Lowballers are alive and well

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DuraCutter, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 806

    Here in Alberta, the economy is so hot, house prices are jumping 5 to 10% a month, and have been doing so for a couple of years. It's so bad, a simple 2 bedroom bungalow is like $400k to $500k and jumping. sick.

    But even with this and very healthy jumps in lawncare prices, I got skewered by a couple of guys on a condo bid. It's a 65 unit townhouse with approx. 14 acres + or -. I bid $9000./mth because they want only 21" mowers and have back yards, gates etc... fussy people.

    The other guys bid $1,900/mth...holly sh#t... I don't think these guys understand that there is tons of money around here... seems they are hell bent on losing tons of potential profit.

    Anyways, the lowballers exist even where they should know better. :hammerhead:
  2. Tom c.

    Tom c. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 218

    They probably wont be around too long. Send them a nice return letter telling them if they reguire your services in the future call you. Good luck:dizzy:
  3. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    I would like to hear what the other bids were. Thats a gigantic difference, I'm surprised the condo assoc. went with some one soooo low, to me that would say they have no idea what they are doing and I would think they would realize that company cant possibly keep up with their price.
  4. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    7100 a month difference Holy Mow!
    I am thinking that you know what you are doing and they aren't. If your bid is a decent one (meaning that others will be in your general range + or - a few hundred) then don't sweat these idiots. You know as well as I that they will be tied up here and will not be able to work at other places. They will find out that beer money isn't so easy to make.
    Condo's like this are bad news because of the "fussy people factor" and you are right to bid it up. I personally wouldn't touch anything that required 21" mowers exclusively but thats me. Let us know when these jellyheads finally quit showing up, I know there will probably be a group that replaces them but you can't feel too bad because at least you will still be in business next season.
  5. 1cooltreeguy

    1cooltreeguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 630

    We were awarded a contract as the high bidders this year. a 10 acre condo hoa. on the beach. The president of the assocaition showed me the other bids and I could not believe my ears as he said "we have decided to sign with you." the lowest bid was $1,100 a mo. cheaper and the pres. said that the HOA's feeling was that they did not comprehend what the HOA wanted - Go figure - A HOA that actually thinks instead of going with the low bid.
  6. wbkuhler

    wbkuhler LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    We have those situations here in MO also.

    We bid on some accounts that go with the cheapest bid no matter what. They dont care about licensing, insurance, etc. Just want whoever is the cheapest.

    Then we also have others that choose our bid because they know our work and us as people and take our bid even if it is the highest. They know we do a good job and that they can work with us without any problems and to them that is worth the extra money.

    Different strokes for different fokes is all it is.
  7. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 806

    I got lucky and met the board member at a trade show I'm in this weekend.
    I talked to him about the bids and he said to them it does'nt matter if the guy is out to lunch, they'll see how long he can do it and if he quits, they'll just get the next in line.

    Out of all the bids, I was the highest. It's a long cut, tough to please customer with all 21" mowers. I figured 6 guys for maybe 6 hours. That's 36man hours at $25/hr , so that's roughly 900 hundred, then gas, misc., business expenses, and you're into $1,200 easy. That's why I was at about $2,400 per week/1 cut.

    The next guy was 1/2 of me and then the other ones around $1,900/mth.

    If a guy can't make at least 1/2 profit on a job, what's the use.

    It's funny, today I got the go ahead for another condo, that one has postage size grass everywhere, one of the newer developments where they don't waste much space, and I got that one for $1,950/mth. It's probably 1/6th or less the amount of grass. Obviously, the lowballers didn't get wind of that one...lol...
  8. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 806

    They'll be working hard for that beer :drinkup: haha... You're right, that projects keeps them busy, out of the way and they'll get fed up soon enough whey they can't even buy draft :)

    Fussy condo's are a pita. I figure middle summer, they'll be gone from there. :walking:

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