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Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job
If you need help coming up with a bid for a lawn care, landscaping, tree cutting or irrigation job, post the specifics here and pictures of the job site. If you are looking to learn about bidding, review the jobs posted here.

Lowballing Disaster


Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job

If you need help coming up with a bid for a lawn care, landscaping, tree cutting or irrigation job, post the specifics here and pictures of the job site. If you are looking to learn about bidding, review the jobs posted here.
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  #1  
Old 03-23-2010, 12:51 PM
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Default Lowballing Disaster

I got a call from one of my competitors.

We have an agreement not to go after each others clients, which is great. They do great work, & deserve their share.

We both agreed that there is one company out here who is bugging the heck out of us.

They charge incredibly low, & they are still around from last year.

My "friend" company has been getting calls from their customers asking to lower their price.

I have been asked to do the same by my customers.

They do ANY lawn for pennies. How are they still around?!?!

My prices were supposed to jump next year, but with these guys around I just don't know.

Should I call them up & say, "Listen, we need to agree on a starting price, a minimum"

How do I explain to him the effects of lowballing? It might sound great for them to hear, "Every other company is losing clients because of you"

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  #2  
Old 03-23-2010, 02:09 PM
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how is the quality of their work? do you know if their customers are happy with them?
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  #3  
Old 03-23-2010, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessechaveriat View Post
how is the quality of their work? do you know if their customers are happy with them?

I'm not exactly sure.

Though I'd assume the clients can't really complain with such a price. Maybe they have some quality, & a low price. Which could make things very difficult.

I remember passing them the other day, lol (last year actually).

They are just two guys, not sure about what equipment they use other than Echo back pack blowers.

I should have took my time when I noticed them, check out their stripes.

The worst part is, because they charge so low, they will just need to grab more clients.

Instead of raising their prices & making everyone's life (including theirs) easier, they'd rather go down this route.

They are really messing up the market. I didn't think they'd last to this season, but they did.

I think I'm going to call for an estimate. Seriously. I wanna get inside of their heads & figure out how they operate.

They just came out of nowhere. Like the unstoppable lowballers. They must have second jobs, or something. One things for sure, they aren't making their business work for them if they have to cut billions of lawns just to break even.
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  #4  
Old 03-23-2010, 03:29 PM
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maybe they dont know that they are lowballing.....
maybe they dont know anything about the market prices, or competition...

sometimes these wierdos come out of nowhere, and make a living somehow.

It would probably drive me into new territory, or make some new exciting ads or something. i dont know. there are too many lawns down here for me to worry too much. grass is already growing out of control.

good luck though.....dont do anything mean to them!!!
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  #5  
Old 03-23-2010, 07:21 PM
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maybe you should sabotage there equipment hahahaha
im just kidding dont do anything like that..
but maybe you and the other lawn care owners in town can all work together to find some sort of solution.

either leave an anonymous flyer on there doorstep deeply going into what lowballing will do or something like that..maybe put all the other guys logos on it that bid accurately and have been in the business and say thanks..ahhaha

idk..just had to throw that in i guess..let us know how it goes though
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:39 PM
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This brings up a great question. There will always be those entering a market and they will under-bid their prices.

My question is, how is your area. Are they focused solely on price? Or do they look for quality work as well?

Are there areas that demand higher quality work in your area that you can focus on getting?

If so, that creates a barrier of entry. A new company won't be able to provide high quality service because they won't have the knowledge or the skill.

What's your view on this?
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  #7  
Old 03-23-2010, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
This brings up a great question. There will always be those entering a market and they will under-bid their prices.

My question is, how is your area. Are they focused solely on price? Or do they look for quality work as well?

Are there areas that demand higher quality work in your area that you can focus on getting?

If so, that creates a barrier of entry. A new company won't be able to provide high quality service because they won't have the knowledge or the skill.

What's your view on this?
It's as if these guys just got out of working for McDonalds & spent their savings on commercial grade equipment, & now they have been getting lucky. They may have impressed a few people in my town, but they haven't impressed me.

My town used to be a place where quality always came first. Our market is currently destroyed.

The big companies have even started to lower their prices as well... It's a real shocker.

I'm trying to figure out where I could travel to, that would be worth it.

I operate on my entire island, leaving it would be too costly. No matter where I go, there are way too many companies around.

Everyone here is a scavenger, friendly on the outside towards other companies, but deep inside - they want nothing more than to see another company burn to the ground.

2 Kilometers by 2 Kilometers, with me in the center. There are 14 different companies all doing lawn maintenance.

Nothing changes until I'm 5+ Kilometers away from home, & it changes from what I have here to something worse.

I have nowhere else to go, the rest is "downtown", there isn't any grass there.

Just like the ocean, only 5% out of 100% has been explored... I'm hoping to find my clients here, where I am. I'll do whatever it takes, I gotta survive. If you can't beat em' join em'! I'm sure I will have to lowball hardcore eventually.

Maybe I will save up for direct marketing & mail out to the entire city. That'd be interesting.

Anyway, I'm all for competition. It makes things very exciting.

My nerves though, I just don't understand this "new" company. I'll be keeping an eye on them.
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  #8  
Old 03-23-2010, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
This brings up a great question. There will always be those entering a market and they will under-bid their prices.

My question is, how is your area. Are they focused solely on price? Or do they look for quality work as well?

Are there areas that demand higher quality work in your area that you can focus on getting?

If so, that creates a barrier of entry. A new company won't be able to provide high quality service because they won't have the knowledge or the skill.

What's your view on this?
As I have posted before there are areas around our city that if I get an inquiry, I respond with a we are not able to take on additional work in your area at this time, we do however thank you for contacting us.

Low ballers are in and trying to get into areas where we are however they do not have the equipment, professional appearance or knowledge, I have never lost a client in my life be in banking or otherwise, I build relationships and they blow off the others that come around and our work is top drawer.

I would not contact the competition. On Friday of last week we stopped at the coffee shop we meet at, granted I am only 7 staff until the guys are out of University, I was pulling our newest trailer which has pretty expensive wheels, the competition had parked beside us while we were inside, when we came out they were having a smoke and their coffee, their trailer and truck looked like hell, I noticed the front scalping wheels on a ZTR were broken, buddy says to me, is that your setup?? I said yes it is, he said you must have more money than brains to put wheels on a landscaping trailer like that, I said well bud you have it backwards, my brains is what gives me the money to afford wheels like that and we don't beat the crap out of our equipment which is why the clients you are probably after hire us, and just some food for thought, you may want to consider fixing the deck wheels on your ZTR before one of your clients fires you for scalping their lawn....we got in our vehicles and drove away.

I am not sure why they were even there with a ZTR as mowing won't be for another 6 weeks at least.
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:32 PM
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Ahahahaha!!!

What an amazing comeback!

Good for you my friend!

I'd like to get some new uniforms made. I thought my shirt was nice, but I want something more, "formal"?

I really do believe a uniform could sell.

I might also pick up a company wind breaker, considering I do estimates before the season begins, people wont see me in a short sleeved shirt with this crummy weather.

I've been shaving my face every day, being a good boy as I greet new people. And man it's cold without a beard!
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:49 PM
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Marks Work Warehouse has the best quality clothing and outdoor wear going, I then take it to an embroidery shop, it may cost a little more but silk screening for our industry IMHO is a joke, a few washes and it looks terrible, image sells, look at the big successful companies like Nike for example, they bend over backwards on image and go after the athletes that are successful to get them to endorse their products.
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