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Public bids... why are so many bid so low?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Ramairfreak98ss, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. WeedWhipper

    WeedWhipper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 42

    This thread couldnt be any more true!! I was so upset last week, I bid on our city's "non-compliance" residential work, they wanted it in an hourly rate. I came in second with a bid of $50 an hour followed by 55 65 all the way up to 100 an hour by many of the respectable large companies in town. The winner got it with a low bid of $25 an hour. UN-FRICKEN-BELIEVABLE!!!!!! My gas and employee cost is almost that. Long story short it is a start up business this year with no experience, the kids website says he just got home from iraq and started up this winter. I called him to say congrats and goodluck with your new business! I expect a call from the city by late April or May! :)
  2. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    Thing is this guy thinks he's going to get paid $25 hour. So he is very happy. In time he will think things through further when he realises the costs of doing business.

    Living home with mom feeding him, using dad's mower, his business model shows almost zero costs.
  3. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    I bid on a church 2 weeks ago, every week for the front, every two for sides and rear. We also included 4 chem apps for front. Front 3 acres and rear 6.5, I was at $22,800 and I was outbid by a bidder who bid $13,500.
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  4. doyles

    doyles LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    i know its been long enough that i should not be surprised by how low these people think they can do the work for but WOW.
  5. Mahoney3223

    Mahoney3223 LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 995

    yep cemeterys routinely go for peanuts. any public job is a joke anymore.
  6. BrendonTW

    BrendonTW LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Oklahoma City
    Posts: 553

    I'm lucky to have become known quite well in the small town I grew up in as one of the better landscapers in the area. We were voted best in the area in the newspaper. I have developed a professional relationship with the city manager, mayor, and treasurer, as well as school superintendent and business director. The town is currently on a 2.4 million dollar per year tax income budget, with a WalMart being built expecting to bring an additional 2.9 million per year in sales tax, so they will be spending some money. And the school district has just received a $93 million bond to renovate and rebuild schools. I'm being blessed because so far I have been the only one to turn in bids on 5 projects for the city and schools, LOL.

    I do understand the frustration in this crap though, and there honestly is really no end to it. There never will be. It's basically impossible to win these municipal bids. Whats ridiculous is that a city can receive bids once annually and they might receive 10 bids. Five of those will be the lowest cost, and they will ALL either be brand new businesses, or ones trying to get anything they can because they are struggling (usually new businesses anyway) and then there will be the other 5 bidders who are the highest, who have been submitting the same type of bid for the last 10 years. And the city will always go with the lowest price, because they have to. It just seems like there could be some sort of rule to where they could ignore certain bids for some reason. I guess this is the reason that many municipal bids require being bonded. Usually the new guys aren't. However, in Oklahoma, you only have to be bonded if your BID comes out to be over $50,000.

    I think wise thing to do (which I have advised my local town to do) is for the city to hire a trusted consultant to prepare an estimate for the city to know what a legitimate company would be charging for this. The city pays the consultant for their time, and the consultant gives the city a detailed site plan, and specifics on exactly what needs to be done. The city then provides the bidders with this information, and the bidders will submit a bid. This also is convenient for the bidder as there may not be as much "free consulting" work going on. Though I would review the site anyway personally.
  7. A Leaf Above

    A Leaf Above LawnSite Member
    Posts: 223

    Well dont even bother bidding for a county contract here in broward county seeing how i am a white male ...They go by a 100 point system and the minorities (which i should be now) get 10 points right off the bat for being minorities ...The highest i can get is a 90 of 100 points on the scale ..So im at a disadvantage right off the bat ....At least some of you actually have a chance ..

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