anyone encounter this?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by alwaysgreenirrigation, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. alwaysgreenirrigation

    alwaysgreenirrigation LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    Three times this winter, I have submitted bids knowing what the client payed out the prior year to the winning bidder. My thinking is why would i submit a bid that is less than the person was willing to pay the year prior (these were city government bids and the amounts paid were public information) I just bid a school district and found out the winning bidder bid 3000.0 less than what the district paid out last year. The district paid out 15000.0 the year prior. I cannot believe a low baller would come in and do something so stupid. My bid was 16500.0 There must be a lot of people who don't figure the "cost of doing business" the same way I do. Anyways just ranting on my seriously frustrating winter bidding season. This was a job that I figured would take a full day. 9-10 hours, with two riders (60 and 72 " Z's) and a guy trimming. The winning bidder said he would do it for 495.0 My bid figured out to 660.0 I thought my bid was on the low low end. Oh well.

    WALKER LANDSCAPE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,413

    Your going to have that with those kind of bids they want cheap not quality.
    They will hang his ars out to dry when he screws something up. Just stick to your guns those are your prices and if you make money with that good.
    My .02 worth
  3. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Welcome to the grass cuttin' business. It's not all that bad, though...It WILL be a higher price eventually. It may go up about $2000 for a couple of years, then someone will come in and bid $1800 lower. It roller-coasters up and down. this is why contracts like this (like most other contracts as well), are being done for the same amount today as they were 20 years ago. Want to see something funny? Go bid some apartment complexes, too. It is the nature of this industry. There are just way too many people coming into and going out of this industry for any standards in pricing to go up. It is all the people that go out of business that hold it down....and there are always too many of them every year.
  4. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    some people just like to ride around on mowers.
  5. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    Excellent point Runner.

    Somehow I managed to get on an RFP list for a school district about 30 miles from me for mowing.

    I bid it out last year, the previous time I bid on it was 8 years ago.

    I've got all my bids on file for the last 10 years on the computer, just update the dates / prices from year to year if I submit a new bid, or else it just sits there as a file on my hard drive.

    I don't do too many estimates anymore, maybe 10 new ones / year, tops, some years 0.

    Anyways, my bid 8 years ago, was $8,500 for a property that had 3 schools, typical fields / track / parking areas. An elementary school, middle school, high school, all crammed onto 40 acres.

    Needless to say, there's not a lot of mowing, other than a football field, a play area for the elementary school, baseball field and softball field.

    Last year, I bid it at $12,500, which is still low, IMO, but I'm set up for wide open mowing, so I'm willing to do them a bit cheaper.

    The bid went out at $7,850. The fertilizing bid went out for less than I can get my supplies for. I even shopped around for places, saying if I bought XXX quantity of product, what can I get for a price, even getting school / government discounts.

    I don't know where some people come up with their numbers either.
  6. gobblet

    gobblet LawnSite Member
    Messages: 155

    I have placed bids from 2,000 - 20 ,000 over from winning bidder with plenty of help of other landscaping companies what they might have bid. In the long run if its not what you want its not worth your cost and time .
  7. IN2MOWN

    IN2MOWN LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,993

    Do you know what kind of business this other guy is running? Does he have employees? Is his equipment bought and paid for? Does he have his own shop or does he rent?

    All these questions might be figuring into his bid. If his cost of business is lower then most companies he might not have to charge as much therefore he feels the need to lower his bids to get the jobs.

    On the other hand he might have no idea what he is doing and will be out of business in 2 years.
  8. pclawncare

    pclawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 991

    If it makes you feel any better man today i bid on a school district and i got under bid by 8 thousand and i was the next highest bidder. The guy that won was 6 grand under what was paid last year. Funny thing is he is hispanic. All of his worker are illegal i know this for a fact except for one possibly i think is legal. Anyway he buys crappy houses pays like 5 grand for them put 2 of his workers and families in them feeds them three meals a day and takes rent out of thier pay checks and gives them like 30 bucks at the end of the week. He pays no taxes on anything in fact im not for sure that he is legal citizen though i alwase assumed he was but the IRS has been after him for 2 years and every time they come looking he runs to mexico. My question is what happens at the end of the year when the distrct does a 1099 form on him? Isnt that a dead give away like hear i am? But i guess if they have been after him and cant catch him what does it madder right. I dont know im just so frusterated. I have picked up 4 of his big accounts like 4-10 acre accounts in the last year because no one speeks english on his crews and they piss people off because there is someone different there every time. Well my price is usualy significantly higher than his at times almost double, but people still pay it. Sorry for the rant guys just not fair because we are not all playing on a level even playing field and it pisses me off. I dont know why i wanted that contract anyway and someone asked me well why didnt you bid lower my reply was i dont mow for my health i mow to make a living and if i can make the same money working an extra 20 hours a week on this contract or sitting at home which is nothing at all id rather not work the extra 20 hours for free

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