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Lowball-it's dangerous to your self

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Kevin, Jun 2, 2001.

  1. Kevin

    Kevin LawnSite Member
    from S.E. PA
    Posts: 169

    Just was in my favorite development-I got around 13 of these 10,000 sq feet $300,000 homes. Lady calls me and says she needs estimates, I remember her from last year, she was price shopping. Tells me she sees the homes I do gets good word of mouth from my peoples blah blah. Wants a price on fert program, but she is getting cutting from a guy who has several on her street for $25. I say its beneficial for me to do both etc. but if not make sure whomever she gets is PA pesticide licensed etc etc. Tell her I will mow for $35 and turn her lawn around with fert program etc. New cust today!! Point of story just because your price is low doesn't mean your gonna mow!!
  2. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,226

    congrads kevin, way to hold your ground, not knowing the lady i have a feeling she would of went with you, because she has seen your work, and you are in the neightborhood, a great deal of time if she needs you for something else.
  3. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    Unless you have a Fert Division, I would avoid these type of accounts.

    IF you turn her lawn around thru the chems you apply, the LCO maintaining the property will get the pat on the back. I understand that you may not be able to maintain every property, but if there is another LCO thats bad for both of you. If either one screws up it makes the other look just as bad.

    Its also tough to get these other guys to cut higher when you need to or shorter in the fall etc. If he tears up the turf when turning his machines now its your fault for not developing a healthy stand of turf.

    How will you feel if he wrecks your hard earned achievement because hes behind due to the weather while mowing calously? etc.

    Just my .02
  4. Sammy

    Sammy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,734

    kutnkru, I think he is saying he got the fert and mow from her and she is his customer now.
  5. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    i am finding it really hard to get my price sometimes because others in the past have worked so cheap. picked up 2 accts in a very upscale area a few weeks ago, i was shocked to learn that the two guys there b 4 me, both large reputable landscaping companies, were cutting for about $15 cheaper than my price. i did not get my price, had to come down a couple bucks on each property, but i took on the work cus its right along my route. it really sucks trying to compete with little boys with push mowers and little red wagons, and big "proffesional " companies too. lowballing is really bad for all of us
  6. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,035

    There's always the chance that the low-ball bidder just didn't screwed up their bid by underestimating the job. I'm just starting out and having a hard time estimating how long the larger jobs will take. I quoted one yard at $40, got the job and was all psyched...until I mowed it. Lot's of nooks and crannies, overhanging trees, obstatcles etc. Also, I just assumed he would want it mowed every week, but he want's it done every 2 instead. I thought about asking for more after the first mow but figured that would be unprofessional, and now I'm stuck with it!

  7. sgreanbean

    sgreanbean LawnSite Member
    from cal
    Posts: 138

    funny you all are back on this subject, i just had a interesting thing happen to me! we were doing this tree job and this guy comes up from down the street. wants me to look at his trees, no prob, i take a walk with him and he starts asking me every thing i do, mowing comes up, his yard is flat, small and little trimming, i tell him 30.00, he is happy with that, turns out when we mow it that it is actually twice the size( he lied to me about backlot on his prop) and he wants it bagged and power eged every 10 days,and wants me to trim his trees all for 30.00, hes the type of guy that will sqeezw blood out of ya! sent him i nice tactful letter stating that it will take 57.50 to do his yard and at once a week not every ten days. find out that this all started because another LCO sprays his yard and told him thats what he should get for 30 a mow! Oh well! he can have it!
  8. trimmer

    trimmer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 293

    Way to sell yourself. It always makes you feel good when someone will pay for your quality services it just brightens my day. All the post I have been reading about the professionals taking lawns from the low ballers makes me think our industry is finnaly earning some respect.:blob3:
  9. Island Lawn

    Island Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 632

    Congrats Kevin!
    It sounds like you did a good job selling your service!

    I would suggest being honest with the customer. Explain to him that you made a mistake (Things you didn't take into consideration...) and tell him that you need more $.
    Be sure to re-sell your service and thoroughly explain all what is included in the price.
    I put it all in writing.
    I've heard of someone reserving the right to adjust the price after the first couple of service visits
  10. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,035

    Island - thank's for the suggestion. I think I'll just live with the price this year, he probably needs someone to plow his driveway this winter. Besides, he referred me to a friend of his. His friend is a retired attorney who lives in an exclusive beach area that any landscaper would love to get his foot into. I cut the friend's overgrown privet hedges today and ripped out a flower bed for him. At one time I was actually drawing a crowd! You'd think they never say anyone trim a hedge before. Anyway, now the people next door want their hedges trimmed too becausee they look like crap compared to the ones I just trimmed.


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