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Would you consider me a lowballer?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Lawn-Scapes, Mar 1, 2002.

  1. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    That is the question!

    I have been reading some posts.. where people are charging terrific prices using their "formulars". It makes me feel as though I'm a lowballer. But.. if I used some of those formulars around here I'd probably have no accounts. So I have my prices set accordingly.

    Most of you seem to agree that you should make at least $35 per hour and fortunately I do better than that hourly rate.

    Here's what I mean..

    I have three accounts.. 2 side by side and the other is directly across the street.. the 2 side by side are 56,000 square feet each.. the one across the street is 37,000 square feet. The 3 of them take me (by myself) 2.5 hours.

    I charge $50, $50 & $45 for these accounts..

    That's $60/hr...... a decent wage.. no?

    Don't get me wrong.. I would love to make as much money as possible.. but if I priced these at $1.25 per square foot and added $20 to weedeat and $20 to edge.. At $100+ per cut.. I would not have them as a customer.

    Lowballer or no?
  2. Hobart

    Hobart Banned
    from Canada!
    Messages: 31

    I bid all jobs based on proximity. We can line up 5 or more in a row if I bid $5 or $10 less than some LCO's . Hourly works out more than charging more & driving 10 min to the next job.
    Eliminating drive time is not lowballing but smart business sense.
  3. A scrub and a lowballer are seprate things.

    A scrub and a smart business man are different.

    Some smart business men are lowballers because they are great at marketing and know what they need to do to make their expences.

    Just like the guy everyone went off on for low priced aeration.
  4. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    That's all we can get around here too. Heck, you might be doing better than this part of the country. If I priced too much higher I wouldn't have to work either. I try to make it up on commercial work when and where I can. I also try to make it up by shear determination:D , no longer than 30 minutes in a residential lawn if I can help it. When I average my res.'s out it works out to 55-60 an hour.

    Plumbers pay!;)
  5. slplow

    slplow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    TSG, You are right on line with what you are charging. I read in one of the trade mags last summer that you should making $60 hr.
  6. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662


    What you HAVE NOT taken into account is that some of those "higher" quotes that you speak of are pertaining to Commercial/Industrial type accounts which are priced differently than a homeowner with the same acreage -LOL!!!

    If I were your competition and had bid those same properties based on sf alone you would not be out of a job. As a matter of fact it almost seems that for your market you are right about where you'd want to be anyhow - upper middle range pricing. ;)

    If I went an absolute bare bones Mow-n-go with no trimming and using the machines to blow off their drives etc. I would have been where you are at $45.10 for the smaller account using my "Formular". For the other two neighbors giving them opposite patterns (Im not combining mowing patterns any longer) using my "Formular" once again I would have submitted a price of $68.20 each.

    If these accounts wanted the trimming and edging basically figuring 10 minutes per account, I would have priced them at $55.50, $84, and $84.

    Your prices aint THAT bad ol' boy. :D
  7. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    Thanks for the feedback..


    I don't know. If you consider my pricing upper middle range what would your bare bones price be? $18.20 difference is not small change.

    And a $34 increase would be like hitting the lottery :)

    If I could get those kind of prices for my 30+ accounts I would clear $75,000/yr with 40 hour work weeks.. barely breaking a sweat ;)
  8. Ground Master

    Ground Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    Your prices seem fine for your situation. I've always thought that the less drive time the better. If you lost 1 or 2 of those yards would you still be at 60/hour?
  9. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    Oh.. and I'm not that old ;)
  10. Around here the only benny to having commercial accounts is that they do not have the tools, knowledge, or time to do the other tasks.

    You want to talk about cheaper prices, these are the ones I always talk about the numbers game on.

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