Undercut on mulch jobs by companies who blow mulch

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by mikegbuff, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. mikegbuff

    mikegbuff LawnSite Member
    Messages: 81

    For you people who spread mulch by wheelbarrow and pitchfork...
    Do you have issues with being undercut on mulch jobs by companies who have blowing trucks?
    I charge $30/yard to put out mulch and the companies who blow it are charging $22-$25/yard. If I get below $30/yard, I would be better off doing other work.
    If you have issues, have you responded by lowering your price or how are you responding to this?
  2. PlatinumLandCon

    PlatinumLandCon LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,315

    I hardly do mulch work and have never encountered this problem, BUT I wouldn't lower my price because they clearly have an efficiency advantage that you can't beat by hand. If you have other work you can be doing, DO THAT!
    just my $.02
  3. weeble67

    weeble67 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 286

    I found out a while back that when I price a job. I quote the price for me to do that work. I don't lower it because they used to pay less. I don't lower it because they have a lower quote. I put a quote out for me to do the work. Obviously I consider what others are charging but I put a price out that I feel is fair for me to do the work.
  4. mikegbuff

    mikegbuff LawnSite Member
    Messages: 81

    I'm with you on not lowering my price. However, I've heard I'm "expensive" based on quoting mulch jobs higher than blowing trucks. Unfortunately, customers assume that you are expensive on everything based on what they heard from someone else based on that one mulch estimate. So in turn, I get to give less estimates on other types of work b/c I get less calls due to my reputation. See what I'm saying? I don't see a way to beat the issue other than refer people wanting the mulch jobs to the blowers or either lower my price. Unfortunately, hearsay in residential neighborhoods gets taken out of context and it's hard to change someone's image of you if they avoid you based on what they heard. Thanks.
  5. Juan_Deere

    Juan_Deere LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 301

    When you give an estimate for mulching, make sure you mention that it is done by hand as opposed to a blower truck. It may not get you that particular sale, but it should dispel the "expensive" stigma for the rest of your services. Unless you are expensive across the board, and that is truly why the word is getting around.

    I am willing to bet the other guy is bragging about his blower truck, when he mentions that he can do it cheaper because of the efficiency. There is nothing wrong with letting people know why you may cost a bit more. If they like your appearance, demeanor, and work, many people are willing to pay a bit more.
  6. tjsquickcuts

    tjsquickcuts LawnSite Senior Member
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 943

    I found a blower company that I worked out a deal with that charges me $24.50 per yard. I prep the landscape, and call and they are out the same day or the next day. If I try and buy from most of our local suppliers mulch cost $20 to $25 bucks per yard plus delivery or gas. This has actually help my profits out on mulch jobs because I am not paying man hours.
  7. P.Services

    P.Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,319

    man that seems cheap to me i pay 16 a yard for mulch and charge 45 a yard total. i get that money all day long. i dont know how they make money doing it for 22 a yard unless they are blowing 50-200 yards at a time. also would renting a trailer mounted finn blower help you, i can rent them for $275 per 8 hour day, you might want to look into that in order to stay competitive
  8. mikegbuff

    mikegbuff LawnSite Member
    Messages: 81

    Thanks guys. Good feedback. Just to clarify, I charge $30/yard for labor and then the cost of the material is figured into my total price per yard which is different based on what type of mulch they get. So BRIANDENNIS1470, I'm right in line with your $29/yard for labor. $30/yard for the labor portion is pretty competitive for my area, but the mulch supplier is the one who has the trucks and charges so little to blow it. I guess they are able to make $ because they are making retail price on the mulch and a little on the blowing.
    Yeah, most folks stay with me regardless of prices, I'm just having trouble gaining new clients when the mulch company sends out mass mailers advertising their prices and customers who know how much mulch they need can figure out that they are cheaper in total.
  9. cks dad

    cks dad LawnSite Member
    Messages: 119

    Wow up here in ohio im gettin between 60-100yd depending on bed prep and type of mulch.Its 60 if there is no bed prep at all just laying mulch
  10. cpel2004

    cpel2004 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    hell i would sub it out to blow company and 12-15% off the top.

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