Lowballers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnk123, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. lawnk123

    lawnk123 LawnSite Member
    from MN
    Posts: 7

    Theres a company in my area that is in the top three for largest companies in the area. Anyhow I have witnessed many jobs that they do for rediculous low rates. One job for example takes them 3 hours with four guys. One trimming, the three other on 61" ztrs. $150 PER SERVICE. They also got one of my jobs i had been doing. my bid was 175 per service, about a 5 hour job for me. They lowballed that also and got it for less than the my bid. Wasn't a big deal as i made up for it with other accounts. They also took a 1 hour job for $18. This completely baffles me being that they're a larger company with three trucks and half dozen mowers. Also notorious for doing dirt cheap work. All the other companies charge $60-90 per hour and this guys getting maybe 15 an hour? I also saw they filed for bankruptcy over the winter.. What gives? any ideas on how they're still in business??
     
  2. mngrassguy

    mngrassguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,167

    Welcome to Lawnsite. This is nothing new. It's been going on since the beginning of time and will go on forever. Sorry to hear you lost accounts to these jokers but I'm glad to hear they are on their way out. Just be sure to keep in touch with your former clients so you can "upsell" them.

    I love "resales" mid-season because they are desperate and no longer in a price shopping mode.

    Good luck!!!
     
  3. lawnk123

    lawnk123 LawnSite Member
    from MN
    Posts: 7

    good point. thanks for the reply
     
  4. JNyz

    JNyz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,086

    What are you charging per hour??? It looks like you are only charging 35.00/hr, to me that is lowballing.
     
  5. bill8379

    bill8379 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 778

    Glass houses:laugh:
     
  6. lawnk123

    lawnk123 LawnSite Member
    from MN
    Posts: 7

    I wasn't trying to be hypocrite, its just difficult to understand. I'm a solo op and I can afford to do it for that price and make a profit. I totally understand why you would consider me a lowballer at $35 an hour. Next year I'll be charging more. thanks for the friendly input. :)
     
  7. JNyz

    JNyz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,086

    I didn't want to sound like a dick but you must have 80.00 a day in expenses. I doubt you bill out 2000.00 hours a year and that is only 70k with a net of 50k without even taken benefits into consideration.
    If you got a sales job or 20.00/hr job you would be making much more. I am just putting it out there that sometimes 35, 40 an hour sounds good but that is no where close to your net. That is why you must get your hourly rate up and your billable hours close to 2000. Good luck and sorry for sounding like a jerk.
     
  8. lawnwizards

    lawnwizards LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,434

    not everyone can land a job making 20 bucks an hour. times are tough these days and if hes happy making 35 per hour, then so be it. he'll learn to adjust his prices if need be when he figures out what hes netting. goodluck.
     
  9. JNyz

    JNyz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,086

    i believe that if some solo guys put as much time in during the off season as they do during the height of the season finding a good paying job, they would end up making more money. some just see that hourly rate and think that is what they make. yes he will learn to adjust his prices but i may sound harsh but a little push might help him adjust earlier. some guys i know say i will adjust next year but there is nothing wrong with adjusting during the season.
    this board sees way less then 1% of the landscape contractors out there but there are many who work for a low wage in my eyes. some of my competition, who i talk with on a regular basis, own a home valued at 800k or more, a vacation home at a beach resort and have their kids at private schools. charging 35.00/hour does not do that and hurts the whole industry.
    quick story. i needed a plumber on short notice and my buddy was not available. neighbor gave me a referral and he came right out. solo guy. decent truck and tools. it took him 1 hour. he charged me 100.00/ for the hour and 10 minutes each way for drive time for a total of 133.00 for labor. the parts were only 10 bucks. Grand total 143.00. What I am getting at is we as landscape contractors are just as knowledgeable in our field as the plumber who came to my house. So why is our rate so much lower and we have more money in tools and equipment then a plumber. I think we are scared to put high bids out there thinking we will not get the job.
     
  10. lawnwizards

    lawnwizards LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,434

    i hear ya. knowledge is a powerful tool for newbies. to the OP, it doesnt matter how much you gross. what matters is how much you keep. goodluck to everyone this year and lets get some rain going and cooler temps.
     

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