Half acre mowing for $18

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DennisF, Mar 7, 2005.

  1. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,381

    I did a bid on a 1/2 acre lawn today. The owner wanted to get several bids. I wasn't really interested in the job, since my schedule is already full, but gave a bid because it is near an existing account. Mow, trim, edge and blow every visit. I bid the job at $27.50 per visit. That's about average for 1/2 acre in my area. The owner's jaw nearly hit the ground. He said the last guy bid $25 and the guy before him bid $18. The guy that bid $18 left a written estimate on his company letter head so I know the customer was telling the truth.

    He said he wanted me to do the job because he had heard that I'm reliable and do quality work, but....he wasn't going to pay $27.50 a week for lawn care. I explained that I cannot cut his grass for $18 and I didn't think that the other guy would be able to either.

    Needless to say I didn't get the account. But this is just another example of how ridiculous the pricing is getting here in Florida.
     
  2. traman

    traman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 712

    dennis if that job was to be bid on a monthly 12 month deal what would you charge $110.00 or less ,just curious
     
  3. Toy2

    Toy2 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,924

    Sounds like something they do down here $18.00 to mow, one guy said he would charge $15.00 if he uses your equipment??? I should try that,

    "Mr.Jones I will charge you $13.00 to mow, let me fire up your mower, lose a finger and sue the crap out of you" These guys are everywhere! :realmad:
     
  4. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    that is something to think about now. $13.00 up front cost to the homeowner, and then within 2 years approx $100 to $150,000 from the trial. I like this idea. I need to start doing this and I can retire very early :)
     
  5. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    1/2 acre at $110 per month on a 42 cut schedule.

    Yeah that is in the neighborhood for what I charge. More if they have lots of trimming. Lots more if they want hedges done or anything other than mow, edge, weedeat and blow. I get plenty of takers.

    I have a lady on 0.13 acres that pays me $120 monthly for the basics, hedges and weed control in the beds.

    You just have to pick your battles and sell your services. Oh yeah, and be willing to carry less customers.
     
  6. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,381


    If I bid the job on a 12 month pay and 42 cuts I would price it at $1,150 for the year or $95 per month. That would put it at just over $27 per cut. I stopped doing the 12 month pay after I got burned a few times by deadbeats that quit service in the winter and started up with another LCO. The only way I bid now is per cut and I bill at the end of each month. If I don't receive payment by the 20th of the following month, I stop service.
     
  7. traman

    traman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 712

    i need to move to that coast ,thats good for fl.
     
  8. GrassBustersLawn

    GrassBustersLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 983

    CUSTOMER: He said he wanted me to do the job because he had heard that I'm reliable and do quality work, but....he wasn't going to pay $27.50 a week for lawn care.

    ME: EXACTLY!! You get what you PAY FOR! You pay $18 for a $27.50 job, you get CRAPPY & UNRELIABLE SERVICE! Hope I can work with you in the future when you decide that QUALITY & DEPENDABILITY are worth paying a little extra to have. Also, I'm INSURED and show up to your property with $xx,xxx amount of PROFESSIONAL & MAINTAINED equipment ready to service your property. IS Mr. $18 insured?



    Mike
     
  9. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,381

    Traman
    I north of you in Citrus County. Believe me...you don't want to come up here and work. Anybody and everybody with a mower is cutting grass in this area. They are killing prices fast. I having problems getting $20 for a 12,000 SF lawn. There are guys mowing lawns for $15. A lot of very good legitimate lawn care operators threw in the towel at the end of last year. I think a lot more of the bigger LCO's will wind up doing the same this year. Many of them can't make enough money to pay their crews let alone turn a profit. I know of a couple of LCO's that moved their business to North Carolina because of the low pricing here in Florida.
     
  10. GrassBustersLawn

    GrassBustersLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 983

    I had SEVERAL of this EXACT situation last season. Me and Mr. $18 were actually at the door at the same time. On that job, I got the job, even though Mr. $18 was a neighbor. I know some of them I lost, BUT IF YOU KNOW YOUR NUMBERS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD TO WORK FOR!

    Unfortunately, this season already of got several $18 quotes in my mail box. I don't do any in my neighborhood for less than $30. Looks like it's going to be another tough season.

    Mike
     

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