I've Underbid!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by corycc, Apr 27, 2001.

  1. corycc

    corycc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    I screwed up pretty bad. I under bid two next door residential accounts. I estimated 28 on each when it should have been around 32 or 33 for each. No surprise, I got the job. What do I do? There is no contract and I have just started. Can I tell them I screwed up? I know it is just five bucks but I could be somewhere else making that five bucks then losing it there! What do I do? Has this ever happened to you? What did you do?

    AVRECON LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    1st mistake you made is the odd numbers. If I think a lawn is worth 30 I shoot 35 at them. Never bid at 37.50 crap, round off to the nearest 5 bucks, and usually upward of 5.
  3. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    Is there a chance for more work from these accounts, like mulching, trimming, etc.?
    If so, try to make it up there. Since they already have you, they are likely to use you for that stuff even if you're a little high rather then trying to find someone else to do that stuff for them.
  4. corycc

    corycc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    Those few bucks can make a difference. By bidding 32 or 33 I am making enough off the job, and if I had rounded off to 35, I probably wouldn't have got the job, the next guy would have. I am not desperate for jobs but I don't need to rip people off either.

    No there is no chance for other work beside what I am already doing. They are ratty lawns and I would like to raise the price or drop them. Can I do this ethically?

    [Edited by corycc on 04-28-2001 at 12:14 AM]
  5. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    I love odd numbers myself. rounding only makes it easier for us. when I bid chemical service, it is .6 cents a square foot no matter what. Rounding would many times make me lose a bid. I go up on lawns $ 2.50 a year up to 100 bucks or so and go up 3-5 after that per year. people rarely fire over these small increases, yet I have heard from lot of folks on this forum who routinely get fired ove a 5 buck price increse.

    Getting to the point- try to upsell mulch, leaves, annuals, aerating( you can rent)fertilizing, dethatching, seeding, pruning, even putting in some 12 volt lights. once people trust you they typically will hire you to do more. we do mowing ,beds, irrigation and chemical weed control on a much smaller customer base than if we did mowing only. dave
  6. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 564

    "I am not desperate for jobs but I don't need to rip people off either."

    Lose that line of thinking or this underbidding stuff will nail you. I think it helps to remember that you shouldn't get every bid. There is no trick to getting every bid...just do it dirt cheap! The trick is getting the right accounts for the right amount and holding strong to the idea of making a profit. Why do you think that charging a price that allows you to make money without killing yourself is ripping people off? Sounds like you like to punish yourself. Been there, Done that. Now I make a profit.
  7. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    That's not a real serious screw-up .....the 2 jobs are together that's $56 instead of $64-66 ....BUT you must be saving 15 min per event just being together .... if no contract cut em' for a month or two ..... let em' see the service than get a contract at a rate you can live with ....good luck ;->
  8. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    The only other thing I can suggest is if you haven't already cut the lawn, then cut it once and go to them and explain that it took you longer then you had expected. Tell them that you're price was an "estimate". Explain that if they'd like you to continue, you would need to raise the price a few bucks. If they choose not to continue using your services, then get paid for the cut, apologize for the mix up, thank them for thier time, and move on.
    It seems to me to be a better way then just dropping them before you've even started.
  9. leeslawncare

    leeslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 649

    well guys , from what i have found is the round an odd # are for the birds...If wally mart an the Home Cheapo can do I can too..(an i do better service than they do LOL)
  10. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    I cannot imagine dropping two customers for the sake of 5 dollars. (mind you that's 5 USA dollars .lol )If they are "ratty lawns" then there must be a chance for extra bucks to improve down the road. I could be wrong and this is only my humble opinion... we do not do any small res.. mostly commercial so this is not really my field but I think I could make up that 5 somehow and if not this year then maybe years down the road....be friendly, hang in there and see the year out. good luck in 2001

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