buying fertilizer and herbicides

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by cnpearce, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. cnpearce

    cnpearce LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6


    just getting started and i am trying to find the best deal on bagged fertilizers and other lawn chemicals.

    i am having trouble finding a business to business source at wholesale prices.

    I contacted the big "L" know who they are. they shot me what they called discounted prices. i did some checking and the prices full retail.

    they also did some other things that tell me they are not interested in small providers.

    where should i go?
  2. Jacey

    Jacey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    Does anyone know how to co-op this subject? I owned a nursery for a while and offered incredibly discounted products to local landscapers and lawn people and no one bit!! Totally bumfuzzled. Now I don't have a nursery, just landscape...So I get a big truck when I can meet their minimum..which as fully 150% gone up in the past year..and with their fuel and other add-ons is almost as cheap and cheaper to go to the Big Box Store. SHEEESH! Is it that self employed outdoor types are just tooo independent to see that there is buying strength in numbers, or just too flaky to commit to the Big Picture?
  3. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    you must optain a license form your state to apply any weed killer to a lawn for profit
  4. cnpearce

    cnpearce LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    studied and passed licensing exams. waiting for license in mail.

    license keeps me in compliance with state and fed law, but doesn't really seem to bring me better deals on quality turf maintenance products.

  5. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,986

    Dave is 100% correct here. You are required by federal law to be a state certified applicator in order to apply ANY EPA registered pesticide. Doesn't matter who buys it, or where it comes from, could be weed and feed from Wally world, doesn't matter. If you get caught the fines are steep, and yes they do enforce.
  6. cnpearce

    cnpearce LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    The last i checked, this post was about sourcing product, not getting a license.

    If anyone has anything to say about sourcing quality product at biz to biz prices, i am all ears.

    i think every one has the idea now that a license is required. I already knew this:sleeping:

    in illinois, the licensing requirements and tests are so easy that my 12 year old boy could pass with flying colors. it isn't like you really have to know anything.
    it's primary purpose is additional tax on turf maintenance providers.

    licensing in our state really doesn't prevent anyone with half a brain from applying pesticides.

    so, how do you experienced guys that are in the know source your products?
    this is a profitability issue, not a licensing issue.
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Man, I wish I had a short, definitive answer for you right off the bat. Someone above touched on a magic word that rang a bell, though. That is co-op. You said you had gotten Lesco's prices. What you MAY want to do, while doing the rest of your research on other sources, is look into Symbiot. This is a network that when you join, gives you discounts on Lesco, Nextel (don't know if you use nextel or not - myself, I don't), and a host of other corporations. The thing about Lesco is that they do their discounts based on volumes. There ARE some other suppliers we have bought from in the past, including UHS, but we have found that with a Lesco right in our town, it is a matter of convenience combined with service. We can go there anytime and pick up product, so it is like they are a storage facility for us, too. Granted, we are buying on a 200 ton per season rate, but now with the takeover of JD looming overhead, we are really not sure what's going to happen with that.
  8. DoetschOutdoor

    DoetschOutdoor LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S. IL
    Messages: 1,818

    Where are you in Illinois? I get all my products from a local feed and seed store. My price on fertlizer and seed is almost exactly 50% less than what normal customers pay so I think thats a pretty good discount.
  9. cnpearce

    cnpearce LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    i'm in the springfield area.

    i was just surprised at the full retail quote. i hear the products are great, and i agree that the convenience of having them in town is great but i won't approach near the volume needed to get any sizeable discounts from them during my first year in business.

    thanks for the tips and the company names to check out.
  10. Jacey

    Jacey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    Boy..all that back and forth and still no answers or real questions concerning Co-op buying. Just shows to go get the government you vote for. Good luck all y'all on yer they say here in Texas.

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