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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by elamey, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Well you gotta figure they think they're being smart, but see they are stupid, and they have to accept that :laugh:
    I love that Christopher Rocancourt line.

    Because my take is that if lowballing bothers, perhaps my prices are too low.

    They can't survive on grass cutting alone and grass cutting's easy until they see the lawns I turn out, criss-crossed striped patterns with an immaculate cut. And unless they got a thick skin they'll get lowballed and pita'd to death, they'll be out of business in a year and flat broke, 2 years at most, 5 if they're super tough.

    Think it's easy? This mess has driven me over the edge of insanity more times than I care to remember, that's how BAD they wanted me OUT of business :laugh: But that is ok because I was stupid, see I can accept that but now I got's a little some'tin :)

    It's ruthless out there, if you can't bid a job properly you will get took time and again, everybody wants something for nothing, 9 out of 10 potential customers insist on 20 to 70 percent off my rates.

    $1000 / week they've got to be joking, I gross that in 3-4 days lol because I can't make the payments on a Z with a k / week and I can't haggle with the IRS, either. See, I need 400 for the state by May 1st, another 600 for the county by June 1st oh yeah and another 1000 by end of April for both fed + state estimated payments. The Z is 230 / month, gasoline consumption is 12 gallons a day (93 oct = $40 x 7 = 300 / week), I get paid 1k / month and we haven't even gotten into parts...
    A Kohler engine's 600 - 1000 new, a tecumseh tranny's 200, each belt's like 20 - 50 dollars, a bearing is 50 bucks, blades are 10 each, it never ends I tell you, don't forget insurance and license fees, oh and the fines yes yes.

    But in 5 years I'm buying a Ferrari like this one:
    1985 Ferrari Mondial - $17,995

    Whooops, I think I just turned on another slew of new Lco's :laugh:

    But then my estimates always stop the bs, well, almost always.
  2. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    Ugh topsie, get something that's not so FUGLY.

    Just to clarify my position on the issue - part-time or full-time is not my issue. If someone wants to only do this on the side to make extra money, I don't have a problem with it at all. I just want them to be legit like they should be.

    Alas it will never happen though, there will always be scrubs.
  3. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,570

    A Porsche would be better option IMHO.

    A person could come up with several new Topsiteisms from that post.
  4. Sammy

    Sammy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,734

    The truth be known, I bet 80% of the LCO are not "legit" in one way or another.
  5. stick9

    stick9 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 262

    It's really like that in every business.

    In my business, people *expect* free work. It's like the directors never save enough money for the end.

    No money = no rent or food

    From my experience, low-ballers usually do shotty work and don't stay in business long any how.
  6. Big Bad Bob

    Big Bad Bob LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 5
    Messages: 1,074

    then you aren't the subject of this thread.
  7. LawnGuy73

    LawnGuy73 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    True but for every-one lowballer thats goes under five more start up....:rolleyes:

    ED'S LAWNCARE LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 361

    I think I posted this in another thread. Lowballers should not bother anyone who is working on a professional level...yet it does, and why because they took a job from us because they are willing to work cheaper. It's been extremely prevailant this year (and yes I get frustrated). Just the other day I bid a lawn (crappy all weeds and small), they wanted bi-weekly. I told them $70 per month they told me a guy with "25 years exp" said he would do it for $50 per month or just the front for $10, and do 3 app of fert for $10 each ???????

    I've started in the biz because I had the equipt to use on my farm and decided to earn extra money. I will always have a commercial z, trimmers, and a 3/4 ton, might as well put it to use. So my overhead in effect is lower. I went to school, pay ins, taxes, license, uniforms, but I still can price very competitively.

    Now back to lowballers, most are just trying to earn money to feed the family, earn a living, they much rather earn $10/hr then work for a temp agency for $7/hr. I don't blame them, I don't like it but I don't bame them either. Wheather they are legit or not is no conecern to me. They are putting themselves at risk, not me. I carry ins, pay taxes for my protection not because some other lco does it.

    Now is where the truth hurts, I see alot of posts on here boasting 100k-400k
    year, great these are exceptions. People only make what they want to put into their business, and there is usually some sort of trade-off. Stop comparing a lco operator to a lawyer, doctor, plumber etc no where near the same thing. Those professions are a necessity in society, ours is a want. People can cut their own lawn or have Jonny down the street cut it with a $100 push not a 8k lazer.

    What it really looks like is the lco industry is trying to push the envelope to drive the cost up so they can live larger when in all reality all they are doing is mowing grass. This is an easy market to get into, and a low cost one. Now with that you do need a high work ethic to endure it, especially down south where it is HOT. Some may say why leave money on the table, I say what about value. I turn a good profit from charging 28 bucks for 1/4 and under. I see where people charge 40-45 my god I couldn't sleep at night knowing I was ripping someone off like that.

    Some may say well I stripe beautiful, who the heck cares maybe some, and it is not all that hard, after playing around for a couple of weeks at home my 14 yr old daughter can stripe with the best, I don't use that as a selling point I sell a service at a good value. no more no less.
  9. Boonman

    Boonman LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Messages: 55

    I upped my quotes by a considerable percentage this year. 25%. And you know what, EVERY ONE of my contracts got signed. Even with the price increase. I have survived the lowballers, and they are the ones that show up good for about a month. And then things start turning to hell because they can't afford their payments, fuel, expenses, and the sliding glass door they hummed a rock through last week because they don't carry any insurance. Anyways, things look very well for my LCO, as I paid off all my equipment last fall. And quite a few pieces are nearly new. Stick with it, and the people that "jump ship" on you to go for a low baller, will come back. And when they do, up their price by 15-25%.
  10. dwc

    dwc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    There are some on here that got enough "experience" in this industry after about the first year and decided to go ahead and make a business at it and charge accordingly. Some on here make a full time living at this, not just part time.
    Not saying you need to rip people off but goodnight get the prices out of the dirt.
    BTW, I would like to see work of a 14y/o that would compare to some of the photos posted on here by pros.

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