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View Full Version : Was my bid to high or was I LOWBALLED!!!


V & C Lawn Service
03-09-2011, 09:43 AM
:confused:Hi out there, I'm starting to get more calls in for bids to do jobs because of referrals from other customers who appreciate my work. I also have my website finally up and running. www.vclawnservice.com stop by and check it out. I will definitely appreciate some feedback. However, I did a bid for a potential client and here is a description of services along with the bid amount. Lawn size is 12,917 sq ft. Initial service charge was 150.00 a little leaves but alot of edge work. 35 Shrubs to be trimmed at 5.00 per= 175.00, 8 Crepe Myrtles to be pruned at 30.00= 240.00 one of the Myrtles she wanted trimmed just below her fascia board on the side of the house and not trimmed all the way down like the other 7. She also wanted 2 shrubs removed 25.00=50.00,She wanted pine bark nuggets for a 1022 sq ft mulch bed which would require 86 bags @ 3.00per bag= 86x3=258 + 8% sales tax= 278.64 x 2 (my charge for the install) = 557.28 rounded it to 560.00, My Dump fee was 50.00 for a total of 1,225.00 She said that she had other estimates and that I was much higher. However, I'm here in Fay, NC where this is the home of the 82nd Airborne Division and the area was not effected by the economy as the rest of the US. (Keep in mind the actual price for the mulch would have been 2.00per bag= 86x2=172.00+8% sales tax=185.76 x 2= 371.52 round up to 375.00) Should I have used the 2.00 format for the Mulch or use the current 3.00 formula which I charged an additional 1.00 per bag. I would love to hear some opinions out there. I know we have lowballers out here but I want to make a living and not become someone's yard boy. Please I would love to hear some opinions.

gasracer
03-09-2011, 09:54 AM
I do want to ask why you charge $150 for 12,000 sq. ft of mowing....

lukemelo216
03-09-2011, 10:02 AM
agreed? Thats like a $35 lawn at most. also, space things out a little bit. Its a bit confusing trying to read that all and take it all in without space.

gasracer
03-09-2011, 10:58 AM
Also if you were mowing charge a little extra each time and trim a couple of bushes. Crepe's take a whole season to grow back.

freddyc
03-09-2011, 03:34 PM
you said;

(Keep in mind the actual price for the mulch would have been 2.00per bag= 86x2=172.00+8% sales tax=185.76 x 2= 371.52 round up to 375.00



I don't know if this is the same as you said further up would be at $3.00/bag.

In either case, don't you have bulk materials there that would be cheaper? I can't imagine buying bags of anything due to the packaging cost. Hoe many cubic ft of material is 86 bags?

Agape
03-09-2011, 04:33 PM
I do want to ask why you charge $150 for 12,000 sq. ft of mowing....

sounds like that was re-defining the edge on the beds as well, shovel work, and sounds like some leaves needed to be raked from the shrubs?

Agape
03-09-2011, 04:35 PM
you said;

(Keep in mind the actual price for the mulch would have been 2.00per bag= 86x2=172.00+8% sales tax=185.76 x 2= 371.52 round up to 375.00



I don't know if this is the same as you said further up would be at $3.00/bag.

In either case, don't you have bulk materials there that would be cheaper? I can't imagine buying bags of anything due to the packaging cost. Hoe many cubic ft of material is 86 bags?

27 cubic feet in a yard, I agree bulk is way cheaper and better.

Agape
03-09-2011, 04:55 PM
:confused:Hi out there, I'm starting to get more calls in for bids to do jobs because of referrals from other customers who appreciate my work. I also have my website finally up and running. www.vclawnservice.com stop by and check it out. I will definitely appreciate some feedback. However, I did a bid for a potential client and here is a description of services along with the bid amount. Lawn size is 12,917 sq ft. Initial service charge was 150.00 a little leaves but alot of edge work. 35 Shrubs to be trimmed at 5.00 per= 175.00, 8 Crepe Myrtles to be pruned at 30.00= 240.00 one of the Myrtles she wanted trimmed just below her fascia board on the side of the house and not trimmed all the way down like the other 7. She also wanted 2 shrubs removed 25.00=50.00,She wanted pine bark nuggets for a 1022 sq ft mulch bed which would require 86 bags @ 3.00per bag= 86x3=258 + 8% sales tax= 278.64 x 2 (my charge for the install) = 557.28 rounded it to 560.00, My Dump fee was 50.00 for a total of 1,225.00 She said that she had other estimates and that I was much higher. However, I'm here in Fay, NC where this is the home of the 82nd Airborne Division and the area was not effected by the economy as the rest of the US. (Keep in mind the actual price for the mulch would have been 2.00per bag= 86x2=172.00+8% sales tax=185.76 x 2= 371.52 round up to 375.00) Should I have used the 2.00 format for the Mulch or use the current 3.00 formula which I charged an additional 1.00 per bag. I would love to hear some opinions out there. I know we have lowballers out here but I want to make a living and not become someone's yard boy. Please I would love to hear some opinions.

OK, not trying to be a jerk, but your site looks good, but services are not specific enough. also, you should remove the dates and times on the testimonials. It's remarkable that you got thank you e-mails from 3 different people the same day at 8:06, at 8:14, at 8:28, and then a fourth the next day. You probably did, but If people feel you are dishonest about small things, they won't trust you with important stuff. JMHO

jsslawncare
03-09-2011, 05:22 PM
Buy bulk, Lose the date and times. Get a different e-mail address, Doesn't look profressional. The dates may bring up questions and this is why I laugh at pictures of everyones work. You can take pictures of anyones work and say that you did it.

