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buying customers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by onboard2, Aug 21, 2001.

  1. onboard2

    onboard2 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 19

    I have the oppurtunity to buy 10 accounts from a guy who is headed back to college. Most of the accounts are small properties and he is charging about $25.00 for them. My minimum charge is 30.00,
    but in order to get my foot in the door I can live with $25.00 for this season. We have agreed on the weekly rate as the price for the accounts all to gether about $400.00. Is there anything that I should consider in this transaction ? We agreed that I would meet the customer an mow 1 time in order for him to get paid for the account. What d you think ?
  2. roscioli

    roscioli LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 749

    Welcome to Lawnsite- The worlds greatest resource for info! Try the seach feature up at the top of the page, there have been numerous posts on that same question recently. I personally would never BUY accounts from anybody, I have had a bunch given to me in the past. Think of it this way, if this guy leaves for college without refering his customers to someone, they are all going to hate him. He needs to refer them to someone, and now just wants a quick buck off it. I agree that getting accounts is one of the hardest aspects of the biz, but just as a personal rule, would never buy them.... But, others would. Just my .02, goodluck to you however it turns out.
  3. crazygator

    crazygator LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,048

    Before you "BUY" them, can you go with him and let him introduce you to each customer? This will let you see first hand the customers reaction to you, the "NEW GUY" and let you see if you want the lawns at a price of $ 25 each. What if you buy them, work the rest of this season (which is about gone) and they turn to someone else next season? You cant stop them unless they are under a multi year contract, and I doubt they would sign something with him leaving them. Unless he had a full fledged lawn co., running legit, I would be careful. He might be looking for a sucker, get some cash for college and split. Weight all your options and proceed with caution.
  4. fivestarlawnken

    fivestarlawnken LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 438

    This could be a good opportunity for you,only you know if it is good or not.Is there contracts involved(verbal or written),what does he include in his weekly maint. practice,etc.I personally dont know if i would do this or not.If they are 10 good accounts close together it may be worth it.Good luck and welcome.:rolleyes:
  5. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,810

    A couple of months ago I was trying to fill my schedule and fliers weren't doing that for me. So I was approaching other LCOs and askin' if they had any account to get rid of or sell. Well one guy came back to me and told me he had four he was willing to let go. So I took a look and bought 'em for 3 weeks/cuts.

    The key for me was that I knew that I could provide much better service. The reward was that all 4 customers have told me so.

    So if you feel the price is fair and you will provide better service... then go for it.

    Good luck..
  6. bruces

    bruces LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 648

    If you are talking about $400 for the accounts and you are going to cut them for free once to pay for them, I don't see how you can lose if you have the time to do it. If you cut them a few more times this year and hang on to them for next year you are ahead for next year.

    If you lose them, you're out a little labor and gas.

    If you keep them you have 10 new accounts.

    I would just make sure that the price isn't too low to justify the time on the accounts.
  7. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    I think that it would be best for him to introduce you to his clients before just jumping ship. Afterall, theyt may not like your service as well as his.

    A weeks earnings is an extremely fair price for the cost of the clients accounts.

    As far as you cut for free and then they are all yours - ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! How about you cut them as agreed upon and he gets half of what you make for the next 2 cuttings. This way your not cutting for free.

    When people I know have purchased larger clientele bases, they will agree on a 3 month payment plan. Its something like 40% of the agreed price up front, and then they will get the remaining 60% based upon who they have retained at the end of the 3 months.

    No one works for free, and you shouldnt volunteer your time to gain accounts you might not retain either.

    Hope this helps.
  8. onboard2- i am doing the opposite of what you are doing. i am goin back to college as well, and i am injured. i am giving what few accounts i have left to a good friend who i have known for many years now. only reason i want money is for some equipment i have to get rid of. the accounts are free, equipment is not. i have 1 contract.
  9. Scraper

    Scraper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    :confused: hmmmm...the saga continues...
  10. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    Hey Glen!

    Ive talked to some old friends who were part of the LG program and we have decided to throw a PigRoast down below the DuPont House where the Italian WaterFall area is.


    LOL - Kris

    oops ... wrong saga :rolleyes:

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