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Market in my area...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by FinalCut05, Nov 4, 2005.

  1. FinalCut05

    FinalCut05 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    I have a difficult problem. Every estimate I do I try and bid according to what I have seen on this site and people I have talked to, but the actual prices other lco's give is always way way below that. Should I stick with my "fair" prices or be like every one else and low ball the crap out of the job? Just today I had a guy call me about leaf removal for a half acre lot, went and took a look at the prop. and there were probably 25 40' oak and maple trees and the leaves were
    4" thick and I bid $65 per load and he went with some one who would do the whole thing for $40!!! Its so frustrating.
    Thanks for any input
  2. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,413

    only use the info on here as a guideline , dont use anyones exact figures . you will have to feel out your market and bid accordingly . some people on here can get $80.00 per acre and others like me can only get $40.00 . it all depends on your particular area . imo try to figure how much profit % you want to make , then figure the property at what you need to break even , then add your % in and you should be in the ball park . come up with a minimum also , mine is $25.00 i dont drop the ramps for anything less.
  3. Ol'time Lawncare

    Ol'time Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 497

    Ummmm, feel it out . but i wouldn't go hungry.But once you GIVE your prize , never change it, walk away!
  4. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,413

    by the way the way i see it lowballing isnt really lowballing . it is simply that you can perform a service cheaper than another lco and still make money . now if average joe takes my 50.00 job from me for 20.00 then he really aint makin no money by the time he spends time and gas there and gas in the equipment he just wants to say he has 200 accounts then that "is" lowballing .
  5. LawnScenes

    LawnScenes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 177

    We call those guys "cutters" around here. They cut your throat every chance they get for beer money and to fill the antique they are working out of up. I had a guy steal a decorative wall job from me a couple of months ago. He bid it at a $250.00 profit after costs of material. The home owner showed me the qoute and wanted to know if I could do it for that... I told her I hope he does a good job and good luck with it.

    I charge $55 for most lawns when it comes to leaf removal in a gated community local to me... 3500+ homes on 1/4 acre to 1/2 lots there so I get quite a bit of calls and all of the jobs are within 10 minutes drive of each other. Other areas I actually go and take a look at the yard. I get "well my neighbor had a guy do it just yesterday for 25" all the time in the gated community. They usually have me do it since I'm there though. Or let me schedule a time to come back and do it. I haven't started any this year however. Just placed my 4 week ad last week to run the first print today. Since the trees are still 90% full of leaves, hopefully I'll beat the cutters to the punch since I advertised early enough. I'll know by the end of the weekend if anyone bites. Do you offer anything else with leaf romoval? Like aeration and "winterizing"? I usually find both of them very easy to sell with the leaf removal.
  6. lawn_pro

    lawn_pro LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 284

    stick to your instinct and price, things have finally started to get better around here-it took about three years for the market to recover from a low-balling lco. they had about ten crews running around town, then all the sudden they were gone.....out of business..companies that don't charge enough never make it, ever. i talked to this guy at his auction, he told me he would under-bid large commercial accounts "just to keep his guys busy".....makes no sense at all. i guess what i am saying is, stick it out-sooner or later it will work if you put in the time and effort and charge accordingly.
  7. kleankutslawn

    kleankutslawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,185

    there are other things to keep in mind,if you don't have the proper equipment to do a job it will take longer &your price will be higher than the guy with the proper equipment.
  8. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    this is why you need to have an "angle". bidding the jobs, doing the work, and geting paid......you will never get ahead. my 2 most recent bids= both leaf jobs. #1- i bid $375 + tax with curbside disposal. lady replied, "wow, i had i guy out yesterday, said he would do the entire job, AND take it away....for $150." i said, "man, if i had to take this crap away too, it'd cost you $1100." #2- bid job + disposal for $650+tax. the homeowner said, "the last guy did all that for $250." i know, i know, your common reply would be, "well, where is the LAST GUY?" it don't matter, he's gone, and there are a dozen other "last guys" waiting in line to do these jobs at a loss. my advice to you is simple, find out what u can do, and can't do. maybe leaf cleanup in your area is just not something you can do at a profit.
  9. op4_camper

    op4_camper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 99

    That is some of the best advice I have heard. so simple and yet...
  10. FinalCut05

    FinalCut05 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    Thanks for all the replies. I just have to have a better angle and approach when I do estimates.

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