Lowballer or ?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by rixtag, Dec 4, 2001.

  1. rixtag

    rixtag LawnSite Senior Member
    from Lehi Ut
    Posts: 280

    I would like to hear the what you all think the differences are between a lowballer and someone who has extremely low overhead and can price very competitively.


  2. lowballer?
    That's probably the nicest thing my competitors call me! lol


    MATTHEW LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE OHIO
    Posts: 665

    A lot of guys will say anyone who underbids them by more than10-15% is a lowballer. Most of us price according to the market and our overhead. So why don't wee just all charge the same, they ask? It's up to the customer. They see a nice shiny new truck and professional equip. and guys with uniforms and say " I'll pay more for that" Then there's the guy with a '82 chevy and a 4x8 tilt with a 20 year old walk behind that needs a bath, and they'll say "oh they must be cheaper" I would rather have nice looking equipment and charge as high as the next guy.
    The real problem with lowballing is that you tend to get stuck in a rut. You start out low to get customers. Then you get referrals and you need to have similar pricing. Then you try to raise the price and lose business.
  4. Twotoros

    Twotoros LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 494

    Exactly Matthew. Once you set a price that is the basis for future rates. If you realize you are too cheap and adjust prices you could loose 25-50% of your customer base. I know this from personal experience. The only way that a lco can have low overhead is to not pay taxes. I am at a bare bones now but half my expenses are for tax and insurances. The only cutbacks I can make are in repairs and new purchases. To stay in biz you have to repair and upgrade equiptment. Hence, keep thy prices as high as possible. Lowballing hurts everyone including yourself.
  5. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    charge what u r worth
  6. Equipguy

    Equipguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 370

    Why give your time away? After all its the most valuable asset your lawn business has. Frequently, price is low on the list of what the customer really wants but many feel the need to ask. Our job is to provide a service that makes the customer feel the're getting a "steal" regardless of what you may charge. Sell the sizzle, not the steak.
  7. rixtag

    rixtag LawnSite Senior Member
    from Lehi Ut
    Posts: 280

    I'm thinkin' I didn't make my question clear enough.

    In your eyes what is the difference? I am not talkin' about your attitude towards somebody who can underbid you because they have less overhead or a lost bid because of a lower price.

    What I want to know is what you consider a lowballer to be.

    Nobody likes a lowballer, I agree, but if I have considerably lower overhead and that allows me to do a job for less, will I be labeled a lowballer or not? and WHY?

  8. casey

    casey Guest
    Posts: 0

    I price based on proximity to other contracts not solely on the individual job. If drive time is minimal to none my price will reflect that. I also bid low on a contract on a new street on the usually guaranteed assumption it will lead to further contracts on that street & with that customers friends & relatives. This is not lowballing but smart business. Eliminating drive time means more mowing production.
  9. smburgess

    smburgess LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 469

    How could you have such a much lower overhead than the next LCO?
    Insurance, repairs and maintenance, operating supplies, etc. is not going to vary to that extreme. The usual differences in prices are from equipment configuration.
  10. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,415

    The difference in my eyes is this....

    A <b>lowballer</b> is someone who intentionally lowers his price for a certain property knowing what the <b>current service is charging</b> just to get the account.

    Just because their price is lower than someone else's doesn't make them a lowballer. Everyone's numbers are not the same.
    Profit margin is the key.

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