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View Full Version : so I guess Iam a lowballer too ???


j&c
01-05-2005, 02:44 AM
the reason I say this is had a new customer call and request an estimate on their 1/2 or less lot so I go and look it over and time how long it takes for me to walk the trim lines you know around the house and fence and the 2 Bradford pears they have mind you this was for lawn service only per customer the maint. on the bed and the shrubs will be a separate deal. well to make a long story short I go back to the shop with the info I gathered and come up with a fig of $40 a cut once per week or $45 every other week. send customer the quote he calls and says he wants to do this and says bring the contract and give a quote on the shrubs and other so when spring comes we can start. unknown to me is the price the other guy was charging was $60 per cut and he wouldn't trim but around the house. I don't feel bad about my quote it was average for us on this size but the other guy who had it calls and cusses and fusses :realmad: that I low-balled to take his client from him and that my friend is not true by no means how would you guys handle this would you keep the cust. or move on don't want no problems didn't mean to take no ones cust. the h\o was tired of poor service that was what he told me..... :help:
I've been in this for 15+ years never had this problem before why now?

olderthandirt
01-05-2005, 03:20 AM
WOW! 1/3 lower than what the homeowners been paying. I think you need to figure a way to get some more money out of this guy since he's use to paying it. I would suggest you go in higher than you planned with the shrub work and sell him on a fert program. Remember this guys been shelling out $60 a wk for work he did not think was good just imagine what he would pay for exceptional quality

Mac

Soupy
01-05-2005, 04:17 AM
the reason I say this is had a new customer call and request an estimate on their 1/2 or less lot so I go and look it over and time how long it takes for me to walk the trim lines you know around the house and fence and the 2 Bradford pears they have mind you this was for lawn service only per customer the maint. on the bed and the shrubs will be a separate deal. well to make a long story short I go back to the shop with the info I gathered and come up with a fig of $40 a cut once per week or $45 every other week. send customer the quote he calls and says he wants to do this and says bring the contract and give a quote on the shrubs and other so when spring comes we can start. unknown to me is the price the other guy was charging was $60 per cut and he wouldn't trim but around the house. I don't feel bad about my quote it was average for us on this size but the other guy who had it calls and cusses and fusses :realmad: that I low-balled to take his client from him and that my friend is not true by no means how would you guys handle this would you keep the cust. or move on don't want no problems didn't mean to take no ones cust. the h\o was tired of poor service that was what he told me..... :help:
I've been in this for 15+ years never had this problem before why now?

Low-balling is when you know what they were paying and offered to do it cheaper.

There is two possibilities here. 1) this other guy was cheating this guy and way over charging him. Thus is the reason he is upset. You just stoled his gravy account. 2) Even being in the business for 15 years. You might not know your market value. I have seen it with guys that never compared prices and just thought that x amount of money was good, but in reality they were cutting themselves short. If enough guys do this then the market starts to come down. Do you land over 75% off your cold calls?

If you know that your price is usually in the middle then you are right on and I wouldn't worry about this guy.

PaulJ
01-05-2005, 06:17 AM
I don't think you lowballed. Lowballing isn't just a lower price, it's when someone goes after an account at any cost. They "will beat any price" as some say. For some that's there whole business strategy. You put some though into your quote and charge what you feel is fair. It just happened to be lower than the last guy, Nest time it might be higher. the last guy may have been what is called a high baller. They will milka job for every penny then move on without looking back.

j&c
01-05-2005, 07:00 AM
Q: Do you land over 75% off your cold calls?
A: no not hardly out of the last 5 only got 1
I have several cuts that are $25 for a 30'x100' lots in trailer parks reason so high most are cut with a 21" mower with little trim. the average for most residential lots we have are between $35-$40 a cut I have 2 that are in the $60-$65 range
as far as our market value we are right in line for our coverage area we charge more than most and less than some from what I've been hearing from some of my comp. lcos that I discuss bus. with and trust pretty good we try to stay in the same range to kinda even out the territory.
I guess it just kinda upset me that the other lco would act so un pro over a definate quality issue from what I saw sure I've lost cust. to cheaper lcos and flybys but never acted this way and the reality of it is most of the custs came back because of the Quality (this account came by w.o.m.from existing cust.)
as for olderthandirts suggestion yes my shrubs and leaf jobs/maint. rates are pretty high but I stress QUALITY and that keeps em coming back have had no crybabies or pain in the rears I do what I say I will Do nothing more nothing less.
I do not Haggle on my prices take or leave it .

