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I smell something fishy

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Darryl G, Mar 17, 2003.

  1. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    I got a call today for a spring clean-up. Kind of a dumpy property with lots of doggie doo-doo. While inspecting the property (the owner wasn't home), I couldn’t help but notice bulk deliveries of topsoil and bark mulch on the lawn (looks like they’ve been there since last year waiting to be used). Even more interesting was that this house is directly across the street from a competitor with 3 nice shiny newer trucks (2 small dumps and 1 pick-up) parked there. There were a couple of guys out by the trucks and I could tell they were talking about me. There are no signs on my new truck yet, so I’m sure they didn’t know who I was, but it would have been obvious to them that I was looking at the lawn

    Here’s the problem, I can’t help but think that my potential customer is calling around to get prices for my competition across the street. Maybe I’m just paranoid (been accused of that many times) but I can’t see why they would call me when there is an LCO directly across the road, who from what I can tell, is more capable than my one-man show. Unless, of course, they hate each other or something.

    I plan to outright ask the customer why they don’t use the company across the street. Does anyone think this is a bad idea? Also, since this is a job that I could do without, I’m thinking of bidding higher than usual. Oh, forgot to mention, the other company is one of about 4 others who runs ads in the same paper as me. I smell something fishy.

    Your thoughts?
  2. That does sound a little fishy , i`d come back and speak with the home owner and see what the whole thing is about. or submit your bid amazingly high.? ???? u`ll have to ecide for your self. :confused:
  3. LB Landscaping

    LB Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 1,309

    It is kind of strange. I would definatly ask him why he's not using the guy next door. He very well could be calling around for info for the guy across the street.
  4. HarryD

    HarryD LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,069

    I would not sweat it he probably has asked him and he was high as hell because he didn't want to do it or he is real busy and said he would have to wait.

    I did a power rake & aeration up the street from me and this guy had a LCO that lived across from him that did the aeration for him the year before. I asked him why he didn't have his neighbor do it he told me the guy told him he could not do it in 2 weeks he wanted it done now so go figure. Did not bother me much the other LCO would always look the other way when driving by my house or would ignore me if I waved. He gave me a dirty look when he seen me doing HIS aeration. I just smiled :D
  5. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    Just put the bid in and quit wasting time thinking about it. I do work for a lady that has two neighbors that own lawncare businesses right in her neighborhood. She just chooses not to do business with someone that close. Basically mixing business with pleasure. That's all she has said about it. I could care less how she or the businesses in her neighborhood feel about it.

    If someone in this business wants to use your estimates to base their prices off, rather than their own costs and profit margin, that will eventually be their downfall.

    I wouldn't pry at the customer for any information, be a pro about this and disregard any individuals attempt at a game or otherwise. Someone asked for a bid, you give them one. Although a little apprehensive when starting my business, I now welcome a scenario like that. Maybe they will learn what it's like to be a real professional who isn't afraid of some schmucks childish games.
  6. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Posts: 1,557

    I'm fixing to be in the same situation as you are. Have to do an estimate in an upscale neighborhood where the woman's neighbor is one of the largest landscaping companies in the area. However i think the reason she called me is her neighbor doesnt want to mess with small residential jobs. Maybe thats the reasoning behind your situation.
  7. fblandscape

    fblandscape Banned
    Posts: 776

    I wouldn't go by the neighbor as much as I would go by the way the property has been taken care of. I would suggest to you that if you do put in a bid and get it... that you make it a pay as you go type deal. I am wondering about this guy and his want / ability to pay for services.
  8. Olylawnboy

    Olylawnboy LawnSite Senior Member
    from Oly Wa
    Posts: 312

    I'd just put in a bid that I felt good about and If I got it, then great, if not, no big deal right, who cares what the neighbors say:)
  9. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,900

    Some people do not want to ruin their relationship w/ their neighbors. Others may not like looking at his trucks, etc at his site. Maybe he doesn't want to do it. I've been called to bid neighbors of LCO's that I know. I ask the prospective client if they have contacted the LCO, and if I may inquire as to why their not using them. Many times its local guys I know thru the biz. I usually give them a call to feel out the potential client too & let them know I have no intention of stepping on their toes.

    Good luck

  10. Phishook

    Phishook LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,143

    Maybe they were the ones that dropped the soil and dirt off, and never finished the job.
    I'd bid it as usual, maybe a little higher.

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