You ever consider buying accounts off of Craigslist?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Ijustwantausername, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. Ijustwantausername

    Ijustwantausername LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,453

    Every now and then I will see people selling their accounts for whatever reason on CL. Have you ever bought any this way? Some are overpriced and some you can get a return in a few months. Any experience with this?
  2. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Posts: 2,773

    There's more to it then just handing over some cash for a bunch of clients. What if he sells them and a month later takes them back from you behind your back? Clients ( at least in my eyes are a somewhat worthless part of the business unless there's a few hundred. Anything under 20-30 is worthless. You can pick up that many over time for nothing. The equipment is about the only thing of value. A whole lot more is involved.
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  3. jdilliplane1

    jdilliplane1 LawnSite Member
    from philly
    Posts: 29

    I agree that they are worthless. Unless you have signed contracts from everyone saying they will stay with you, stay away. I made the mistake last year and got beat for a good bit of money from people that had no loyalty to me. More than one client told me, "I'm not cattle to be bought and sold!!" Eventually had about an 80% keeper rate, but in my opinion isn't worth it.
  4. Ijustwantausername

    Ijustwantausername LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,453

    Yeah, I figured that was the case with this type of dealing. Some people ask a pretty penny for customers.
  5. aaron79mowing

    aaron79mowing LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 50

    I wouldn't discount it so quickly if you are looking to expand rapidly. Remember you are not actually buying blindly of the internet. The craiglists ad is only a means of contact with the seller. You should meet them and find out their scenario. Sure there are scammers out there, but there are also legitimate people selling out due to many different circumstances. I have bought out accounts before and had very good luck w/ it. I also made sure that the seller signed a no-competition agreement for 5yrs. I also had them compose a letter to be sent to the customers stating why they were selling and that they recommend me to take over. I probably retained at least 90% of the accounts because people simply don't want to bother themselves w/ shopping around.

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