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Tell Me What You Guys Think About This Bid?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by RickR1818, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. RickR1818

    RickR1818 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 342

    Ok guys, heres the deal. This is my first full season and this was my first large commercial bid. I asked advice on this earlier and used your replies to come up with my estimate. Heres what the customer told me.

    I priced a 79,000 sq ft of turf parcel that included mowing, trimming, edging, bed cleanup, and trimming of bushes at $345. He told me that he currently pays a crew of 5 $115 to do this amount of work. I also quoted him $295 for the same service to do his HOA common areas that total over 85,000 sq ft. He told me he pays $85 for it now.

    He also stated he does not understand how his current guy makes any money with having himself and four other workers.

    My question is: I am I way over-priced here or is this guy just getting an unbelievable deal? I figured I would be a little high but I wanted to give myself room to negotiate. I can't imagine that I am truly 3X as high.


  2. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 613

    My lots range from 10,000 - 29,000 sq. ft. The cheapest I charge is $35 mowed trimmed and blown and the most expensive I charge is $55 same service. It takes me about 30 - 40 minutes on the small lot, and about 1 hour on average on the large lot. So what I am saying I would guess my bid would be about $150 - $200 for the 79,000 you are talking about just mowing. Add in monthly hedge trimming and bed cleanup and edging and that would probably be up around $350 also. Sounds like he is throwing a number out there and hoping you canbeat it. I doubt he will be switching companies for that much $ difference, stick to your guns and say sorry thats what I charge. Most likel;y that guy will either let him down in his quality or he will be out of business soon as he can't possibly afford to do that work for thatprice I dont think.
  3. GroundForce007

    GroundForce007 LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 32

    yeah some people give you a price thinking you are going to beat it
  4. Down2EarthLawns

    Down2EarthLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 191

    Stick to your prices. Did he say why he is looking for someone else?
  5. echeandia

    echeandia LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,131

    Your prices are what he is willing to pay. He indicated this by questioning how the other guy makes any money. The question is will some lowballer come in and get the job?
  6. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    What are these properties like? I mean are they just one big section of grass, very easy? I am asking because people always talk about how FL prices are so low, but I have a few properties that are the same size as what you describe, and I would maybe mow and blow for what you are mentioning. And I would only blow If I could do it while sitting on the mower. The properties I have have islands and things like that, so even at the same size maybe they arent even close. What would you gross per hour on them?
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I'm not sure either, I was going to say too low ...
    We're talking two acres, lots of trimming and curbs I am sure, omg the curbs :laugh:
    I did something similar some time back, for twice that amount, but per month...
    uhm... It was a LOT of work, way more than what I bargained for.

    Yeah, it's a dangerous brew for sure, I find your analogy very interesting, a common pitfall of estimating is to quote around what we think they are willing to pay (vs. quoting what it should cost). I find once I start down the road of thinking along these lines I should be running, but much like other Lco's I stupidly stick around to blurt it out, then just to throw me for a loop the haggling begins.

    So that's the thing, I don't think the prices were out of line, likely too cheap and the customer saw you were willing to give, so he tried for more. I say let the lowballers have it IF they can, so don't lower your price because I still don't like it, if you get the job you'll probably work for the money which that's fine, but I really think if you come down at all you will be hating life.

    Just my take on things...

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