Soupy
01-05-2005, 07:27 AM
Q: Do you land over 75% off your cold calls?
A: no not hardly out of the last 5 only got 1
I have several cuts that are $25 for a 30'x100' lots in trailer parks reason so high most are cut with a 21" mower with little trim. the average for most residential lots we have are between $35-$40 a cut I have 2 that are in the $60-$65 range
as far as our market value we are right in line for our coverage area we charge more than most and less than some from what I've been hearing from some of my comp. lcos that I discuss bus. with and trust pretty good we try to stay in the same range to kinda even out the territory.
I guess it just kinda upset me that the other lco would act so un pro over a definate quality issue from what I saw sure I've lost cust. to cheaper lcos and flybys but never acted this way and the reality of it is most of the custs came back because of the Quality (this account came by w.o.m.from existing cust.)
as for olderthandirts suggestion yes my shrubs and leaf jobs/maint. rates are pretty high but I stress QUALITY and that keeps em coming back have had no crybabies or pain in the rears I do what I say I will Do nothing more nothing less.
I do not Haggle on my prices take or leave it .

It sounds like you already knew the answer to your question. Let the guy be mad and move on. I wouldn't pass on the client. Chances are he isn't going to keep the other guy regardless, after finding out he has been getting screwed all this time.

bobbygedd
01-05-2005, 08:09 AM
i think the other guy is an idiot for even calling you.

dishboy
01-05-2005, 09:09 AM
This raises some good questions. Is it low-balling to bid under the highest bidders in town? So if the range of prices for a 1/2 acre lot vary from 30 to 60 per cut at what rate do you cease being a low-baller?

I have been doing this for over two century's and I'll be darned if I have any idea what most guys are getting for similar size lot's . Even the few guys I know are EXTREMELY RELUCTANT to share any pricing info for fear that if anybody finds out what they are bidding they will get under bid, or maybe it's because they are embarrassed because like me have not been able to significantly raise prices from what they were twenty years ago. When ever I raise any pricing questions the conversation become's suddenly evasive as if it is a trade secret or something.

As far as the original thread goes , if you are twenty dollars lower I would say it might be time to do market research. I see a big need for me to do this also. Did you low-ball the guy? By a broad definition I would say yes, would I worry about it, no.

DennisF
01-05-2005, 09:23 AM
Lowballing is when you knowingly underbid on a property. If you had no idea what the customer was paying before you made the bid then you gave him an honest bid for the work.

Don't worry about the other LCO. He was probably shafting the customer on the price and got caught. It sounds like he was doing low quality work anyway and the customer wasn't satisfied.

rodfather
01-05-2005, 09:29 AM
Lowballing is when you knowingly underbid on a property. If you had no idea what the customer was paying before you made the bid then you gave him an honest bid for the work.

Exactly. And don't worry about the other guy.

MMLawn
01-05-2005, 09:47 AM
The others have very well explained why you didn't lowball in the bid. Even though I am in a much higher income area of NC than you are and I don't do trailer parks as my residential houses we do proabbly start at $300K and go up I can tell you that for the area you are in the moron that was charge this poor guy $60 a week was the one that was way out of line and that your quote was mucher closer to that areas going rate and your other prices sound right in line so don't sweat it!

cward
01-05-2005, 09:58 AM
Your prices seem very reasonable. Don't worry about the other guy. Maybe you'll get more of his overpriced yards.

mtdman
01-05-2005, 10:51 AM
My question is, who cares if you are a low baller? Are you making money, are you profitable, are you successful? If so, everyone else can screw off as far as I'm concerned. A free market means you are free to set your prices how you want. As long as you aren't killing your profit margin just to get work, and you are making money, who cares?

