Lowballer gets Lowballed

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by johndeereguy, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. johndeereguy

    johndeereguy LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 220

    Well, I am sure I could be called a lowballer by the majority of guys on here, or my competition. Well I guess it has now happened to me, twice. I have been mowing two airports in my area over the past few years. One of them is 40 acres and the other is 17 acres. You can look at my equipment and know these are nothing out of normal for me to cut. I was mowing the 40 acre one for $550 per mowing, and bid that same price again. Got outbid by another guy, for $310 per mowing. He mows with an old 72" outfront Deere. The 17 acre airport I was getting $5000 grand per year, averaging 22 mows a year. Got out bid by a local guy for $3500. I am not sure wheather to be upset or mad, or say good luck and have fun, see ya next year.
  2. ExtExc

    ExtExc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 204

    theyll back next year, after he isnt able to profit on those accounts. that or hell stop doing them and they will call you.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    We have a small, local airport with who knows how many acres of grass, but it's a whole lot of it and when I say grass
    I mean it won't fit in several shots of the camera no matter the angle, but anyhow they contract this out as well.

    To my knowledge, nobody has ever mowed those fields with anything but a tractor,
    talk to the right people and mention a Ztr and they'll tell you upfront you don't want to
    mess with that, poke around some more and they'll tell you dude, it's the wrong equipment. :p

    The other reason is price, what you mentioned appears to be the going rate around here as well,
    so I don't consider you a lowballer, when it's just the going rate for that kind of work, I have to accept that.

    As for being so severely outbid...
    I would call the person in charge, and inform them that if things don't work out with the
    new contract, that you can and would be more than willing to pick things up pro-rate mid-season,
    and for the price you quoted, just in case (and it might go without saying, if it does then sorry).

    Because there's a half a chance that guy won't make it to June, if he lasts that long.
    That's probably the worst of it, now if he's still around next year and still doing it for that price, worry.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2009
  4. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    Just wait until gas goes back up and see how his interest in doing charity work goes away.

    WTF are people thinking. Oh I know, they aren't. I know you are pretty low also but I know nothing of your operation and my assumption is you have been making a profit and paying your bills on 13.75 an acre. More power to ya. How long did it take to do these jobs?
    Back on the gas question, did you feel a pinch when gas was at $4.00 a gallon? You had to be close to pulling the pin then. I hope you replace these jobs with something. Take care.
  5. johndeereguy

    johndeereguy LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 220

    Thanks guys for the comments. As for time, I could do the big one in 5.5 hours and the smaller one in 2-2.5 hrs. As far as gas prices, I contract or prepurchase my fuel ahead. I already have bought all the fuel I will use this year, so my price won't go up. I have told both of the places that I am just a phone call away and would be happy to take over when these guys are not getting the job done. Also, like i have always said, getting into the mwoing/lawn care business is the easiest thing to do for joe blow. Go get a mower, a trimmer and trailer and your a business. I will just keep doing what I do and hope to not loose any more accounts.

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