I cant beleive how bad this is getting...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by nobagger, Mar 30, 2007.

  1. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    I must have given 10-15 estimates for mowing and they are rediculious! This season seems to be shaping up to be one of the worst for prices. I had a lady I gave a 25.00/wk price on a decent sized lawn. At 25.00 that was a great price imo for the work we had to do. She tells me she has a quote for 12.00.....;) from what looked like a nice computer generated estimate sheet. It seems under 25.00 and your golden but anything above, forget it. My advise to the new companies...GET OUT NOW WHILE YOU CAN!
  2. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,209

    I hear what you are saying, Nobagger. But never forget the BS factor, it might be a problem for you or I to look someone in the eye and lie, but many people in the world have no problem with it. Keep doing what you are doing and build your niche. Low pricing is exactly why I scaled back my maintenace and aim to get more enhancement and landscape construction work. And there are lowballers in that arena too!
  3. F&SLawnCo

    F&SLawnCo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 71

    Sounds to me like you are targeting the wrong customer base. My sole focus this year has been to really define the type of customers we wanted to add and go after them. We have currently closed 65% of our bids and almost doubled our customer base. These are all middle to high end residentials and we have upsold all but one of them. 2007 looks to be a great year in East Tennessee. This is a welcome change from last year, but we reall studied why we struggled last year and it all came down to the fact that we wre putting our name in froont of too many customers that were in no position to secure our services. In short, if your customers are jumping ship over a couple of bucks you probably don't want them anyway.
  4. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,219

    happened to me a few times this year too some i say ok let them do it others like one i put $40 bid on she said the last guy did it for 30 i say 35 and thats a deal and got it but some people are just killing the industry
  5. aklandscape

    aklandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    I had a guy I work with come up to me yesterday and ask me about lawn pricing wars and people cut throating prices and he knows nothing about the business. He said that he had heard guys being laid off going out and buying a riding lawn mower and instantly their a new business. Then, just like you say, charging like $12.00 or $15.00 on a lawn that should be at least $25.00 or more.The rochester area has had a lot of lay offs in the past few years so this is desperate people trying to start their own businesses to make ends meet. But talk about not knowing your costs!! Even if your illegal doing this and having no insurance and not reporting your income,that's not even minimum wage after the costs of gas,oil,and wear and tear on equipment. But, on the other hand we talk about this every spring, how these guys under cut everyone, then around July the guys equipment goes to pot or he starts to not show up because he's found another job that's easier. My philosophy is, I have plenty of things to do around my own house to do, so if you get this guy for $12.00, good luck when he hurts someone or breaks something, I'm not dropping the gate for that much.
  6. jdlawn

    jdlawn LawnSite Member
    from MO
    Messages: 68

    What exactly do you mean by lowballing? Like charging $15 to mow a 5000 sq. ft lawn when it should be $25-30 + ?
  7. Turf Troll

    Turf Troll LawnSite Member
    Messages: 227

    If you know about what a lawn cost you to mow, most of your competitors charge plus or minus 5 or 10 bucks near you and some person comes and charges half that and you shake your head.

    I've lost two lawns,
    and I started two new lawns

    I'm focused this year on putting flyer's in neighborhoods where I want work.

    Got get the mowing area tight, I'm already crying about gas.
  8. BD Bone

    BD Bone LawnSite Member
    from USA
    Messages: 53

    I likewise share your pain. We have put an all out campaign this season, the first major one we have really had to do in nearly 11 years of doing this business. We have lost 2-3 of our commercial accounts and 2 of our residentials this season due to "price" gouging of lowballers or other newbies in the industry. We were told by one of our clients we have had for 6 consecutive seasons, "anyone can mow grass nowadays"... and they are a commercial client and the message has been, the "bottom line is the bottom line".

    We have also encountered a lot of non-legitimate lawn maintenance businesses. In fact, one is an aquaintance of ours and they honestly do not think that there is anything wrong with doing this and being paid under the table. They even have asked about how we price and structure our business. I am all for sharing concepts and helping out our "fellow" business owners, however, it has been 11 years of our learning the industry by trial and error, paying our dues and also by educating ourselves and it is frustrating when all people want is to do things that don't seem on the up and up. (Sigh)... just sharing our woes too. Thanks for listening.

    Mrs. BD Bone (wife of Big Daddy Bone - BD Bone)... a husband and wife team.
  9. crzymow

    crzymow LawnSite Senior Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 378

    I have my prices, If people dont want to pay them so be it. I am done with people trying to get me to come down on my price.
  10. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,570

    You can tell its spring. Grass, weeds, and lowballers come out. Just wait until it get hot out.

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