Lux Lawn
01-05-2005, 11:27 AM
I don't think you lowballed him you didn't know what he was paying to start with and your estimate is $20 a cut cheaper.If you were trying to lowball you could of came in at $55 per cut if the guy was not happy he would have tried your service anyways.At $60 the other guy may have been ripping him off you will find out the first couple of time you cut it if the price is fair and if not do what MAC said and get him on the extras hopefully you will be happy with the price you set.
Good luck with it.

Carolina Cutter
01-05-2005, 04:01 PM
the reason I say this is had a new customer call and request an estimate on their 1/2 or less lot so I go and look it over and time how long it takes for me to walk the trim lines you know around the house and fence and the 2 Bradford pears they have mind you this was for lawn service only per customer the maint. on the bed and the shrubs will be a separate deal. well to make a long story short I go back to the shop with the info I gathered and come up with a fig of $40 a cut once per week or $45 every other week. send customer the quote he calls and says he wants to do this and says bring the contract and give a quote on the shrubs and other so when spring comes we can start. unknown to me is the price the other guy was charging was $60 per cut and he wouldn't trim but around the house. I don't feel bad about my quote it was average for us on this size but the other guy who had it calls and cusses and fusses :realmad: that I low-balled to take his client from him and that my friend is not true by no means how would you guys handle this would you keep the cust. or move on don't want no problems didn't mean to take no ones cust. the h\o was tired of poor service that was what he told me..... :help:
I've been in this for 15+ years never had this problem before why now?

Ummmmmm.....I don't understand your pricing stratagy. $40 per week or $45 dollars every 2 weeks. Let look at it from the homeowners point of view......I can pay this guy $90 every two weeks or $45 every two weeks with just a little more growth.........hmmm...this is an easy answer.

Just my $.02 but I would bring those numbers a little closer together.....seems to me that you are willing to cut the yard that has an extra weeks growth for only $5 more...........you are losing money.

Think about what I have said and see if you need to adjust.

Carolina Cutter
01-05-2005, 04:09 PM
Q: Do you land over 75% off your cold calls?
A: no not hardly out of the last 5 only got 1
I have several cuts that are $25 for a 30'x100' lots in trailer parks reason so high most are cut with a 21" mower with little trim. the average for most residential lots we have are between $35-$40 a cut I have 2 that are in the $60-$65 range
as far as our market value we are right in line for our coverage area we charge more than most and less than some from what I've been hearing from some of my comp. lcos that I discuss bus. with and trust pretty good we try to stay in the same range to kinda even out the territory.
I guess it just kinda upset me that the other lco would act so un pro over a definate quality issue from what I saw sure I've lost cust. to cheaper lcos and flybys but never acted this way and the reality of it is most of the custs came back because of the Quality (this account came by w.o.m.from existing cust.)
as for olderthandirts suggestion yes my shrubs and leaf jobs/maint. rates are pretty high but I stress QUALITY and that keeps em coming back have had no crybabies or pain in the rears I do what I say I will Do nothing more nothing less.
I do not Haggle on my prices take or leave it .


Actually....you are on the low side. I am not far from you. I work mostly in the Fayetteville area and dabble in your area occasionally. I WILL NOT drop my gate for less than $30 and most of my accounts are proced at about $60 to start. I have been in business for 6 years. Even though I do have some high end residential this is for the smaller, older 1300 to 1500 sq ft type houses.........um.....like Methodist College area.....or Reaford Road area. I have found that if I get a chance to talk to someone about the service that I usually get the account.........guess I am just good at selling them. Just remember........there's PLENTY of work out there.......there is no way anyone could service all the houses in a community like ours the trick is though that YOU have to get them and you have to meet your standards in pricing. :rolleyes:

Up North
01-05-2005, 05:51 PM
j&c,
IMO you did nothing wrong and don't worry about the other LCO. You quoted him a price you felt was fair and still allows you to make the margin you need. That's what we're supposed to do in business right? As for the other LCO calling and complaining...well he needs to realize that losing customers from time to time is all a part of doing business. No doubt in your 15 years of being in business you've lost a customer or two for whatever reason...it happens.

