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What a Freaking Idiot!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MOturkey, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,757

    Guy lives next to one of our long time mowing accounts. We've got a history, but I won't go into that now. His dad had a mowing business about 30 years ago. A couple of weeks ago, he approached me when we were parked in the alley, and began telling me how he was going into the mowing business, but for me not to worry, because he was going after the "big stuff". Now, this is in a town of about 1,000. There ain't much "big stuff".

    He then proceeds to tell me how he is going to the local consignment auction on Saturday and buying a mower. They had a Gravely, and a couple of Ferris' listed. Said he and "his banker", were looking at one of the Ferris mowers, because they were low hours.

    Well, a few days after the auction, I see this guy pulling his trailer down the street with his dad's little John Deere zero turn (a 225, I think is the model), the same one I've seen him mow his lawn with for the past couple of years. Now, picture this. He drives a late 70's, early 80's dually one ton pickup, and his trailer is a heavy duty 16 footer with tandem 7000lb axles.

    Well, yesterday we mowed the neighbor's, and I see the guy talkng to my wife. I just kept working, because I didn't want to mess with him. After we left, my wife told me he was telling her about his mowing "business". Said he tried to get the neighbor to switch to him, but she wouldn't. He is mowing yards for $10 or $15, and offered to mow hers for $15 (I charge her $40). He told her he had 8 clients, but lost one, and thought he might have lost another. :)

    Now, think about this for a minute. Gasoline is $3.66 a gallon here, and I am guessing his truck, on a good day, might get 8 mpg, especially pulling that trailer, which probably weighs at least a ton, and he is mowing yards for $15? God, how dumb can people be?
  2. TurnerLawn&Landscape

    TurnerLawn&Landscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 127

    Unreal, gave an estimate today on a yard, steeeeeeep back hill, most of it will have to be weedeated, prolly 1500 square feet, + front yard, told her $40, she said "really? thats high" so i explained why i was charging that, its a real narrow street, nowhere to turn trailer around, steep terrain, gas prices, etc. and she replied with "some guy from craigslist told me $20." So I said "if he can do it for $20 he can have at it!"
  3. Southern Pride

    Southern Pride LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Memphis
    Posts: 1,382

    THAT guy will never cease to exist. In fact there are more of that guy running around than level headed LCO's that I've noticed. I'm sure you know this but they are nothing to feel threatened about, but more of a bad joke, or a marvel of human idiocy. I see all these threads to the effect of "the lowballers are gonna take us over blah blah blah" NEVER in a million years would these idiots survive on delivering the quality I do at that price and people demand quality and are prepared to pay for it. I ALMOST feel bad for those guys... Let him have the craigslist creeper accounts. Just my .02

  4. rywnygc

    rywnygc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 523

    Saw a guy yesterday mowing an Aldi store property. Somewhere around 2 acres of grass. He was on a 36 with a sulky going full bore, bouncing all over the place. I actually had to pull over to watch him. I wasn't pulling my trailer (truck maintenance day) and my truck isnt lettered up yet, so he had no idea I was watching. My wife was with me, who knows nothing about mowing, and even she was laughing. I swear, Ill get video, the next time I see him.
  5. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,538

    and yet she is still looking for estimates :hammerhead:
  6. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,538

    nothing good comes from that. Dont forget about Karma. Just worry about what you are doing. :drinkup:
  7. BestImpressions99

    BestImpressions99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 491

    I just got my first account away from our base of operations (I live almost 45 minutes away from where we operate). I only got this account because I know the people and they just moved from Florida and are used to paying premium prices. I only hope their neighbor doesn't get wind of it and offer to do it for much less (he's not an LCO, but has done the lawn a couple times).

    When I bid the lot I reset my trip gauge and put in the travel time to and from and added it onto the bid. They'll never know. They liked my price so I'm cutting them for the first time today (their neighbor had just mowed it late last week).

    What's sad though for the respectable LCO's in dealing with the low ballers/low bidders is that it takes away from what we can do. I'm not even going to try to really break into the LC business up where I live because there are too many of the "$25 no matter what" types.
  8. G. Ramey

    G. Ramey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 376

    I don't worry about those guys. I charge more, but do a much better job. Every year I usually lose one or two accounts to the lowballers, but before the end of the year I almost always get a call from the customer asking me to come back. The usual reasons are there yard looks terrible after the other guy cuts or that he just stopped showing up. Build a good reputation for the quality of your work and show up when you say you will and the lowballers can't hurt you much. Besides sometimes you can get a deal on a piece of equipment when the lowballer folds.
  9. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,964

    Everyone starts somewhere and learns along the way just like the rest of us.
    You guys myob and don't worry so much about what others are doing and you'll be much happier.
    I've been on this site forever and every year it's the same posts.
    Biggest reason I just check in once in a while.
  10. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,757

    I don't "worry" about this type of person,and do try to mind my own business, but when the guy goes out of his way to corner me while I'm getting out of the truck, and tell me all of his plans, and corner my wife while she is seeding some bare spots in the lawn, it is rather difficult to ignore him.

    I also mentioned we have a history. He still owes me money from mowing HIS lawn four years ago. :)

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