XLS
03-09-2011, 06:13 PM
by our price standard minimums we would have been able to saved her some money but not alot 75.00 on the job . One thing we do you may consider doing is do LESS work and do it More often . we had to learn to opperate this way back a few years ago to make a higher profit and to secure higher priced residential jobs ....if you do it all at once your going to present a higher bill at one time to the client and you may not get a second call back on her after the job . We would have priced the clean up at X on a monday then on thursday had a truck in there removing the dead bushes and prunning . then on say the following wednesday the edging and then on friday finish the job with the mulch . Yes you will burn more fuel BUT you also was in the neigborhood for a total of 4 days that the homeowners seenyour truck . instead of 1 day and half of that time most neigbors was at work . Doing it over a few days allows you to be seen by more possible new clients it allows a smaller check so its easier on the homeowner and that can make a small differance over the all at once guys.
Also by breaking jobs down it may also allow you to run at a lower cost . think if its a large crew at 14.00 an hour each its X but if you have a gopher he can go dig up the bushes for 9.50 saving money by allowing your higher paid employees to be doing more appropriate jobs else where

V & C Lawn Service
03-10-2011, 08:12 AM
As for the website I got it up and running that day. So when I posted the testimonials they where accredited for the day it was posted. There is nothing dishonest about the post, but I can understand how some may think so, but everything is legit. As for doing the work over a few days, you must understand that she was the one to tell me what she wanted done as we walked through her yard and I gave her a price on the services she wanted the next day. As for purchasing pine bark mulch in bulk, they don't sell it in bulk in this area, because it is not that much in demand as other mulch which can be purchased in bulk. I just wanted to know if anyone thinks that my prices where to high per service or was I in the neighborhood for the landscape market.

Wright48
03-10-2011, 08:36 AM
First off you should be buying in bulk when its avalible. I know in my area people are making 10 to 15 dollars on the yard of mulch topsoild whatever it may be. And as far as bidding rest of the work you have to have an hourly rate worked out. For me its 60 dollars an hour for all detailed landscape work e.g. prunning, trimming, bed edging , mulching, planting , weeding ect. then I the 60 an hour cover the company one crew leader and my overhead then i add in the helpers salary. now of course you can charge someone 500 dollars to do an 2 hours worth of work but at least when you go to figure a job out your over head is coverd. And some jobs have a difficulty factor thrown in. Idk im not in the postion of turning down work but i wont work for free.Other companies low ball like crazy and its funny how 2 years later there gone.

PerfectEarth
03-10-2011, 09:04 AM
You might not be far off the price... but I think where you might be high is the individual "task pricing".... for example, the shrub removal. 50.00 to pop out two shrubs (assuming they are not 60 yr old taxus or something!)... I'm guessing that may take 10 minutes at most to remove two simple shrubs. I'd look at the job overall in terms of time ("ok...it's going to take me 5 hours here for all this pruning, removal and clean-up... 3 hours to spread these bags, 1 hour mobilization and dump....etc etc..) get a general idea of time, take your rate, and do the math. You might end up with a better price for the customer and still do very well. Give a labor cost (one number) but list the jobs you are going to do, not the price for each. Give a materials cost separate. X number of bags for 400.00 or whatever... on my estimates, I rarely list the unit cost (8.25 per bag cyprus, for example)....they can do the division if they want.

V & C Lawn Service
03-10-2011, 12:03 PM
The reason for charging 150.00 for cutting the lawn is because it was an initial service which was going to require bagging the leaves an edging the entire property.

V & C Lawn Service
03-10-2011, 12:11 PM
I did think about looking at the entire job and the estimated time approach, but I think that it is much simpler for me two charge by the type of work to be done. Maybe I should lower my individual task pricing and I agree not to list the cost of each item, but list what will be done and give the overall price for the job.

V & C Lawn Service
03-10-2011, 12:22 PM
I also always try to buy in bulk, but pine bark mulch is not that much in demand in this area and it is not sold in bulk in this area.

V & C Lawn Service
03-10-2011, 12:27 PM
Hi Lukemelo216, I understand you feel like it is a 35.00 yard and I agree if you were cutting it every week, but this was an initial service which required more work. I hope that you're not selling yourself short and charging 35.00 no matter what shape the yard is in.

XLS
03-10-2011, 08:09 PM
well i wil lady this out for you we did a startup like your refering to just monday and this is how it adds up
12k of lot size with a in ground pool concrete drive 10x12 shed and landscape
we did a startup mowing and it cost him $225.00 for a walker mower trimmer and blower
2 man hours of time and in all we got 8 walker dumps of debris .
we have to go back remove 2 dead bushes on the property ( 3' tall box woods )priced it at $75.00 and trim back 3 crepe myrtle $125.00 and trim some boxwoods 18 $225.00
this will be be 2 more trips and he will pay $650.00 ovder a week and if it was done all at once it would have took 5 hours and paid at about $375.00 .

what i am saying if they are price shoping on you then no mater your price you will find cheaper . stop working off your price and start pricing by your work if its high find a better client. we get close to 3000 calls a year and we may work for 15 people in total

rob7233
03-10-2011, 08:50 PM
I'm on board with XLS. Your prices seem fair. You may consider different phase options for the client if the total ticket price is too much to do at the same time. Bottom line, you and the client are being "Hack Attacked".
She's going for the lowest bidder and your scratching your head saying -
"How in the hell can someone do it for that?"