Is it low balling or is it smart?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    First, look at this:

    cheep, cheep.jpg
  2. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    Doing door hangers last May, I kept seeing this door hanger every where. I mean, this guy must have distributed tens of thousands of these things.

    Then, I get a door hanger from another landscaper in the area. Guess what the price is?

    laura\'s door hanger.jpg
  3. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,660

    how big is your yard
  4. Branching Out

    Branching Out LawnSite Member
    Messages: 109

    I'd sub him to do my jobs........ Keep the difference, and stay home.......

    Branching out
  5. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,905

    Look at their opperation. And the size property they are putting the hangers on.. My mom live in Katy, and the average Lawn in her neighborhood takes a solo guy 20-28 mins.. ( I timed her neighbors guy )... I also timed a crew doing a few in her area as well.... they were mildly efficient, and were in ad out in 12 mins on a same size lawn ( 3 guys, overkill IMO ) So yeah, if I did props like my Moms every day, all day, then I'd say that's smart... If they are very big at all..I'd call it lowballing.. But really, who cares, do what YOU have to do to survive and make $$$$$
  6. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Subbing the jobs to these people is really a pretty good ideal. Once they get tired of doing all the work and having to give you all the money they will raise their prices to a more competive level.
  7. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    Then, finally, another company advertising the same price in my area was found by a member of lawnsite:

    Out doing my regular Tuesday route, I saw the cheep, cheep door hanger on about half of my customer's doors today. The last time this happened, I got a few cancellations. So in a pizzed off fit, I decided to call the guy. Not sure what I was going to accomplish, other than to belly ache. I tell the guy I'm a landscaper in the area and there's no way I can make a living cutting lawns for that price. He just laughed at me and the conversation was short. But he did mention that he has 2,000 yards. (He called them yards, which I thought was a little wierd, but oh well.)

    2,000 accounts? That's what? $40,000 per week, gross?

    Jim Lewis has done the figuring and I concur. A two man crew can mow 20 average sized lawns in a day. Three man crew, 24. And for me and my employee, that's about a 10 hour day. More if it's been raining and we're near summer soltice, maybe a little less if it's dry and hot or late in the fall. Figure a two man crew grosses $400.00 per day. Can you make that work?

    My problem since day one has been getting customers. If I had an easy way to obtain customers, I'd like to do it. Does low ball pricing this time of year work? I would guess it does or this guy wouldn't be doing it.

    But the advantage of low balling will blow up in your face if everyone else starts doing it, won't it? Then your prices are normal and the low ball tactic wouldn't keep working year after year, would it?

    Any input. Is this smart?

    DFW Area Landscaper
  8. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    Do you really think he has 2000 accounts? Can you find out more about this company?

    $20.00 seems really low. He probably does not pay overtime.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    If you were making $40,000 a week, would you still find the need to advertise?

    I've lost a few to lowballers, but most of my customers have stuck with me.

    There was a guy up here last spring, he took out a big ad in the local paper advertising "ANY SIZE LAWN FOR $14.95!!!" (For the first 50 customers) I saw him about a month later, he's using a 21", so I stopped and asked him how the first 50 were going. He just looked at me. Later on in the summer, he's running a new ad "HOUSE CLEANING- ANY SIZE HOUSE FOR $19.95!!"

    People like that last just long enough to skew everyones perception of what the going rate is, then they hit the unemployment line.
  10. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Oh yeah, almost forgot, the Laura's Landscaping flyer, notice how she can't spell "weekley"?

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