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Prices Differences In The North, South, East & West USA

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MMLawn, Apr 2, 2006.

  1. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

    Just something that I recently saw that showed me first hand the price differences for our profession in different areas of the good old USA :usflag: and thought I would share it for discussion and thought. However I am not posting this to argue about which areas prices are "right", because I think they all are right (except of course the lowballers) for the area you are in, but at the same time that doesn't mean what is right in NC will work in say PA and this bid just showed me that it is a fact.

    A couple months back I attended a pre-bid conference for a three year commercial account in the western part of the State here in NC. Now, the bidder I am going to reference was from a Northern state that had just very recently (within weeks) moved here to NC. He was an fulltime LCO owner there and was trying to stay in the business here in NC following his move here. Now, I am in NO WAY saying ANYTHING negative at all about this fellow bidder. As a matter of fact I took a few minutes to speak with him after the meeting and he seemed like a very nice fellow and like he knew the business well. I am ONLY using him and the bid to show that there really is a difference in the market prices for the same services in different areas of the country. Like I said I'm sure after talking with him he knew what he was doing so that played no part in his bid being higher, I'm certain that it was because he was brand new to this market and he bid it based on his former market.

    There were 6 companies invited to bid. As a matter of fact three of us had bid against each other two other times within the past three weeks even. All six companies submitted bids. Five of us were all in the high thirty thousand dollar range (around $36K-$39K) with all of the five basically being within a couple thousand dollars of each other. His bid was in the low seventy thousand dollar ($70K) range.

    Like I said I really believe he was a serious bidder and knew what he was doing and submitted what he thought was a very good and competitive bid....BUT it was based on market prices 700 miles away and it was drastically more than all the others because of that.
  2. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    Good thread, and I totally agree with what you are saying. No doubt that seasoned lawn companies that know their costs, could all meet in a central location in the U.S., and bid the same property at totally differently prices. Due to the fact that markets ARE entirely different throughout the U.S.
  3. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    Which also ties into the long thread that Bobby started about "too large of yard to bid" or whatever the title was.

    BUT, you know, it can be that way on a property that everyone's familiar with too.

    The school that I mow, 3 of us were within $1,000, right around $35,000. 1 guy was at $40,000, one company at $72,000 and one company came in at $105,000 for the year for about 40 acres / week to mow / trim.
  4. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    Great subject but you should have included what is happening in ALL regions because of lowballing.
    What are the prices payed today against the prices payed 10 yrs ago for the same property and adjust for inflation and cost of living
  5. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    You're dead on with that comment.

    I was discussing this with another LCO on Friday.

    This will be my 18th year. This will be his 16th year.

    When I first started out, he was badmouthing me to everyone, saying I was a lowballer.

    Just like any good business man, I gradually raised my prices, but now for the last few years I've kept them fairly steady, seeing as I was starting to lose about 20% / year, plus only gaining about 30% of my quotes that I dropped off, I figured I was at the rough ceiling for the prices in my area.

    Now, he's telling me that he can't make $100 / hour with 3 guys running, which is what I was charging for a 3 man crew 7-8 years ago when I had 7 guys working for me.

    I told him that I average between $75 - $100 / hour myself, running solo, and that it looks like he might be the low guy on the totem pole now.

    But, I'll agree with you OTD, the longer you're in this business, even if you don't raise your prices and were the low bid to begin with, pretty soon, everyone's looking at you like you're rolling in the dough.
  6. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

    Yep, no doubt prices all around are down as a whole from 10 years ago.
  7. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    But I would sure like to know the % when you calculate in cost of living or/and inflation. If everything had stayed the same price the green industry services for the most part have went down. now add in the others and figure out just how far down they dropped. I don't know, but I bet it at or over 50%
  8. hole in one lco

    hole in one lco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,793

    well ill let you know how i do im staying in north east ohio for one more season. I will be coming down south NC SC or GA dont know yet. I will bring my comp with me and all that i know and my golf clubs my reason for leaving i HATE SNOW always have and always will.
  9. CuttinUP

    CuttinUP LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 337

    I couldn't agree with you more. This is only my second year in the business, but I learned enough off of here and from others before I ever started about charging the right amount for the job. But I would say that across the country it probably varies up and down about 40% each way. Just for instance, a neighborhood that I do work in and all of the homes are on 5 acre lots, I bid on mowing one of them last year and I lost it because a lco (so called) was doing it for 80.00 a cut. I won't drive to her house for 80.00. I bid it at 150.00 and felt like I was a low baller afterwords until she told me that I was to high and she was going to keep the guy that was doing it for 80.00. Like she thought she could get it even cheaper then 80.00. The guy didn't show up for 3 weeks and then she called me to see if I could cut it for her one time until she got a hold of the guy and I told her that I would be glad to cut it once for her for 250.00. She didn't say anything for a few seconds and then said I will call you back after I talk with my husband, never heard any more from her. Another lawn that I would cut from time to time when they would go out of town I was cutting for 32.00 @ cut. I found out last week that she has a guy cutting it every week now for 15.00 @ cut. I just laughed and said just wait until he slings a rock and hits your Lexus. The sad part is that this guy and all low ballers will not be here in the business next year and this lady and many others are then accustom to this pricing and then when we give a competitive price for a job they look at us like we are out of are minds. But what are you going to do?:confused:
  10. Dunlaps LawnCare

    Dunlaps LawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 400

    well for pa what would u charge for lawncare i never know what to charge

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