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Fertilizer Pricing: Different Vendors?

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by millenniumlandscape, Apr 5, 2004.

  1. millenniumlandscape

    millenniumlandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    I have been working with the same vendor for the past 5 years, and I like to stay with vendors as much as possible. My problem is that prices seem to be going up and up yet all my competitors keep their prices the same. This year they are no longer doing a per. pallet price discount so their is another reason, I have been looking for diffent vendors in my area, so that I can see what they are charging per bag. Does anyone have any suggestions, or places I can go just to see if price increases have been consistent across the board.

    Thanks guys,

    Kevin Kruizenga

    Millennium Landscape & Lawncare Inc.:D
  2. Pilgrims' Pride

    Pilgrims' Pride LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA.
    Posts: 481

    Is there a lesco near you?
    They are not usually my first choice because they will not give you the lowest price from the start.
    They tend to play the we will meet or beat (by just a bit) game.
    However they are handy and they usually have what I need in a pinch.

    There is also United Horticultural Supply (UHS).
    Good people, usually good prices.
    I'm sure if you do a search you can find them.
  3. millenniumlandscape

    millenniumlandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    Thanks for the reply, Pilgrims' Pride: Lesco is the vendor I use now, and I completely agree with what you said. They never seem interested in giving me a break, even after buying 100 bags of grass seed last year. I don't like to shop around, it just gets to a point where.................how much is enough?

    Kevin Kruizenga
    Millennium Landscape & Lawncare Inc.
  4. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956

    Right now with the oil prices up, All of the fertilizer chemical companies are hurting. There profit margin is way down and they are closing plants. The high priced boys are still alive and well. Scott's is a marketing company and they have such a high margin and lower fixed overhead they are still making money. Scott's doesn't made any of there own fertilizer. 4 other companies do. Lesco was really hurting a few years ago, but under new leadership are making a come back.

    If you are not raising prices by a minim of 5% per year you are losing ground. Replacement equipment will cost a lot more. Don't eat your assets and think you are getting ahead.
  5. millenniumlandscape

    millenniumlandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26


    I appreciate the info, I know why the increases are neccessary, especially with the economy and everything else going on in the world. My only thought was that shopping around now may prove beneficial in the long term forcast of my company. I was looking for feedback on where other LCO's buy their products. Thanks

    Kevin Kruizenga
    Millennium Landscape & Lawncare Inc.
  6. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956

    UHS, Helena, Howard's, Harrell's and Prosourse are just some of the supplier I use here in Florida. They are all National firms. You like I have local Suppliers.

    Now I will tell my Lesco Short Story. When I first started in the business Lesco was my first Education in more ways than one. I got away from Lesco, But now I am back for some products. Lesco for the most part has good products. Depending on volume you buy, chasing a better price can be counter productive. Here in Florida we use 25% of the fertilizer in the USA. Sandy soil and longer growing season is the reason. We are also the Bug Capital of the USA. Therefore we use a ton of chemicals. Price is important to us. However Quality is and should be first.

    PS. Older member, Ric has changed his tune on Lesco. Lesco is still my 7-11. But now I buy some super market items there.
  7. Mscotrid

    Mscotrid LawnSite Bronze Member
    from USA
    Posts: 1,456

    I've used a variety of vendors over the years but Lesco is the one I use most often. They must be doing something right. While quite a few suppliers are closing their doors lesco is expanding. That might be the reason their inventory is running so tight.

    You don't open 50 locations in a year and not put a strain somewhere in the supply chain.
  8. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    We just had a Lesco open in the area and I went to talk to the guys. While they are very nice in there I was quoted a price that is 3.00 per bag higher than my supplier for Pre-Em/fert.

    I am under the impression that the store is the supplier for the golf course trucks that seem to really bring in the cash for them.
    I would still use some of their products and services but I wont be buying my fert there for obvious reasons.
  9. goforgreen2

    goforgreen2 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 57

    They have no clue what the competitor's charging. The golf division as a whole lost money compared to the year before, so they're not waiting on them to carry the load. The new management doesn't have a clue about our industry and is only worried about the share holder. The poor guys in ths S/C are just doing what they can. Their hands are tied for the most part. If the other fert. is comperable, buy it!
  10. PR Fect

    PR Fect LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,074

    The problem with Lesco is they seem to cheat the other guy and pass the savings on to you. You need to know the market and barter your price. It's a pain in the a$$. I know that Mow Ed does not use the same pre merg / fert as we do. But that same Lesco store gave me a price that was $5 a bag less than one of the other suppliers in our area. When I asked for a price list first thing they asked was, what you paying now? I don't like it a bit.

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