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F***ing low ballers


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  #21  
Old 03-18-2010, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Gotalgae View Post
Read a CL post other day... guy will use his own chainsaw and brush cutter to clean up your yard and chop up trees for $12 an hour. He also offered pressure washing services. I emailed him for a copy of his insurance and license and he sent me a premium payment coupon from 2008.
it's easy to work that cheap when your equipment is stolen and you're just looking for your next crack rock
LOL
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  #22  
Old 03-18-2010, 04:52 PM
Gotalgae Gotalgae is offline
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Originally Posted by ProCut TM View Post
it's easy to work that cheap when your equipment is stolen and you're just looking for your next crack rock
LOL
lol yup my thoughts exactly
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  #23  
Old 03-18-2010, 05:30 PM
jdagley jdagley is offline
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I am not a lawn care guy. Have no interest in it, I refer my customers to a legit guy that refers work to me. Why am I on this forum, I dont know. But what irritates me is when a "DO IT ALL" lawn care guy (95% of all lawn companies around my area) claim to know it all and specialize in landscaping and irrigation yet 99% could not tell you what a boxwood or a RPZ Backflow Devise is. THATS MY TWO CENTS.

ONE MORE THING IS... Lawn care guys who apply pesticides (bug killer for those who dont know) and herbicides (weed killer for those who dont know what a herbicide is) with no license or insurance tick me off!!! I am licensed in everything I do and play 100% legal and legit. Been doing it for 15 years with this being my first year DEBT FREE. TIME TO GROW!!!!

LATER
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  #24  
Old 03-18-2010, 11:44 PM
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SPEAKING OF LOWBALLERS!!! i was taking a walk tonight with my fiance while our daughter rode her bike and i noticed the 14 year old down the street who was charging people 10 and 15 bucks to cut people's lawns last year MOVED!!! the punk moved. i started walking with a skip in my step. i know for a fact he had 8-10 clients last year. i stole 3 of his clients last year due to he was scalping the lawns, leaving clipping everywhere and do a half a** job. So i am relieved to know that i should be getting the rest of the lawns he used to do and since no one else around charges less than me. I should have no problem signing them. my rates are about equal to 1 other company who advertises with flyers in my area but last year i didn't notice those flyers in my mailbox until mid may. I am starting my spring advertising campaign next week. wish me luck.
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  #25  
Old 03-20-2010, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psparaco View Post
the 14 year old down the street who was charging people 10 and 15 bucks to cut people's lawns last year MOVED!!!

I have that problem here, the kid mows a few lawns in my section, though I had a chat with him about how he's actually not making any money.

$10.00 cuts... man... that doesn't even cover gas.. His mom & dad pay for it (the gas), which isn't even breaking even.

I see him walking down my street with his lawn mower, electric trimmer...

No blower... and this kid NEEDS it.

The mess he leaves behind, holy hell. You have 5 feet of cut grass on the street all across the perimeter of the lawns.

He destroyed one of my customers lawns, he was "their guy"... When I went to this customers place, they had NO grass.

Honestly, mulching is good, but this kid would mulch grass that's over a foot high. So basically, instead of actually mulching the lawn, it suffocated itself & now it's a lawn made up of weeds & dirt.

The blades on his mower, wow. I wish I could show you how disgusting they are. Nothing but rust, I'm surprised they hadn't fallen off or killed someone yet.

Besides him, I think I'm going to have a problem with my bigger competition. I have this feeling that I will be confronted by this one company who will try to have a little war with me.

Our prices are the same, though my quality is better. Most of their customers have called me up, & it's great but iffy.

This company is local, so I'm sure something is going to happen.

They have the dumbest company name too, I wish I could tell you. Lol.
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  #26  
Old 03-29-2010, 10:52 PM
cindosa
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We have been in business for four years and have spent time building customer relations. This and good old fashioned hard quality work has retained our Contracts from one season to the next, however the new guy in town is low balling everyone and getting Contracts because of it. The funny thing is the property manager that is pushing him on the boards she looks after gets complaint after complaint fron the ones he is currently contracted to. One has to wonder what is in it for her... Funny how now someone is spreading that we don't want to do Condo's anymore. Total BS
One of our current Contracts put it bluntly and said watch your back for some reason the property manager and the "new guy" have it out for you. I am fairly certain that someone is showing him our bids.
The real kick in the pants is that last season he called us up with two questions.
1. "What is this piece of pipe missing in the ground?"
Answer "The Irrigation water meter that you have to request the city to put in." Told him where to call.
2. "How do I get into the Irrigation timer box? It's locked."
Answer "With a key!"
We had to give the "guy" one of our spares.

And this is the "guy" who is going to take care of it all??????

I just hope he doesn't do to much damage! It will upset me to see our hard work go down the tube and him even if it isn't much get paid for crap.
Just needed to vent to others who would get what we are faced with in todas market. It just sucks when you give it your all to build your company with fair rates and some "guy" who has no clue just bids whatever low number it takes to get the job.

