look out the val packs are out

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LJ lawn, Mar 19, 2002.

  1. LJ lawn

    LJ lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 356

    just got one of those "val pack" coupon packets in the mail today,must be 5 LCO's in there .each one givin' away something for free.as in "3 free lawn cuts with seasonal agreement" or "first 2 fert apps FREE with contract" blah,blah,blah.things must be getting rough out there.can't wait to see the free total lawn fert package for every new client ad.then i'll know for sure the market has gone to heck.

    At a 20% profit margin, who in their right mind would give 10% away?

    2 free apps, hahahahahahahaha. I hope they juiced their prices up.

    This is a good reason NOT to use Val-Pac's.

    I am glad I changed my mind and decided not to use them.

    Although I haven't seen one LCO advertise in a coupon mailer yet this year. Saw one tree service.
  3. lbmd1

    lbmd1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 462

    why would you be rolling on the floor laughing your a#@ off about a guy discounting or giving free things away in a val pak, when in another post where someone was charging less than half the going rate for aerations that might lead to other work, you call it creative marketing? Which one is it?
  4. You don't give away a low profit service.

    You don't give away a service that has material costs.

    Aeration I didn't agree that he should have given it away like that, but it seemed to suit his expectations to aquiring his clientel.

    Also if you read and not just skimmed through, there was a reason he did it that way.

    Go back and see if you can find it, I know I pointed it out.

    Discounting service is one thing but plain out giving them away, big NO NO.

    I had my coupons, they were all rewording, not giving anything away at all.
  5. Nebraska

    Nebraska LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    If your talking about the article in L&L he marketed his price for aeration half the price of the "going rate" and did this during an estimate, eliminating any free estimate what so ever. Looks like he has been quite sucessful in growing his business using this method. Nothing wrong with giving a "try it before you buy it" offer to attempt to differentiate yourself or break into a new market.
  6. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,335

    That's great - devalue the service as much as possible - then we can all work for free - or better yet maybe we can pay people to cut their lawns!!! This industry has to try to ban together and start acting like professionals (like the ones most us us are). I'll start discounting my services when I get an advertisement from my dentist that has a coupon for a free teeth cleaning with the purchase of 2 others.
    My point - respect yourself, respect your time and labor and then you'll have the customers respect the industry. It helps us all. Otherwise we'll all be cutting lawns for free. These types of marketing approaches do a huge disservice to the industry and ultimately keep the profit margins at a minimum.
  7. Nebraska

    Nebraska LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    Read the article again. It is working for him. It is in last months Lawn and Landscape.
  8. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,335

    Oh I'm not saying they don't work - they really do. What I'm saying is that by giving away service or greatly discounting it, you depreciate the value of the service. The service is only worth what you value it at - and if you place a value of "Free" on the service - that's what the customers are going to expect - so get used to working for nothing.
    There's a service industry rule - you don't ever discount labor - and since most of our work is labor, discounting it really undermines the development of this profession as a profession.
  9. proline32

    proline32 LawnSite Senior Member
    from 98383
    Messages: 278

    Exactly, The paint indusrty has had this problem for years and recently you'll find that paint contractors on a whole( especially professional ones) are getting together and forming associations to discuss these issues and raise the level of professionallism and thier profits.. It only does good when everybody does well.

    As for giving away freebees, Today I had to "fire" a customer.... She sends me a letter complaining about the fact that I charged her for the rental fee for an extended hedge trimmer that I rented and then accused me of not even performing the service and whines that last year I gave her some of these services for free. ( which I did and regret it.) and wants to know why I am charging her for it this year. Basicly I sent her check back for the service and informed her that I will not work for a customer who implies that I cheated on the service and do not feel that I have to defend myself for the services I performed and that I have dropped her from my list. I no longer will give anything away for free just to try to encourage business, what pisses me off is that this customer only looked at the cost for one friggin hedge trimming service and thinks I ripped her off. As far as I'm concerned, she can mow her own yard.

    Fellow LCO's ......... Please don't give anything away for free, you may think it will help you gain business But then the customer expects it from you all the time and you are screwed.... If you write an estimate for a customer make sure they understand that no other services are offered and that a seperate estimate will be written for ANY service requested.
  10. Nebraska

    Nebraska LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    Have you guys read the article? If not look it up and read it.

Share This Page