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Uncdercut on the one you were making fun of me for

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 1styear, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. 1styear

    1styear LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    Ok, so anyone who saw my thread, Help me ! srs res saw that I picked up a bunch of yards real quick way too cheap. Well guess what.

    Another yard that I gave an estimate for which I thought was a sure thing wasn't.. it's huge too and it would've been the biggest one that I had for another $130 a week but was undercut today by an old man on some ancient machine. I was in a different vehicle than my work trucks so I drove through the driveway of this customer which is a pretty long drive.. up to the customer's front door. No cars, customer was gone so I turned around and the old man waves at me.

    Here's what I saw. His machine was grey from like late 80s or very early 90s something I guess. It looked to be a 42-46" cut. It only had 1 wheel in the back that looked like it swiveled and it had a metal box on the discharge side. It looked like a bagger but there's no way this guy was bagging but sure enough he was bagging grass!!! This has got to be the worst thing I have ever seen in all my 2 weeks as a professional grass cutter.

    He was there cutting for at least 4 hours and there is no way he's done becaue I went by there at 5pm and there's just no way after seeing how far he was and having no idea what time he got there. He was moving at a pace slower than a normal walk. Like the pace you might walk if you were tired as heck and were in no hurry walking speed. He was strolling, that's the word.
  2. lauchlan mcconnell

    lauchlan mcconnell LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    mate, all i can say is the company that makes viagra has a lot to answer for , these old guy wake up before the sun rises and work all day on the smell of grannys nickers

    Mowing grass down under
  3. Littleriver1

    Littleriver1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 811

    First, you don't know how much he is making on this. Just because he is cutting it doesn't mean he bid under you. It may be the owners just like the idea of him being their yard guy. Second, this may be all this guy has going for him in life and here you come trying to take it away from him. I say, go talk to him and make a new friend. I think that is a lot of todays problems, young people don't have any older friends and older people need to be informed of the inter workings of the mind of young. Thirdly, in business, you should never hate some one just because you see them as having something you feel should be yours. There is plenty for all in America. It is not a pie to share. It is wealth to be produced. Go learn something from that old fart and use it to produce some wealth for yourself.
  4. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    you mean the lowballer got lowballed, and your complaining, now thats funny.
  5. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,987

    It is funny how when someone lose3s a job , they automaticly assume its because of price.

    A few yrs back I did a survey of all customers we installed irrigation for that season. We had them list importance on a scale of 1-5 . 1 being the most mportant.
    On price the average answer was 4-5 ( least important)
    On felt comfortable with contractor working on my property always came in as #1 ( most important)
  6. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    The thing is, this guy isn't a kid. I believe he's in his late 20's. What he needs to be doing is making sure he has everything in order as a business and not worry about others. 2 weeks as a professional? That's funny. It's going to take more then 2 weeks to become a PRO at even cutting grass. Your still in lowballer mode buddy. The old guy has been around a lot longer then you my friend. You should have stopped and talked to him. He might have even worked with you on some stuff AND taught you a few things. I mean, he could have told you what mower he has being your still so green that you can't ID a mower.

    Speaking of older folks, I stopped for lunch yesterday at MickeyD's and saw a old Dodge truck with 3 push mowers and trimmers and blowers in the back. I thought, those guys are out trying to make a buck probably flying low. I started laughing when they all came out. It was 3 OLD people! I'm talking mid late 70's! 2 men and a lady all wearing dirty clothes.

    Next guy I saw was a lowballer for sure flying under the radar. I was getting fueled up and he was already at the pumps getting gas. I tried to strike a conversation with him and we talked for about 1-2 minutes, he never looked at me. When he was getting into his truck (had a box store riding mower and stuff tossed in the back) I asked him what his company name was and he said it was none of my business! I knew right then he's a lowballer and flying under the radar. He took off out of there quick. I wanted to follow him but figure, I had better things to do then worry about anyone other then myself.
  7. Brian James

    Brian James LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    I agree with AI and his findings. Most of our customers picked us because they feel comfortable with us there and feel they don't need to babysit us. Price is important but most folks that choose to have their yard taken care of by someone else have enough money that price alone is not the sole deciding factor. Don't know your whole story but it's been said in many forms here, there, and elsewhere, "...if you're getting every job your prices are too low."
  8. kaferhaus

    kaferhaus LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,444

    2 weeks?

    And if the old guy (I are one) underbid you (no one knows that) and has an old slow ass machine that will insure that he doesnt' make much money... so what?

    The good news is that it will limit how many lawns he can cut in a day or a week which leaves more for everyone else.

    We get about 70% of the jobs we give quotes on and we're a very efficient operation which allows us to give the customer a price that usually looks really good to them but still allows us to make good margins on every job.

    Guys like that (and likely you too, even with your "good equipment) cannot compete on the same level. That does NOT mean that they can't underbid you. But if they do and they're "legit"... then why cry about it?

    I have no idea if TN requires LCOs to be licensed and insured. If they do then I'd be checking into him...... or maybe he'll be checking into you if you're not. Places who do not require any kind of licensing...... well I just feel bad for the guys that are trying to make a living and doing all the right things while being dragged down into the "lawn boy"l perception that so many customers have by the wannabe's and hacks that tend to swarm those parts of the country.

    Once you give a customer what you've calculated as a "fair price" for the work just move along to the next one.
  9. lastdetail14

    lastdetail14 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    fyi, some guys from my church mow for those unable to mow themselves or can't afford it. So, keep that in mind before making wise cracks about old people and lawn mowers or old equipment in the back of pickups. Just my opinion.
  10. Buddy Buds

    Buddy Buds LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    I cut grass for fourteen years while in school and started back at 57. I' not a professional yet but I enjoy all 57 customers that I deal with. I figure when I start cutting grass beside the streets of gold then I'll be a real pro.

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