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How do you guys handle under-bidding?

Discussion in 'Bidding, Estimating and Pricing' started by Grassholes, Oct 24, 2017.

  1. Grassholes

    Grassholes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 595

    I have only had this happen a couple times and it is because the customer did not communicate properly. Do you guys demand more money or eat the cost? I know 'it depends' but where do you draw the line?
    K c m likes this.
  2. jc1

    jc1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,119

    The customer didn't communicate properly or your written estimate didn't cover exactly what the services to be performed were?
    RDALawns likes this.
  3. Grassholes

    Grassholes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 595

    good clarification. For example, if I say this job is going to cost $X and you will need this much mulch and I am short by a yard I just go get another yard and don't even ask because I underestimated.

    In the other scenario, the customer assumes that something is covered that is not covered. For example, decorative rock installation, customer shows me the site, I write up a number and then after the job is completed they say, 'When are you going to fill in the spot under the deck?" that they never mentioned.


    I don't plant anything anymore - what a nightmare - I have showed up to plant stuff and people have no PLAN and it is all day of "Well, put it here and see how it looks." In this situation they loss is time rather than a materials loss.
    Eric502 likes this.
  4. MarkH

    MarkH LawnSite Member
    from MA
    Messages: 34

    A simple one page proposal with a bullet pointed list of the scope of work, a proposed cost, and a signature from each party. If it's not on the written scope of work, it's a change order.
    Mdirrigation and RDALawns like this.
  5. andersman02

    andersman02 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 576

    RDALawns and hort101 like this.
  6. stringfellohawk

    stringfellohawk LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 623

    I eat it. Education costs money.


    Only use that when my clauses come into play.
    DuallyVette and RDALawns like this.
  7. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,753

    Put everything in writing , be very of what you are going to do and the cost . Its called a meeting of the minds .
    AI Inc likes this.
  8. ltdlawn

    ltdlawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,647

    Never understood why the word estimate is used yet is accepted as final price. If I underbid a yard I inform and they pay. The job takes what the job takes. But I rarely bid under because I add cushion. Also these are signs of cheap customers.
    stringfellohawk likes this.
  9. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,726

    if YOU underbid the job, thats your fault, you have to do the work you promised for the price you quoted.
    You DONT have to do work they "thought they were going to get" for the price you quoted
    This is why ALL quotes are written and signed and contracts scope of work are clearly written.
    Dawson, RDALawns and Mdirrigation like this.
  10. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,753

    By using that logic , you could underbid every job and then tell the customer you want more . That doesnt work well
    RDALawns, DuallyVette and TPendagast like this.

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