Question about lowballers and kharma

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Grass Kickin, Feb 21, 2007.

  1. Grass Kickin

    Grass Kickin LawnSite Member
    Posts: 167

    One of the areas I work, a basic service for mowing, trimming, edging and blowing goes from 35 to 50 per week. I have many accounts in this area. One of my customers told me last week that two guys were going around and offering cutting services for 17.00. I think he said cutting only, any size lawn. Obviously they are hoping on volume. I think that most of the owners want a pretty meticulous service but I'm sure several have jumped on the lower priced band wagon. I have not lost any business to this so far. Now, this community is approx 10,000 acres with 4000 or so homes. Obviously they can't get all the business. Can I legally kill them? Kidding, but is there anything that can be done, They are obviously trying to undercut everyone so talking to them is not a possibility. What do you guys do in a situation like that? Will kharma catch up to them for offering a $hitty service?
  2. DoetschOutdoor

    DoetschOutdoor LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S. IL
    Posts: 1,818

    They will not last. At that price, I would just take it and laugh because no one in the right mind will hire them and keep them. If your customers are paying $50, then when they pitch the $17 deal, your customers will see the red flag. They might get that one or two yards that dont weedeat, edge, or blow and get cut once a month but do you really want those yards anyway?
  3. shea

    shea LawnSite Member
    Posts: 30

    Perfectly stated. Year after year these guys come out of their hole. They fall by the dozens. Stick with your prices and never try to compete in price with these guys.
  4. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,201

    Just let your customers know that old saying "You get what you pay for" and that your insured, licensed and a registered business and that they most likely are not. It seems these day's alot more company's than I would like to see are doing things the Wal Mart way ( make a little on everything and do a whole bunch). That may work in retail but I don't think it will in this business.
  5. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    It won't be the carme that catches up to will be the 90+ degree heat working for $6 an hour before they pay for replacement parts and fuel.
  6. LushGreenLawn

    LushGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,121

    They probrably do not pay taxes or have a business license at that price. Call them and ask them if they are licensed. (If not, they surley don't pay taxes). Turn them in to your local tax office. I have copies of my business licenses in my truck, and can show it to my potential clients upon request, and I do get asked if I am licensed and insured.

    I know some guys on here are not fans of that, but if they are targeting your customer base, I would do it.

    When you do things the right way, it means you have alot invested in your business. Why let some lowballer chip away.
  7. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    more then one guy has come on here from florida and just quit because it was way to hot and harder then he though..... they will quit too....17 any lawn.. id get some friends with really big properties to call them and get them to mow for a few weeks, really big properties, id even give them the money to do this.... help them decide to quit. hahahhhahha

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    Most customers are going to be suspicious of $17 a pop when they know the going rate is double that...there is such a thing as being TOO much of a lowballer :laugh:

    A good analogy, I knew this guy that opened a car repair shop, and when he started he advertised $9.95 oil changes, figuring that would get people into his shop. But he barely got any calls...someone told him for under $10 they questioned what kind of job would be he raised it to $19.95 and got a lot of business.
  9. sikagrass

    sikagrass LawnSite Member
    Posts: 238

    Dont worry about those guys-they will be too busy to take your people. New guys always think do it cheap and get a lot of work, thats just what happens. Then they quit because there isnt any money in cutting grass. Go figure.
  10. nmez21

    nmez21 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 713

    Sub your work out to him, and still make $20-$30 a lawn for just trimming and egding payup . Na, he'll be out quickly with prices that low, that's rediculous.

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