Low Balled, or What?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by mudman34, Mar 28, 2005.

  1. mudman34

    mudman34 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    New to the site here so let me say hey all, great info here too.

    Anyway, helping my cousin with his landscape buisness and he just got an email from a customer we bid a mulch job on. In short the customer said we were to expensive and shared the bid that they went with. The company that won said they would mulch, edge and trim bushes and whatnot for $1800. We bid the job for $5000 @ 2" of mulch. This price includes tax and edging @ $1 a ft. (See job specs below) Keep in mind that currently, edge is non-existent, just mulch running into the grass basically. Are these guys crazy cheap or are we really bidding to much? Thanks in advance for any input, its much appreciated.

    Job Specs:
    6595 Sq. Ft. or
    1100 cf which comes out to 41 Cubic Yards
    1346 ft of edging
  2. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,369

    There is no revenue on an empty airline seat. The same guy might bid $5000
    the next job......every situation is different....He could be just cheap too.
    See plenty of companies bidding cheap just to make payroll between high profit jobs.
  3. The Good Earth

    The Good Earth LawnSite Member
    Messages: 171

    Welcome to the Central Ohio market. There is no money in no brainer jobs. This market seems to get lower and lower each year with companies, and I use that term loosely, bidding below market value. I have lost any and all hope that some of these folks will see the light.

    Your best bet is to put together a few maintenance contracts with customers who won't drop you like a hot potato when a new company comes in and cuts you by 20%. Ask the customer straight up if they are looking for strictly price of work or value of their dollar. Find the customers who seek value and you are on base. Keeps those contracts alive and kicking for cash flow. Then spread your business to construction. Construction is where the value of a dollar can be seen. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to look at a job and figure out if it is quality or not. I find it quite humorous all the new guys I hear wanting to know how to pave this, build that, and price all of it. I love those guys. They will screw it up and I'll make more money cleaning up their mess and making the customer happy. In the process the customer learns the value of a dollar.
  4. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Need more info is that a buck a foot installed?
    How much are you paying for your mulch?
    Are you picking it up and delivering?
    How much prep is involved?
    What kind of edging are you installing?
  5. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 4,205

    At that price it sounds to me like the mulch is being blown in by someone who owns a blower truck..........
    Otherwise they're working for free.
  6. mudman34

    mudman34 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    - I'm talking about using a bed edger for 1346 feet
    - Getting mulch at $29 yard, we've been looking around for cheaper since we've found this forum and see the prices some of you all are getting but aren't having any luck.
    - We pick up and deliver mulch ourselves.
    - Lot of prep needed with spring cleanup. Its a large lot with 22+ 100 ft trees so needless to say the yard and beds are riddled with branches and leaves.
  7. mudman34

    mudman34 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Yeah for the most part his customer base does appreciate quality work and most do compliment us when we're done. This bid was for someone we'd never done work for before but they also said the people that mulched it last year did for for less than than the $1800 quoted to them currently. Considering the shape the beds are in now they obviously don't care what they look like and just want some mulch thrown on, oh well.
  8. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    I'd say your about $1000.00 overbid then .
  9. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,641

    actually it doesn't sound like you are bidding apples to apples...If the people told you it cost them less than $1800. last year and the beds are not currently mulched, then they it doesn't appear that they want it edged this year...
  10. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    I would call you a $1000.00 overbid then.Just my opinion,edgeing the beds is not brain surgery.Having the 41 yards delivered would save you alot of trouble and your potential client $.For the clean-up 1 hour with a good blower and rake should take care of that.Please do not take offence ,that's what I came up with but I am not there and have not seen the job.Go with your gut and don't worry what the other's bid is.
    Sometimes a potential client will LIE TO YOU about the others bids just to get you to go down on yours.Why else would they even bother to tell you the amount of the lower bid either to make you feel bad or wrong or overpriced OR to get you to say" OH really ?then if he bid $1800 then I'll lower my bid to $1200.00" they play that game sometimes.
    This has happened to me,when I went to the other person and asked how they could haave bid it so low,they told me they had never bid on that job or even met the client,they mustuve got his name from the telephone book and just used it.Needles to say I did not accept the job.

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