The other guy charged me ?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by coonman, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. coonman

    coonman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 686

    We all know the times where the customer tries to get your price down because the other guy only charged $25 and you are bidding $30. This sometimes works in our favor. We were bidding on a new lawn yesterday, walked the lawn and was prepared to bid $25 per mow. We have several lawns in this area, all around $25-30. She was explaining that she had been using another guy for the past two years, but he quit so she called us. She said he was doing it for $35 per mow and could we do it for that? We said yes and she was thrilled, I guess she was expecting we would go up. This has happened a couple of other times. Anybody else had this happen?
  2. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    I have had many potential customers play the price game before. I had one lady want me to price out her lawn, another LCO was taking care of it, and I said $30, since it was right across the street for two of my customers.

    She then goes on to tell me, "well, xyz does it for $20." So I tell her, "well maybe you should stick with them, because I can't do it for that price."

    She was just floored that I wouldn't even budge on the price. Sorry but not thanks. Even if she is right across from two of my customers, I am bending over for this one
  3. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 487

    I just had one about a week ago call me (this is one of my snow plowing accounts that got a letter indicating i was staring in the lawn care). She said that the timing was right seeing how the other guy retired, anyway i was about to price her out at $25 very small lot but she said that she paid the other gut $35 i'm learning to keep quiet till they say a price that thy used to pay and adjust from there.
  4. greengiant9963

    greengiant9963 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 762

    I always try to get the price of the last company that was there before me. Has worked good for the most part.
  5. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    I get lucky every now and again and get a raise before i even start. Iv'e had a few that when I tell them it will be $30 a week, they say how bout $35? A couple I have are a certian price per cut per week, I send them the bill but they always make the check out for about $5 more per week!

    Or when giving a bid and fianlly getting down to the price and finding that I bit exactly what the last guy was doing it for. If they were unhappy with them and were looking for someone new, most likely they aren't going to complain if they find someone to do it for the same $$.

    I'd always like to know what the last guy was charging, but only if the guy is no longer in business or something. I do not want to really know if I'm bidding against them. It only takes one person to hear that you practice that way and you are dubbed a lowballer. "hey, what's your lco charging, well I will do it for 5 bucks less". Fine for the customers, but a good way to make all your fellow lawn guys hate your guts and badmouth you to everyone! I'd like to remain friends with as many as possible...
  6. Skookum

    Skookum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 675

    Listening is a key. I have the gift of gab. I love to find out why they are looking for new LCO. As, I listen, I start determining how much more to add to quote.

    Best one was a 30,000 sq ft property, but only about 3,000 sq ft of lawn to be mowed. Owner had little paths all over the place from one patch of turf to another. Wild weeds and wild flowers, 3-4 feet tall here and there some in the middle of the turf areas even. Cannot see turf from road, but wanted me to stop by every week and mow only if needed. Have to back in across a angling small bridge off of a busy state highway. Showed me what not to mow over and which weeds were his favorites. He had logs standing up right, here and there, he told me he moved the logs around to cover up and kill dandelions and of course there was dead round spots all over from this handy trick. I could just imagine the weekly obstacle course.

    So, finding out that he had been paying $25.00, I seen my chance. I gave him a price of $75.00. He said OK. I about fell over. To this day it is my most profitable property. Plus the bi-weekly obstacle course is like a refresher training course. :cool2:

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