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View Full Version : Dirty Tactics


LawnBoy0311
07-21-2012, 08:56 PM
So today it was raining pretty bad. I decided to take the time and go hand out flyers. I hit a couple neighborhoods with big houses. I rode down the street putting the flyers in the newspaper boxes, and noticed a flyer from another lawn company. I decided (after taking a glimpse around to make sure no one was looking) to take it out and read it. The flyer was begging for business, not to mention the spelling errors on it! So as I continued in my journey, I proceeded to pull out all of his flyers and replace them with mine. Anyone else do some dirty tactics? This should be interesting because you all know you have at one point!

SECTLANDSCAPING
07-21-2012, 09:12 PM
no but I been on the receiving end.

I started getting a bunch of calls from some guy asking for a estimate. I googled his number and saw that he was a competitor. So I ignored him. Then he kept calling and texting. So I picked up and he was on some bull**** about someone stole his yard signs. I was like ok thats nice. He mentioned a display that I had set up in a local bank. A few days later I checked on it and about 500 cards, card holders, and 100 or so flyers were all gone. I then drove around hoping to see a sign from this *** but never did.

Sprinkler Buddy
07-21-2012, 09:14 PM
I don't think so!!! You know that's a felony?

That shows very bad character on your part in my opinion.

Just my 2 cents, :mad:

Willco
07-21-2012, 09:17 PM
I am no legal expert, but that borders on theft in my opinion. Why didn't you just put your with his. If he had spelling errors etc, which one would be more appealing to the customer. I do postcards myself, so have no way of knowing if another company is there or not. Are you going to have the same ethics when you are dealing with your customers?

willshome
07-21-2012, 09:27 PM
I don't get it why would you think that helps you. Most people call more than one business to get prices.

WorkForMySelf
07-21-2012, 09:27 PM
Its not illegal although it is a bit shady. I pick up fliers only from one company if I see them.. they scare old ladies into doing tree removals.. overcharge them... and sub the work to the lowest bidder.. I would rip their fliers off any day but leave everyone else alone.

LawnBoy0311
07-21-2012, 09:28 PM
Tough crowd! Its not a felony, only if its in the mailbox and I were to open it. But I heard you can put things on the mailbox?? No idea if thats true or not. As for ethics with customers, my referrals speak for themselves. I treat all my customers the same. I just signed a nice deal with a multi million dollar house, and gave him a price just like any other quote. He called me to thank me, saying that he liked the price. I'm not one to think "well, the house is worth a crap ton of money, so I'll charge the poor sucker more since I know he's rich". Not my style. BUT, when it comes to advertising, I'll do what it takes.

LawnBoy0311
07-21-2012, 09:29 PM
SECT- what happened to you is just wrong!!!

Willco
07-21-2012, 09:51 PM
The man you took the flyers from... well he is now saying...
That is just wrong. He will also have a story to tell. You robbed him of his efforts and his expense of printing and distributing the flyers. Sorry, but that is just WRONG..

SECTLANDSCAPING
07-21-2012, 09:55 PM
On the mailbox thing is iffy too. I have a client that was leaving the check in the paper box. I found the check leaning against the mailbox post, in the yard a few times, and at the door. The mailman was doing this she didnt even get the paper. So I would be a little worried that the mailman would just chuck them when he came by.

LawnBoy0311
07-21-2012, 10:13 PM
The man you took the flyers from... well he is now saying...
That is just wrong. He will also have a story to tell. You robbed him of his efforts and his expense of printing and distributing the flyers. Sorry, but that is just WRONG..

