11:34 PM
Except when you are applying 4# per M, and are covering 20 M. $1.80x20=$36. 1/2 acre lots (20M actual turf) around here go for around $55 and even less by most companies. 55-36=19 bucks. That won't work. As it is, even with what we ARE paying (quite a bit less than that [22 bucks]), it is going to be a hard time. We definitely have some price increases coming on our services this year. We are also going to have to get very lean in other areas - like our routing. Everything is going to have to be concise.

You raise a very good point. I'm dealing with very small lawns, most in the 4 - 5000 sf range, very few over 10K. I get $43 for the small lawns, up to $63 for the 12K lawns. I have a lot of sympathy for you guys servicing the large lots.

Fortunately for me 21-0-0 is a superior product to 46-0-0 for our alkaline clay soils. And Tif 419 needs 5-6 apps here so it's easy to hide a cheap app (or 3) in the overall plan for the year. At $8.00/bag, that's still very profitable and produces excellent results here.

bug-guy
02-06-2008, 07:01 AM
what i can't get over is if you want to share with others on this site do it, tell people where you have had good experiences shopping and leave it at that. if you didn't have a good time with a company the loudest statement would be not to shop there.so many negitive statements from so few posters, it's like one thread turns into another, by now we know who likes what company and who doesn't.
sharing is good when done with the intent to help the way some act on this site something more than a bad prices was given. also we only hear the one side.
i personally would use a p/m

AintNoFun
02-06-2008, 10:54 AM
what i can't get over is if you want to share with others on this site do it, tell people where you have had good experiences shopping and leave it at that. if you didn't have a good time with a company the loudest statement would be not to shop there.so many negitive statements from so few posters, it's like one thread turns into another, by now we know who likes what company and who doesn't.
sharing is good when done with the intent to help the way some act on this site something more than a bad prices was given. also we only hear the one side.
i personally would use a p/m


so nobody should make public the problems they've had with lesco or any company? they screwed me on a huge job and ruined my repuatation with a somewhat large GC, i guess i should keep that silent. their stuff sucks, their product sucks, their corporate staff sucks... i posted my experience with lesco if you dont like it dont read it....

Victor
02-06-2008, 11:12 AM
What I think a lot of these people who complain about what people say in these threads forget, is that it's a public forum. This forum was created so that people could have a place to share their opinions and experiences. Both good and bad ones. No one ever said that it was only appropriate to share positive experiences.

jrc lawncare
02-06-2008, 12:21 PM
Pricing inconsistencies from Lesco aside, I quickly found other suppliers had better quality products. For just a little bit more I found I could buy methylene urea blends, MESA, or UMaxx blends with SOP instead of SCU + MOP from Lesco.

It elevated our reputation from "just another lawn company" to "the guy who really knows what he's doing." Gotta love Lebanon products. I know I do.

Hissing Cobra
02-06-2008, 12:31 PM
What I think a lot of these people who complain about what people say in these threads forget, is that it's a public forum. This forum was created so that people could have a place to share their opinions and experiences. Both good and bad ones. No one ever said that it was only appropriate to share positive experiences.

I know it's a public forum. However, since the John Deere Buyout has become public, the amount of threads devoted to Lesco has increased tenfold. As I've said in other posts, there's already 10 threads devoted to bashing Lesco, and they've all started out the same way - Price increases are happening at my Lesco. Ya know what? THEY'VE INCREASED FROM ALL SUPPLIERS! Yet, somehow, I don't see any of the other competitors getting trashed on here.

Instead of keeping the bashing contained to one thread, we've got people starting new posts everyday about the same damn thing. It's actually getting tiring and repetitive. Where are the moderators to stop duplicate posts?

Being that I work for John Deere Landscapes and am a happy, loyal employee, I take great offense to this. Because I'm a happy, loyal employee, I dedicate myself to my store and its customers. As a result, our store did very well last year and we hope to grow it further in 2008. Believe me, I'm not sitting here on a soapbox, thinking that LESCO is perfect. Believe me when I say that I've seen things in other stores that I DO NOT like. However, I cannot control what those employees are doing, so I concentrate on what happens in MY store. EVERY company has problems and we're no exception. However, do we need 20 threads to prove that point? It's not the complaining that's getting to me but the duplicate posts that keep trashing my employer's name and business practices. It gives everyone the notion that we are a horrible company and that couldn't be further from the truth.

