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Going Commercial
03-27-2009, 12:08 AM
I finally got the chance to meet with the property owner of a small business after 2 months of being persistant to discuss weekly mowing. I already knew that I would bid this property at $70.00 per cut. I asked him what he was looking for, the cheapest price or quality service? He told me he was looking to stay at the same price that he was paying his service last year. I was frustrated to say the least when he showed me his contract from last year for $45.00 per cut. The same company bid the same amount again this year. The owner also showed me 3 other proposals that were $60, $70, and $70. I will be submitting my bid, as a professional because I have work close by but I am sure he is going with the cheapest, same company as before. I run a 2 man crew with two 60 inch ztrs, a 48 inch stander, and push mowers on trailer. I am not new to this business.

It amazes me how these guys think they can make money. I can not blame a property owner for trying to get a fair, competitive rate for good service. My frustration and anger is towards the guys who are ruining this industry by offering services at non-competitive rates. When I see 3 proposals ranging from $60-70 from expierienced, insured, and professional companies I ask the $45 company " Are you proud to be a lowballer or just not educated enough to be in this industry "?

It feels good to vent and let it out!

jaybow
03-27-2009, 12:18 AM
I finally got the chance to meet with the property owner of a small business after 2 months of being persistant to discuss weekly mowing. I already knew that I would bid this property at $70.00 per cut. I asked him what he was looking for, the cheapest price or quality service? He told me he was looking to stay at the same price that he was paying his service last year. I was frustrated to say the least when he showed me his contract from last year for $45.00 per cut. The same company bid the same amount again this year. The owner also showed me 3 other proposals that were $60, $70, and $70. I will be submitting my bid, as a professional because I have work close by but I am sure he is going with the cheapest, same company as before. I run a 2 man crew with two 60 inch ztrs, a 48 inch stander, and push mowers on trailer. I am not new to this business.

It amazes me how these guys think they can make money. I can not blame a property owner for trying to get a fair, competitive rate for good service. My frustration and anger is towards the guys who are ruining this industry by offering services at non-competitive rates. When I see 3 proposals ranging from $60-70 from expierienced, insured, and professional companies I ask the $45 company " Are you proud to be a lowballer or just not educated enough to be in this industry "?

It feels good to vent and let it out!

Yeah that sucks! This was my first year putting some bids out on commercial properties and Im sure Im up against the same crap. I havent heard anything from any commercials and there is not much time left before the season starts.

Carolina Cuts
03-27-2009, 12:21 AM
It amazes me how these guys think they can make money.

they must be making something, cause' they're back again this year AND didn't raise their rates. If they weren't making money, then they'd be OUT or raising their prices....

driver5
03-27-2009, 12:29 AM
the lowballer term is used very loosely here....

the reason the bids are not all the same is that people charge differently. peoples worth, or time/money value is different than what might work for you. he may be a lowballer to you because his bid is almost half of yours... but he still may be making money. Lord knows that I wouldnt be at that cheap of a rate.

It does suck.
Sorry bro

All you can do is smile and submitt your bid. And hopefully you will get the call one day, and that you can showcase your skills. professionalism always wins in the long run. usually.


sometimes.

Going Commercial
03-27-2009, 12:41 AM
I just wanted to add that the company I consider to be the LOWBALLER is in his 2nd year of business. I know most of his equipment was purchased new. He has probably not seen many breakdowns or felt the reality of their cost to fix them. Most of us in my area are not raising prices due to the economy.

driver5
03-27-2009, 12:52 AM
I just wanted to add that the company I consider to be the LOWBALLER is in his 2nd year of business. I know most of his equipment was purchased new. He has probably not seen many breakdowns or felt the reality of their cost to fix them. Most of us in my area are not raising prices due to the economy.

Ive had my equip. for ten years now... so yeah...I just dropped about 500.00 just on spring maintanance....

ambersLawnmowing
03-27-2009, 12:52 AM
I run a 2 man crew with two 60 inch ztrs, a 48 inch stander, and push mowers on trailer.

