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View Full Version : BIG problem with Mulch installs!


mkwl
03-16-2009, 01:22 PM
There is a rather large company near me that sells and installs mulch (all they do is mulch). They have a deal out right now that they will install mulch at $27 per yard! Just about all of my clients cought wind of this, and are opting to go with this company for mulch! :cry: I have always "depended" on mulch fo a good deal of profits in the spring, and now, with this company coming in, I'm losing a TON of them, because they WAY underbid me. I have offered to a few people to do the jobs for say 10% or so more than them, and they went for it because they're loyal to me, but many of they were like- the economy is tight, and they can do it cheaper- give them the business-:cry:. What would you guys do in this situation- lower prices some, or watch clients drop off the mulch list and lose income?

Nick's Lawn Care
03-16-2009, 01:44 PM
Hmmm... maybe venture out your services... power washing?

White Gardens
03-16-2009, 01:52 PM
Nick is right, you might have to try and branch out some-where to gain some extra income.

I would check out the mulch this company offers. I have a feeling it might be nasty, so you might want to tell this to your customers.

Arm yourself with some ammunition to show your clients you've actually got a better deal.

jerryslandscaping
03-16-2009, 02:41 PM
I have seen the 1-800-mulch trucks around my town. I have no idea if that is the same one's you have seen. Knock on wood have not been having a problem so far yet with mulch jobs. The deal can only run so long i would hope keep plugging away.

shade tree landscaping
03-16-2009, 02:51 PM
27 a yard installed? after paying gas & insurance, labor to install, and product(obv they are getting a great wholesale price) how do they make a profit? I'm guessing that its on volume, and alot of it!

mkwl
03-16-2009, 03:51 PM
Well, I am looking to branch out services more, but historically mulch has always been a good moneymaker for me. I have pointed out to my clients that this larger outfit (to remain anonymous) uses mulch blowers, which do not lay mulch down as thick, or as neatly (IMO). This has held a couple more for me as they really want a top notch job done.

fl-landscapes
03-16-2009, 04:47 PM
Nick is right, you might have to try and branch out some-where to gain some extra income.

I would check out the mulch this company offers. I have a feeling it might be nasty, so you might want to tell this to your customers.

Arm yourself with some ammunition to show your clients you've actually got a better deal.

I agree with gardens. I would take a look at a job they do for one of your former customers. Be honest BUT if you see an inferior product I would point it out. I just told my mulch supplier I wouldn't be buying a certain mulch from him because he switched to a different brand and the stuff was crap. He fired that company and is getting the prior brand back for me. Quality matters!!

Ramairfreak98ss
03-16-2009, 05:09 PM
27 a yard installed? after paying gas & insurance, labor to install, and product(obv they are getting a great wholesale price) how do they make a profit? I'm guessing that its on volume, and alot of it!


i know, damn, the cheapest i pay after tax is around $19 a yard for black dye.. which almost all residential use, so your installing, trucking, and running a business for $8 a yard profit ? what about their employees?

Where is this company at north jersey or central or south? I dont know of any down here that are doing it anywhere near that cheap.

Maybe they should call up US maintenance, since they seem to have thousands of yards of mulch to install at 1000s of locations for that price lol :clapping:

GracesLandscaping
03-16-2009, 10:25 PM
wish they were in my town and my clients didn't know about them!!! hahaha i would call them, have them do the service, pay them, then collect my profits from the client! thats ridiculous because mulch (premium brown) is 22 a yd here for the avg Joe and 17 and some change for me (or any registered business) i charge 40 per yd plus 20 delivery and im cheaper than pretty much everyone!

OSU 09
03-16-2009, 10:36 PM
$27 installed!? The cheapest I can get mulch around here is around $20 a yard. I could imagine going that low, that wouldn't even be enough to cover expenses.

coxslawncare
03-16-2009, 10:54 PM
Hell I pay 27 a yard for dyed brown here. Haven't laid regular hardwood mulch in 3 years so not current on that price. Cheapest I have heard of for dyed around here is 25 but it is 25 miles away or so. No way could anyone around here lay it for that price. Even the big mulch company with blower trucks charges 60 for regular installed.

4.3mudder
03-16-2009, 11:08 PM
LOL, I pay 27.50 for red mulch per yard, regular price for a residential user is 37.50. This sounds like a lowballing scheme maybe.

LB1234
03-17-2009, 12:10 AM
Realize they are probablly getting there mulch for like 8/yd or maybe less is tractor trailer quantities. Sounds a little low though...I would think there has to be some sort of catch...minimum 20 yds...call by feb-22nd...with spring cleanup and bed edging....something.

Carolina Cuts
03-17-2009, 12:46 AM
Realize they are probablly getting there mulch for like 8/yd or maybe less is tractor trailer quantities.

absolutely they are... and yes, I'm sure there is a minimum requirement..

although, a negative would be... its even more seasonal then having a lawnservice. MOST mulch in the Spring.... Feb. - May. Mulch installs typically die down after May.... at least for me they do.

