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View Full Version : My low-ball story!!!


ok4me2xlr8
03-24-2011, 11:14 PM
So I get a call to come bid a trailer park it is 8 acres with 14 units it is only a mow and go type thing. I get there and am talking with the land owner and she wants a price right then so I pop off $450.00 per cut (which is only a little over $30 per unit). Well that did not go well she quickly came back with "wow thats high, I have had offers for around $200". So I told her that I could do it for $250 the only reason I did this was I have already lost a few properties this year. So after I tell her that she said she has one more person coming and I tell here to let me know blah blah. Well she calls today and said that the other guy was cheaper that she was going to go with him. I usually don't ask this but I really wanted to know I asked her how much he quoted and she told me $150!!!! WTF!!! How in the heck can you mow 8 acres and trim around 14 trailers for $150.00???? It cost me $60.00 just to fill up my two mowers. I just needed to vent!!! Please tell me that I am not the only one experiencing this problem!

Jims Lawncare
03-25-2011, 10:02 AM
I'm in Shelby also, and yes I have lost several bids to lowballers this season..Thats funny about the trailer park, I am supposed to go bid on one this week, along with a few rental houses, I am expecting a similar scenerio loosing to a lowballer.

Jims Lawncare
03-25-2011, 12:44 PM
which trailer park, my wife said she will ride by weekly and throw out a bunch of debris so the lowballer will have to pick it all up.

Big Bad Bob
03-25-2011, 01:14 PM
which trailer park, my wife said she will ride by weekly and throw out a bunch of debris so the lowballer will have to pick it all up.

I like that. One lco sticking up for another. :)

ajslands
03-25-2011, 05:07 PM
So I get a call to come bid a trailer park it is 8 acres with 14 units it is only a mow and go type thing. I get there and am talking with the land owner and she wants a price right then so I pop off $450.00 per cut (which is only a little over $30 per unit). Well that did not go well she quickly came back with "wow thats high, I have had offers for around $200". So I told her that I could do it for $250 the only reason I did this was I have already lost a few properties this year. So after I tell her that she said she has one more person coming and I tell here to let me know blah blah. Well she calls today and said that the other guy was cheaper that she was going to go with him. I usually don't ask this but I really wanted to know I asked her how much he quoted and she told me $150!!!! WTF!!! How in the heck can you mow 8 acres and trim around 14 trailers for $150.00???? It cost me $60.00 just to fill up my two mowers. I just needed to vent!!! Please tell me that I am not the only one experiencing this problem!

Well he got the account so he probably has a strategy.
Posted via Mobile Device

stuffdeer
03-25-2011, 05:18 PM
Well he got the account so he probably has a strategy.
Posted via Mobile Device

But if he is a legit lawn service, he won't be making any money. So what's the strategy now?

jsslawncare
03-25-2011, 06:03 PM
I cut a trailer park and the renters pay me $20.00 each. It takes me 14 minutes to cut and blow the little driveway off. I sprayed round-up around the trailers so, no trimming. The owner of the park has a "south of the border" worker that charges $18.00. If you do the math I get a $1.42 a minute. I try real hard to get a $1 a minute on regular homeowner cuts. I don't charge them for the roundup. I do it to save me time.

Ole' Hickory
03-25-2011, 10:20 PM
No money to be made there. @$150 these guys will boot by august with there crappy mowers and busted up pickup truck.
Thats a fricken joke with 14 units. It only takes ONE of those Jerkies to come out of that trailer saying "OH Please, could you cut that section on the hill too? and edge this flower bed with one of those whippersnappers, and could you ever-so-please take those branches away for me??" At that point he's going to look up at the sun and say "This ain't worth it"
Wait until next year and if she is taking bids again, bid your 250 again.

stuffdeer
03-26-2011, 09:11 AM
No money to be made there. @$150 these guys will boot by august with there crappy mowers and busted up pickup truck.
Thats a fricken joke with 14 units. It only takes ONE of those Jerkies to come out of that trailer saying "OH Please, could you cut that section on the hill too? and edge this flower bed with one of those whippersnappers, and could you ever-so-please take those branches away for me??" At that point he's going to look up at the sun and say "This ain't worth it"
Wait until next year and if she is taking bids again, bid your 250 again.

The problem is, some idiot next year will go bid $150 and say the exact same thing next August. It's a revolving door...one goes out, two come in.

DixieFerris
03-26-2011, 10:33 AM
My favorite part of the post was "I told her $450, then I dropped it to $250"...way to hold your ground!