I see what you mean. In the area where I am, its a hard crowd to deal with. I get a lot of city people who migrate to my area to hand out flyers. Its usually the guys who have an old pickup truck with a john deere ride on lawn tractor. They lowball, and are quick to do the "5 finger discount" if your stuff isn't locked up. When they take my stuff, I have no problems taking theirs.

wat5150
07-21-2012, 10:45 PM
Its lame. Let your work speak for itself. Ive had my sh!t messed with(signs,posters,etc.) by other companys and I thinks its BullSh!t. Id like for them to do it when I could see them. Anyway I think it is shady and just outright f#cking lame.

brian'slawncare
07-21-2012, 11:14 PM
How would you like it if someone did the same exact thing to you? I know I'd be pretty pissed. That's why I try not to steal other's customers- unless they overcharge or I know I can do better

But really- think about what you just did.....

The Cleaning Doctor
07-21-2012, 11:16 PM
Not cool at all. There is an old book that has a saying "Do unto others..." You know the rest.

If those people hire this person, they are price shoppers only and you do not want the headache from them as customers anyhow.

LawnBoy0311
07-21-2012, 11:27 PM
Oh I don't feel bad at all for what I did. Read my previous post. Its street thugs trying to make a quick buck. They don't care if they are in it for the long run, its just some quick cash. The flyers I took had a list of 1,000 different services they could do. I know it gets done to me, I've seen it. I've seen my flyers getting tossed in the trash. I also caught a guy last week looking at my trailer...then sped off when I came around the corner and he saw me. I don't feel bad 1 bit for driving these lowballers out of here. NOW, if it were a good reputable company, I'd leave it. But lowballers...I have no shame in driving them out. They can go cut rowhouses in the city for $10 a cut while unloading everything out of the trunk of a sedan (yes I have seen this!!!!)

willshome
07-22-2012, 06:07 AM
I don't understand what the war on lowballers is. Most of them do a poor job. They charge like $20 without trimming or blowing.
Me charging $40 a mow starts sounding fair when people see the work I do, I am insured, and that I show up in a lettered truck

Caskey Lawns & Landscapes
07-22-2012, 07:26 AM
I think the lowballers and the crap work they do make it difficult for the property owners to trust and try again with someone else..I've seen the work these guys do and it makes you sick...It's not just lawns and landscaping though, there are lowballers in every field of business...All you can do is keep doing a good job for your customers and the **** heads will weed themselves out...:D

xandrew245x
07-22-2012, 07:50 AM
I talked to my mail lady and she said you can put anything on and around the mailbox, your just not allowed opening it.

I think you should have just put your flyer in the box with it, if the customer wanted quality, they would have called your vs him, if they were just looking of the cheapest price, then you wouldn't want them anyways.

Godslapper
07-22-2012, 08:15 AM
No I have never done such a thing. There is so much work out there that even a rat can get fat on just the crums.

LawnBoy0311
07-22-2012, 08:22 AM
Ahh, makes more sense now! At least its confirmed you can place things on the mailboxes!

stevef1201
07-22-2012, 08:22 AM
Putting flyers on the mail box????? Fugetaboutit. Use a real nice post card, and mail it. I know its expensive, But target an area and send a post card every week for 8 weeks. Use a little different card each time, the first showing your business, the subsequent ones focus on mowing (show a before/after picture of a real nice yard, edgeing, trimming, hedge work etc)
You will contact the customer and not have to worry about someone throwing your stuff out.

Door hangers also work real good, but PUT THEM ON THE DOOR!!!

This has gotten me more business than flyers, costs more but worth it.

Personally any junk mail goes right into the trach can, not even getting into the house. Door hangers however at least get into the house.

LawnBoy0311
07-22-2012, 08:27 AM
Putting flyers on the mail box????? Fugetaboutit. Use a real nice post card, and mail it. I know its expensive, But target an area and send a post card every week for 8 weeks. Use a little different card each time, the first showing your business, the subsequent ones focus on mowing (show a before/after picture of a real nice yard, edgeing, trimming, hedge work etc)
You will contact the customer and not have to worry about someone throwing your stuff out.

Door hangers also work real good, but PUT THEM ON THE DOOR!!!

This has gotten me more business than flyers, costs more but worth it.

Personally any junk mail goes right into the trach can, not even getting into the house. Door hangers however at least get into the house.




