Pricing---too low

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Edgewater, Apr 6, 2003.

  1. Edgewater

    Edgewater LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 457

    I know that everyone here hates it when guys undercut intentionally, but what do you think about this situation?

    One of my competitors is getting $120 a month for 10,000-15,000 square foot lot's that take 25-30 minutes to cut. I bid the same, I get some and some I don't.

    My question is, if a lawn is the same size, nut really simple, has no fence, can run ztr all aroung the house and very little work with the 21, how does that lawn justify the same cost when it can be cut in half the time.

    I bid the simple lawns around $90-100 a month and later find out the other guy was getting $120. I am not trying to undercut, but they just don't seem worth that much

    Should I bid on square feet or time.

    Also a general question. the prices you guys are posting are they tax in or plus tax?
  2. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    His costs may be alot more then yours. He may have more money in equipment. He might have to rent a shop. Maybe he performs other services then you and needs to carry higher insurance because of it, like tree work.

    OOORRRRR, maybe you're not covering all your costs and are on the low end. Only you know if you're making a profit AFTER considering ALL costs.
  3. Edgewater

    Edgewater LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 457

    I think that we (my comp and I ) are at the same price point on a 15,000 sq ft lawn that takes 30 min to cut.

    I'm wondering if you guys charge less for 15,000 that takes 20 min, or do you charge the same because it's 15K.]

    He seems to price an easy lot the same as one with heavy plantings.

  4. Every time you use your mower, you’re wearing it out. Included in all of your overhead, should be a fund to replace your ZTR over time. So if your prices are based purely on time, eventually you’ll only have a worn out mower to show for it. Hint, think PROFIT and charge full price.
  5. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    That's the flaw with charging only by square footage. It's not accurate. You'd be low on some, high on others.

    I think time based bidding is better, for that reason. From experience, I can eyeball them pretty well. Only really large properties require measuring to make sure my eyeball is accurate.

    I can do wide open thin growing Tall Fescue rectangle lots on my ZTR for maybe 1/4 the price per foot as a manicured healthy, irrigated Bermuda lawn on a hill with formal bed borders and curbs, and nooks and crannies to trim, that I have to use a 32" wb on. So per-foot bidding wouldn't work for me at all.
  6. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    This is what I would charge for those sizes:

    $120 a month for weekly service ($30 per mow)

    $180 a month for weekly service ($45 per mow)

    I just recently switched over to a square foot scale this season because I used to just eye ball it and give it an estimate. But with the square foot scale it seems more accurate, cover my costs more, and its not biased.

    But of course my square foot scale might not be current to others because everybody lives in different areas where prices differ greatly. Like I said before in a previous post, we really can't compare lawn prices exactly and say that one guy is charging too low or too high because there are so many variables. The location (small city/large city), income area, grass species, etc.
    I personally live in a smaller city, so my prices might seem much lower to someone else living in a larger city area.
  7. KerryB

    KerryB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 661

    I too have been using the sq ft method. It has worked very well. I do charge on a scale as to how hard the prop is to mow.
    I dont give price breaks for more acreage like some but if the mowing is fairly easy then I price less per sq ft.
  8. Eastview Landscaping

    Eastview Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    If you are charging $30 per mow on 10,000 sq.ft. what are u charging to trim , edge & blow after finished mowing???
  9. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    $30 each mow includes mowing, trimming, and blowing...up here in the north edging doesn't have to be done every week because most of our grasses are grow with rhizomes, not stolons. So we don't have grass creeping all the time.

    Like I said in my post, it all depends in the area where you live. The size of the city, income etc. You can't compare apples to oranges.

Share This Page