As for the term lowballer...you'll get 100 different definitions of what one is and they are all probably right. What you did IMO is fair business. IMO if you knew how much he was paying for his current service, and undercut someones price to get the work eventhough you weren't going to make any $$ on it...well, that would be my definition.

Buck

Flex-Deck
01-05-2005, 06:15 PM
Some great posts - Bid what you need to in order to make a living - if you consistantly bid too high (as to what the market in your area is willing to pay) you will end up with no customers - If you consistantly bid to low (as to what the market in your area is willing to pay) you will probably go broke.

I do agree whole heartedly that you have to sell the quality of the job you are willing to do day in and day out, and sell the fact that you are not a "I will bid low and -just mow" type operation.

Thanks Brad

JCA1
01-05-2005, 06:59 PM
originally posted by DishBoy:
"I have been doing this for over two century's and I'll be darned if I have any idea what most guys are getting for similar size lot's . Even the few guys I know are EXTREMELY RELUCTANT to share any pricing info for fear that if anybody finds out what they are bidding they will get under bid, or maybe it's because they are embarrassed because like me have not been able to significantly raise prices from what they were twenty years ago. When ever I raise any pricing questions the conversation become's suddenly evasive as if it is a trade secret or something"

two century's?...man you're old.

zoomer
01-05-2005, 08:05 PM
It's interesting to note that there is no legal definition of "lowballing" since it isn't against the law to give a customer a lower price than the competition. On the other hand, "price fixing"--"the artificial setting or maintenance of prices at a certain level contrary to the workings of a free market"--can be illegal in certain instances.

A lot of posters bellyache about people undercutting their prices (and would probably agree with price fixing) but, as MTDman said, so what? The only thing that matters is if you are making the desired profit. Everyone else can take a hike.

j&c
01-06-2005, 02:21 AM
1st yes I did already know the answer to the question I was just venting on how the other lco acted.
2nd the "trailer park" I cut is for r/v parking sorry for the confusion not knocking trailer parks or Mobile homes thats were I got my start!
3rd as for the $45 fee for every other week its centipede and it will not grow that much between the cuts if it does in my contract if you take the every other week schd. there is a clause in it for a extra growth between cuts or should I say surcharge?
4th Thanks for letting me get this off my chest and I didn't mean to start the low-ballers ball rolling again..... ;)

richard coffman
01-06-2005, 03:19 AM
the reason I say this is had a new customer call and request an estimate on their 1/2 or less lot so I go and look it over and time how long it takes for me to walk the trim lines you know around the house and fence and the 2 Bradford pears they have mind you this was for lawn service only per customer the maint. on the bed and the shrubs will be a separate deal. well to make a long story short I go back to the shop with the info I gathered and come up with a fig of $40 a cut once per week or $45 every other week. send customer the quote he calls and says he wants to do this and says bring the contract and give a quote on the shrubs and other so when spring comes we can start. unknown to me is the price the other guy was charging was $60 per cut and he wouldn't trim but around the house. I don't feel bad about my quote it was average for us on this size but the other guy who had it calls and cusses and fusses :realmad: that I low-balled to take his client from him and that my friend is not true by no means how would you guys handle this would you keep the cust. or move on don't want no problems didn't mean to take no ones cust. the h\o was tired of poor service that was what he told me..... :help:
I've been in this for 15+ years never had this problem before why now?

the customer called you, you didn't contact them, there is a reason for this, I'd keep the customer and have the other guy just move on with life.if the customer was happy with the other guy, they would have stay'd with them.plain and simple,

Respectfully,

Richard/Owner :D :D

cush
01-06-2005, 04:05 AM
Just remember the customer solicited you and was refered by one of your other happy customers. You just did what any of us would do in the same situation. As far as pricing goes I always bid at what I will be happy to make and won't be upset if someone under bids me.