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competetive quotes mean nothing

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by sandrat, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. sandrat

    sandrat LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    I am in my second year of commercial mowing. I had two accounts last year and have them again this year. I bid a couple of additional accounts for this year. I have good references from the accounts I have. One of the accounts that I quoted this year is a major distribution company....they have plants all over the country. Area to be mowed is 2.2 acres. all in one spot. Level ground and an easy mow with minimal trimming. I figure between an hour and a half to two hours max. to do the job. My bid was $150 per mow. I was told that my bid was "competetive" but they were going to stay with their present contractor. I just found out they are paying him $320 per mow.
    I know this company has some strict quoting parameters. So------do I just walk away or push it..........like contacting the PA's boss? I know I would probably not get any work there if I did this, but i'm not anyway....so, is this a violation of the "MOWING CONTRACTOR'S CODE OF ETHICS" , if there is such a thing.........is it backstabbing? What do you think?
  2. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    It could be any number of reasons.

    1. The guy deciding on who does the bidding gets a $50 +/- kickback from each mow.

    2. You're too cheap, they feel like you can't do it for that price. This is why they say you're "competitive". They don't want to give it to you, only for you to realize you should have bid higher, and just walk away in the middle of the summer. Think about it, you're less than 1/2 the price.

    If someone were to offer you a brand new ZTR for $4800, instead of having to go buy one at the dealer for $10,000, you'd look at them like they're nuts, there's something wrong. IF you DON'T look at that person like that, then you're in for trouble down the road.

    3. It's called loyalty. If the current guy is charging roughly the middle of the road as far as bids, hopefully they stay with the current LCO. That's what I look for in a client, whether they're loyal or not, even if I'm not the cheapest bid.

    4. You're told wrong information. Many many times people are told wrong prices because the managers / owners don't want people to know exactly what they pay, that way they get cheaper bids year after year.

    Two years ago I bid my 3rd Wal-Mart in my service area. I already do 2 within 20 miles of this one, so I know what's going on, growth rate, etc. I put my bid in, the manager said I'm too high.

    Now I've already been told that I'm not quite low bid on the other 2, but close. So, who's telling stories here?? If I'm already in the area, and on the low end of the pricing on two of the stores, how can I be too high on this one?? Sounds like the manager is telling stories, since he said I can re-bid if I'd like. I said, no thanks, that's my price and I'm sticking to it.

    My point is, I said this in a different post, that everyone on here seems to think they know exactly what everyone else is getting paid to do the work at these locations.

    Unless it's a public bid, meaning you can see the proposals for yourself after the bid closes, you'll never have any idea if the person is telling you the truth or not.
  3. ktorrence

    ktorrence LawnSite Member
    from East TX
    Messages: 10

    I would send a short follow up letter thanking them for considering your bid with some type of ready and willing if the need arises. Unfortunately, the corporate world is full of boneheads making bonehead decisions. But maybe they just aren't ready to gamble on a relatively new lco. Anyway, you're better off focusing your efforts in a positive direction.
  4. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,656

    Maybe its because you have been in business for only 1 year. Thats a BIG factor with many clients. They want that background of experience and reliability. And many clients just don't want to change contractors to save a few bucks. They are happy with the current service and see no reason to take a chance with someone else.
  5. crzymow

    crzymow LawnSite Senior Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 378

    I feel there are a lot of commercial properties out there that if they are happy with their present LCO, then they will keep him if his prices are somewhere in the ballpark. To a point that is why i may not even bid on a place that i know has had the same LCO for a few years and they do a good job. Not everyone is about the bottem line, most are, but not all.
  6. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Keep your mouth shut and be happy.
    Deliever them a $300/cut bid EVERY YEAR without falter.
    Maybe one day you will get it and be able to keep it like that.
    Not much effort is involved, just patients.

    I wish I heard more stories like this. Most would dump the current LCO for a savings like that regardless. Many figure it is worth a shot. But my guess is that this place got treated badly and learned the hard way from someone in your price range. So they are more than happy to keep the $320 guy who they know will do right by them for the additional cost.
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    .......OR it could be the manager's nephew......:rolleyes:
  8. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    I do a small doctors office ....been doing in fore 7 years ..... before that it was part of a route I bought out n the previous LCO had been doing it fore 5 years

    I have a great relationship with the PM .... every year get xmas $$ fore the crew leader n workers on that route .... n they give me a raise almost every 3rd year

    I know fore a FACT they could bid it out n get a much lower price .... they stay with me because of the trust n relationship I have built on .... they run other building outside of my route in which almost every 3-4 years on some & 1-2 years on others when they must hire a new LCO

    Either due to the fact the present one went out of business .... could not keep labor .... thus the job went to hell or a variety of other reasons

    With me they sleep at night ....so just keep on plugging .... you'll see by your 5th year people will consider the fact that your really are in business as truth .... so many PM's n HOA's seen em come n go ... that once they have a good LCO .... they hold on

    Yes some can be pita's .... n bid it out every 2-3 years ....so just keep at it
  9. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    If every thing is going smooth they don't want to mess with it, on a scale of 1 to 10 lawn maintance rates a 15 with them, not that its not important but they have a lot more things to worry about.

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