Underbidding ruining the Industry

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by MaidstoneLandscape, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,764

    It's not just our industry being run by bankers interested only in the bottom line. One I can think of is Oldcastle Materials, around here if you compete too hard against them they either buy you out or drive you out of business. Much like the larger LCO's do.
  2. lawnkingforever

    lawnkingforever LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,280

    Yep. There are lowballers in many industries, not just lawncare. It is pointless to worry about it. I was underbid on a couple mulch jobs this year, I just moved on to the next one.
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  3. JContracting

    JContracting LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,878

    That is how businesses are run.
  4. RussellB

    RussellB LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,747

    At least 90% of us try to get the lowest price for work around our homes or hire the friend that is an AC/heating guy, mechanic etc. Sometimes you choose the wrong guy but usually it works out. That's how you hold on to your money.
  5. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    I notice it. But the other thing I notice is that probably 95% of everyone on here will ask what is the cheapest price they should get a mower for? Where can I find the cheapest place to dump grass/dirt/etc..?. Where can I get the cheapest mulch from? Where can I get cheap cheap cheap cheap cheap...... EVERYONE is looking for the deal and how can anyone blame them? Maybe one would say that the above is just how you run your business to keep costs down. Well maybe you buy the cheap mower and get bad service, maybe you dump at a site that doesn't take care of the environment like it should, and maybe the cheap mulch is a bad product. So maybe one gets burned and pays more next time.

    With those big city contracts, maybe the person in charge was thinking "I'm going to save the city soooo much money by hiring this cheap guy that I'll get promoted", well they probably got demoted.

    This type of stuff exists in ALL industries. Once you have a good "brand" it seems to be easier to attract the customers willing to accept a more expensive contractor. Think about the ridiculous stores in a mall that sell T-shirts with their name on if for $35-$50!!!!! I bet they sell a ton too. Why? Because that's the brand to have and people who care about that purchase it.

    There are a few on here such as Jim Lewis Landscaping, Earth/Turf/Wood, PerfectEarth, IdealLandscaping, and many others who I'm sure have an established "brand" where people understand they are one of the best but come at a cost, just like the T-shirt example. I'm sure they get the calls from cheap people but they may get soo many calls they just wade through the BS and get what they want. Or people just don't call them because they know they aren't cheap.

    JowMow starting out does not have that. I don't think everyone intentionally makes the choice to under estimate, many just have no clue how to. I think many of us weren't business geniuses to start..... And some others don't have aspirations to "make it big" for themselves. I saw a guy near me who had a beat to snot Ford Ranger with a 5x10 trailer that had no mesh on the gate and a beat up Stander. Yea he charges way less, but the people he mows for will NEVER choose me. Why, well I'm too expensive. And if every lawn guy charged appropriately that person would not ever have a lawn service to begin with. They'd mow it themselves or hire the kid down the street. I honestly can't believe how many people get a lawn mowing service, but again many of those would NEVER go with me or anyone if everyone charged accordingly. Unfortunately there is a market for cheap mowing and those customers don't mind hiring a different guy each year.

    My question would be why do these guys flourish in times many others call tough times and use the word "lowballer" in every other sentence???? Thats what I want to know. Not how many cheap guys are out there, but how do these businesses overcome them? I think a lof of these guys and gals would answer, "Because they aren't my competition". But I still think they have a special nack for getting it done....
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  6. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    But yes that sod job price is absurd.....

    But the question again is that if that low quote wasn't in there would that customer still go with one of you that is higher or just cancel the job all together?........
  7. Big Bad Bob

    Big Bad Bob LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 5
    Messages: 1,074

    Now this is a good comment.
  8. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,290

    But, but, but that's different. ;)

    Ya know, because if Dealer A is charging $5 more than Dealer B, Dealer A is a automatically a crook.

    Turn that scenario around, and Dealer B is a lowballer.

    You just have to love hypocrisy.
  9. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    Pretty much...
  10. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,764

    Very true, if I were in their shoes I would do the same thing.

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