Justcut Marc
03-17-2009, 02:30 PM
I agree check into the quality of mulch, they are probably getting all old tree chips that might have disease. I have a friend that does tree work and he brings all of his chips to a company for mulch. The problem is that he deals with trees that are diseased or infested with bugs...where does all that go when they make it mulch--right beack on your customers property....

phasthound
03-17-2009, 06:41 PM
There is a rather large company near me that sells and installs mulch (all they do is mulch). They have a deal out right now that they will install mulch at $27 per yard! Just about all of my clients cought wind of this, and are opting to go with this company for mulch! :cry: I have always "depended" on mulch fo a good deal of profits in the spring, and now, with this company coming in, I'm losing a TON of them, because they WAY underbid me. I have offered to a few people to do the jobs for say 10% or so more than them, and they went for it because they're loyal to me, but many of they were like- the economy is tight, and they can do it cheaper- give them the business-:cry:. What would you guys do in this situation- lower prices some, or watch clients drop off the mulch list and lose income?

I'm pretty sure I know the company you speak of. I suspect you will continue having a hard time competing with them because of their equipment, mulch sources, marketing.

You need to expand your services in order to survive this economy.

Carolina Cuts
03-17-2009, 07:31 PM
with trees that are diseased or infested with bugs...where does all that go when they make it mulch--right beack on your customers property....

job security for pest control.....

there's a thought, part time lawn service, part time mulch supplier, part time pest control....

nobagger
03-17-2009, 07:38 PM
I know some guys are low but how low can you possibly go. GEEZ! I honestly dont know how these "volume" company's do it.

deere615
03-17-2009, 10:49 PM
wow bark here is $25yrd and dyed is $33 thats just to buy not even installed!

LawnScapers of Dayton
03-17-2009, 11:08 PM
they can have it at that price......my time is worth way more than that....

Runner
03-18-2009, 12:51 PM
I'ts probably someone that has their own tub grinder, dyer, and also takes chips from tree services. Combine that with a blower truck, and yo can do this EASILY if you do enough for long enough. We have a tree company real close to us that takes ANYthing wood related. He allows anyone to dump brush, trees, shrubs, pallets..ANYthing. He has a tub grinder and conveyor, and now has a mountain of mulch ready to be dyed.

ford550
03-18-2009, 06:06 PM
Wow, that's crazy. I hope they stay over in NJ and don't migrate over to PA. Those mulch blower trucks aren't cheap either, $80K-$100K. Makes absolutely no sense. Pretty soon these guys will be charging $0 for work. Let'em, freakin' morons.

ponyboy
03-18-2009, 09:49 PM
They are here in NY it is the same company they advertise in the penny saver, they make their own mulch all different types hardwood,cedar,dyed they also sell it in bulk. I used them on several estates i have they will spray it what ever depth you want 1- 4 inches and they were neat and looked ok i sent my guys to rake all the beds level and made some easy money. My customers are loyal to me and arent always looking for the cheapest, it is a tough choice how to handel it last year we were booked so i did what was necessary to keep them all happy this year not so booked yet and might not use them. It is the same as low ballers on cutting we have guys that say we will vut lawns for $19.99 a week how do you stop them that is the hard part of bussiness. Any monkey can cut a lawn(sorry it is true) but you are not selling that you are selling yourself your pride and workmanship n ow get to selling and stop crying(not any one personally)

openbook
03-19-2009, 01:57 AM
I agree check into the quality of mulch, they are probably getting all old tree chips that might have disease. I have a friend that does tree work and he brings all of his chips to a company for mulch. The problem is that he deals with trees that are diseased or infested with bugs...where does all that go when they make it mulch--right beack on your customers property....

Whoa that's not good. I was under the impression all diseased wood had to be debarked, burned or buried.

I know of a company that takes logs for free and grinds them up into mulch. That stuff sucks though, it's not very nice and it's dyed.

slamjamrockinman
03-19-2009, 02:11 AM
Try de-thatching. If you install a jrco rake on the front of your wb, you can go over it once, then bag it up. It is quick,easy, and profitable. Lots of people here want it done and don't want to rent equipment. Not sure about your area though, just a suggestion.

George Mason
03-19-2009, 03:14 AM
There is a guy around here that started up that way, maybe not quite that cheap, but nonetheless, cheap and only doing mulch. This year - "now offering mowing and landscaping services." I don't know what he charges for that, he's not a scab or anything like that but he used that mulch company for three or four years to land him a lot of customers. I am buying my mulch in bulk, $1,200 for an 85 cubic yard delivery of high quality double shredded dark hardwood which should allow me to add about $10 per yard installed, so not bad over the course of whatever time it takes to unload that.

ponyboy
03-19-2009, 08:16 AM
also this is a big company with 5 blow truck several tri axels not a fly by the night company

meicher806
03-19-2009, 11:45 PM
im getting mulch for around 13 per yard but it depends on how many semi's i order after 2 my price starts droping.

StBalor
03-20-2009, 09:32 AM
Same thing is happening here. Someone advetising mulch delivered and installed for 40.00 per yard. Flyers and ads everywhere. I can't do it that cheap, so losing alot of work.

Henry
03-20-2009, 09:59 AM
I would buy mulch from them in the past but stopped when I saw their flyer in my mailbox. I spoke to the owner just before that about subbing a 35 yard job to them and he said they would do it by hand for that price!

This pisses me off about a lot of places around here lately. A landscape company opens a garden center and sends me a letter to let me know they offer wholesale pricing to contractors. Another wholesale only nursery happens to also design and install landscapes. Why would I want to help make the competition more successful?