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lowballed so bad i laughed - twice

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Brendan Smith, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. Brendan Smith

    Brendan Smith LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    welcome to my week

    some people i know bought a trailer park (not a junky one) and needed someone to cut the grass. all bahia. i tried to call them and never heard back. ran into the owner, and asked him what a guy has to do to get a return phone call. he laughed and said a guy is doing it for $100.00 and he didn't want to insult me by asking me to compete againt that. the place is about 18 acres and the scrub does no string trimming. he shows up every 2 weeks (all bahia grass, looks terrible by the time he gets there). owner said it takes the guy about 12 hrs total time. wtf? how can you even pay for gas with that? i'm sure there is no ins, lic, etc involved here but even so?

    next one - picked up a yard this spring, people just moved in, lawn was a wreck. got it in shape, fert, double cuts when needed, cleaned beds, etc. last night the owner's mother calls (mother and father-in-law live there also because they are too old to live by themselves) and tells me that there is a problem with their irrigation system and the only way the guy who used to handle it will fix it is if they let him do the yard too. she tells me they are really happy with the work we've done and that they hate to lose us...again, wtf? we maintained the lawn at their old house at a discount (favor for another acct. who is related to them, LAST TIME FOR THAT SH**) all of last season and were doing it this year until the house could sell. i told her that i wasn't impressed with the guy's strong-arm tactics and that i am sure there are people who can repair the irrigation system without forcing her to commit to other business. she tells me that she is not the decision maker and that owners have their mind made up. i explained that the cancellation puts me in a bind, as i have them scheduled for saturday and that is not a fair amount of time to give notice. i also explained that i have time alloted for them all season which i now have to find a way to fill.
    during the conversation, i get her to admit the guy did not give them a set price, but will work for $5.00/hr "BUT ONLY IF IT'S CASH". i told her (nicely i may add) that i could no longer service the other property at the reduced rate and it would now be "x" dollars. unacceptable to her. so we parted ways.

    sorry if i'm rambling, but how can these people survive :dizzy: ? I know they won't for long, but it's still frustrating as hell. at least i can laugh at their upcoming starvation.

    venting complete
  2. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    It's like that here... idiots everywhere.
  3. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,613

    Stick to your guns though, some will accept your prices.

    Just last week I did a small sod install for this lady, gave her the bill and we parted ways. Next week I drop by to see how the sod is doing, make sure it isnt dead and she asks me how much to do my lawn? I.E. mow, etc. I told her 80 and she said "well, that seems a little high. My guy now does it for 65" I just stopped and stared at her torn up grass and the ruts and wheel marks and the overall garbage work the 65 dollars had gotten her. She called this week and I will now be servicing her property. Some understand, some dont.
  4. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    The REAL shame is on the property owners .... when that cutter fubar's something on the trailer park property or hurts someone he'll be gone
  5. dkeisala

    dkeisala LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 911

    I've had people tell me that I'm unreasonably expensive on more than one occasion. Even an old family friend has said that if I lowered my prices, I'd get more work. My response was "that's like going into a Mercedes dealership and saying you really liked the quality of their cars but they just ask too damn much money for them. If they'd just lower the price, they'd probably sell far more."

    Back in the day when I charged less than half what I do today, I had people tell me I charged way too much. Doesn't matter if you charge $10/hr or $100/hr, you'll always find someone that will tell you charge way too much at any rate.
  6. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 8,822

    I was lowballed by a idiot who did 8 acres for 100$. He is still doing the job after 3 years. He does nice work. He just has no business sense.
  7. 1PRO

    1PRO LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    Let him do the stressing while you move on to better propertys...he's paying the client not the client paying him..if you have some spare time during lunch report him to the county for storing commerical equipment in a residential zone and then make some calls to the proper taxes agenys.
  8. Brendan Smith

    Brendan Smith LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    not even worth it. i kind of feel sorry for the trailer park guy. the one who stole my other yard, not so much. his personal hell will be cutting satan's lawn with a 12" push reel mower and 12" tall bahia for all eternity i hope.
  9. 1PRO

    1PRO LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    I understand but some one who is working for free needs to be taken out or just let him figure that hes the man untill the county sends him a violation then he will have to get a shop thats zoned for lcos to do business..he wont be under cutting for long.
  10. Brendan Smith

    Brendan Smith LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    around here, if you are not working within city limits, you are not required to have a license. i figure let the poor bast*** figure it out when he has less cash at the end of the day than when he started. another moe joe hits the flo :laugh:

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