wholesale costs of goods posted.

David Gretzmier

LawnSite Gold Member
Just thought I'd let you guys know that I have noticed a few posts with the wholesale costs of goods posted. This is strickly forbidden on the Landscape lighting side of lawnsite I frequent from March 1-Sept 1. I have never really had any problem with talking about costs of anything else in the biz, marketing costs, insurance, warehouse, vehicles, etc. But I have always drawn the line and encouraged others to do the same when it comes to quoting here the cost of goods we sell for retail in the business.

Although it seems as though the last 3-4 years everyone has pretty much refrained from revealing this info, recently others have chosen to go the other way on this. Since I know that a large minority of my bids google me and read my lawnsite posts, I really cannot allow my name to be associated though google with what I consider to be information that can only hurt me in the bidding process. while others can hide from google by using a unique lawnsite screen name, I do not have that luxury.

I understand the value of a good deal, and sharing this pricing info with each other can have value as well. I am, however, choosing to not link these posts with my name.

so with that, you will see me posting less here as long as I see costs of goods sold being discussed. You will still see me over on the lanscape lighting side of lawnsite if you wish.

Merry Christmas.


LawnSite Silver Member
North East
Dave, pricing on here is something I have been seeing and conserned me as well, not just on the holiday lighting but on the other pages I frequent like irrigation, lighting and fert. I have actually been regretting using my full company name on here as my lawn site post are near the top of google searches of my name. I have been thinking of no longer posting under this account and establishing a new account with a different name.

turf hokie

LawnSite Silver Member
Metro NY
I agree 100%.

I also don't like the idea that guys post their sources either.

It takes alot of hard work and time to find the best vendors and best prices with the best quality product. Most of the vendors that are being named on here, along with prices, sell to the general public as well. No the general public may not get the same prices due to volume but if they can get the same products, price may not matter.

There are alot of new names on here this year, that's great, but it also means that there are that many more that are on here and not posting, you never know if the info you just posted cost you a job because a homeowner saw where you got the product or if the local handyman saw your prices and lowered his bid to beat yours...

Christmas Decorating is as close to being an electrician as we can get, dont water down or compromise the value of what we do by posting things that you shouldnt and not thinking that the internet is there for everyone.

I can go on and on about posting prices, vendors etc but I will just say this....

If you wouldn't tell you competitor the information you are about to post, then dont post it. I know I would never tell my competition where I get my product, what I pay for it or what I charge to install it....


David Gretzmier

LawnSite Gold Member
well said bryan. I have often thought that it would be easy for my local competition to be successful and maybe beat me here locally, just read lawnsite!

But it never ceases to amaze me that they all do the same thing- price this work so cheaply so they get lots and lots of work, then quit because they make no money.

just a quick rant here as a Christmas present for everyone-

The rampant stupidity never stops, I went out of my way to attempt to train and did consulting for a local start up 3 years ago, and it never fails, THAT guy thought he was smarter than me and in that same season sold jobs for a buck a foot. He somehow sold that company last year and the new owner is the one that I have posted previously that pays his employees a bonus for every competitors sign they can steal. The kicker is this, deep down I am sure he thinks he is smarter than me. Yet, his location costs about 4x per square foot what I pay, and he charges about 40-60% less than me. hmm, doing the math he will be out of business in 3 years or less.

As of this year, 19 christmas light companies or businesses with Christmas light divisions have now come and gone in the last 11 years. there are at least 8 other businesses that I am aware of that are currently doing what I do.

It always amazes me that electricians, plumbers, heating and cooling guys, pesticide companies, Audio/video installation companies, even security system companies, basically "service" trades all seem to have a floor and a medium of pricing that allows the owner of the business to do several things. 1, cover all costs, which ususlly include fairly new trucks, paying a pretty good wage to employees, and having pretty expensive/ good marketing and client literature stuff, and provides decent profit or "risk return" to the owner to be able to live a middle class or upper living style.

Unfortunately Christmas lights is becoming another in those long line of lawn care/landscape businesses that refuses to do that.

ok, rant over, I feel better.


LawnSite Member
I agree 100% about not discussing wholesale prices.

However, I don't agree about not discussing vendors. I think the ability to talk about, review and rate vendors based on quality, service, selection etc. is a significant benefit to being a part of this forum, especially for those new to this business. If my competitor benefits as well, then so be it. I feel the time and money saved and the increase in over all quality outweights concerns of competitor advantage.


LawnSite Fanatic
I am just kind of visiting this section. It is doubtful I will go into lights but I wanted to say I could not agree more. I went to a new nursery supplier last week. They had been sending me e-mails with some decent prices.

When I got there, they had a completely different service desk for landscapers. They wanted to see my articles of incorporation and my resell certificate. I had not brought that material so I had to get the wife to find it and fax it over. They guys at the desk apologized but there was no need.

I for one appreciated it. Sadly, many people want everyone but themselves to work for free. It cost money to order, receive and transport much less sell someone something. Those margins are yours and is what helps keep you in business.

In regards to sharing estimating tips and such... I think an educated competitor is a good competitor. It is the guys that do not know how to bid, under price stuff and later goes out of business that ruins the market.

Best of Luck Guys.


LawnSite Member
You guys have a point to some extent when it comes to vendors, pricing, and other aspects of the business. I personally think you are taking away from the sites intentions if you are not willing to help. Rest assure you have not found anything special when it comes to vendors in todays world of technology. A simple google or trade show search will deliver many of your so called secret vendors. However I do agree with the anoying newbs that ask questions that are easilly found in 10 minutes of reading. So is there a fine line, yes. Ultimately it comes down to how you operate your own company and what your local market is doing. I firmly beleive you have to know what your competitors are up to and their pricing. One thing I have learned over the years in the lawn industry is if you do not have 200 plus accounts you are fighting an uphill battle when it comes to being competitive, Simply due to resources aquired and overall price points. So in regards to costs of services and prices the spectrum is way too broad for your own companies costs to make any major fluctiations or change in the out come.