Under bid

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by reconthree, Oct 30, 2003.

  1. reconthree

    reconthree LawnSite Member
    Posts: 68

    Hey boys,

    I have been in the business for 7 years and nothing makes me mad except those other LCO that come in and extremely under bid a job.

    I gave a bid the other day for leaf removal, I estimated it to be about $200.00. It would have taken me 2 hours.

    Another guy I know came in and said that he charges $70.00/hour.

    For some reason they thought that I was trying to cheat them!!

    This guy got the job and showed up the next day with a push mower and a rake. He turned it into a 5 hour job. Thats $350.00, he made out like a bandit. The bad thing is he left leaves along the fence.

    To bad there cannot be a union to set prices.
     
  2. justmjc

    justmjc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 261

    I always explain to my potential customers that it's in there best interest to get a quote by the job and not by the hour. Then I base my quote off of how many hours it takes me plus maybe 1 more for errors sake and multiply it by my target rate per hour. For your two hour job I would have quoted $90-135 more to the $135. Maybe a little extra for hauling away. Different areas demand different prices, but I think you overbid yourself in my neck of the woods.
     
  3. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    So how did he underbid you? and how did you get your customers 7 years ago? Your experience? no you had none, maybe you underbid someone?
     
  4. justmjc

    justmjc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 261

    I think that if you would have explained to them that it was in their best interest to get quotes based upon the job, else things like this happens. So you and the facility both lost in this situation. How unfortunate.
     
  5. Ryan Lightning

    Ryan Lightning LawnSite Senior Member
    from CA
    Posts: 554

    I dont see why anyone charging $100 a hour would quote that. You should be able to guess how long it will and just give a price, so they dont knwo you are charging a $100 a hour. If you are off a hour are 2, you will still be making alot!
    Also, I drag a little when charging by the hour, and bust my butt when i get the same $$$ no matter haw long it takes.
     
  6. mower_babe

    mower_babe LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 790

    ryan, with all due respect...do you really think that the customers don't notice that you are draggin it out? I am hard to amaze, but you have done it. I just cannot believe that you admit it. wow.
     
  7. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,194

    reconthree, I'm just being curious, Exactly how is it that you know the total that this homeowner was charged? Did you sit on the porch for 5 hours and wait for him to finish? Were you looking over their shoulder when they wrote the check? Did your competition tell you that's what he made?
    If you knew he made $70/hr somewhere else, doesn't mean he makes that on every job.

    Just how were you underbid on this job?
     
  8. Ryan Lightning

    Ryan Lightning LawnSite Senior Member
    from CA
    Posts: 554

    mower_babe, I didnt say I drag the job out, to collect more money. I said(are ment) I drag compaired to when Im paid by the job. If Im charging by the hour, I will work normal, and get the job done. But if I tell the customer $200 for a job, I bust it out and kick it in high gear so I can go home. I almost always make more money if I give a price, I hate to work by the hour, and only do so for sprinkler repairs, because of the unknown. And Im really to the point where, I will start qouting a price for sprinkler work.
    I just cant beleive a $100 a hour would not give you enough flexiblity to just qoute a price.
     
  9. parboy

    parboy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 37

    did you say union!?!?
     
  10. reconthree

    reconthree LawnSite Member
    Posts: 68

    My father-in-law lives right next door to the guy.

    We built an addition on his house this summer.

    I went to school with his daughters.

    Does that answer your question!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This guy is a nut bag, he agrees to things and then bitches about then to everyone.

    That is how I know how much it cost.
     

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