so I guess Iam a lowballer too ???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by j&c, Jan 5, 2005.

  1. the reason I say this is had a new customer call and request an estimate on their 1/2 or less lot so I go and look it over and time how long it takes for me to walk the trim lines you know around the house and fence and the 2 Bradford pears they have mind you this was for lawn service only per customer the maint. on the bed and the shrubs will be a separate deal. well to make a long story short I go back to the shop with the info I gathered and come up with a fig of $40 a cut once per week or $45 every other week. send customer the quote he calls and says he wants to do this and says bring the contract and give a quote on the shrubs and other so when spring comes we can start. unknown to me is the price the other guy was charging was $60 per cut and he wouldn't trim but around the house. I don't feel bad about my quote it was average for us on this size but the other guy who had it calls and cusses and fusses :realmad: that I low-balled to take his client from him and that my friend is not true by no means how would you guys handle this would you keep the cust. or move on don't want no problems didn't mean to take no ones cust. the h\o was tired of poor service that was what he told me..... :help:
    I've been in this for 15+ years never had this problem before why now?
  2. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    WOW! 1/3 lower than what the homeowners been paying. I think you need to figure a way to get some more money out of this guy since he's use to paying it. I would suggest you go in higher than you planned with the shrub work and sell him on a fert program. Remember this guys been shelling out $60 a wk for work he did not think was good just imagine what he would pay for exceptional quality

  3. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    Low-balling is when you know what they were paying and offered to do it cheaper.

    There is two possibilities here. 1) this other guy was cheating this guy and way over charging him. Thus is the reason he is upset. You just stoled his gravy account. 2) Even being in the business for 15 years. You might not know your market value. I have seen it with guys that never compared prices and just thought that x amount of money was good, but in reality they were cutting themselves short. If enough guys do this then the market starts to come down. Do you land over 75% off your cold calls?

    If you know that your price is usually in the middle then you are right on and I wouldn't worry about this guy.
  4. PaulJ

    PaulJ LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,774

    I don't think you lowballed. Lowballing isn't just a lower price, it's when someone goes after an account at any cost. They "will beat any price" as some say. For some that's there whole business strategy. You put some though into your quote and charge what you feel is fair. It just happened to be lower than the last guy, Nest time it might be higher. the last guy may have been what is called a high baller. They will milka job for every penny then move on without looking back.
  5. Q: Do you land over 75% off your cold calls?
    A: no not hardly out of the last 5 only got 1
    I have several cuts that are $25 for a 30'x100' lots in trailer parks reason so high most are cut with a 21" mower with little trim. the average for most residential lots we have are between $35-$40 a cut I have 2 that are in the $60-$65 range
    as far as our market value we are right in line for our coverage area we charge more than most and less than some from what I've been hearing from some of my comp. lcos that I discuss bus. with and trust pretty good we try to stay in the same range to kinda even out the territory.
    I guess it just kinda upset me that the other lco would act so un pro over a definate quality issue from what I saw sure I've lost cust. to cheaper lcos and flybys but never acted this way and the reality of it is most of the custs came back because of the Quality (this account came by w.o.m.from existing cust.)
    as for olderthandirts suggestion yes my shrubs and leaf jobs/maint. rates are pretty high but I stress QUALITY and that keeps em coming back have had no crybabies or pain in the rears I do what I say I will Do nothing more nothing less.
    I do not Haggle on my prices take or leave it .
  6. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    It sounds like you already knew the answer to your question. Let the guy be mad and move on. I wouldn't pass on the client. Chances are he isn't going to keep the other guy regardless, after finding out he has been getting screwed all this time.
  7. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    i think the other guy is an idiot for even calling you.
  8. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 6,183

    This raises some good questions. Is it low-balling to bid under the highest bidders in town? So if the range of prices for a 1/2 acre lot vary from 30 to 60 per cut at what rate do you cease being a low-baller?

    I have been doing this for over two century's and I'll be darned if I have any idea what most guys are getting for similar size lot's . Even the few guys I know are EXTREMELY RELUCTANT to share any pricing info for fear that if anybody finds out what they are bidding they will get under bid, or maybe it's because they are embarrassed because like me have not been able to significantly raise prices from what they were twenty years ago. When ever I raise any pricing questions the conversation become's suddenly evasive as if it is a trade secret or something.

    As far as the original thread goes , if you are twenty dollars lower I would say it might be time to do market research. I see a big need for me to do this also. Did you low-ball the guy? By a broad definition I would say yes, would I worry about it, no.
  9. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,381

    Lowballing is when you knowingly underbid on a property. If you had no idea what the customer was paying before you made the bid then you gave him an honest bid for the work.

    Don't worry about the other LCO. He was probably shafting the customer on the price and got caught. It sounds like he was doing low quality work anyway and the customer wasn't satisfied.
  10. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Exactly. And don't worry about the other guy.

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