I put postards in doors, probably about 500-600 in a few days. I then got a big goose egg on the phone calls. I thought about mailing, I may try that and target a certain area. I'm hesitant on it though-because I know when I get my mail, I take out the letters and everything else goes in the trash. I'll have to come up with a genious plan...

dpld
07-22-2012, 08:30 AM
i think it is wrong on so many levels and karma will come back and bite you in the azz.
you should have put your flyer with his and then when a customer looked at them they would have said "hey this one guy can not even spell" and then looked at yours and might have been impressed.

instead you made him a victim which always garners pity and made youself look like a dirty thief.
i am not saying you are but that is what you made yourself look like.

we live in a free country and everyone is entitled to pursue what ever career they wish and just because someone beat you to the punch the decision to give that individual a opportunity is not yours to make.

this is just another clear cut example as to why i do not stuff mailboxes or hang stuff on peoples doors because you are not only coming off as unprofessional but you are also dealing with dirty tactics like this and now this dude will start pulling peoples flyers because it happened to him.

it just keeps on going and going.

CS-LawnService
07-22-2012, 08:45 AM
The USPS's website (PDF) states: "Except under 2.11 [dealing with newspaper boxes attached to mailboxes], the receptacles described in 1.1 may be used only for matter bearing postage. Other than as permitted by 2.10 or 2.11, no part of a mail receptacle may be used to deliver any matter not bearing postage, including items or matter placed upon, supported by, attached to, hung from, or inserted into a mail receptacle." Note that "door slots and nonlockable bins or troughs used with apartment house mailboxes" are excluded from this prohibition, and can be loaded up with as many flyers as they can hold.

xandrew245x
07-22-2012, 09:07 AM
Ahh, makes more sense now! At least its confirmed you can place things on the mailboxes!

I can't say 100% it's confirmed, that's just what she told me, and I hope she's right.

WorkForMySelf
07-22-2012, 10:16 AM
The USPS's website (PDF) states: "Except under 2.11 [dealing with newspaper boxes attached to mailboxes], the receptacles described in 1.1 may be used only for matter bearing postage. Other than as permitted by 2.10 or 2.11, no part of a mail receptacle may be used to deliver any matter not bearing postage, including items or matter placed upon, supported by, attached to, hung from, or inserted into a mail receptacle." Note that "door slots and nonlockable bins or troughs used with apartment house mailboxes" are excluded from this prohibition, and can be loaded up with as many flyers as they can hold.

"receptacle" is the key word... you can place it on the post with zero consequence... you can place on the box and they can fine you... it a very miniscule fine and almost never happens. Think to yourself if you were delivering mail.. getting paid by the hour and had a million things to do.. would you nit pick and take every flier you see? I know a guy that only fliers to advertise. He does 10k a week for almost 10 years. He gets millions of complaints and one $7 fine so if you are not too sensitive then dont worry about it and do it. Putting it in the box is a federal felony so dont do that or your *** will get hammered

usmc3391
07-22-2012, 10:42 AM
we live in a free country and everyone is entitled to pursue what ever career they wish and just because someone beat you to the punch the decision to give that individual a opportunity is not yours to make.

now this dude will start pulling peoples flyers because it happened to him.

it just keeps on going and going.

exactly if he wants to make a quick buck to feed his family or whatever the reason let him. Let your work speak for itself he wont last long if he is truly lowballing and giving poor service. I have never done this myself although I have looked at competitors flyers to see what they were saying and see what they offer. By you taking off their flyers just keeps the cycle going like dpld said. You only hurt yourself because he will be pissed off and it will come back to you in one way or another. Just keep giving good service, survival of the fittest.