Like I said, the posts all start out with the pricing. I've seen people blame it on the John Deere buyout (WRONG!) I've seen people complaining about Managers losing their company trucks and a few complain about service. Some of it is valid, while the rest is all B.S.

To prove my point, there's a member on this board that was complaining about his price on Winterizer. I will not name this customer because I do not want to embarrass him. He called me about winterizer pricing for a full pallet and I let him know what it would cost. I let him know that we had two different products in stock and quoted him pricing on both. He came down to look at them and had me cut the bags open so that he could compare the granule size. He chose to not buy them because of the pricing.

The next thing I know, he's on this very website posting that his price was $xx.xx per bag. Well, the price that he posted was over $2.50 per bag more than what I had quoted him. How do you think that made me feel? I didn't chime in on his post because it would have been embarrassing for both him and myself. Did I fail to mention that he was a very low spending customer of ours, who comes in like 5 times per year and spends very little money each time? Because of this, he had not yet achieved the same pricing structure as my best accounts, yet he wanted his price to be the same as their's. Give me a break. My biggest, best customers have earned their pricing. My smallest? Nope. Is it fair to treat the pricing the same when the volume is drastically different? Do I value my smallest customers? Damn right I do and I try my best to treat them all the same. However, pricing cannot be the same as the purchasing amounts aren't even in the same ballpark.


I realize that some of you have had problems with your area LESCO's. For that, I apologize. All I can do is encourage you to try a different location if there's one in the area or use a different vendor (which many of you have done.)

FdLLawnMan
02-06-2008, 12:57 PM
I am an applicator that is very happy with Lesco and am waiting to form an opinion about JDL. I honestly don't believe some of the things said on here about Lesco because they would have not gotten as big as they are if that had such customer relations. There might be a few bad stores but instead of airing your complaints here you should take them to corporate. I have dealt with other suppliers in my area, they are fine but don't have everything I need. To say that Lesco fertilizer is an inferior product is frankly ridiculous. Tremor posted a thread earlier that tried to get us on a more informative path and not one that bashes on a supplier. If you have a supplier that you are happy with, that is great. Your relation with your supplier has no bearing on my experience or what I am going to do. I have to find out myself.
Lets move on and quit ripping on a valued vendor that many of us use. We just sound petty when we continue on this path.

Victor
02-06-2008, 01:06 PM
As always Cobra. You can add another extremely well though out post to your credit. You make some really good points as always.

TREEGUARD
02-06-2008, 03:49 PM
:usflag:i like lesco as much as the next guy BUT there are a few options by me i can deal with lesco is just one of them they are the most expensive option for me but they are the closest one as well. I was a good customer for a couple of years buying everything from them & did I get any discount from them not a chance never once did I.
a couple of the competitors would give me deals on some products maybe even thru me some posting signs it's about keeping me the customer happy just like we have to do with our customers. Lesco just doesn't care that's my opinion anyway.

JB1
02-06-2008, 03:58 PM
Nothing like kicking a dead horse, people let it go, breathe deep, Lesco is gone, gone gone.

turf hokie
02-06-2008, 04:50 PM
Nothing like kicking a dead horse, people let it go, breathe deep, Lesco is gone, gone gone.


WOW, That worked thanks:walking:

Midstate Lawncare
02-06-2008, 05:21 PM
not a big deal but if you could buy the same bag for $18.00 would you go some where else

Absolutely!


Except when you are applying 4# per M, and are covering 20 M. $1.80x20=$36. 1/2 acre lots (20M actual turf) around here go for around $55 and even less by most companies. 55-36=19 bucks. That won't work. As it is, even with what we ARE paying (quite a bit less than that [22 bucks]), it is going to be a hard time. We definitely have some price increases coming on our services this year. We are also going to have to get very lean in other areas - like our routing. Everything is going to have to be concise.


Now I'm sorry, but I certainly don't agree with that, at all. Thereis absolutely no comparison to walmart and Lesco. They d not sell inferior products, either. And as fa as the spreaders go, I believe they are some of the best in the industry. They must be worth something, because they are used on golf courses nationwide.

If you are charging only $55.00 for a 20k+ sqft lawn, you are killing yourself. And don't think that you are "expensive" at $55.00 for 20k.

lawnservice
02-06-2008, 05:35 PM
I know it's a public forum. However, since the John Deere Buyout has become public, the amount of threads devoted to Lesco has increased tenfold. As I've said in other posts, there's already 10 threads devoted to bashing Lesco, and they've all started out the same way - Price increases are happening at my Lesco. Ya know what? THEY'VE INCREASED FROM ALL SUPPLIERS! Yet, somehow, I don't see any of the other competitors getting trashed on here.

