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Established company underbids again...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by justmjc, Mar 10, 2004.

  1. justmjc

    justmjc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 261

    Hey guys, I started a thread in regards to the school district that wanted quotes from local companies. Well, I decided to back out of the bidding due to much snow on the ground, and unwillingness to supply us with good dimension documentation. Basically, there was 8 inches of snow and they wanted a quote in 7 days. Well, I just recieved the public bids and it seems my gut feeling was right about the situtation.

    After looking at the bids, it amazes me that out of about 13 companies that bid, most where pretty close in the bid. However, there were about 3 companies that wayyyyy underbid just to dig up business. What suprises me the most is that one of these companies, was an established business with well over 10 crews. We have the largest high school in the state, with a nice plot of land that goes along with it, I'm guessing 10-15 acres, including soccer and football fields. They said this is the bread and butter to the district, make it nice. While everyone seems to be in the $500-700 for the most part, these guys are coming in at $250!!!

    Also, there were about 15-20 other locations to bid on and each one was bid the same way. It amazes me what these guys think.

    The only thing I can see is that either he still hasn't figured out how to bid, or that he's desperate to take any work he can to fill up crew schedules. He has trucks and buildings and all the goodies. I'm just guessing that with all that overhead, he's doing everything to he can to just break even in some areas.

    Thought I would share that. More news showing that established businesses can screw up this field of work with their pricing. Maybe these guys know the Brickman group?:D
  2. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,847

    could be that he is willing to part with a profit now in return for a larger market share later. Im not entirely fond of the idea in our industry, but its a proven winner in other industries.
  3. charlies

    charlies LawnSite Senior Member
    from earth
    Messages: 587

    if he is running 10 crews, each crew can make much less than a 1-2 crew operation and still make more money.

    but that seems low, even for that.
  4. proenterprises

    proenterprises LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,296

    maybe hes trying to say somthing about himself to the community. it dosent really seem to make sense, but maybe he thinks this will get him goos exposure and the school district will hook him up with all the other work...snow, landscaping, more mowing.

    although, with 10 crews, seems like hes got enough already.
  5. justmjc

    justmjc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 261

    I was reading through his bid package and for ALL 15-20 areas within the district, he's total bid was about $15,000 for the season for all of them. Most of the others were about that just for the high school. I wonder if he didn't get the renewals for his crews. But that doesn't make sense, fill up 7 profitable crews instead of having 7 crews plus 3 that break even. Don't get me wrong, they are well known.

    Another example, high school and soccer field, $45 each. Preschool with about 3/4 acre with about 100 things including trees to trim around....$25. Only the newbie scrub companies came slightly close to his bids. :confused:

    That's what I was afraid of when I went on the bid. I don't want to attempt to bid since the district will go with usually the lowest bid. The lowest bid winner is usually too low and ends up with less profit for there time, if any at all.
  6. jajwrigh

    jajwrigh LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Martinsville, IN
    Messages: 1,405

    This is the kind of stuff that makes me think that commercial bids are a waste of freekin time. I know there are some good ones out there, but it seems like building loyalty with residentials is the way to go.
  7. coonman

    coonman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 686

    Am I reading that right. 25 dollars for 3/4 acre and lots of trees and bushes to trim? Why would anybody bid that, they would have to lose money. We get 25 dollars for 3000 sq feet lawns for mow, trim, blow and go. Unbelievable!
  8. KathysLGC

    KathysLGC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,345

    Coukd be they are well established scrubs with fresh illegals working for them...lol
  9. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,369

    I'll bet all that fancy equipment is leveraged by a fancy amount of debt!
    He's looking for cash flow.
  10. Davis Lawn Mowing LLC.

    Davis Lawn Mowing LLC. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 200

    Are you talking about the Ann Arbor Pioneer High School district? I remember Pioneer and Huron being 1 and 2 a couple years back in the state football playoff listings as being the biggest schools and I thought Pioneer was the biggest. If so, Saturday's in the fall obviously are out for the Michigan football games!

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