Maybe less over head??2men canrun 2 mowers, makes sence to me. I have alot of mowers but i dont drive them all around at the same time.
Dont bash just my 2 cents>>>>
I learned the "term Lowballers" from this site after hearing everyone complaining about them. I know longer look at them as lowballers i just think that they are there to remind me to stay inline. They are now competition to me. Why make such a big deal about them, if you do great work and are professional,work will come. Just because you didnt get that job doesnt mean you wont get a gravier one a few days from now. I am not defending them in any means but they will learn to be competive or they will be gone.. I lost 2 this week to them but i just got a call from a clinic that has 23 sites, that is how it works and how fast you learn to forget the little ones and go get the big ones. Relax the guy was price shopping..

bock
03-27-2009, 01:32 AM
Ugh i hear ya.. I lost a 20K account over the previouse years company going in and undercutting me. Its not just the small guys doing it! These larger companies in my area are doing it too! I even did all the snow removal work for this account and you would think I would have a foot in the door!

Florida Gardener
03-27-2009, 01:44 AM
what i have learned is that there is a market for everyone. do you want a price shopping customer? i understand the frustration, but like others have said, the work will def come.

fazzy815-66
03-27-2009, 08:26 AM
Maybe less over head??2men canrun 2 mowers, makes sence to me. I have alot of mowers but i dont drive them all around at the same time.
Dont bash just my 2 cents>>>>
I learned the "term Lowballers" from this site after hearing everyone complaining about them. I know longer look at them as lowballers i just think that they are there to remind me to stay inline. They are now competition to me. Why make such a big deal about them, if you do great work and are professional,work will come. Just because you didnt get that job doesnt mean you wont get a gravier one a few days from now. I am not defending them in any means but they will learn to be competive or they will be gone.. I lost 2 this week to them but i just got a call from a clinic that has 23 sites, that is how it works and how fast you learn to forget the little ones and go get the big ones. Relax the guy was price shopping..

Two man crews are very efficient for most properties depending on size.I run 2 man crews because of that reason, my rule of thumb is everyone should be done at the same time or its not productive, so if you have 3 guys and one of them is "trying to keep busy" then your not running lean enough. Remember labor is you biggest expense.

ED'S LAWNCARE
03-27-2009, 08:52 AM
I don't do commercial anymore but, if you don't know his numbers you really don't know he is a LB. He may just be efficient or willing to work for less because of less overhead. Lets face it a good z will last a long time as long as you take care of it. I had the same trimmers for 5 yrs now same with the blower. Given that amt of time replacement costs are easy to put away.

JB1
03-27-2009, 08:59 AM
I don't do commercial anymore but, if you don't know his numbers you really don't know he is a LB. He may just be efficient or willing to work for less because of less overhead. Lets face it a good z will last a long time as long as you take care of it. I had the same trimmers for 5 yrs now same with the blower. Given that amt of time replacement costs are easy to put away.


Its like the term rich, who is rich, anybody with more money than me. Same as lowballer ask somebody it is, whoever under bids me, why they must be a lowballer how else can they bid so cheap. Bottom line is some of you have no idea what the heck you are doing. The lowballer threads are worthless.

CoupesCuts
03-27-2009, 09:15 AM
This guy is probably doing it at that low price just so he can get his business started. Really, when you are new and people know it how else do you win the bid? If he's smart he's bidding at the right rates on other properties this year. I've dealt with this before. I bid on a driveway and small parking lot to plow. It's tiny. I bid $50 since it included shoveling walks, and its commercial. Salt was an additional $50. They came back to me and said the guy before did it for $25. They were unhappy with him, but willing to give him another shot due to the price. Well, 2nd storm of the year I get a call pleading to go plow. I plowed all season and I now have a very happy customer at the rates I bid. Quality work is worth $$$.

supercuts
03-27-2009, 09:24 AM
why so many posts about this. there will always be low ballers, newbies, and weekend warriors who are not insured and dont have any overhead looking to make slightly more then their $15/hr job. get over it, move on. its part of the business.

grassman177
03-27-2009, 09:37 AM
i have felt this now, there is a guy that was solo for a few years and very young. he did nice work and we got along well. now since last year he bought some accounts and is really marketing and deirectly at me. he is hiring guys i think with little expereince and it is showing. i think it is funny as hell. he is getting all kinds of work due to his low pricing but he is obviously getting too big too fast. everyone who has been in business long enough in thi9s industry know s what will happen. it started last year and i espect it to contiue this year. his quailty is steadily going down while ours steadily is the same or getting better. i cant wait to see hime loose a bunch mid season. little $@&@head!!!!