Instead of keeping the bashing contained to one thread, we've got people starting new posts everyday about the same damn thing. It's actually getting tiring and repetitive. Where are the moderators to stop duplicate posts?

Being that I work for John Deere Landscapes and am a happy, loyal employee, I take great offense to this. Because I'm a happy, loyal employee, I dedicate myself to my store and its customers. As a result, our store did very well last year and we hope to grow it further in 2008. Believe me, I'm not sitting here on a soapbox, thinking that LESCO is perfect. Believe me when I say that I've seen things in other stores that I DO NOT like. However, I cannot control what those employees are doing, so I concentrate on what happens in MY store. EVERY company has problems and we're no exception. However, do we need 20 threads to prove that point? It's not the complaining that's getting to me but the duplicate posts that keep trashing my employer's name and business practices. It gives everyone the notion that we are a horrible company and that couldn't be further from the truth.

Like I said, the posts all start out with the pricing. I've seen people blame it on the John Deere buyout (WRONG!) I've seen people complaining about Managers losing their company trucks and a few complain about service. Some of it is valid, while the rest is all B.S.

To prove my point, there's a member on this board that was complaining about his price on Winterizer. I will not name this customer because I do not want to embarrass him. He called me about winterizer pricing for a full pallet and I let him know what it would cost. I let him know that we had two different products in stock and quoted him pricing on both. He came down to look at them and had me cut the bags open so that he could compare the granule size. He chose to not buy them because of the pricing.

The next thing I know, he's on this very website posting that his price was $xx.xx per bag. Well, the price that he posted was over $2.50 per bag more than what I had quoted him. How do you think that made me feel? I didn't chime in on his post because it would have been embarrassing for both him and myself. Did I fail to mention that he was a very low spending customer of ours, who comes in like 5 times per year and spends very little money each time? Because of this, he had not yet achieved the same pricing structure as my best accounts, yet he wanted his price to be the same as their's. Give me a break. My biggest, best customers have earned their pricing. My smallest? Nope. Is it fair to treat the pricing the same when the volume is drastically different? Do I value my smallest customers? Damn right I do and I try my best to treat them all the same. However, pricing cannot be the same as the purchasing amounts aren't even in the same ballpark.


I realize that some of you have had problems with your area LESCO's. For that, I apologize. All I can do is encourage you to try a different location if there's one in the area or use a different vendor (which many of you have done.)

whew...that was a mouth full

i understand your frustration

i admire your loyalty

i notice you posted this at around 12:30pm ....hope you did this on your lunch break? cuz if i were in the store and you were typing a book on the computer.....yeah, i'd be bashing you on the internet for all to read


(easy....i'm joking, actually i'd like to take a ride over to your store one of these days to meet ya face to face. like i said, i admire your loyalty. the store i shop...just down rt 195 from you...they start complaining about their job/emplyer as soon as i walk in the door)

Hissing Cobra
02-06-2008, 05:46 PM
It was definitely on my lunch break!

ted putnam
02-06-2008, 05:55 PM
Absolutely!




If you are charging only $55.00 for a 20k+ sqft lawn, you are killing yourself. And don't think that you are "expensive" at $55.00 for 20k.

AGREED!!!!
In fact if you charge Wal-Mart prices, that's where your supplies should be purchased. It only makes good business sense to me. JMHO. There's no way I am going to sweat my A$$ off in July on a near half acre lawn for a $20 bill...NO WAY!...I think...no I KNOW I'm worth more than that!

PSUTURFGEEK
02-06-2008, 09:41 PM
It's not often I totally agree with something word for word but in this case I do, I also would like to know also why nothing is ever done to stop these repetative threads, does the fact Lesco no longer sponsers this site, or maybe with Bob West not being as involved with this site, I'm not making accusations in any way just trying to reason. This is in response to Hissing Cobra.

quiet
02-06-2008, 10:45 PM
No one argues with "tier" pricing. If I buy 1 pallet at at time, I expect to pay more than the guy who buys a truckload at a time. But I object to buying one pallet at $8.50/bag and then paying $13.00/bag for 1 pallet of the same exact product 3 weeks later.