Me&MyMower
03-26-2011, 11:58 AM
yea i feel ya. i got out bid on a pine needle job by $1500. kinda pissed me off when the hoa pres. asked me why my price was so high, then he told me the quote the lowballer gave him. my jaw bought hit the ground. for 1 the LB quoted bout 100 more bails than me for 2 at that price there was no way he can be making a cent. oh well i figure ill get called to clean up his mess which will cost a pretty penny. i dont know that i would slash my price that much $450 to $250. my customers know im a serious business with serious customers.

PROCUT1
03-26-2011, 05:51 PM
Do you consult the stars or something for your price?

TSB group
03-26-2011, 07:21 PM
I would hate to tell you your business, but I would never move from $450 to $250. I would just walk away at that point. We will drop a price, but take something back also. But I cannot imagine moving that much on a price.

Just sell your "quality, and your insurance backing" and let them make the call. Then if they hire the lowballer find someone with a window chip and have them pull in there and take down the insurance...that should solve your problems with at least that guy.

Turf Commando
03-26-2011, 11:50 PM
Prices should NOT be negotiable...!

Patriot Services
03-27-2011, 10:02 AM
8 acres and only 14 units. That is big, I'm used to seeing a car width between units and 10 square feet of turf at the very front.:usflag:

Ole' Hickory
03-27-2011, 10:21 PM
I'm not saying that $250 is a good rate, but if he already offered to do it @$250, than he's at 250. She'll look at him cross-eyed if he says $300 now.
Prob best to walk away, unless 250 and a crappy economy makes sense out of it. This lady doesn't sound like the type that you can upsell on other services either. You'll mow your fall cleanup away.

parrlawncare
03-31-2011, 06:46 PM
We have a huge problem here in NC and it's called unemployment. Every Tom, Dick and Harry decides to cut grass for money and don't know how to bid a job. I don't have a single yard under $30 and very few at that price. I agree with moving from $450 to $250 is a little to much but I'm guessing he was wanting to keep the lowballers from getting it and was trying to get business...which is understandable but you have to hold your ground. When she said $150 you should have said "I'll be talking to you soon"

I bidded a commercial job here 2 months ago. They were paying $2250 a month, I bidded the job at $2050 a month. They ended up giving it to a guy with 4 "mexicans" for $600 a month. How in the world can he afford that. I held my ground and didn't budge from my bid.

I feel your pain on this "lowballer" issue.

Raymond S.
03-31-2011, 09:28 PM
I can't begin to voice my frustrations at this point of the season. I've seen bids go for less than 1/2 of my quoted prices. Every day there seems to be a new commercial account telling me how low these new bids are coming in at. I did get an email though on a non-irrigated, non-fertilized, bi-weekly account about an acre that I bid $45/cut. He replied "You officially have the honor of being the highest bid we have ever got for lawncare. We will not be using your service." I replied "Thanks for the feedback...I'm honored."

What the hell can you do but laugh...I guess you could always shave $200 off your price and hope to lowball the lowballer...

Ole' Hickory
03-31-2011, 09:37 PM
Thats nuts! I'm guessing theres some major cutting or pruning or mulching going on if an average bid is $2050. How could 600 even cover the season? It would be cool to hear the funny stories from those lowballers who jump ship and tank when they realize they messed up royally. Fortunately they don't last too long. And then Craigslist becomes my best friend!! haha

Ole' Hickory
03-31-2011, 09:44 PM
$45 is too much now?? I'm still residential, but $45 is a small lawn for me. They can't be legit. and I wonder how commercial accounts can hire these fools and expect anything good.

dolt
04-01-2011, 07:07 AM
My favorite part of the post was "I told her $450, then I dropped it to $250"...way to hold your ground!

Yep , thats crazy quoting $450 then dropping to $250 . Even if $250 was on the mark you still gotta have some respect for yourself .

RandallM
04-01-2011, 07:58 AM
There used to be the expression "$hit happens!", well remember you can replace "$hit" with "lowballers". They have and always will be part of the equation. You just have to remember to keep your head up, believe in the quality of your work, and that other work will come your way. These guys will come and go and another will pop up to replace them like cockroaches, but if you provide good service and pay attention to details, it will get noticed and word of mouth will be your best friend.

I think I am pretty middle of the road regarding pricing. For a third of an acre, I am around $40 a cut and go up from there. Well anyway, I was doing a spring cleanup for one of my regulars and he asked if I have ever did a price study to see where I stand regarding competitor pricing and I said that I haven't. I know what my expenses are and what I need to charge per hour to cover those and make a profit. He told me that I was probably undercutting myself and probably should be asking more for my services. He said that he appreciated my eye for detail and that no one he has ever had before did that. I felt honored.