Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Premier_Lawn, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. Premier_Lawn

    Premier_Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    I just started my business last year and was just starting with mowing lawns and odd jobs. But now I'm getting calls from clients for landscapes and patios which I know how to do I used to work for a landscaper when I was younger. But I was just curious about Wholesale. I have a EIN and I'm an LLC, so pretty much all I need to do is give them the number and I get wholesale pricing or is it more complicated than that. Now what can you get at wholesale prices... i know tress and shrubs but what about patio brick or tools, or does it depend on the place that you are buying from. Thanks in advance i just don't want to look like an idiot when i go to one of these nurseries or something, just want to have some knowledge on the subject.
  2. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    It depends on the product. Some products are available at a BIG wholesale discount (like plants, trees, etc.) but you have to go to "wholesale only" nurseries. Even then, some wholesale nurseries have minimum orders, others don't.

    Other products have only a small wholesale discount (e.g. wall block, pavers, etc.)

    Still other products have almost no wholesale discount, like mulch, sod, soil, etc.

    First thing to understand is that nobody cares if you are new. That is, as far as suppliers go. They are often excited about new contractors - that means more business for them. So don't feel ashamed or embarrassed going into a supplier for the first time asking questions. They will be happy to help you. Just ask them straight out, "Hi. I am Jim Lewis with Lewis Landscape Services here in Beaverton. We're starting to get more into landscape design / build. And I am just trying to get familiar with pricing. Do you guys have a wholesale price list?" Nothing wrong with that at all. And don't worry about the other landscapers who are there. Just act confident and sure of yourself.

    I remember feeling very insecure at first when our company was moving into that stage. I never really knew what to say when I went into a supplier for the first time. I was very timid. Over time, that's all gone away. Nowadays I go in with a much better mindset. I am THEIR customer, not the other way around. It's their job to cater to me and impress me why I should use their stuff. And so I am giving them the opportunity to do that.

    It will take a while to learn all of the wholesale outfits in your area. I've been doing landscape installs (over 100 each year) for many years now. And each year I am still finding new suppliers in my area I didn't know about before. So don't expect to find them all right away. But when you do, go in with confidence and just look around and ask questions. If they are a good supplier, they should come up and ask you how they can help. And they'll be the ones trying to impress you. That's when you ask for pricelists, etc.

    BTW, it helps if you have a uniform and company hat on. Makes you look more official as opposed to just some dude with a truck. They will treat you much better.
  3. iowa

    iowa LawnSite Senior Member
    from NW IA
    Messages: 305

    Sometimes in order to get wholesale prices, you need to fill out a credit app and get accepted before they will grant you wholesale prices. Thats how it is at some places around here.

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