I'm sure Hissing Cobra gets frustrated by the small timer who makes him jump through hoops for his 10 bag order, but quite frankly, JD/Lesco will have to learn what most of the grocery stores learned with their "member card" programs. Most did away with them because they realized their most important customer is the guy who just walked in the door.

ted putnam
02-06-2008, 10:51 PM
Please tell me we are not going to dedicate 8 pages to this one as well...Geez, how long are we going to beat this dead horse! Only a zombie would buy everything they ever owned or needed from the same store.I buy much of my material from JDL. I by no means buy everything there. They carry quality products that are sometimes higher than other suppliers, and I know for a fact the opposite is true. I've been doing my homework this Spring! I'm not a blind-folded sheep being led to slaughter and I'm sure most of you aren't either. Prices have gone up everywhere. Some are a little slow to catch up, but will. I believe Lesco/JDL's biggest downfall is not how they do business.(There is a local supplier that operates the same way) it is the fact that they are the largest in their niche. This makes them an easy target...

rcreech
02-06-2008, 10:55 PM
Please tell me we are not going to dedicate 8 pages to this one as well...Geez, how long are we going to beat this dead horse! Only a zombie would buy everything they ever owned or needed from the same store.I buy much of my material from JDL. I by no means buy everything there. They carry quality products that are sometimes higher than other suppliers, and I know for a fact the opposite is true. I've been doing my homework this Spring! I'm not a blind-folded sheep being led to slaughter and I'm sure most of you aren't either. Prices have gone up everywhere. Some are a little slow to catch up, but will. I believe Lesco/JDL's biggest downfall is not how they do business.(There is a local supplier that operates the same way) it is the fact that they are the largest in their niche. This makes them an easy target...

Are you calling me a Zombie Ted? :laugh:

I just buy from whoever is the cheapest...and for me it has been Lesco.

IMO...There is nothing wrong with being "loyal" to a store, as I think that it is the loyalty that has helped me in the past to get the "good" pricing I always get! My supplier knows (as I tell him) that I shep, but I always tell him I expect his best price the first time. I WILL NOT play the back and forth game!

quiet
02-06-2008, 10:57 PM
To say that Lesco fertilizer is an inferior product is frankly ridiculous.

Sorry. But the sooner you get off the SCU/Urea/MOP bandwagon, the sooner you'll distance your self from your competitors. Lesco offered their Novex line a few years ago, and that was a very good product. But Lesco's "bread and butter" line of products is inferior to UAP, Lebanon, Andersons, etc., etc. etc.

PSUTURFGEEK
02-06-2008, 11:20 PM
Please explain to us all why you would use SOP over MOP in the lawn care business,and why you think muriate products and scu's are inferior, and let us know where UAP is getting thier fert, also if your'e looking for a product that releases like polyon, have you tried Lesco-cote? all I'm saying is your'e entitiled to your'e opinion of what works best for you but if you look at years and years of turf studies, Sop's are only gonna make a difference on low cut turf. otherwise your'e creating extra costs for yourself in a volatile market.

ted putnam
02-06-2008, 11:30 PM
Are you calling me a Zombie Ted? :laugh:

I just buy from whoever is the cheapest...and for me it has been Lesco.

IMO...There is nothing wrong with being "loyal" to a store, as I think that it is the loyalty that has helped me in the past to get the "good" pricing I always get! My supplier knows (as I tell him) that I shep, but I always tell him I expect his best price the first time. I WILL NOT play the back and forth game!

No Rodney, you aren't a zombie you're a creecher!:laugh:
Case in point: I can buy Lesco spreader/sticker $30/ gal 25 minute drive away. I can buy 80/10 surfactant from the co-op 10 minutes away for $11/gal. It doesn't take a Rocket Scientist to figure out what I do. I don't buy fertilizer from the co-op because it is crap. I buy Lesco stonewall almost dollar for dollar the same price as Qualipro Prodiamine at a supplier an hour away. The Co-op has a pallet of UFLEXX in their wharehouse for me and only me, because Lesco doesn't carry it. I have 3 supply routes I can take even though I am a "loyal" customer of Lesco/JDL. However, I do shop around. And when I do, I compare apples to apples! I've been doing business with my guys at Lesco a long time. They give me the bottom dollar they can every time...I know this for a fact. I also know that corporate has tightened the reigns on them as far as pricing.

quiet
02-06-2008, 11:53 PM
My humblest of apologies then. I do deal with with low cut turf - and long severe droughts where high salt and high chlorine products have a detrimental impact on the turf. I also deal with a climate and clientele where earliest possible green-up is desired. Continued use of SOP gives a quicker green up in spring, and a much better uptake of all other nutrients throughout the year.

