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would you stick with your supplier, even though he's more expensive?


LawnSite Fanatic
well, here is something a bit hypocritacle. when i first started out, i used the same nursery for everything-plants/trees, mulch, stone, everything. well, a couple yrs ago i found a wholesaler that sells plants, much much cheaper. so i switched. but, i still use the nursery for everything else. the owner was always real good to me. taught me about alot of stuff, always very nice and eager to help. when i use mulch, like 2-3 yards, i pick it up myself from a wholesaler. when i do jobs 7 yards or up, i buy it from the nursery(for a bit more $$) plus a delivery fee. the wholesaler doesn't deliver. now, i found another nursery, that has the same nice mulch, but for considerably cheaper, and he delivers. on a small job , or if there is only one mulch job every so often, it wouldn't matter, but for what i have lined up this week, for example, the difference would be a savings of $350, if i use the new nursery. i know it's common sense to start doing business with the new guy, but the other guy was so helpful and very patient with my dumb questions when i was first starting out. now when we work for people, we want our clients to be loyal even if it means we are a little more money than the next guy(and we usually are). would you be loyal to your original supplier, even if it meant it cost you$$$.?


LawnSite Member
It is your money or profit.
If the new guy will be around , and that is who you wish to buy from then go for it.
We all in this to make a living.
Good luck with your choice.


LawnSite Gold Member
Well, you are still gonna make some money but not as much. Hmmmm my best answer would be maybe split the difference Bobby. This week try the new guy out and next job try the original mulch supplier. The new nursery may be low balling a lil bit to get started or if he is new to the buisness he may have under estimated his cost and the next shipment may be higher. And also he may be so busy that his free delivery may not suit you, maybe it will be several days till he can deliver and you need it yesterday. But I agree we like for our customers to be loyal and I think we need to be loyal to our suppliers also unless something is really unreasonable. And if all else fails ask if you can get a little discount , If there is a new nursery in the area he will knows about it by now and may be willing to deal some.

Kelly's Landscaping

LawnSite Platinum Member
Milford CT
I sometimes throw a few of my less competitive suppliers a bone but that’s as far as that goes. If you’re cheap and offer great service then I'm going to be loyal. But if you’re expensive or if your service is lacking then I am going to split my business I give to you based on what you are good at and convenience. Sometimes I have to make my choice based on the fact that half the suppliers don’t take American express which is my preferred card since I like being debt free.


LawnSite Bronze Member
The irrigation supplier I use is real good on prices. There are other suppliers in town that I have used when I needed something close by. But the first place I went to has been very helpful, especially when we first started out and we were dumb as rocks. I will continus to be loyal to the people that have taken the time to help me the most.


LawnSite Platinum Member
A good supplier should be giving you the best prices. If I give my business to one supplier and find a product cheaper he will match it. He does not want to lose my other business over a few dollars diff on mulch or trees etc. Same as you might drop your price a few dollars to mow to make sure another co. does not come in and do your ferts. Its called keeping the customer happy. And besides that $350 will buy a lot of steaks and beer, but for who?



LawnSite Bronze Member
I'd be as loyal as I could unless there is a considerable difference in price between the two. For a few bucks be loyal. If you are really screwing yourself by being loyal and the guy won't budge, you'll have to do what ya gotta because after all, you gotta make a living.
Look at it this way Bobby. One grocery store sells a case of Coors Light for $16.99, the other one sells it for $12.99. No brainer. I do understand the loyalty issue though. Took me 4 mulch suppliers before I found the right one. The price is right and they deliver what I need, small or large load. Your original nursery guy will get over it.


LawnSite Member
middle america
Most are saying go with the cheapest. But when a scrub comes and takes one of your accounts everyone gets all uptight.
Like you said the old nursery has taught you many aspects of the business.
Personally i would reward them for that. If they are grossly overpriced speak to the guy maybe he can adjust prices.


LawnSite Gold Member
Mooresville NC
From a different post-- Gas is cheaper today than in 1986 after inflation. " I'm not going to get more business till the price of trucks come down" That sounds like a dumb statement, Right. The economy can only go two ways- up , higher prices for every thing, higher pay, strong economy. Or down, lower prices- lower pay, lower profits, Downward pressure on the economy. Lower standard of living. This has the same tone as low-baller, Cheaper Cheaper Cheaper, till there is no service, no quailty, no profit, no reason to do it any more. All the parts of the economy are tied together. They must all go up together. " car dealer go to Wally World. buy cheap China made stuff and food that wally pressured supplier to sell to them at no profit because wally is only game in town because they drove out all the mom and pop stores. Car dealer go home and tell wife how smart he is because he save so much by buying at Wally and how great it is to have Wally close by. Next day he goes to work to sell cars, mom and pop come in and look, cant buy because they no longer have store because Wally put them out. Big food distributor comes and looks but cant buy because he made not profit on food he sold to Wally. Wally worker comes in to look at cars but he cant buy because he only makes $6.50 a hour. Layed off textile worker doesn't even come in because his job went to China. Car dealer go home to wife and says no car sales-- no money-- Call realtor because we cant keep the house AND CANCEL THE LAWN SERVICE." POINT IS-- buy the gas-- pay the price-- pass it on-- keep the economy rolling. What good does not working do, Plumber goes hungry and Chicago has more cr-p plugging up the works. Sorry for the rant but we can not have it both ways, wanting good pay but wanting to pay cheap does not work. Pay good and get paid good or Pay cheap and get paid cheap. Im sure this will open a can of worms about how I don't understand OPEC and why the rich should not be rich, I do know that the economy is much more complex than can be explained in one post but I just worry about this country and how my kids are going to make it.