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Competitors Ads....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by AltaLawnCare, Mar 12, 2003.

  1. AltaLawnCare

    AltaLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 961

    I thought I would list a few interesting quotes from some competitors ads....as seen in the News & Advance. (Lynchburg Va)

    "..10% senior discount, .. beat any price by 10%" :eek:

    "..15 years experience, no contracts..."

    These phrases caught my attention. Its no wonder the public doesn't have any real concept of the difference between someone mowing a lawn, and preoperty management. Its hard to blame potential customers for being cheap price shoppers when they read ads like these!

    Cut-throat tactics like this work for retail sales, where a good with a identifiable cost can be sold.....but not for selling of a service. The service has variable indirect and direct costs....more so than a good which can be bought and sold at high volumes to make up for the loss on the reduced selling price.

    Wonder if any of these guys would go to a job interview and say, "I'll work for 10% less than the last guy!!" Probably not.....OR
    say " I'll work here until you find someone who will do the same job a little cheaper...then you can fire me with no notice!!"...
    Probably Not !!
  2. IBGreen

    IBGreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 726

  3. philk17088

    philk17088 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,386

    Desperate people do desperate things.

    I wonder how many of these companies inflate the price so when they knock off 10% for seniors they are at their normal price.

    10% less than any competitor? I wish a customer would get a quote from the neighbor's 14 yr old and then show it to them, they would probably choke!
  4. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    I give discounts to all my senior customers, and I am not ashamed at all to say so. I also give them a 12 month payment option too. Also I have been in business for over 10 years, and have some customers that don't like being tied down to a contract. Should I force one on them? Or should I just continue cutting them since I have had most for over 8 years now?

    As far as seniors go, most if not all are on fixed incomes. they get one check a month, and it's not a heck of alot. If it helps them out by cutting my price by $5. and I am right next door cutting anyway, that's that much more in my pocket. Not like they can do it themselves.

    We'll just hope companies offering senior discounts are around when your 75, and can't afford to have someone do it. :cool:
  5. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    "beat any price by 10%".....don't think I would go there!!!
    The others are not so terrible.

  6. AltaLawnCare

    AltaLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 961

    But do you advertise it? Thats also saying "If you're not a senior citizen...you'll pay 10% more.."

    What part of the overhead is the 10% taken from?

    How can a price be backed out ....The prices should be built from $X for labor + $X for equipment +$x for overhead & profit = selling price.

    Whats a nominal % return for overhead recovery?

    Advertising like this makes the decision about price...

    I just go an annual contract....the last guy mowed it for $25.00 ...I was at $40.00.....I still got it and all the add ons too.

    Next year someone could come along with a %15.0 discount....
  7. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    Ok, so what you are saying is that is 2 companies that are offering the same service and the same quality, the lower bid will not get the job? No, 99.9% of the time it always breaks down to the price. Why pay more for the same thing if you can get it for cheaper? It's all advertising man, and advertising sells. Call that guy up and ask how many calls he has gotten off having that senior discount in the ad. Myself like you would not advertise it, but apparently it works for him. When people feel they are getting something for nothing, they will call. I do not publish anything that specifically pertains to price in any of my advertising. But if someone calls and asks if we give senior discounts, you better believe my answer is yes.

    Agreed service is everything. If I can please a senior, and win their business by giving them a $10% discount I will. As I had stated, most seniors are on fixed incomes. i can understand that, and I also understand they cannot do the work themselves. No I will not lose money on the deal, nor will it cost me to provide the service.

    Example, I have houses I am currently charging $35. for and they take us all of 10min to do. I took on a senior last year, and she bitched about a discount, so I told her $30. Based on that I am still making $180. an hour. Thats ok in my book. And I took care of an elderly lady that asked for my help, and she loves us.
  8. kh5150

    kh5150 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 15

    I will tell you that advertising is 'everything" in the service business. I have been in it for over 15 years, all of my customers have seen prices go up by 30% to 50% on the average. Lawn care - Landscape- snowplowing etc.... If you back your service ( give a guarantee ) and provide EXCELLENT service...then your customers > Like mine < should never leave the great service you provide them. A certain % will due to certain reasons leave or stop the service, but in the end it usually results in another customer ( referral ) coming to you from them. So I say let the "hacker" do the lawn for 10 bucks a week...in a few weeks of the BAD service you better make sure you follow up with them ( the customer ) and see if they would like to try your Excellent service :D now that the Hacker has "cut" their lawn.

    Indy Property care / www.indysnowplowers.com

    God speed to all :) Have a great day

  9. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,903

    Had a guy today tell me he saw a flyer that said,

    "You name your price and I'll do it."

    gettin crazy.
  10. AltaLawnCare

    AltaLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 961

    It will come down to the price, but these ads worded like this are already making the customer think....cheaper.
    The time to discuss price is face to face after talking to the customer, in person.

    Too much price shopping, and bid chasing.

    Around here there are already too many lco getting around 10-15 per hour gross !!

    Most lawns here are 1/4 acre and up....minimum gate drop charges and stop charges woulndn't work in this market. There is usually some drive time involved also ... not many side by side divisions to work in.

    That guy may be getting many calls...but running all over town haggling with price shoppers isn't going to build a good route.

    Just my opinion.

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