And as far as the N source, how much of that SCU is subject to catastrophic release from just the shipping and handling? The reacted N sources give a much more consistent, even release of N throughout the cycle. Even for the soluble N, ammonium sulfate is a much better soluble N source than urea; emphatically so in alkaline soils where it can be a tremendous aid in disease suppression.

So take your three primary components: soluble N, slow release N, and K. Lesco uses the cheapest of all 3.

And I really don't care where UAP gets their Meth-X 40 or BCMU. . . or where Lebanon gets their MESA . . . or where Andersons get their MUTech . . .

My point is there are a lot of better quality products than Lesco.

Victor
02-06-2008, 11:56 PM
Please tell me we are not going to dedicate 8 pages to this one as well...Geez, how long are we going to beat this dead horse! Only a zombie would buy everything they ever owned or needed from the same store.I buy much of my material from JDL. I by no means buy everything there. They carry quality products that are sometimes higher than other suppliers, and I know for a fact the opposite is true. I've been doing my homework this Spring! I'm not a blind-folded sheep being led to slaughter and I'm sure most of you aren't either. Prices have gone up everywhere. Some are a little slow to catch up, but will. I believe Lesco/JDL's biggest downfall is not how they do business.(There is a local supplier that operates the same way) it is the fact that they are the largest in their niche. This makes them an easy target...

One thing you have to realize Ted (if you don't already realize it), is that there are markets (such as mine) where Lesco/JDL is way out of line with other suppliers on price. That's what I've been rehashing, time after time in these two Lesco-related threads. A lot of the Lesco/JDL die-hards participating in these threads just don't seem to get that and probably never will.

In my case, there is absolutely no trade off in price. There's absolutely no trade off, back and forth between JDL/Lesco and the other suppliers on price for me to be found. There is absolutely no situation where JDL/Lesco products are cheaper for me to buy than other suppliers on ANY products, while more expensive on others for me. They're always MUCH more expensive on EVERYTHING than every other supplier I do business with.

After what's been happening to fertilizer prices lately, anyone who owns an application business would be best served to keep a keen eye on purchasing options. If you spend a little more on product from your supplier of choice than someone else in your area because you like doing business with them for some reason, I don't see anything wrong with that at all. If your main supplier is killing you on price however, you'd be foolish to continue doing any appreciable amount of business with them. Switching to another supplier in this instance would just make good business sense.

There have been stories of pilots that were shot down in combat burning up in the cockpit of their plane, because they were afraid to get out and have to face the jungle. The idea of switching over to a new supplier doesn't give most business owners the warm and fuzzies, but sometimes it's by far, the best decision.

Like I've said all along, just because they might be in your market, or anyone else's market, has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on how they compare price wise in my market for me. Like I've said time after time in these two threads, they aren't even close on price to any of the suppliers I do business with.

To quote you Ted, you said "They carry quality products that are sometimes higher than other suppliers, and I know for a fact the opposite is true." If that's the way things are in your market, then that's great. In your particular situation, I don't blame you at all for being a loyal customer with them. For people like me though, that your statement regarding their supposedly competitive prices don't apply to, we'd be foolish not to use other suppliers.

Again. My whole point in both of these threads, is that each business owner participating in these threads has to use their own situation as a guide to steer them toward which suppliers are the best ones for them to do business with.

It escapes me how anyone could not agree with me on this point, but I do still think it's interesting reading all of the differing opinions in these two threads. Everyone's entitled to their own opinion after all. :)

ted putnam
02-07-2008, 08:33 AM
Vic, I agree with you and I don't blame you in your situation. I also respect the fact the fact that you are not a "blind-folded sheep being led to slaughter." You've explored your options and determined that Lesco/JDL is not a viable one for you.

MnLefty
02-07-2008, 10:38 AM
I believe Lesco/JDL's biggest downfall is not how they do business.(There is a local supplier that operates the same way) it is the fact that they are the largest in their niche. This makes them an easy target...

