Bidding Problem

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawncutterupper, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. lawncutterupper

    lawncutterupper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    So Iv been asked to give a bid for a retirement community. Origanally I was going to deal with each home owner seperatly and gave a price accordingly, my first price was about $15 a cut. As these houses were being built and the sod was laid, I realized their was more grass than i expected. Well i recenty got a call from the owner and now i will be hired by the owner and the service will be included in the homeowners monthly fee. So i thought great now i can raise the price to about 20, well as we were talking he said he saw my quote for 15 a lawn and that it was TOO MUCH! He had called another retirement community to get prices and they pay $12 a lawn, i drove over to that commmunity to see that the lawns were half the size of the ones i will be cutting. I can do it for 12 a lawn, but my profit margin wont be one that i am happy with, although i dont want to lose this job because their will evenetually be 135 homes, plus all common ground, i have 22 lawns right now so i would be growing by over 600% in one year.Im just looking for some suggestions, thanks
  2. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 4,205

    If you aren't making any money on a few of them what exactly is the formula going to be if you're doing 135 of them and still not making enough money?
    600% growth in one year is meaningless if your profitability is at -600%
  3. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Posts: 2,419

    I'd have to tell em to KMA if they expected lawns twice the size of the $12 ones to be cut for the same price. He11, they'ed be getting a good deal still if you stuck to your lowballin $15/home bid. Tell em to call the company doing the other place and see what they bid. If the lots are 2x as big, they'ed probably bid around $20, then your $15 looks pretty good to the director (but still doesn't look good from here).
  4. lawncutterupper

    lawncutterupper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    i never said i wasnt making moeny, i said my profit margin will drop, but my revenue will rise....

    would you rather 90% of $500

    70% of $1600 weekly

    anybody have a real suggestion? thanks
  5. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    Are you licensed and insured? There is no way in h--l you can cut grass for 12-15 bucks apiece especially with gas still at 2.75 per gallon here. I dont care if the yards are the size of my bathroom! You would be better off to cut ONE yard for 36 than 3 for 12 dollars! Come one, you are worth more than that! My first year in biz I tried some of these cheap lawns and they will give you ulcers dealing with the old retires! I would pass on this one and I live in the cheapest, deadbeat, stingiest place in the country and even our cheapest unlicensed, uninsured, murray push mowing, beer drinking lco,s charge at least 15 for any yard and they dont last long either. Rode by one today that I lost to a 15 dollar lco and the owner was out trying to push mow it himself:D You just dang cut a yard for no 15 bucks unless your mower is paid for and gas a quarter a gallon. Also when you get cheap like that you are hurting the market in your area by driving down prices for everyone else. Sorry if this is not what you want to hear but dont get caught up in the $$$ signs thinking 100 or so yards at 12 apiece you are making a great profit. Take it from someone who had to learn the hard way. Pass on this one!! BTW, having to deal with a bunch of old, cranky, retired, Im on a fiixed income, dont have anything better to do than harass the lawn guy, complaining, b-tchin,you cut it too shore/long/got grass on my wheel chair, well you get the point. If they kissed my arse they MIGHT get me to bid on it at 35 apiece, and I need some new yards bad but not that bad. Good luck to you.
  6. lawncutterupper

    lawncutterupper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    Thanks Quality, these homes are in a top 15 places to live in the COUNTRY. The way the owner put it though was that Im bulk cutting, so it should be cheaper. They are all connected which helps to just keep on moving, so 3 at 15 is like 1 for 45 right? Ill tell him 15, at 15 ill net around $50 an hour. As a college student and third year in the biz i think thats pretty good. What do ya think
  7. lawncutterupper

    lawncutterupper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    Forgot to mention, i am fully licensed and insured.
  8. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    Lawncutter, if you can make 50 per hour, then thats pretty decent. Still, even though they are side by side 15 is cheap for todays prices. Also if they other guy is getting 12 for yards half this size I would try for 20. One word of caution, you give the guy a dirt cheap price and he still tried to haggle you down, may not be a good sign.
  9. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,413

    ditto ^^^^^ you know what you have got to have to profit dont let him talk you down . plus..... are you doing any common areas ? is that figured into your price ? is geezer gripe time figured in ? because you know you aint gonna please all of's just a thought.
  10. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    Lawncutter, thats a good way to word in a short sentence what I was suggesting adding for. With a 130 you can bet you will have to stop and talk and listen to complaints from at least 10% of them.

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