low balled!

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

  1. PenningsLandscaping

    PenningsLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,853

    $50 to cut down a tree. Unreal. I cut up a large long branch that fell from an oak, for a customer after hurricane sandy and
    Charged them $80, and I dumped it in their woods. People are just willing to work for nothing. You can't possibly survive on that kind of cash, so he'll be back working at Taco Bell soon enough.
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  2. JMK26

    JMK26 LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Missouri
    Messages: 3,283

    Good for him...


    does he have liability insurance? Is he paying workman's comp for his employee? Is he paying Social Security, FICA and other obligations a business has for having an employee? Is he paying business taxes? Is he paying personal property taxes for his equipment? ( if applicable some states don't have personal property tax).

    As the other guy said, I'd rather them be out there working instead of collecting food stamps, etc and I can afford to take a hit.............but at the same time, do it right...be a legit business and don't skimp and complain when guys that do pay taxes, insurance and business licensing fees give you trouble when you do not. The guy that pays taxes, insurance, licensing and other overhead costs does have a "right" to complain and give the guy that pays none of that trouble and if you're not going to pay that type of overhead and be legit, then at least pay your dues by getting sh*t from guys that do pay and have the knowledge, proper education and licensing to be legit.
  3. milkie62

    milkie62 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 834

    He will have plenty of time to pay taxes,insurance and such when he gets out of school and starts his career in mechanical engineering.Any professional "grass cutter" should leave the high school and college kids alone.And if they are worried they will lose business to that age group then they have bigger worries.
  4. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,345

    He wont have a career if someone gets hurt and he has no insurance....Do you know what happens if an Illegal business has no insurance and some kid gets seriously hurt or god forbid killed? Not only will the LCO be sued the homeowner could also become liable. I dont care how old an illegal business owner is, its just plain stupid. Would you let your kid drive without a license or insurance?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. ExmarkBoy

    ExmarkBoy LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 154

    I love Taco Bell, so I'd say it was a win-win :laugh:
  6. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,358

    MMMMMMMM!!!! Yo quiero Taco Bell!
  7. sehitchman

    sehitchman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,005

    Three years ago I lost an account to a mow n blow guy. I was at $45 and the new guy quoted $25, she asked me to match, but I didn’t want it that bad. We remained friendly and I waved and smiled, occasionally stopping to talk if I saw them out.
    Today she txt me asking for a price to cut two 20’ Crepe Myrtles (12” at the base) and trim bushes. I go by and look over the job, even though I was pretty familiar with the yard and work required. I’ve noticed that the mow n blow guy was not making the yard look as sharp as she always asked me to do so I asked “how’s your yard guy doing?” She said he’s not doing so great and he raised the price to $45 this year.
    I quoted $450 for the bush trimming, tree removal and stump grinding. Her jaw dropped and I knew she thought I was way high. We parted company after small talk and I told her I’d email her a firm quote this evening.
    Thought about it for awhile, and put this together.
    Dear Customer, I know you were surprised at my quote, how about this.
    If you allow me to do the regular maintenance next season on your yard for $55 per cut, I’ll discount the tree and bush trimming to $350, just let me know when to start. Also, if you need yard maintenance this season, I’d be happy to take care of it. I got the job along with maintenance for next season. So, $100 in advertizing has brought me and estimated $1500 in new business for the next 12 months.

    So, don't just give up if they don't like your price, there are advantages to offering full service. :usflag:
  8. JMK26

    JMK26 LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Missouri
    Messages: 3,283

    I guess I'll just not file taxes this year and tell the IRS that I have plenty of time to pay taxes in 4 years when I add a couple crews and expand into landscaping. When I hit a customer,car or window with a rock I'll just let them know I have plenty of time to pay insurance when I'm bigger and they'll just have to deal with it for now.

    As I clearly stated, I can take a hit from the occasional college boy, but can he and his family take the hit when he breaks a window or hits someone with a rock? Can he take a hit from the IRS when they come knockin to explain the $800 a week he makes for 4 years?

    Age or school status doesn't dictate the laws..."You shall pay taxes unless you go to college" isn't really a defense on dodging taxes.

    brag about the kid all you want, being a future mechanical engineer isn't that big of a deal and doesn't warrant him dodging taxes and insurance now.

    Most guys on here take running a business seriously, you can place "grass cutters" in quotes as an insult if you would like, but most of us don't cut grass, we own a business, and either currently or have plans in place to expand into more than mowing for you to assume it's only cutting grass shows the ignorance and lack of respect for the guys doing it legally.....brag about your son all you want, but the bottom line is he is breaking the law.

    When a LCO on this sight talks about the laws and regulations, it isn't out of fear that some pissant college boy is going to steal our work....it's to save the kid time and money and hassle by letting them know the right way to do it.
  9. BckYrdLmbrJk

    BckYrdLmbrJk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 240

    Went and did an estimate late spring. The yard was a good size residential yard in a development, but most of it was this overgrown jungle of baby trees and bushes, grapevines and wild crap that the people had never taken care of, so the mowing area wasn't too crazy. The beds were out of control with weeds and everything just crazy overgrown looked like crap. And someone had started mowing it, but it looked like their mower broke halfway through. I thought "oh boy"

    I kind of knew the deal and figured I'd go in as low as I could. Remember, not a very big area that's actually mowed. Told the woman $40 +tax, 3x a month (10 day schedule). She waved her pointer finger side to side at me and said "Oh No No No No, That is wayyy too much. The other guy did it for Twennnty Dollllarrs." I said "Well why don't you have him cut it if he does it for $20." The woman responds "Oh no no no, he can not, he got a job at Duncan Donuts."

    I explained to her "Probably because you can't make a living mowing lawns for $20. It cost me more than $20 just to drive here." She tells me "You just have to cut the grass" to which I told her "I"m sorry I can't do that." She says "Okay okay, You do it for Thiirrrrrty Dolllllarrrs". "I can do it for $40 plus sales tax." Gave her one of my cards. "Thank you and have a nice day"

    Hilarious waste of my time and gas.

    You can't beat these stories. Sure it sucks, whatcha gonna do.
  10. trooper8870

    trooper8870 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 241

    At least you guys are getting to bid properties and then get low balled. Around here you can't get in the door to even bid because the property managers already know they are getting work done for pocket change. I know of other legitimate business that have been undercut 40 to 60 percent on commercial accounts. The commercials here don't even ask for insurance proof or business license proof. They just let them get on their mowers and go. One thing is for sure. The " low baller " will soon be out but 3 more will start up. It's a never ending cycle. We have a couple of low baller companies around here that will suck up all industrial jobs. They will mow them a year or two, go out of business , file bankruptcy, hide equipment and then start back up in a year or so and start the process all over. You know the type, send 5 guys and 4 mowers to a 10 acre property and cut it for 300.00.
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