Finally somebody hit it dead on. Lesco/JDL is the 1000 lb gorilla in the room. Nobody else comes close to their national presence. UAP is national, but nowhere near what the giant is. Yes there are plenty of other national product lines like Andersons, Lebanon, etc... but they have local distributors, not the nationwide warehouses under one name. If I don't like the guys at Bob's Fert Emporium am I going to come in here and tell everyone about it? Probably not, because 99% of this board couldn't care less about Bob's. Because Lesco/JDL is everywhere it gets the lions share of the talk. Did anybody ever notice that in all of the Lesco threads, people have no problem naming Lesco/JDL, good or bad, but rarely does anyone mention the name of any of their other suppliers. Weather it's "Lesco sucks, my supplier kills them on pricing and service", or "my Lesco/JDL treats me right, the other suppliers in town can't beat their price and service", there's usually only one supplier mentioned by name.

The other point I'd like to make is for those that hate Lesco/JDL. As much as you may not like them and not want to do business with them, you should be happy they are nearby. The competition to bring out better products and keep pricing down forces all suppliers to be a little better. You can be sure prices would go up without them around. I'd be willing to bet that people in areas without Lesco/JDL in general pay higher prices on almost everything. So as much as some like to bash on them, they're probably saving you money even though you don't spend a dime with them.

green horizons
02-07-2008, 02:38 PM
Lesco offers an acceptable product. The staff are usually approachable. But the price game is tiring. Constantly a battle. It's not one particular occurance, it's everytime I buy from them. I receive coupon/ discounts in the mail but the store will not honor them. South store calls, gives price quote, the North store will not honor that price. I buy multiple pallets on Monday, but when I need three more bags on Wednesday, the price is 3x more. I understand quantity discounts. I don't buy a few bags per month. This isn't a bash on Lesco or its product. It's disgust for their business model.

DLAWNS
02-07-2008, 02:54 PM
I have dealt with Lesco not only with my company but with previous companies that I've worked for. I've only had good experiences. Maybe I just got lucky and dealt with the good stores. I've found that while their prices might be a little higher on some items the product and knowledge of the staff was worth it to me. Even with the JDL buyout, I haven't seen any problems..I guess time will tell. Unless they start putting their prices out of reach or their customer service suffers I will continue to be a loyal Lesco customer.

green horizons
02-07-2008, 03:25 PM
I should be clear... I posted #7 and #51. After re-reading, I'm not sure if I made it clear. I'm not upset with their pricing, per se, but with not knowing what the pricing will be on any given day or at any given store. It isn't a particular store, either. This voo-doo pricing is apparent in two different states. Prices for fert. are up everywhere, but I never need to walk in and ask, "What's my price today?" at other vendors.

Harley-D
02-07-2008, 03:47 PM
I bet the price variance will eventually stop. You will pay a higher, more consistant price then before. And it won't be different everytime you go in. With that said, lesco's salespeople would try and compete with each other over prices and margins. Not pretty but usually created by the industry trying to play the stores over each other. I've seen it happen, "I swear the other store said this was the price!" then the manager tries to call the other store to verify and the hacker is out the backdoor screaming obsenities. Gotta love how this industry is represented.

TurfCo, LLC
02-07-2008, 11:57 PM
My price has for starter fert has gone from $14.85 to $29.xx from last September.... not impressed by Lesco at all. I know prices go up, but more than double??

Barefoot James
02-08-2008, 12:55 AM
Finally somebody hit it dead on. Lesco/JDL is the 1000 lb gorilla in the room. Nobody else comes close to their national presence. UAP is national, but nowhere near what the giant is. Yes there are plenty of other national product lines like Andersons, Lebanon, etc... but they have local distributors, not the nationwide warehouses under one name. If I don't like the guys at Bob's Fert Emporium am I going to come in here and tell everyone about it? Probably not, because 99% of this board couldn't care less about Bob's. Because Lesco/JDL is everywhere it gets the lions share of the talk. Did anybody ever notice that in all of the Lesco threads, people have no problem naming Lesco/JDL, good or bad, but rarely does anyone mention the name of any of their other suppliers. Weather it's "Lesco sucks, my supplier kills them on pricing and service", or "my Lesco/JDL treats me right, the other suppliers in town can't beat their price and service", there's usually only one supplier mentioned by name.

The other point I'd like to make is for those that hate Lesco/JDL. As much as you may not like them and not want to do business with them, you should be happy they are nearby. The competition to bring out better products and keep pricing down forces all suppliers to be a little better. You can be sure prices would go up without them around. I'd be willing to bet that people in areas without Lesco/JDL in general pay higher prices on almost everything. So as much as some like to bash on them, they're probably saving you money even though you don't spend a dime with them.

