I need to look for a different fertilizer supplier for next year

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by Cheryl, Dec 31, 2005.

  1. Cheryl

    Cheryl LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 95

    I think I am getting hosed by my fertilizer supplier (I don't think I can mention names) I'm in central Florida. I compared prices with someone not too far away from my area but not a competitor. He is buying from the same supplier, spends the same amount of money per year, an is getting his cheaper (20%) I guess the discount is arbitrary (what ever you are stupid enough to pay) I have tried one other supplier briefly (I don't think I can mention names) but found the quality (dusty, wet) to be inferior.

    I think I owe it to myself to at least get some competitive quotes from others. Who are the fertilizer players in the central Florida east coast area. My order is for 4 tons.

    Your help will be appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,648

    Get quotes for everything...chemicals, insurance, fuel, supplies...keep the field competitive.
     
  3. AlpineNaturescapes

    AlpineNaturescapes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 149

    I had a supplier who has been moving prices up on me consistently, but he is still competitive or better than Lesco. This last time he added a shipping charge - if this keeps up, I will go to Lesco and others. But I understand his cost is up too -- shipping etc.
     
  4. Cheryl

    Cheryl LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 95

    My understanding is that certain companies (I am afraid to name names) will discount to you on a number of different factors. When a sales rep pulls up your account and then pulls up what you are buying it gives him a percentage figure that they can discount to you. This is based on:

    1) Initial mark up (money the company has to make on the product)
    2) How much you spent with them that year (if you are new for that year)
    3) How much you spent the year before.

    The computer may display different levels of discount i.e. 5% 15% 45% if the sales rep does not give you a break at all, 40% of the discount (the highest percentage for the item, or sale) goes toward his yearly sales performance total for the year (his bonus and status with the company is tied to this, and so is the area manager's, VP's, etc) Therefore, the incentive is not to discount to you, or to discount as little as possible.

    They also play the game of discounting to you on one thing (and you get all happy and vulnerable) and then they hit you hard on something else (and you don't see it). You ever wonder why it takes a sale so long to process? The computer and the sales guy are looking to see how much money they can hose you for. Makes you hate the business.

    How do you guys feel about this. Can we compare prices here? (I'm not sure I want to) I realize different areas may have slightly different structures, for different reasons. But, I think we are getting hosed, if the same stores are charging different prices based on exactly the same factors. i.e if we spend the same amount we should get the same discount. Otherwise, it is not fair, and I am getting sick and mad about it.
     
  5. GreenUtah

    GreenUtah LawnSite Senior Member
    from SLC, UT
    Posts: 866

    why would you be afraid to name names and discuss a per pound price? There are instances of that everywhere on this site. If you are paying $40 per bag and I'm paying $13, it's fair for you to know that. It's also fair for you to know if I am getting it by the semi full, 6 times per season vs your 4 pallets as well. Do you know what you need when you call or is there a half hour of hand holding each time as they make a new agronomic program for you? Are you an hour each way from their store for delivery where I am 3 blocks? All of these things come into play on pricing as well as the salespersons judgement of whether or not you are willing to shop it down and walk away. It's fair to ask around and try to manage your costs to your best ability. You may not always get a direct answer from other service providers that may not want their cost and program info out there, but you just may. That's what this site is for,so feel free to be specific. There's no liability in giving accurate information, even if you're mad and it paints the supplier in an unflattering light, otherwise TGCL would have killed this site long ago..lol
     
  6. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,889

    Or John Deere and Tonyr would have a slander suite going in really big way.
    Say what you feel. no matter what company you are talking about.
     
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Yep...truth is truth. If it is fact, then it isn't slander. Also, you have nothing to hide, because by the sounds of it, and the amount that you go through, it's not like someone else is going to go for a discount and affect your price in the long run. Now us, our account does just over 20 ton per round. Our discount is equal to approx. 40% on most of our product.
     
  8. Lawnmasters

    Lawnmasters LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180

    I was buying from Lesco, driving 100 miles to pick it up. I contacted my local Farmers Co-op and gave the mgr. my products I needed that they didn't carry. He found them, orders them in for me. I have my own little storage section in my local Co-op. And the prices are most of the time less than Lesco was. The best part, it's 1 mile from my shop.
     
  9. A.T.A.K

    A.T.A.K LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 286

    I am over in the Orlando market and will be glad to go over your prices with you. I have been around a while and know all the chemical repsin this area and yours very well. Just let me know and we will crunch some numbers.
     
  10. TurfProSTL

    TurfProSTL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 693

    I used to sell for a regional supplier. You need to call your supplier now and tell them you're getting quotes on X number of tons of Y. Don't just pop in and talk to the guy at the counter and tell him your there to get some Z, because you're gonna pay the full list price thats in the computer.....
     

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