RNH Lawn Care
03-27-2009, 12:26 PM
Look at it from the customer's point of view. He is not a low baller, you are price gouging.

grassman177
03-27-2009, 12:47 PM
it is not price gouging if your overhead requires a certian operating cost!!!!! but that guy is def lowballing if compared to several other bids and he is the only one way different and lower.

sdk1959
03-27-2009, 01:17 PM
If he's taking new bids this year. He's looking to replace him. Keep that in mind, you still might get the contract.:)

Sherry Lawn and Landscape
03-27-2009, 02:21 PM
not worried about "low ballers" we are busy as hell as is. what a waist of time.

andubailey
03-27-2009, 03:39 PM
If someone would have bid $100.00, does that make you a lowballer for coming in lower.

grassman177
03-27-2009, 04:02 PM
If he's taking new bids this year. He's looking to replace him. Keep that in mind, you still might get the contract.:)

quite simple to agree here. but bids are tough this year. everyone seems to be at least a little price worried, with good reason though. i know i am.

Going Commercial
03-27-2009, 04:21 PM
Please read the post before asking a question like that Andubailey. I will answer your question anyways but here again are the facts:

1 low bid at $45.00 = Lowballer in my opinion
3 bids $60-70 = competitive, educated, and expierienced

Your bid of question $100, simply over priced, non-competitive, = NO BUSINESS

Not trying to be sarcastic or disrespectful in any way. Thanks

andubailey
03-27-2009, 05:29 PM
If you are refering to the uneducated edit under my post. I was correcting my grammar. That is not directed at you, my grammar skills have slipped over the years. In no way am I saying you are uneducated or a lowballer. All I am saying is that there is always someone larger than you with higher overhead that might think you are a lowballer. He might have the nicest equipment in town and have ten crews and needs to charge $70.00 to break even. Maybe the guy charging $40.00 has little overhead and makes 35.00 off this account.

andubailey
03-27-2009, 05:43 PM
I know plenty of people who charge alot more than me, but guess what. Everything I make, besides gas, insurance and maintenance goes straight in my pocket. Yes I work alone, and no I am not a lowballer. If I can't average $40 an hour after overhead, I won't do it.

ambersLawnmowing
03-27-2009, 05:54 PM
Please read the post before asking a question like that Andubailey. I will answer your question anyways but here again are the facts:

1 low bid at $45.00 = Lowballer in my opinion
3 bids $60-70 = competitive, educated, and expierienced

Your bid of question $100, simply over priced, non-competitive, = NO BUSINESS

Not trying to be sarcastic or disrespectful in any way. Thanks

Because his price was lower then yours he is automaticly a lowballer??? Funny... He maybe smarter then you think and more experianced then you think. Maybe he had work down the street, so he gave a discount for that reason. Maybe he has a better business plan then you know of, There are alot of maybe's that i could just keep on going. The simple answer to this is do you get every job you bid on? No because there is always someone that has better costs then you therefore he can bid lower. If everyone had the same price, people on here would be Bit*hin about never getting any work. What this is "Simple Competition". Lowes has lower prices then Home Depot or Home Depot has lower prices then Lowes either way someone has lower prices, someone must be lowballing?

Or better yet maybe the guy was hosing you on what he paid to get your price down? nobody knows

andubailey
03-27-2009, 06:08 PM
If the guy isn't making money, don't worry about it. He won't bid that low next year or he'll go out of business and you can buy his equipment cheap as hell off craigslist.

borwicks
03-28-2009, 10:18 AM
It may be a lowballer but alot of things go into the price people charge. Do they service there own equipment, do they do good maintenance at regular intervals that promote a longer life. Do they abuse there equipment or love it.
Do they single pass mow, double pass or bag. Every ones time is worth what they decide it to be. At the end of the day after paying all the dues,loans and taxes I like my net to be $30 per hour but I live a modest life and have low overhead. I also love what I do and think of my clients as friends. Most of my clients have a personal relationship with me where we talk about are families and such. I do not advertise. All customers are referred by current ones. The newest truck we use is a 1996. Are mowers consist of grasshopper front mounts, toro t bars, skag hydros. Most of are mowers are over 5 years old.
I dont dont worry about getting new business or losing business. You cant control your customers but you can do a great job and be friendly. If I loose a account because of price instead of quality that is fine. I dont need that type of customer. Dress for success, we wear button up long sleeve shirts and jeans with not holes in them. Shirts need to be tucked in and wear a belt. We dont need your a++ showing.