We Found Someone Who Is Cheaper

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by garlar55, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. garlar55

    garlar55 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    I did a bid about a week ago on leaf cleanup. I am a solo operator and my plan was to use my backpack blower to tarp the leaves then bag them up. It looked as though it would take about 2.5-3 hours to complete the job, so I gave a quote range of $150-180. The leaves would be thick too as he was waiting for them all to fall before having me do the job. I called him this morning to find out if the leaves were all down and when he wanted me to come. He says he found someone else to do it cheaper. Was my price out of line? or have I been lowballed?
     
  2. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    Around here, you woud've been killed with that bid! I'd like to have seen a picture of the site, but some shleps will only charge maybe around $100-$125 for 2 1/2 hours worth of labor. They care NOTHING about liability, insurance, or whatnot, and seem to get away with it! (And they're English speaking)
     
  3. p0wd3rp1l0t

    p0wd3rp1l0t LawnSite Member
    Posts: 30

    you might have been lowballed or u might have been outbid by someone that can or could have actually done it for cheaper. the way i go bout bidding every job big or small is i bid it for wat me and my guys can do it for, no more or no less. your not making money if u lowball it, ur just using ur equip and time to break even. think of it this way...you might not have won the bid, but if u did lower ur bid u might have lost money
     
  4. rockytop00

    rockytop00 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    At least you bid on it... no worries, it happens to the best of us.
     
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Leaves are best summarized as follows: EVERYBODY will call you for leaves!
    I'm talking folks who won't ever call you the entire rest of the year WILL call you for leaves, NOBODY wants to do them.
    You know what that means?
    Since they never call to find out what your prices are like, how could they know what it should cost?

    It's one of the worst jobs to deal with, hence why I do them for my regular customers first and foremost. I would agree that you may have overbid, but you also showed you bent over backwards on top of giving the man roughly a $50 / hour bid, you were already willing to wait until they ALL fell, unless you miss-estimated...?

    That having been said, I charge $40 / hour if I'm just using the backpack...
    $60 / hour is reserved for the 2,400 cfm push blower.
    So it is possible you overbid, but again you were going to wait until they all fell, so it's just as possible you ran into the usual price shoppers this time of year. There's no telling, you bid high on one hand but you did the man a favor on the other, technically speaking it should add out.

    The other guy is as likely to have made a crucial mistake, leaves are very easy to miss-estimate.
    Don't take it personally, if you got lowballed then someone might be fixing to have a day with it, too.
    That guy might take a beating, or he gets 1/4 of the way through and packs up and leaves, or maybe he does ok, who knows?

    At least you didn't underbid it.
    Customers who say no to leaves are usually at least double in numbers when compared to the rest of the year.
    I dare say, if I get 9 out of 10 saying no to the usual, for leaves it's more like 19 out of 20 or worse.
    Best way to deal with it is play it like a numbers game, next, next, next.
     
  6. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 829

    If I had $1 for every job I lost because someone bid less than I did, I would be rich. Like topsites said, everyone hates leaves. I have learned to always bid high on one time cleanups and leaf cleanup jobs. If they find someone cheaper, That is just more time I have do something else, or do nothing. I think your price was fair. There is always a sucker out there that will do something for cheap.
     

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