Solution to low balling?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by southside, Mar 10, 2000.

  1. southside

    southside LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 790

    Perhaps the solution to under cutting/<br>lowballing is to form associations with other<br>local reputeable contractors in your area and<br>set up a minimum price for a given type of job.Over here in the land clearing/slashing<br>industry this has worked to a point where <br>hourly rates are the same for each size machine,eg. 50hp+5'slasher=$45.00 per hour,ect,ect. Just an idea anyway. Any opinions?
     
  2. plowking35

    plowking35 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S.E. CT
    Posts: 1,687

    My Idea is that if you do that you will be in jail. There is a little think called anti trust/colusion that prevents price fixing. Dont know why the oil co's do it. But you cannot form an association to fix prices, you will be shut down faster than the low baller takes an account away from you.<br>And again everyones situation is different and so is their pricing. A one man operation will have way differnt overhead and profit needs than a 25 man operation.<br>Suck it up do a good job and you will be fine. God you people need some cheese for all this whine<br>
     
  3. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,952

    One man or 20 man operation. The fact is. In our area the average price per l/2 acre 9 years ago was 25$. NOW 9 years later the average price is 35$. But there are alot of big and small companies out there cutting lawns for 25$ still. Something is definitly wrong with that. Lawns service parts and equipment inflation has gone up way higher than that in that time frame. Its like we are stuck in some kinda time warp. I keep waiting for Scotty to beam me up. NOw I am making more than that on some yards. But biding on new yard you are competing with people who are not looking to the future. Just trying to get as many yards as they can. They have no idea that they will be making less money in 10 years due to inflation. I mean a couple cannot go out and eat at a nice restuarant for less than 30$$ these days. I think one nintendo game cost as much as some yards we cut.<br>
     
  4. southside

    southside LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 790

    Plowking35, Don't shoot! It was just an idea. Get over it.
     
  5. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    Maybe my posts are too long for people to read. I'll try to make this brief. <p>MARKETING MARKETING MARKETING MARKETING MARKETING! The solution to people stealing accounts from under your nose for a bid $5 lower than yours is MARKETING!!<p>Because of the business you are in, you will, until the day you die, be in competition with every low-baller mentioned in these posts, as well as junior down the street using dad's mower. The only way you can defend your accounts against individual companies is MARKETING the differences between you and them. An association will only help you if it uses MARKETING to differentiate it's members from the non-members (standards of conduct, ethics, etc).<p>Marketing! Otherwise, you all look the same to me.
     
  6. Nilsson Associates

    Nilsson Associates LawnSite Member
    Posts: 243

    Southside ... <br>you have to ask yourself if it's any accident that Lawyers all charge about the same amount per hour, as do Plumbers, Electricians, Auto Mechanics, Doctors, Appliance Repairmen, Tutors, Baby Sitters, Day Care Providers, Private Duty RNs, Computer Geeks, and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on da da da da. I'm surprised they're not all in jail.<p>Phil Nilsson
     
  7. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    Phil - <p>C'mon.<p>Market forces drive those prices, not collusion. Those prices (of the professions you list) vary as much as they do in lawn maintenance.
     
  8. plowking35

    plowking35 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S.E. CT
    Posts: 1,687

    Get over it yourself. You mow freaking lawns, how much do you want to charge to mow a lawn. And people will only pay so much to have it done. Now before you get all upset, I used to mow for a living also. The only challange was to mow as many lawns in a day as possible to make more money. We did nice work, and still mow one day a week. In fact I got a call to bid a property last week, and when I asked why they were shopping, the answer was to cut costs. I politly declined to bid, since I dont try to undercut another contractor. However if I did price it, and for some reason or another I was cheaper, then good for me.<br>The lawn care cutting market will only accept prices to a point, after that they will either do it themselves or hire someone else. There will always be someone to do it cheaper, so get used to it, and figure a way to survive in spite of it.<br>the is only one reason that mowers today are better than 10 yrs ago. To go faster to make more money for you. Now that you have faster mowers, you can cut more lawns in a day to make more money. Only thing is somewhere someone is forgetting that mower cost 2x the amount of the old one, or they never owned a commercial mower before and they price a job to low thinking that the faster mower will make up for it. SO WHAT. Let him be.<br>He will either make it or he wont, deal with it.<br>Now a doctor and lawyer, even a mechanic has a lot more schooling than a lawn cutter, lets face it its not rocket science. God even forest gump did a nice job mowing. The market will only bear a certain price for what you do. If that bothers you get out.<br>
     
  9. Nilsson Associates

    Nilsson Associates LawnSite Member
    Posts: 243

    I thought I was talking to southside, now all you guys want to get into the act!
     
  10. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,144

    you say its so easy to mow lawns and for me it always came naturally but i cant tell you how many workers i have had that couldnt mow or wed wack for sh**. its easy for some but they have to pay money if they want it done right.
     

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