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  • Low Balled Again

    Recently, A prospect replied to my ad on craigslist and wanted an estimate on services. They were a military family that was PCSing to another duty station, but wanted their property spruced up to rent or possibly sell. There yard was a mess and I told them 150.00 for the initial service and 50.00 every two weeks to maintain. I also told her to pressure wash her home, which was 1952 sq ft it would be 196.00 and to pressure wash the 14 x 14 deck 60.00 I called her a couple days later to followup and she stated that she found someone else to do it for allot less. She said they gave her a package deal and will maintain the lawn for 25.00 every two weeks. This was a big yard and for 25.00 Bi-Weekly I didn't see a profit. I thought my prices were reasonable and I stuck to my guns. Does anyone have an opinion or advice?

  • #2
    Recently, A prospect replied to my ad on craigslist and wanted an estimate on services. They were a military family that was PCSing to another duty station, but wanted their property spruced up to rent or possibly sell. There yard was a mess and I told them 150.00 for the initial service and 50.00 every two weeks to maintain. I also told her to pressure wash her home, which was 1952 sq ft it would be 196.00 and to pressure wash the 14 x 14 deck 60.00 I called her a couple days later to followup and she stated that she found someone else to do it for allot less. She said they gave her a package deal and will maintain the lawn for 25.00 every two weeks. This was a big yard and for 25.00 Bi-Weekly I didn't see a profit. I thought my prices were reasonable and I stuck to my guns. Does anyone have an opinion or advice?
    What do you expect from Craigslist!
    Nothing but lowballers dealing with other lowballers.
    I dought if that guy is a legit business to maintain that property for $12.50 per week. Forget about both of them and move on. Keep sticking to your guns on pricing and never get caught up in the bidding war with low ballers.

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    • #3
      What do you expect from Craigslist!
      Nothing but lowballers dealing with other lowballers.
      I dought if that guy is a legit business to maintain that property for $12.50 per week. Forget about both of them and move on. Keep sticking to your guns on pricing and never get caught up in the bidding war with low ballers.
      Although I am not all that familiar with Craiglist we have something similar here in Canada, I steer clear of it as the company has bills to pay and must make a profit, if someone wants to work for next to nothing or loose money, more power to them. I have to think you get what you pay for, drive by in a couple of weeks and see what kind of quality that the other company did, you might still receive a call but your prices seem reasonable.
      Andy
      Halifax, Nova Scotia

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      • #4
        I agree with the others. I have to say, if the other company or (idiot) wants to loose money, don't get in their way! Like Andy said, in a few weeks after service starts, drive by and see what it looks like. I have to wonder though, will the customer be there to see how shabby their yard will look with the poor work quality that they choice of property care taker will provide?

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        • #5
          Low balled again

          I really want to thank everyone for their response and I have really been encouraged by your responses.

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          • #6
            I really want to thank everyone for their response and I have really been encouraged by your responses.
            I don't think there is one of us that likes to miss an opportunity but I got it through my thick skull a long time ago opportunity and profit go hand in hand, sometimes we just have to walk away, head high and carry on. There will always be more fish to catch.
            Andy
            Halifax, Nova Scotia

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            • #7
              Well, my point of view is that you can't make every sale. There are some sales you don't want to make.

              I am thinking that since this client came from craigslist, it's quite possible they were solely focused on price and nothing else. Have you found this to be the case with other clients you have found from that site?

              They were also not going to be there long it seems so they wouldn't be a long term customer.

              Also why did they want service ever two weeks vs weekly?
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              • #8
                Low balled again

                Hi Steve, I wanted to let you know that I ordered the gopher lawn care software and it has helped my business tremendously. The customers here in Fayetteville, NC basically like service every two weeks. I have only one customer that I service weekly. That was the only hit I had from craigslist which I posted it in January. I really love this forum.

                Thanx, Winkie61
                V & C Lawn Service

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                • #9
                  I just want to say hi Winkie. I also am from NC. Not to far from where you are. Like eveyone else says, stick to your guns. I lost a lawn last year to a lowballer in a very wealthy area that we serve. I felt like it was something that I did or didnt do, but it wasnt. Like Steve said, you cant make every sale. Good luck this season.
                  sigpic
                  www.bnclawncare.com

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                  • #10
                    Thank you Winkie!


                    I just want to say hi Winkie. I also am from NC.
                    Do you run into a similar situation where your customers only want their lawn cut twice a month? How do you deal with this?

                    This was a big yard and for 25.00 Bi-Weekly I didn't see a profit. I thought my prices were reasonable and I stuck to my guns. Does anyone have an opinion or advice?
                    As you look back on this now and reflect on it, what do you think of that experience? What do you think you learned from it to make your company better in the future?
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                    • #11
                      Low balled again

                      Hi Steve, It's nice to know that you're a fellow North Carolinian, However, I'm originally from Savannah, GA but chose NC as my current home or state of residence after retirement from the military. As far as having customers who want their lawn serviced only twice a month it doesn't bother me, because if we don't have heavy rains the grass just doesn't get that long between cuts and it doesn't put excessive wear on my equipment. I also have a minimum charge per service of 50.00 for Bi - Weekly service no matter how small the lawn, but the average lawn in my community takes between 30-45 mins. my goal is to make at least 50.00 per hour. I do have lawns that I charge 60.00, 75.00 and 100.00 per cut. I look at it as an opportunity to grow by not cutting the same customer every week, because I have one client that I cut every week for 35.00 per week. that's an additional 40.00 per month, but if I get another client and charge 50.00 per visit, after two visits for the month I've made 100.00 a 60.00 profit. The final point is that the majority of clients in the area prefer every two weeks. Again Steve thanx for the input and I'm open for any and all suggestions

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                      • #12
                        Thank you Winkie!




                        Do you run into a similar situation where your customers only want their lawn cut twice a month? How do you deal with this?
                        We have to do what the customer wants. I have several clients that are done bi-wekly. They are charged more for this service than they would if it was weekly, but for the month, they are saving.
                        It also depends on the area, do they have irregation, etc. All of my upper scale clients are always weekly mows. We only start bi-weekly in Dec.-March then we go back to weekly.
                        What I do as far as scheduling is that I spread out the bi-weeklys. I will cut half of them one week and half the next. This way we are not overwhelmed in any given week.
                        sigpic
                        www.bnclawncare.com

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                        • #13
                          There is always going to be someone who is willing to work for free (this is what I call lowballing). However, there is plenty of grass out there for all of us.

                          Set the price you are comfortable with a stick to it.
                          You can come down if you get two or more jobs next to each other.
                          Everything in life is negotiable, but there is no reason to work too cheap.

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                          • #14
                            I just walked away from a 2 hour excavation job as the prospect did not want to pay the $75.00 transportation fee, all my excavators are wrapped and somewhat buried in snow, I explained it would take me an hour to get an excavator out and loaded, 45 min travel time each way. He said no that is too much we will call around, an hour later he called to say he couldn't find anyone, I explained after thinking about it the job was just too small for the effort, although we work in this area a lot and I could do it in the spring when the equipment is on the road, it won't work for him as it's his well that is leaking, actually glad I was able to get out of it although it would have been something to do on a Friday afternoon....back to woodworking where it's a heck of a lot warmer than working outside.
                            Andy
                            Halifax, Nova Scotia

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                            • #15
                              his well that is leaking
                              What do you do in such situations? And how do you know the approximate length in time it will take?
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