Also you probably would have had an advantage by leaving his flyer there. They would see both of your fliers and make yours look even better. It would be like having a professional sports team play a minor league team. They will look far superior to the other team.

xandrew245x
07-22-2012, 10:49 AM
"receptacle" is the key word... you can place it on the post with zero consequence... you can place on the box and they can fine you... it a very miniscule fine and almost never happens. Think to yourself if you were delivering mail.. getting paid by the hour and had a million things to do.. would you nit pick and take every flier you see? I know a guy that only fliers to advertise. He does 10k a week for almost 10 years. He gets millions of complaints and one $7 fine so if you are not too sensitive then dont worry about it and do it. Putting it in the box is a federal felony so dont do that or your *** will get hammered

I have placed a few hangers on mailboxes and haven't heard anything negative about it. I know if I was a mail delivery guy I wouldn't care to much, unless it got to the point where I couldn't even get the mailbox open without moving a flyer.

Grass Doctor
07-22-2012, 10:13 PM
totally wrong u wont like nobody do that to u. that's up to the customer to decide who they hire, i have even pick from the ground others people flyer, guess who got the call.

:D i took one just to see what where all about, maybe two :D

PVMS
07-23-2012, 05:01 AM
There are plenty of people out there that can not afford a real contractor, so they call lowballers. Be thankful that these customers are not wasting your time.
Great genuine customers do not call "Beer money Bob's". They want more.

There is alot of competition in my area, both contractors and beer money bob's.
I go out of my way to both help and befriend almost all of them.
I pass on all my tight wad's on to a couple of local lowballers, who inturn pass on jobs that they don't have equipment for.
I also get tons of work from other local guys that I have befriended. My business would not have grown as fast as it has without them. I would happily deliver flyers for them if they asked.
If you are confident in your own marketing skills, competition can become your friend.

samauri
07-23-2012, 06:04 AM
yea thats pretty crap mate, i would never do it, the way i see it we all trying to do the same thing here, which is to make a dollar. your taking somones ability to do so not buy out classing him with business but low and underhand techniques.
lame on you

CHEESE2009
07-23-2012, 08:46 AM
Some people care about the lives of others, while some would care less if they were rid from this world.

I personally don't give a crap. If life has taught me anything, it's giving a damn about others that holds me back.

Do what YOU need to do to get ahead.

-

All I can honestly see is from this thread:

COMPETITION : 0
YOU : 1

I've never trashed my competitors fliers, but I can't say it's a completely terrible idea without first asking myself, "will it be effective" when it comes to marketing myself.

Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't - let us know, go-getter! :D

shadrach
07-23-2012, 12:25 PM
Probably should not have done it, but don't understand the outrage. Spending some time making your advertising look better than the other guys' would be better use of your time. If you are going to make money at this stuff then that guy wasn't your competition anyway.

Steve
07-23-2012, 02:40 PM
I proceeded to pull out all of his flyers and replace them with mine.

The thing I wonder is, what kind of reaction might you be getting from homeowners that see you do this?

It doesn't take much for someone inside to notice someone walking own the street going mailbox to mailbox. They can probably see you a lot better than you could see them.

Might someone have seen it and starting talking to their neighbors about it?

LawnBoy0311
07-23-2012, 06:38 PM
Thanks for the good spirits Cheese! Lot's of responses sound like they'd wanna knife me in a dark alley! Lets all face it, summer is here, kids are out of school and need summer cash to buy more mary j cigarettes. Competition is everywhere. Do what you have to do. Competitors don't pay my mortgage. I do. Sometimes you just gotta trash a few flyers. Heres something I did today- met a competitor in an area I don't service. I was getting a few calls to service that area, but didn't feel like making the drive out there. I talked to him today, and told him send people my way since my area is too far for him. In return, I gave him 2 leads today and said I'd pass along others to him that call me. So I'm not such a bad guy! Oh- on a side note, I didn't trash the flyers. I recycled them.:D

JeffK26
07-23-2012, 08:56 PM
SECT- what happened to you is just wrong!!!

Yes it is wrong......

BUT

it's exactly what you did. The only difference is SECT's cards and fliers were in one place, and the ones you took were spread out over a neighborhood.