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How to deal with low ballers.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by kajunlawncare, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. CountrySavor

    CountrySavor LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2


    It shouldn't piss you off. As I said in my post, don't take no hard feelings. Every man is entitled to state his own opinion. I stated my own opinion without attacking someone for calling others a "low baller." I simply gave my opinion on it. As far as not everyone has this luxury? I don't know if that's a fair statement. I believe every man in America can choose his own destiny. It's just a matter of whether he chooses to do it or not. Saying because you can do a $25.00 cut, but doesn't mean you should. Is like telling a Basketball player just because you can shoot some hoops at the park for fun, doesn't mean you should waste your time? He has a love for the game. Of coarse he has all the right to be at the park shooting hoops with his friends free. I like to help people out. Yesterday I helped a 70 year old woman spread 5 yards of compost and plant over 15 vegetable plants for simply, a $50.00 bill. Not because I needed to, BECAUSE I WANTED TO, because I love being outside working in gardens and lawns. I'm not saying cutting a postage stamp lawn for $50.00 is wrong, because you as the owner should know what YOUR expenses are. But what I am saying is calling someone a lowballer without knowing their situation is wrong. Hell, I made a proposal to cut several of the fuel stations lawns around here, you know what they all told me? Same story. We have a homeless guy that comes and does it. Turns out one of the wealthy Indians bought the homeless guy a lawn mower to keep in storage at the store and he goes around and cut's all their lawns on the same day. I'm not mad at him, I realize in life, everybody has got to eat. Handle your business and don't worry about others and how they operate and you'll go a long ways. You build a business because you like working for yourself, right? Then it's best if you simply build your business for YOU and to run how you NEED/WANT it to run, not how others are running theirs, they may be in a completely different situation.
     
  2. CreativeLawncareSolutions

    CreativeLawncareSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,025

    I think your heart is in the right place, but you're missing the point. When you say you just wanna do it "for the love" and the money is secondary then it undermines what the other 99% of us are doing - which is doing it for a living. When you undercut/underbid/lowball you're turning it into a mockery.

    You're comparing apples to oranges. Not everyone was a roughneck for a decade. Some of us went into this business when we were in our young 20's. We have bills. We have to buy replacement equipment. And on and on. Do not be apart of the problem.

    Heck, if you truly love it then just do it for free. You'd do less damage that way.
     
  3. grassmonkey0311

    grassmonkey0311 LawnSite Silver Member
    from MD/NC
    Posts: 2,091

    The #1 thing I have learned over the last few years is saying you have low overhead. This is a sign of a business that will not last long.

    Besides your business expenses, you also have your personal. The well will eventually run dry. What about drought? You'll need a "rainy" day fund. While the $100 a day is good, it won't amount to anything when your mower breaks. Or your stuff gets stolen, or you run over equipment, get hurt and can't mow for a while, droughts, AC unit broke, plumbing problems, baby on the way, transmission problem, trailer repairs, etc.

    As for lowballers, a common sign of one is seeing this on an ad:
    "Any lawn $20"

    Or a customer gets quotes, everyone is at $60 a cut and your at $25 or $30.
     
  4. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Male
    Posts: 7,525

    Yes pretty much this, and what everyone else has been saying.

    You're claiming you built up a nest egg from another income source.
    So that's exactly like being a child and having mommy and daddy pay for your needs.
    16 year old kid thinks $25 is fair for his labor because someone else bought the mower, someone else paid for everything he has.

    In this case your previous employment gave you so much extra money, you could have basically retired for many years, instead you used the extra income to buy into the lawn industry because it amused you, but you don't need it to make a living or sustain operations for the next several years.

    When someone charges $100 for a lawn it's because they have to recover the costs of doing business.
    Insurance, fuel, equipment costs, etc etc etc. Then they have to put food not he table and pay themselves as well.
    Because industries like oil, automotive, insurance and real estate have been so greedy, with constantly rising prices, after claims of needing to recover the ever rising costs, and then reporting record breaking profitsÂ…. the cost to support ones self has gone up dramatically; economists refer to this as hyper-inflation.
    It's not greed when you don't have HEAPS of cash left over.

    When you worked at your job for ten years, and had some much extra money, you could pre pay for stuff, buy things you didn't absolutely need, and stock your garage full of supplies, did you take that extra pay back to your com pay and say "gee fellas, I don't need all this money, here, take it back?"
    Because that's what you are doing when you cut the lawn for $25Â….
    you're saying aww shucks, I don't need that money, you can keep it.
     
  5. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 2,715

    This thread is one reason I'm glad we're 95% commercial. :)
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. JohnnyRocker

    JohnnyRocker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 739

    Low ballers are thugs. We...or non-low ballers...must pay their taxes for them. They are of the same breed that sell their food stamps for a couple beers or some drugs. These scumbags will wither away, just as they were meant to. I will never drop my price to compete with an illegal bum. When you see Pedro who looks like he just jumped off of the boat, or an American born loser doing the same crap....just let them be in their own world(the one we pay for). Just don't swerve to get out of their way, you may hit a squirrel!!
     
  7. JeffH1

    JeffH1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 85

    I don't even pay attention to them. I just worry about myself. They're not worth the time or energy to even think about.
     
  8. american dream

    american dream LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 286

    So you will cut cheap to get more work to make the money you lost on the cuts makes good since! Lol
     
  9. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,541

    Say I see more low balling in the commercial field more then in the residential field.
    Like last year I lost contract of 100 acres . The winner was half of my price.
    Sure he only lasted a month and I got it back and this year I lost another one to a company that was 1/2 what I was charging so we will see how long this last again all in the commercial field.
    If they can do it for half more power to them
     
  10. RSMUTAH

    RSMUTAH LawnSite Member
    from Utah
    Posts: 180

    Now that we've determined who has the biggest bulge... :rolls eyes:

    The term "low baller" isn't thrown around to offend anyone mowing for $25 or less. It's thrown around to label them for what they are. They bid a job for a low price because they have low expenses. They live in a house that cost $70,000. Good for you, man! My house, (lower middle class) cost me $250,000. THAT'S THE MARKET HERE! $25 a lawn is low balling. Do you have workers comp? No, cause it's just you. Do you have business liability insurance? Probably not, because you don't make enough to pay for it. Point is, you're a low baller. It's not a derogatory or offensive statement, it's fact.

    To the OP - Low ballers end up weening themselves out. Remain professional, remain in contact.. The work will follow.
     

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