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Bidding Questions, is it OK to ask how much they already pay?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by punk_rockin2001, Oct 16, 2006.

  1. punk_rockin2001

    punk_rockin2001 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 68

    I am getting ready to bid on some larger scale properties, both commercial and residential, but I really don't know what to charge. I have done smaller residential for the last 5 years and one larger 4 acre commercial property. Is it ok to ask the company/person what they are currently paying? Is there a way to find this out? One particular property is a 7 acre house out in the country. I have heard that they pay $300/cut from employees of the company doing it. I find this very hard to believe. I know I could do the property in 3 hours or less and I would probably charge around $120/cut. Am I way off? Other properties I have no clue about. So any help on how to know where to start would be great!
  2. d&rlawncare

    d&rlawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 741

    I am new BUT 65 for first acre and 20-25 for each additional. So 185min. with no trimming. Depending on trees/trimming etc. I have been bidding the bigger properties 10-12 unit Apt complexes at $1.50 a minute. I estimate my time to do it and times it by 1.50. 180x1.5=$270. That if you can do it in 3 hours. OR AM I WAY OFF?????????????????????

    MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,568

    It's the first question i ask, yes i know my cost, but in 12 seasons in this i have seen up and downs and i have been upside down on bids.
  4. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    Don't matter what they were paying. Only thing that matters is what you need to cover your cost and make the profit you want
  5. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

    that is true, but if you find out they're paying more than what you want for it you can butter it up with better service and get them priced a little higher because they're unhappy.
  6. punk_rockin2001

    punk_rockin2001 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 68

    I guess you're right olderthandirt. My costs are pretty low, so I can charge less but still profit more. I think my main thought is that if I could go up to an account already knowing exactly what they pay per cut, I would have a LOT more confidence on these first few accounts I go bid on. Knowledge is power, so I ask again does anyone know how to find out how much an account is paying? Can I just ask them?
  7. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    That can be true BUT how many large scale commercial properties or residentials are paying a premium price and want to change? If they want to change its to get a lower price and most pay way lower than what you would want anyway.

    State and federal props its on record, private props you can ask but what makes you think they will tell you the truth?
  8. punk_rockin2001

    punk_rockin2001 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 68

  9. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,850

    First question I ask.
    1. Was or is there a problem with the other guy?
    2. What were they charging in regards to specific services?
    3. I'll be more than happy to give you an estimate and by the way - we can also do this and that - gotta upsell the services.

    In my area everyone is pretty close in pricing. There are few new guys every year that LOWBALL everything but they'll do the little house here and there. I have found that most commercial, high end residence & residence/commercial properties call reputable companies to base pricing on.
  10. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    I always ask...if I don't get a reply, I don't bother with them.

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