1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum.

    Dismiss Notice

low balled!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by acresofgreen, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. alexschultz1

    alexschultz1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,585

    I gave a bid a couple months ago to remove around 200 (maybe more) 6" pine trees 5 feet back from a fence at a storage unit where i keep my equipment. I gave them a great deal at $3200 because i wanted to get the maintenance contract. Sure enough the next day I get a call and they found someone who was going to do it for NO MORE than $2000. My overhead from the job was $2200 after dump fees, labor, and a chipper rental... I tried to explain this to him and to be cautious of this "professional." That was back in june its now almost october and the guy has only cleared 50' of the 600'.

    2 weeks ago i gave a bid to bush hog in front of a business on a main road by my house. Like the last job i gave him an amazing deal and said i could do it for $500. It was around 400' long and 30' wide with small trees and a wet ditch running the length of it. I got a call from the guy saying that he found someone to do it for $200. Good luck to both of them. Id much rather turn them down and focus my efforts on actually MAKING MONEY
  2. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    These threads always seem to have one price way too low and the other's sky high, doesn't make any sense...
    Nobody seems to think about stopping off in the middle somewhere?

    Lowballing is an art, these folks don't seem too artistically inclined.

    Because I don't see it, if it honestly takes 3 man hours, and I'll go so far as to take your word for that, how anyone is going to survive long term on a $50 total, I fully agree with the consensus, I don't see that... True lowballing doesn't mean coming in stupid and falling flat on one's face.

    On the other hand $150 is near thievery, not quite but the part I don't understand...
    Why didn't anyone bid $120?
    Then again maybe someone did...

    The art of it is to come in below the high bidder and still above cost.

    They could have had the job, and made profit.
  3. Blade Runners

    Blade Runners LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,021

    I was thinking the exact same thing as I was reading. $50 is just ridiculous and $150 seems a tad high. The good thing is, I bet he isn't doing it next season. The bad thing is he just ruined a customer. Since they got 1 sucker to do it for $50, they are gonna try to find another next season when he realises he is actually losing money and quits.
  4. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,673

    When people get laid off from their $9 an hr job and down to their last dime there comes a bright idea- I can cut grass. "You mean you're paying $150 for that! I'll do it for $50". I'll work for 3 hrs for $50, that's $16.66 an hr. I have almost doubled my pay rate and I'm loving it!
    Then it gets hot, they're not making enough to pay themselves and fuel. Then they get in a yellow jacket nest and its game over.
  5. NuLifeLawnCare

    NuLifeLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

    Sorry to hear that. This is happening all over the place. Most people here have been there many times. Some beat you with a close lower price "competition" and some make you think all day on how they can manage doing lawns for so cheap. Just wait until he blows up a engine and it costs him 4 months of mowing to pay for it. Hang in there. Quality customers are just around the corner.
  6. NuLifeLawnCare

    NuLifeLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

  7. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 8,822

    Not if you are running a legit business and trying to NET above the National poverty level. He said it had a pond and a steep ditch. The people were willing to pay $150 for years until lack of business sense came along. The people he was working for must have thought it was a fair price. They could have got other bids and maybe they did? If he had bid $120 he would have left $30 per cut on the table and still lost out to lack of business sense guy.
    I was mowing a property that took me 7 hours for $400. A lack of business sense guy came along and bid $100. He could have bid $300 or even $200 and still stole it away from me:hammerhead: No, he had to lower the price back to 1950 levels
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013
  8. 123hotdog

    123hotdog LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    This is sad that this is so common and happens to all of us. I will never bid a contract or service based on what the last guy did it for. Underbidding has ruined this industry. I am mowing lawns for the same my father did in the late 80's and early 90's. When somebody underbids someone they do damage to this entire industry not just the guy there are undercutting. Honestly, I'd like to take my cabover truck and run every " Johnny Come Lately" off the road pulling his John Deere behind his wife's SUV. I can only hope the economy will get better and these d*mn unemployed yuppies will get a job.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013
  9. gcbailey

    gcbailey LawnSite Silver Member
    from WV
    Messages: 2,745

    Around here it's not the yuppies, it's the pillheads who needs $30 to get a quick fix. Then the people wonder why they don't show back up next week to cut.
  10. Sprinkler Buddy

    Sprinkler Buddy LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,185

    You should thank him, he'll gobble up as much as he can do and leave the better paying customers for you.

Share This Page