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Georgia lowballers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by coolluv, Mar 29, 2007.

  1. coolluv

    coolluv LawnSite Gold Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 3,511

    I started last June and was hoping on getting more customers but from what I hear from potential clients is that my prices are high. I have gone on several bids this season and put out about 1500 advertisements but the prices that people seem to expect are way low, 1/2 acre properties with sidewalks that have grass between the curb and the sidewalks that need to be edged and bedding around the entire house that need to be edged are going for $20 or $25 a cut makes me think what the heck are these companies thinking.

    I thought that I researched this business enough to make some decent money but between the lowballers and the Mexicans I'm starting to second quess myself. I have seen flyer's advertising $20 to $25 for half and three quarter acres per cut with free fertilizer for the year and I think how are they making it. Maybe its just me I don't know. I get a call from a possible client and I go for an estimate and I think alright I should bid $45 but I need the work so I bid $38 a wk. Nope still to high.

    I went and looked at a 1 acre property in a 400,000 to 600,000 thousand neighborhood and the lady says I have a Mexican that does it for $35 but he doesn't pull weeds in the flower beds, Do you pull weeds? I'm like for $35 bucks what do you expect. Can I wash your car and clean your house too.

    I went on about 10 estimates in the past 2 wks and I get the same response, Well I have a few more people coming out to give me estimates I will let you know. Soooo I call them back and they say yea I went with another company. I say do you mind telling me what they are charging you and they say no its $20 or $25 a wk. I just say ok thank you and I hang up thinking to myself how can someone make any money charging that for cutting the grass edging all of the curb areas and the sidewalks and the driveways and all of the trees and flowerbeds and still make a profit. These are not small properties, they are half acre or more with extensive time to edge all the concrete and bedding areas.

    I sure hope things get better because I'm really getting disgusted. And for those of you in Georgia on this site that are in the business I would really like to know what kind of response you are getting.

    Totally reconsidering my business, Dave...
     
  2. tjsquickcuts

    tjsquickcuts LawnSite Senior Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 943

    Guess it just depends on the area you are working.....Our minimun is $40.....and I refuse to go lower.....and most people dont have a problem paying it once they see how professional we are during the estimate meet and greet phase. Not to meantion, I always tell them, anyone can cut your grass, but only a professional can Maintain you entire property....
     
  3. Nik_Danger

    Nik_Danger LawnSite Member
    Posts: 45

    A few years ago there were many companies here where young business owners were making good money and doing competitive work. Everything looked good, and being in the business was an easy way to have a stress fee job. Now most of the labor crews leave their business owners and run illegitimate businesses. They undercut so freakin low that the few of us left that do it honest have no chance. I had a customer cancel me out to pay $15 cash a week for front, back, trim, edge and blow. The kicker is that they do a terrible job. Weekly scalpage, wavy edging with a line trimmer, and blowing all the clippings in the street...I talked to that customer recently, couldn't be more happy. Whatever. On the plus side, I feel that it may only be a trend. A buddy of mine had a crew of maybe 8 or 9 altogether. All but 2 went home to stay because things are getting so risky here. That doesn't cancel out the other hundred thousand illegals here that are still in business but it shows that they realize that they can't freeload forever. $15 dollars a yard tax free on stolen equip. is pretty decent...if its stolen, but equipment theft here is as common as anything. This is in Dallas so it may be different where ever you are...feel your pain, but stay confident. There is a difference between a professional and somebody who does a half ass job for peanuts.
     
  4. ATL Lawn

    ATL Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 318

    $25? WTF what part of town is this????
     
  5. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    Its pretty bad down here in south Georgia to. I have lost a BUNCH to the 20 dollar lowballers. Most don't care that I am licensed or insured and do good work, just want cheap and sloppy. If I could find a decent job I know what I would do.... I read post on here about folks wanting to quit a 50k job to go into the lawn biz. I wish them best in thier new venture but no way in h*ll would I quit a job even paying half that much down here.
     
  6. coolluv

    coolluv LawnSite Gold Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 3,511

    Toasty22 This is in Forsyth, Gwinnet, south Dawson, counties. You know, where you drive down Hwy 9 and think you took a wrong turn and ended up in Mexico.

    Dave...
     
  7. Eakern & Dog

    Eakern & Dog LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 431

    I agree. There seems to be more low ballers than usual. I just keep on going. I can't see how anyone can stay in biz for $20 a mow,even if there are not legit. Keep on trying !


    [QUOTE I read post on here about folks wanting to quit a 50k job to go into the lawn biz. I wish them best in their new venture but no way in h*ll would I quit a job even paying half that much down here.][/QUOTE]

    You say that now.......but if you ever worked one of those "55 K" jobs you would change your mind. The high pressure jobs where you are never "off ". A job where a cell phone and blackberry is not enough.......they gotta know your room number when you are on vacation and want you to "VPN in" on the lap top.The kind of job where when you are eating a romantic dinner or watching a movie .......the sound of someone else's cell phone triggers anxiety.
    The kind of job where you are expected to work 55 to 60 hours a week MINIMUM while you wonder if next year you'll be packaged out the door along with the other "high" salary employees. Did I mention that they expect you to pull rabbits out of hats and "chit" out people, products and reports that were done by folks they laid off the year before........ Start dividing 55K by those regular 55 hour to 65 hour weeks,extrapolate the stress, factor in the back biting, political in-fighting and then glance in the mirror at the person you've become .Suddenly........ anything and anywhere else becomes a better place.
     
  8. dave k

    dave k LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,178

    I live in the Athens Ga area and cut lawns in Gwinett, I won't leave my drive way for under 45 a cut, for 1/2 ac properties I charge 45 and 3/4 to 1 ac I charge 50 to 55. Aerating I charge 50 for the 1st 5000 sq. feet and 1 cent per sq. ft. there after. I was considering raising my prices this year for the cost of gas and diesel but changed my mind. It is a huge problem and all you can do is educate customers and find new ones. Don't give up.
    Dave
     
  9. Prestige-Lawncare

    Prestige-Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 753

    E-X-A-C-T-L-Y
     
  10. lowballer17

    lowballer17 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 184

    You right to work loving, Walmart shopping, immigrant hating, marrying your cousin, trailer park living wanna be business owners.
     

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