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Bidding projects

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by MAGLIGHTING, Feb 22, 2009.


    MAGLIGHTING LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

  2. worx

    worx LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    Anything like this ever happened to you?

    I couldn't do that,...not just because of the ethical part, but wanting to actually meet the customer. Hand them my cards, talk with them about the project, answer questions, have my truck seen in the neighborhood, etc.

    That other contractor shouldn't be in business too long with that kind of ethical standard.

    MAGLIGHTING LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    I've had instances where my bid has been used as a project spec and then sent out to others for quote but never lost out to someone who quotes over the phone sight unseen. Not that I'm aware of at least.

    I think it's ironic though that if you read the blog posts on this website the posts are directed towards discrediting competitors practices and comparing to his own that he feels are superior. So I guess he's been doing some bashing of his own without directly mentioning any of their names.
  4. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 6,463

    Interesting read. Theres some crazy contractors out there. I to wouldnt want to miss a chance at meeting with the customer, getting my truck seen in the neighborhood and all that. I think its truly professional for the owner to come out and do the estimate to get the client confident in the company. But thats just me. I think the customers like to see the owner out as opposed to just talk on the phone with them, or whatever.

    MAGLIGHTING LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    I think there is a fine line between educating your prospects and clients (by making them aware of incorrect installation techniques or poor quality materials) and bashing your competitors.

    More homes have decaying and non functioning outdoor lighting then high performing, high quality systems worth maintaining.

    The #1 reason for a failed system is money. You get what you pay for.

    #2- Consumer unawareness as to what a quality system consists of and what it costs not only to install, but to operate and maintain. With such a lack of standardization and differences of opinion there are many who operate within the industry who also don't have a clue.

    #3- Ambiguity as to who does the design and or install- Is it the outdoor lighting specialist? The landscaper? The electrician? The handyman? Do it yourelf?
  6. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,186

    Good points, I believe this type of behavior is less likely to pop it's ugly head in our industry simply because how we approach lighting someones house and property is not a standardized thing. you could take 20 different lighting designers to the same property and you will probably get 20 different designs. Everyone one of us sees things differently, (even if only slightly). Giving an estimate on a lighting design is a far different thing than giving a bid on 100' of cedar fence.
    Now, I have had homeowners go out and drop in home cheapo on my designs which is why I no longer do free demos, unless I am out seeking one to do for a marketing ploy.
  7. thefencepost

    thefencepost LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Seems most everyone that has read my blog agrees with me about it, and while I have had it in for this contractor in question for a few weeks now, I didn't think my blog was generally negative and went out of my way not to mention who it is (the other contractor) on my website which is very tempting.

    Also, they have bashed my company on several of their websites even naming my company and my personal name on a couple of occasions. Then after I found out about their tactic of telling customers to call another fence contractor to get the estimate so they could have the measurements and pricing, I lost it and wrote the article you linked to at the beginning of this thread.

    Their website boasts of NOT doing on site estimates and being able to save the customer up to $300 because of it. Now, if you want to do business that way, and I have stated this on my blog, fine with me. But I will explain my policy of doing onsite estimates and why I think it works better for me and the customer.

    And, I feel like I must defend my blog as someone called it negative and that I write how my methods are "superior" to others. If I see a fence or end up tearing down a fence because it was built improperly, I don't see any problem writing about it and saying why it is wrong.

    All in all, this mess with this other contractor started because I wrote an article a couple of weeks ago on why I do on site estimates. He then trashed me, named my company on his site (he has 15 plus websites for fence) and I probably took that too personally, when the fact is, he is probably just mad because I am doing well with my company. But, I believe there is enough work to go around, even in this economy.

    Anyway, the criticisms did make me take an honest look at my writing style, so thanks for that.

    Good to see niche forums out there too, have actually been thinking of doing a fence one just to see if fence contractors will get involved.

    Keith Bloemendaal

    MAGLIGHTING LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    Wow that was fast. Having a competitor directly use your name on their site and criticize your practices in such a negative manner is not good. It must mean that you are making an impact in your market. You handled your own criticism of others practices and work quality more professionally but so far all of your posts have been about that or about defending your own practices. Focusing future posts on different issues will diffuse that.

    I applaud your effort and I think your site is well done. Do you find that you are directly getting work that results for your blogging?

    Thanks for participating in this forum.
  9. thefencepost

    thefencepost LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I don't think you have read "all" of my posts, I have written 50 on that site since August, and I just looked back at them, and very few are about defending my own practices, although the last few have been (which I will change now that you pointed it out :).

    I actually have gotten ALL my business through my blog, it is my only advertising and it has served me well. Mostly, people appreciate the information such as all the different fence codes I researched for all the "towns" surrounding our area. Many people have commented on my site and blogging, so I am happy with the results.

    PS: I just went back and counted, out of 50 articles, 8 were somewhat negative (2 of which I wrote about actually tearing down fences that were built improperly). Mostly, I write about different fences being installed around town, fence codes, materials, and I like to post some funny/cool picture sometimes. (maybe I am getting a complex about my writing now!):)

    MAGLIGHTING LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    I only saw 6 or so of your most recent articles that's what I based my judgement on. I wasn't aware you had 50 on there. I'll go back and check out the rest. Glad to hear it's bringing you work.

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