Big companies lowballing?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ince8728, Apr 17, 2005.

  1. ince8728

    ince8728 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 249

    I live in central Jersey. I'm giving a $35/week mowing quote today, then the guy goes well i had so & so quote me at 28/week. This is one of the larger companies in the area, they service around 200-225 accounts. Origionally i thought that the big guys could charge more and all i had to worry about were the little guys just starting with lowballing. Now the big lco's are quoting 28 bucks for a 35/week account, i can't compete with that. And they can do it cuz they have the volume to offset the difference for the lower paying accounts, that i can't do. Are any of you guys having this prob or do any of you use this technique?
  2. J Hisch

    J Hisch LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 952

    desnity in the route makes all the difference. Also bigger companies have more man power/ I service about 150 accounts and our desntiy on the residental route is very tight therefore we can typically go lower on those that are right on the same street or very close together.
  3. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,850

    I would agree. We are running about 200 accounts. Big and small, 10 people, I can do better most of the time cuz our trucks are parked in one commercial or residential area for 1/2 to all day. Very little riding around town.

    I also take it a step further and offer all our services. Fertilizer / spray program, snow removal, landscaping design, renovation work, striping the parking lot ect. If there is a service for that client that I could offer - I usually go for it. Yes, we get spread a little thin in the spring but it usually works out.

    Although I do hate the lowballer. This year we had to rebid some comm. work. Raised the price by 3% for mowing, fert. program stayed the same, along with everything else we provided. Mow bid was exactly half what we charged. $450 less for the fert. 4 step program, and $5 / hour less per man worked for cleaning landscape beds ect. Now explain that situation to me.
  4. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    as competition gets tougher, the bigger guys will be lowering thier prices to get the work they need to float thier overhead. the little guy is the only one who can maintain his dignity and prosper against fierce competition
  5. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

    Why can't you compete with that price? That is exactly what "true business" is all about, and your profile says that you have a "good sense for business" and that along with that you are only 16 years old so I'm sure you live at home with mom and dad and your equipment is a mix of homeowner, older and not that expensive so it should be paid for. Also have you thought that maybe your price is the one that is out of line and their's is more correct?
  6. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,850

    Sole guy, one with a few workers to ones with 100 people on payroll.

    There is room for everyone to a degree. I disagree with the last statement b/c i was there a few years ago. The writing was on the wall, I had to expand to keep ahead of the local rift raft guys with sears mowers. I broke into the fert. market, landscape mkt, I needed the edge over the sole guys. I still consider myself owning a small company. I know I am not the cheapest around but my company offers quality workmanship at a fair price.

    The people that pzzs me off are the ones who have a day to day job and after work, during the weekend are out mowing to earn a few dollars and end up taking away from the true professional's out in there job enviroment. Example - the bank I did bank with hired a local college grad to be a loan officer. Last year him and his brother started a mowing company. Bought 2 JD riders, 1 JD WB and they don't start mowing until 5 at nite and all day saturday. I have since changed banks!

    Do I see them as a threat, not really but I keep my eyes on what there mowing. I haven't lost anything to them yet but that doesn't mean it won't happen.
  7. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    meets, the one you should be pzzed off at, is YOURSELF!. for allowing yourself to get wrapped up in such a low level carrer, that people working full time "at the office", and doing your job part time for beer money, could effect your livelyhood. your competitors are little kids, old men, and the general population working for a little pocket money. the same cannot be said for professional carreers.
  8. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    But doesn't that mean you have a lot more labor to pay too then?
  9. northwest lawn

    northwest lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 196

    i had a huge lco under bid me on an account i had lol did better work then they did and i sitll have the account
  10. ince8728

    ince8728 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 249

    the reason i quoted 35 is because it is a little out of the way, it's a culdisack that i have 1 account on but i took that account so i could get more in that area. Also i kno this lco quoted low so he can jack the price up to 35ish nxt year. And no i don't own any homeowner crap, I own a walker ghs 20 w/a 48", 9.5 catch, lesco 36, redmax 7000 backpacks, little wonder push blower and almost anything else you could come up with. i'm going to be 17 in about a month.

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