Why?? Why????? Why??????????

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by FrankenScagMachines, Oct 12, 2002.

  1. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Posts: 4,739

    Why is it that people price shop around so much when it comes to Lawn care? I know that we dont' price around when we need a plumber to do plumbing work, a mechanic to fix the cars, someone to dig and lay a pipeline, someone to come trim the trees, etc... You just pick on and if you like them (treat you good) then you have them do it next time and usually you recommend them. Why should be/is lawn care any different? I dont' get it! :blob2: :blob2: :blob2: :angry: :blob2: :cry: :cry:
    Just venting...
    Eric
     
  2. SLS

    SLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mars
    Posts: 1,540

    Its because the kid down the street doesn't fix plumbing, repair cars, lay pipeline, wire houses, or perform brain surgery.

    On the other hand, he CAN grab dad's ol' Craftsman and weedeater and CAN undercut you by a few (and sometimes ALOT) of bucks in order to get some running money or the latest Sega game....especially if he has ZERO overhead and lots of time to kill.

    Thats the nature of the beast.

    And some people who hire other people to mow their lawns know it...and thus are inclined to shop around for the cheapest lawnguy in their area. They know that practically anyone can just mow a lawn.



    Personally, I shop around (get estimates) on the stuff you mentioned above....at least the first time that they are needed.

    Last year I needed 15 trees removed from my property and got 4 bids for the work. I went with the guys in the middle price range and saved $1200. They were pros, had the bucket trucks, stump grinders, and the big chippers, lic. and insurance.... and I will use them again. They did the complete job...start to finish.

    Ironically, the guy who showed up in the rusty old pickup with one chainsaw and a rope (and beer on his breath) quoted me the highest price. He was just going to drag the limbs up next to the street so the city chipper guys could get them (a couple of months later... after it had killed the grass) and I was going to have to get someone else to deal with the stumps. :dizzy:

    I also found my favorite local garage by 'shopping around'. :D
     
  3. bubble boy

    bubble boy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    i would say there are price shoppers in all but the brain surgery example. just don't feed the fire: keep your price at your price
     
  4. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    I don't really agree with you though on what you are saying about no one shopping around for price in other service related types of work.

    Sure, if it's an emergency plumbing job, and a guy comes out to give an estimate and I'm comfortable with him, I'm going to go with him no matter what the price is because I need to have the work done.

    On the other hand, if I am going to get a new furnace installed or a new roof for my house, I'm going to get a few estimates. I will base my selection on price and a few other things. I will be looking for reliability along with how well I am comfortable with the company I hire. Same with the having a tree cut down. My mom had a tree in her yard cut down last year. She got more than one estimate before she hired someone. She was looking for a good price along with someone who could provide insurance.

    Now with lawn care, you have to realize that this is a service that for the most part is weekly for a good portion of the year. So unfortunately, some people are going to be looking for a good price because they are going to have to be opening up their wallet a lot more often.

    For a one time job, some people will sometimes bite the bullet and pay the price without searching around. But because lawn care is so frequent, it's just the facts that some people want a decent price because they know the neighborhood boy down the street cuts grass and cuts it cheap too!
     
  5. ipm

    ipm LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 264

    I know what you mean. I am not really sure why people think that cutting grass should be free. I think it is because you have smaller companies and bigger companies. Smaller companies have zero overhead so they can give a lower bid. Vise-versa. You know it seems we are all out there competing with each other trying to get the job and the end result is, the customer gets a lower price and the business man cheapens his market. Imagine you have a new development. You have the Lawn Boy cutting yards for no less than $60.00 a stop( or whatever), and you have a real company come in and bid the properties at no less than $60.00. Guess what, chances are the market will be locked in that range. I mean think about it do you cut grass better than the lawn boy??

    I had a plumber come into my mothers home, look at a pipe and say "That pipe is loose" hand tightened it and collected $75.00. Drive time, etc. etc. Good thing I wasn't there because I would have asked him to take a good look at the toilet.:D Anyway, don't really know how fell through the cracks on that deal.

    I gave a price the other day. The properties were very close to existing accts. So, I say to myself I really need these accts.(Trying to tighten my route) windshield time is eating me up.

    How can I bid these so I will make a little money and not have to drive all over town. I gave this guy a lowball(you know cheapen the market. Why I did that I will never understand), and he told me. Well let me shop it out.:blob2: I said sure you do that buddy.

    When the bone head calls me back the price goes up. I guess I am venting also.
     
  6. Art Stubbs handy 58

    Art Stubbs handy 58 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 132

    When you own your own home you will see that shoping around is what we do, we shop for the best quality, service and product just like we do when it comes to our equipment.

    I also agree that people will always shop around for lawn service, when you are in the business long enough, you will understand that this is nauture of the beast, so why, why, why vent about it. so on to the next customer.. :D
     
  7. LLMSERVICE

    LLMSERVICE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 96

    My market is highly competitive. higher unemployment rate, lots of college students and a large older population. I learned to stop haggling. If people want to haggle, I don't take them on. I used to scramble and hustle to get as many clients as I could but you get to a point where you ask youself "at what price"

    On the other hand, I'm working pretty much on referrals at this point. Referrals generally don't hesitate about price because you've already sold yourself on quality and reliability to their freinds and neighbors.

    Also, track where your clients come from. Ask them how they found out about you, it helps focus your marketing dollars and gives you a better understanding of where the really great clients are coming to you from.

    Cheers!
     
  8. ipm

    ipm LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 264

    If these people are shopping around for quality, and so on, then why are they not paying the premium if we use 10,000 dollar mowers, are dependable etc. ??????? I have to disagree. Like I said anybody can cut grass. Lawn service is a luxury expense. As soon as the wallet gets tight, the lawn service and maid are the 1st to go. This is part of the business, but it is the worst I have ever seen it. All I can say is if the foundation of your business is structured by lawn maint. you might want to find some other supports to balance it out.

    People want something for nothing!!! Standing in fast food lines, I hear people trying to hustle a small fry. Get atta here! You _ _ you. It is called the chase, it makes people feel good if they get a deal or work somebody over. I'm done here.
     
  9. GreginAlaska

    GreginAlaska Banned
    Posts: 829

    I can guarantee you that when it comes to laying pipelines, we do "shop around"...usually in the form of putting it out for bid.
     
  10. bubble boy

    bubble boy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    yes.


    not like us.
     

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