I Keep Getting Underbid

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by LBOperator, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. LBOperator

    LBOperator LawnSite Member
    Posts: 209

    What do you do then, tell them you need to do an in person quote?
     
  2. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,450

    Absolutely. People always underestimate. Their idea of a small yard and yours are probably way different. When somebody says it hasn't been cut in a while that means 2 months. How can you sell yourself without face time?
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  3. LBOperator

    LBOperator LawnSite Member
    Posts: 209

    You have a very good point, I should have told them I would be there tomorrow to look at it and then quote them. Prob could Have at least got to mow it then and maybe when they see the job I could do they wouldn't mind the extra 5 dollars.
     
  4. Green Clean

    Green Clean LawnSite Member
    Posts: 77

    It seems that the market is a strange one. I have heard of bids ranging from $30 - $10 for the residentials I do. I flat them out at 7.50 if they sign on weekly. $10 if they don't. Either way its 7.50 for 4-15 minutes of my time. Either way my point is some customers feel some prices are too high while others not so much, if you're comfortable at $40 then stick with it.
     
  5. LBOperator

    LBOperator LawnSite Member
    Posts: 209

    I'm assuming you have real nice pro equipment, that's what's going to hurt me starting off. I could mow the same yard with a nice 48" in prob 10-15minutes. I will get there, and I have come to the price of $40 because the range around here for a normal yard 1/4-1/2 acre is 30-55 dollars.
     
  6. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,450

    Pro gear or not that is way low pricing. I'm sure he does great volume. Downside is volume is extremely hard on equipment and you always feel like your chasing your tail. I do 911 calls around summer holidays as there always seems numbnutz that wait until the day before or morning of. I will do a quick internet check to verify size and shoot a high price. Usually I get it. If they balk I say hey, you need it done now and I can have someone on your yard within the hour. Regular or any other time I really want to see the property and meet the people. When they are new it is so important set ground rules, go over policies and make sure everybody is on the page. It get aggravating when you discuss one thing by phone, do the job and then find out one or both od misheard a critical detail.
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  7. LBOperator

    LBOperator LawnSite Member
    Posts: 209

    I thought that was really cheap, he must mow all the houses in each neighborhood and not have to drive his truck anywhere lol, jk. But I don't see how you can run all the equipment for 15 minutes and make money on 7.50. I would be better off walking up to the door and handing them 20 bucks.
     
  8. MJB

    MJB LawnSite Silver Member
    from Wa
    Posts: 2,869

    You should shoot for $1 per minute. I started 23 yrs ago and was charging more than you do now. Remember you have to pay yourself and your equipment and uncle sam, so divide your price by 3 and what do you have left?
     
  9. zacher

    zacher LawnSite Member
    Posts: 67


    Me neither than again I can give a ballpark number...gave an estimate on the phone based on square footage one time small yard just as they said....with literally near 100 hedges and the yard in small pieces left and right on a hill...n that was 4 years ago and last time I ever did that..nice house though. The customer still calls every now and then for brush clearing work


    My other advice is what I do for a customer thats in a town 15 miles away I gave him a price and drop his price 10% for every customer he refers in the neighborhood...he is one customer away from free service and I will tell you I will give him free service so as long as all those customers stay contracted
     
  10. Green Clean

    Green Clean LawnSite Member
    Posts: 77

    Yeah they're all actually in the park I live in so there is next to no fuel cost. Plus for some odd reason my mower isn't bad on gas I can run those lots for two weeks on 2 gallons. I mostly keep the costs low for the elderly and they hand me more work such as washing the homes.
    $1 a minute for lawns? or everything else? That includes gas, profit helpers and whatnot? What about drive time?
     

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