Home Depot plants - acer palmatums

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by steveair, Apr 29, 2000.

  1. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    Hello,<p>Just a quick note on the Home depot by me. They are now carrying large Acer palmatums dissectums (laceleaf) and are selling them dirt cheap. They had monster ones, in the 5 ft height, 2 inch+ cal. and nice and full for around 275. They also had ones that were about half the size for around 99. <p>Now, not that i really care, but this kind of stuff sucks. The same plants at the nursery are aroud the same price or more, and that is contractor price. Homeowner price would easily be 200+ or more for the same size plant. <p>Now, my point here is that I am waiting for the day when I install a 600( my cost 375)dollar tree and charge the homeowner 1000 with warranty to plant it, and have them say &quot;are you nuts, i can buy it at home depot for 99 dollars&quot;. <p>I now this home depot thing is getting tiring around this site, but this is the start of a big change coming for the nursery business. <p>Sure, the plants are lower quality, but to the average to typical homeowner they are the same. I wouldn't be surprised to see home depot really start hammering away at the nursery business and start bringing in all types of larger materials for sale at 'contractor' prices in the future. <p>Just a quick note, the trees were garbage. Nice and big, full too, but no training done at the nursery. Branches were wrapped together like a pretzel. But most homeowners don't know any better. <p>steveair<p><br>
  2. steven Bousquet

    steven Bousquet LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    do your clients shop at home depot? most people who hire upscale landscapers don't. I would not worry about it. Do you line item your planting? or lunp sum jobs?
  3. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    Steve,<br>First of all thanks for your e-mail on the mulch bid. I'm gonna charge by the hour and hope for the best. I remeasured and found I was a little high.<br>On the Home Depot subject, one just opened here in Green Bay and I have a very good friend who is a plumber who says he can't compete with Home depot either and he does mega business. Kohler sells Home Depot such large quantities that the discount is tremendous. Its almost as low as he can buy the fixtures for. I don't know the solution but I think we have to sell the personal service and guarantee. I know its not always gonna work because of the reasons above. Good Luck and thanks again.
  4. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    Hey Mow Ed, <p>When selling don't forget to market your knowledge and experience. Down here in Appleton there are lots of people who buy their plants at Shopko and the like. Those people are NOT our market. Don't even worry about them. There are enough people out there who work hard at work so they don't have to work hard at home. They just want the yard to look great and want to have a professional do it, so they don't have to worry about it.<p>There will always be DIYers, and in our market there are more than the average, but there's still plenty of business out there for us. And while we provide different services, I'm tapping into the DIY market, because it is so large here. Maybe you can, too.
  5. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    Stonehenge,<p>Your right, and those bargain shopper people are not are market.<p>My only problem here is that this is a first for are industry. Not one time before has any discount retail store been able to compete with nurseries like the home depots, etc. have. Your right, and people who work all day don't have time to be shopping around for plant materials. (well, actually, I don't know the last time you went to one, but its surprising to see how many mercedes and BMW's line the parking lots and house ladies with nothing better to do but walk around home depot spending their husbands money are actually there)<p>However, they do have time to read things like newspapers, magazines, etc. How long will it be before they come across home depot &quot;garden spectacular&quot; adds that show 3 inch cal. trees for $99 (contractor prices)?<br>Then, how long will it be before they look out the window and see the same tree installed in their front yard and remember paying 5 times that for it. <p>This is what bothers me. It's gonna be interesting to see what happens in the next couple of years. There's no doubt that big retailers, as they have shown in industries like plumbing and carpentry, can smash prices.<p>Actually, this could be a good thing. As mentioned above by someone else, I too think that customer service and job quality are going to start being a major decision rather that price in the future. This may hopefully help to &quot;weed&quot; out some of those fly-by-night guys who seem to flood are market and give the industry a bad name.<p>Even nurseries are beginning to disclose contractor prices to homeowners. By me, some nurserys list right on the tag the 'homeowner' price and the 'contractor' price. No games being played there. How long before those plants just have one price on them again, the contractor price?<p>steveair<p><br>
  6. jrblawncare

    jrblawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 445

    I'am finding the same here,what steve is talking about is true..I priced out a Forsythia hedge job and did better getting my plants at Lowes sorry to say it.Also with some hard goods such as Mulches...if a customer wants cedar I can buy it better at walmart than though my two Landscape supply co's<p>----------<br>John <br>
  7. kountryscape

