a low-baller got low-balled!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnsaspire, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. lawnsaspire

    lawnsaspire LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,579

    i don't really consider myself a lowballer, but I PROBABLY used to be when I first started out. At least Ive always carried insurance. Anyways, I had a new customer call me yesterday and say they were hiring someone else to mow for $20, i was doing it for $30. Very small yard w/ hardly any trimming. They said they didn't like the fact that I didn't blow off their whole driveway or deck last week. I'll admit I blew the grass off the drive but left the seeds from the tree. But the deck was elevated so no grass got on it and I don't normally just blow off anything but the mess I made from mowing unless it's a cleanup job. I guess I should get used to this but it's never happened to me so I wanted to share it.
     
  2. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,466

    I thought you were going to do it foe 10 bucks when I read the title!
     
  3. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,674

    Truthfully, we were all lowballers in the biginning. (At least I was)
     
  4. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    I always blow off all hard surfaces like the driveway, walkways, patio's, decks etc. Weather it's my mess or not. It only takes a minute extra and it goes a long way.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  5. lawnsaspire

    lawnsaspire LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,579

    Ok I realize I shoud've blown off all the hard surfaces first, but i was in a hurry that day from all of the rain. plus i know they were just using that as an excuse as I've done their fall cleanups the last three years with no problems. they called me in feb this year and asked me to mow. I said 30 plus a dollar or two based on gas prices. so whateva. This time of year with all of the crap falling off of trees, I'd be there forever if I blew all the hard surfaces off every time.
     
  6. Ducke

    Ducke LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 353

    Ha
    Great Topic Title.
    I thought you were going to say you under cut the low baller as well.
    As for blowing off the raised deck I would most likely just given it a quick blow if I noticed it was dirty but it I couldn't see it it would not have got done.
    Maybe the customer wasn't worth it if they were going to be that picky. Just saying.
     
  7. Outdoors_Unlimited

    Outdoors_Unlimited LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 449

    Always blow the ENTIRE site.

    I get many compliments, and referrals based on the attention I pay to details.

    But then, I charge $40 for a half acre, when my competition charges $20.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  8. MTenterprises

    MTenterprises LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 326

    Agreed! I blow off drives, walks, porches, decks...regardless. It looks nice and makes the customer feel good.
     
  9. BrunoT

    BrunoT LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 741

    Homeowners don't know that your $30 price includes cutting corners as well as the grass. So don't do it. Ask them exactly what they want and price it accordingly.

    Ironically for "low-baller" in the title, you might be a little high for your market. If it's really small with almost no trimming and you're in/out in 20 min, someone could still make some money doing it for under $30 (though unlikely at $20). This is an example of why you might consider lowering a price if you start doing it and realize you're making too much. Eventually they catch on and price shop. Psychologically $28 would be better and you might still do ok.

    Blowing off raised decks or not probably should have been discussed beforehand. Think of every gray area you can think of and be explicit about those things in a contract or quote form.

    I don't do raised decks unless asked, due to liability with nick-knacks and other stuff that eventually gets blown down in a storm. Some people practically have glass menageries perched up there. I just prefer not to get blamed every time a bird feeder gets knocked down by a squirrel.
     
  10. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,754

    I generally blow off everything I can get to, but if I give anyone any type of written bid, I always say something like "blow clippings from hard surfaces", which translates to "I clean up any mess I made". That said, I normally do more than I agree to, even if it is just climbing a couple of steps and blowing off a porch or deck.

    I'm guessing in this situation, money talked more than anything you did, or didn't, do. The new guy may do a great job for $20, but, then again, he may not. I've, many times, told people I don't have a problem being underbid, IF the service they render is as good or better as what I have been doing. Virtually every job I have lost due to pricing through the years, when I drive by the properties, they are cutting corners.
     

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