Last edited by cindosa; 03-29-2010 at 10:55 PM.
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  #27  
Old 03-30-2010, 02:18 AM
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This may start something that's not intended, however I think it needs to be said. I don't know a lot of you, and I'm not looking for a fight, but here's what I'm reading from a lot of you. People want to complain about low-ballers, however this is the type of business where price competition is the name of the game. With the economy in a slump, people are becoming more tight with their precious green, and we all have to be creative in our strategies with customer retention. The way I see it, at least with business in my area, if you are doing what you are supposed to be doing, meaning doing what you promised your customer in your contracts, then you shouldn't be in a situation where your job security is in jeopardy. I make it a point to always make the place look better than it did before I got there and I always MAKE TIME to make my customers feel appreciated. In this business, it's not all about the lawn care, it's also about the customer...in fact with my business, it's more about the customer. You can make the grass look good all you want, but if your customer doesn't feel trusting with you or is turned off by your unwillingness to attempt a relationship with them, you're screwed. Now granted, I understand that everybody's situation is different with each individual area, but I think this is a majority of everyone's issues.

My other thought: With every single commercial account I've ever bid, I have yet to find out how much the other guy is charging. It is good business practice not to reveal this to a potential new service provider because they want to have the cheapest bid possible. If they reveal the other bid price, you may come in only a few dollars less, where as if they don't, you may come in much less. This is where I have an issue with people accusing others of "low-balling". Number one, it's the nature of this business, and two, how the heck am I to know what you bid it at when, if the business owner is doing what is ethical in the first place, it won't be revealed to me even if I ask.

Now I could ask to insure I'm not low-balling someone, however that wouldn't be ethical either, because then it could be perceived that I was intending to screw the other guy. And if that were the case, how would you even find out? Basically you are assuming the other guy is low-balling. Now, I read the post about the B.S. going on with the caretaker and the drama queen wanting to screw you all together and that's wrong. I hope in that case, they get screwed just like they're attempting to screw you. It was also mentioned that someone was upset because a "low-baller" was under bidding because of not knowing any better. That's not a real good reason to get all bent out of shape. I have seen it posted in many different threads on this forum, let him shoot himself in the foot. He'll go broke pretty quickly on his own if he's not charging enough to cover his overhead, and you'll be back in the saddle again. These kind of people come and go, and they almost always go quicker than they come.

Remember, keep an excellent repore with your customers and do what they want you to do and you won't have anything to worry about. If your customer is happy, they'll keep you and someone else won't have a chance of stepping in. However, if you're dealing with someone who is always looking for a cheaper alternative, it still comes back to you for even dealing with someone like that. We should all know better! Know when to hold em' and know when to fold em'!!

Kendrick
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  #28  
Old 03-30-2010, 09:15 PM
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Great posts!

Quote:
It just sucks when you give it your all to build your company with fair rates and some "guy" who has no clue just bids whatever low number it takes to get the job.
Do you find this happens more with commercial accounts or residential accounts or both? What do you feel is the best way to combat that?

Quote:
Remember, keep an excellent repore with your customers and do what they want you to do and you won't have anything to worry about. If your customer is happy, they'll keep you and someone else won't have a chance of stepping in. However, if you're dealing with someone who is always looking for a cheaper alternative, it still comes back to you for even dealing with someone like that.
You bring up many excellent points.

The first thing I want to ask is this. Should customers be sought out if you know they are only looking for the cheapest price? When you sense that, should you walk away? Should you instead spend your time cultivating customer relationships that will last longer?

Can you tell when a customer is looking for a bond with you vs the cheapest price?

Do we all have to re-evaluate who we seek out for customers? Is that one of the biggest problems that could be overcome if we weren't so focused on quantity and instead, focused on quality?
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  #29  
Old 03-31-2010, 12:52 AM
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When it comes to Condominiums the lowest price seams to be what most like to go with. I was told by one client the other day X Contractor will provide the same services we offer at 5600.00 less on an annual contract. This is why his condo board voted to award the contract to them over us. He said our service has always been top notch, but he couldn't justify paying more if he didn't have to. I told him that I understood, but could not give him top notch service at that rate. I also told him to give me a call if he need anything and or if it didn't work out. Like kendrick said he will go broke and be gone and we will be ready to jump back on board.
The only way I have found to combat the problem is to build a relationship with my clients and around tender time mention the lowest bid isn't always the best. It is kinda funny my clients that go with us season after season tell me that now.

I would never seak out a client who I know is looking for the lowest rate. I have no idea how low the next Contractor is willing to go.

I have been bidding more new Contracts away from the "property manager" as I know something is fishy.
I am wondering at what point I tell her to stop waisting my time asking for quotes when time after time her new side kick gets them with poor quality results. At this point we still have one under a board she manages only due to the relationship we have built with one of the board
members. I can see that I am only waisting my time with the quotes as she has a scam going. Why would she push a Contractor that does crap work if nothing was in it for her. Several other companies in town feel the same way. Any thought on how to deal with that. I want work but I am sick of the game!
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  #30  
Old 03-31-2010, 10:02 AM
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Hey Cindosa

I know where your coming from about hating to see all your hard work going down the tubes. I struggle with this too, however I am constantly reminding myself I can't compare a customer's lawn to my own. I see so many things I'd like to do to make their lawns look so nice and neat, however most of them don't have the money to do it or just don't care to that extent. It is difficult to play this game because on one hand, we have to maintain a relationship with the customer, but on the other we can't become too emotionally involved. Sometimes I have to tell myself to just walk away and let what's going to be, be. This situation with you almost sounds like either 1: the lady has gotten herself into a situation where she "has" to hire this guy to avoid a bad situation, or he's related to someone on the board (ie. son, grandson, brother). Either way, eventually they're gonna find out he ain't working out, and then you'll get to charge extra to go fix his screw-ups. This could be more of a blessing than a curse my friend.

Kendrick
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