    kountryscape LawnSite Member
    from iowa
    Messages: 133

    hey i live in eastern iowa we have wal-marts ,lowes,shopkos,targets, kmarts,hy vee grocery stores,hey we even have a gas station that sells bags of mulch. this big store with deep pockets really gets under my skin. i have a greenhouse where i sell bedding plants mums etc. . talk about getting hammered i can't sell my 4 packs for 47 cents or my mums for 1.47 or any of that , and i always get i can buy that at walmart for x amount. there isn't any thing you can say to me that says get of my property faster than that i hate it .i talked to a guy on the internet the other day that said this. a WALT DISNEY (THE MAN) QUOTE &quot;DO WHAT YOU DO BEST AND PEOPLE WILL COME, AND BRING OTHERS&quot; to me that gave me a shot in the arm. hey if you need a bag of dog food go to that little mom and pop store down the road. need a new socket wrench go to petes hardware and pay two dollars more. need grocerys go to that little guy not the one where you have to walk for hours to find something. my point being support the little guy refuse to shop one of the super stores and tell others. if all the business guys and gals in the great u.s.a. would stop shopping at the big stores and help each other out we could have a chance of surviving. dont get your tires for the truck at wal-mart and dont buy your gas at the station selling bags of mulch. stop it. now . my sister hasnt shopped at wal-mart for 5 years now and she's still shopping and surviving so get on the band wagon and help yourself . other wise join them may be some day wal-mart will offer a lawn care and landscape service . dont help them out jarrett
  8. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    I seem to fall back on this theme pretty often, and am about to again. Marketing can save all of you. Really.<p>For those of you with some business school under your belts - remember the term 'conspicuous consumption'? That is when a person buys a certain good in a conspicuous way or displays it in a conspicuous way, so as to show to others, 'I've made it. I can afford to buy Widget X.' There are people who don't shop at cheapy chain warehouse places because by and large the stuff they sell is not the best. Make your business a Wdget X business, one that people will pay more for, just because it's you.<p>Take the BMW. There's nothing a good Buick or Olds can't do that a BMW does, but for those who buy it, there's a cache associated with the beemer that makes it worth it. Would you buy a Harley if it had Kawasaki logos all over it? No way - you want it because it's a Harley, and you want others to know it's a Harley (hell, Harley just patented the exhaust sound from their bikes - it's so cool the other bike makers are trying to copy it).<p>I can't tell you how to make yourself the next Harley-Davidson, but it can be done. Don't compete with Lowe's, etc. You can't win their game. Just like they can't win yours.<p>Ok. I'll vacate the soapbox for the next person.
  9. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,964

    Not in any defense of Home Depot, I've been able to make money off of them. When I was a young pup, there use to be 17 different nurseries in my area. (San Mateo County, just south of San Francisco, Ca.) Over the years, except for 3 of them, they all have closed. Why, the land was worth more than the business. They had to charge more to cover their operating cost, you guys get the point.<br>Now, unless they had their own green houses, they bought from different growers. Well guess what, Home Depot, Orchard Hardware Supply buys from these same true wholesale growers. Because of volume, they are able to offer cheaper prices on the same plants. (They sometimes don't make any profit on the plants, but make a killing on other items such as ferts.soil amendments ect..)One thing I forgot to mention, in places like California, their are only so many true wholesale nurseries. I’ll use &quot;Hines Nurseries&quot; as an example. They are the biggest suppliers of Junipers here on the west coast. Go to Home Depot, go to your local nursery, they are the same plants and have the “Hines Nursery” tags, same quality, but what a price difference. H.D. $under $7, one of the locals, $11 minus my 10% wholesale for a 1 gallon plant. Now you see why people go to Home Depot. The Local nursery makes their money thru hand holding and bigger, more mature plants. <p>How I have been able to make money off of Home Depot? I offer to meet my clients at Home Depot explaining what I said above. I let them know that I do charge for my time, either a straight time charge, or on the labor per plant and I charge a delivery charge. I give my client the option to pay for the plants right there, or I tell them cost plus a 10% service charge. The thing about having the client pay for the plants, money isn't out of my own pocket, leaves me money to spend on wife and myself.<p>I always tell people this. Go to Home Depot for price. Go to local nurseries for info and name of plants. Then go to Home Depot and pay a cheaper price for the same plant. <p>The point that I’m trying to make, in any business, you either adapt or you die!<br>Jean<br><p>----------<br>J-LC Landscaping & Maintenance Gardening<br>C-27 Ca Contr# 770044

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