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$11 lawns

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Chip, Apr 20, 2001.

  1. Chip

    Chip LawnSite Member
    Posts: 187

    Today I went to give an estimate for a neighbor of an existing customer. It is a small property 5000 sq ft minus house and drive. I told the lady $20 my minimum charge. She said the guy who cut it last year only charge $11. I told her I wouldn't even try to compete with that price. She thought the other guy was cheap. I have been cutting lawns on that street for 12 years and started out at $15 I have 5 other lawns on the street the other guy has only one.
    After talking to the lady for a while she told me who the other guy was. I know him to see he lives a block and a half away from me. Him and his son each have a truck trailer and newer equipment. I feel like smacking this guy in the head and telling him he is an idiot for charging so cheap. On the other hand I could sub lawns out to him and make good money for doing nothing. I could also tell him what he should be charging and tell him about lawnsite to educate the jerk. What would you do?
  2. Greenkeepers

    Greenkeepers LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE Ohio
    Posts: 695

    You did your part, now pick up and move on. It's not worth stooping to his level...
  3. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,879

    On the other hand i dont see how you make a living with only 20$ mininum charge. 20$ x 28% (income tax) leaves you with $14.40 - fuel and other expenses. I know we have write offs but they are only 5 cents on a dollar
  4. ronslawncare

    ronslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 541

    he probally that cheap because he thinks hell get more biz. dont smack him in head because he could be a asset to you.if he likes working so cheap use him on lawn restorations, clean ups ,ect. but leave him away from mowing your lawns hell probally underbid you and swipe some customers theres alot of cheapys out there quality second money first.thats why if they dont want to pay 30-35 a average 100 by 100 lawn i dont want to know ya.theres guys that get 15 a cut same lawn and theres guy that get 40.00 cut ... i talk to this older guy he been in business for 20 years he averages 20 a cut regular 25 on larger he said give the mowing to them for cheap bang them for everything else but the only way that works is contract work .to me it is stupid i charge reasonabley high for everything. that what works for me .why loose out charge everything accordingly ..

    OBRYANMAINT LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 555

    not much you can do, he will not outlast the professionals
  6. Dan Stoms

    Dan Stoms LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    I've run across the same mentality. They think they're making good money $20.an hr. But they just don't see the over head. They could be making a good living working 9-10 months out of the year (not that much competition),but one guy I know works nights at the Waffle House. If he would just raise his prices maybe we could all make a living doing what we love to do and not have to work so hard.
  7. Twotoros

    Twotoros LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 494

    Chip , where do you live,Yakima,PA? Sounds like this hole.
    Charles, I have a twenty min. and have got none of my bids this year. How do I make a living . I'm not anymore. Prices aree going down down down here. Plus there is a drought in the works. actually I hope the dry spell may run the lowballers out of town. I can only hope. The big lawnboys in town only have 28$ min. so you guys that make good $$ can count your blessings.
  8. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Posts: 4,254

    Leave the $11 lawns for the 11 year olds!
  9. eslawns

    eslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 712

    I have $25 minimum for single family homes, and $20 for townhomes. I have several of these. One takes less than 10 minutes, start to finish. That's $120 an hour. I'll take that every trip of the train. One summer I had 8 of these in one court, and charged the ones in the middle $15. 3 ends, 5 middles all from start to finish longest day was 67 minutes when the grass was long and I cut it twice. 5 x $15 is $75, 3 x $20 is $60 for $135 for a little over an hour's work. Every situation is unique.
  10. MJ

    MJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 312

    Chip - ask her why she is talking to you, then, if the other guy is willing to do it for less. Low price = low quality. Simple as that. I tell people up front that I won't be the lowest bid - I'm selling quality and customer satisfaction.


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