MnLefty understands - Marketing, Branding, Exposure and most importantly Economics - so very true - every word. I bet they get it figured out - too bad we suffer!

MnLefty
02-08-2008, 01:43 AM
My price has for starter fert has gone from $14.85 to $29.xx from last September.... not impressed by Lesco at all. I know prices go up, but more than double??

Phosphorus has taken a bigger jump than even N and K... double the price seems like it may be huge, but it probably isn't out of line...

bug-guy
02-08-2008, 08:21 AM
i will admit when the cost increase came in i was worried. some of my compet. didn't seem to go up at all in their products. i made some sales calls to old time friends(one was over golf) theses guy's bought all their fert elsewhere last year. i left them with if your prices go up shortly in the future call me and i left them with labels and prices. two have called and one was in such a need i had to rush some paperwork so he could use the product that morning.
my compet jumped him $4.00 a bag for 8000 sq ft product i am not only saving him money but he will get 10000 out of a bag and loves the quality of the product especially that he can see it go down.

spring is HERE!!!!

PHS
02-08-2008, 08:57 AM
I'm not upset with their pricing, per se, but with not knowing what the pricing will be on any given day or at any given store...I never need to walk in and ask, "What's my price today?" at other vendors.

Part of that might be that they are trying to be all things to all people. In other words when you go to Home Depot everything is priced for 'off-the-street' customers and for professionals most products are way too high. My local professional suppliers operate out of a wharehouse with no store front and basically have zero 'off-the-street' traffic and their prices are much better and only sell in larger quantities. They have a scaled pricing system too but the range is much narrower because they aren't involved in the regular retail market. I tend to be more loyal to them because I can go in any time and buy any product and I know it's going to be reasonable.

It seems like to me Lesco is operating in both markets at the same time out of the same store so the price range goes from ridiculous Home Depot prices to very competitive truckload prices. I haven't used Ewing very much but it looks to me they operate in a similar way. If they would dedicate to one market or the other that would probably help to reduce the wild fluctuations for the small to medium sized buyers like me.

Runner
02-10-2008, 04:31 PM
Absolutely!
If you are charging only $55.00 for a 20k+ sqft lawn, you are killing yourself. And don't think that you are "expensive" at $55.00 for 20k.

Somethin you have o understand though, is that there are 12 other companies in the area charging even less. Even WITH the higher quality that we deliver, selling these at these rates or anyting over is a bit of a tougher sell. Now, this year, we WILL be going up quite a bit....we have no choice.

AGREED!!!!
In fact if you charge Wal-Mart prices, that's where your supplies should be purchased. It only makes good business sense to me. JMHO. There's no way I am going to sweat my A$$ off in July on a near half acre lawn for a $20 bill...NO WAY!...I think...no I KNOW I'm worth more than that!

You really can't tell from one area to another. there are parts of this country where they are getting over $150. for the same 20M lots.same goes with the fert. and chem. prices. I was spending about 10 bucks for a bag of 50% scu 24-0-11 last year, so I don't know where all the walmart comments come from - same for the working for the $20 bill.
You guys have to compare apples to apples, and oranges to oranges. We all know the broad range of prices from region to region. we even have broad price fluctuation's from here to Detroit, alot of times.

ted putnam
02-10-2008, 04:51 PM
You're right runner. I probably shouldn't have made that comment. It just seemed ridiculously low. I get the same amount for almost half the lawn size. I spend a lot of time on my lawns... very meticulous. The only way I could charge those prices, feed my family and still stay in business would be to buy Sam's Choice. You are absolutely right, Everything is different from region to region.

Mic_bug
03-25-2008, 07:29 PM
I wonder how the prices are now with teh JohnDeer takin em over.

Frank Fescue
03-26-2008, 07:25 AM
I wonder how the prices are now with teh JohnDeer takin em over.


i heard they will be going down over 70%

jrc lawncare
03-26-2008, 07:55 AM
i heard they will be going down over 70%ROFLMAO!!!

magland
03-26-2008, 10:29 AM
I wonder how the prices are now with teh JohnDeer takin em over.

I don't know about the prices, but I heard the Lesco managers will now be driving lawn tractors home. :laugh:

gsxr1100
03-26-2008, 11:41 AM
I liked Lesco but the more I go there, the more their help has no clue!