Am I being Taken?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Fire/Grass, May 7, 2004.

  1. Fire/Grass

    Fire/Grass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    I give my first bid today. Pretty straight forward 18000 sqft lawn. Gentleman already has someone doing it, but the guy is only showing up and cutting the grass, not doing any trimming. I told the guy $40 dollars. He said he is paying $30 now. I told him he wasn't getting the quality for that $30. No trimming. He said that the guy cutting before only charged $30 also and did do the trimming. Long story short. I drop my price to get the job. The plus factor is, I'm getting two other jobs because of it, but still $10 less then I wanted. Guess I could do a great job for him this year and eat a little crow then raise price alittle next year. The homes are in a place where the price ranges from 225K to 600K and he is located on the main drag. Could get alot of exposure. So, what do you think, being taken or fair?
  2. Turf Technologies

    Turf Technologies LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 587

    Pisses me off when people have homes big and cost more then I will ever see in a lifetime, yet talk you down on a price. Rat bastards!
  3. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Only you can tell if you are getting taken. If you figured out all of your expenses and know what your profit margin has to be then you can tell us if you are getting taken or not. True it getting you more accounts but if it is costing you money to mow this account then is it really worth it?

  4. Zach76

    Zach76 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 197

    Probably, but if $30 covers your expenses and time, and you can pick up other accounts in the neighborhood its not all bad. After he sees the quality you can provide this season, raise his rate next year.
  5. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    How do you know he was paying 30 bucks per cut before? Anybody can say anything. Maybe he was paying $35. He says $30 and you believe him?
    After 6 years in business, no we wouldn't have lowered the price. Looking back though to when we were just starting out, I know honestly we wouldn't have gone down to $30.00. It's just not enough dollars for that lawn. We get 30 bucks for a much smaller lawn. Back then just starting out we would have compromised and said $35.00. I wouldn't bank on being able to raise the price next year. He sounds like he will shop around to find a price that he wants to pay.
  6. Fire/Grass

    Fire/Grass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    He actually showed me the bill from previous guy. I think previous guy is a lowballer but, He has topnotch equipment and is totally lagit. Charging $45 dollars to mow 2 acres. I don't know how he is doing it?
  7. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,128

    Every now and then I see an opportunity to get a foot in the door to a nice neighborhood. Sometimes these turn into me doing alot of work and just covering costs and making very little profit and sometimes I can earn a fair price right off the bat. Either way I get a foot hold in the negithborhood and can usually turn at least a few of the usrrounding homes into clients.
  8. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,128

    I forgot to post my point, the point being that if you think you can get more business from the surrounding homes then I would say that you did the right thing, but remember to raise his price to $37.50 or $40 next year or drop him like a hot plate. If you can get several surrounding lawns to do near him, you wont need him or his $30 per service next season anyway.
  9. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    here's the thing, and i've got wacked doing this in the past. are you willing to do all his nieghbors for $30 also? why do i ask? ok, you bent on your price, reducing it by 25%(too much) . now, you hope to make it up by getting some nieghbors and grouping the work. guess what, neighbors talk, you better be willing to do them all at a reduced rate. last year in spring, during a very hectic time, a guy called for an estimate on grass cutting only. i was too damn busy to drive over, i was scheduled in his area the next day, so i say listen, how big is it, and what was the other guy charging? he says tiny, very small. the other guy was charging $25. i say look, i'm usually $5 more than the others, i'll quote you $30. he says fine. i show up, what a mistake! long story short, i stick to my price and rough it. a neighbor comes over, how much? i say $35. he says lets do it. later finds out i'm charging him more, and i lose him, and 2 other new ones i aquired, they thought i was being "dishonest" by charging different prices.
  10. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 4,205

    Simply tell them the truth,quoted it over the phone originally,it took longer than expected,my normal price would be X amount and his will be raised to that next year.
    It's not dishonesty it is simple honest mistakes that we all make. If they choose to drop you after being honest then seeya...............

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