Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum > Just starting your lawn care or landscaping business? > Starting a lawn care business.

Starting a lawn care business. How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.

CraigsList Lawn Business for sale scam


Starting a lawn care business.

How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 12-04-2011, 09:47 PM
LawnTard LawnTard is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 8
Rep Power: 5
LawnTard is on a distinguished road
Default CraigsList Lawn Business for sale scam

I tried to buy a Lawn Care business from someone on CraigsList from a guy. Since then I found out he sold the business to 3 other people in the Denton and Dallas Texas area. He's also running the scam in Austin Texas. Charges were filed in the Denton courts for 4 counts of theft. Beware buying an existing business or you might lose big like me.
Reply With Quote

Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #2  
Old 12-04-2011, 11:37 PM
SECTLANDSCAPING SECTLANDSCAPING is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: CT
Posts: 1,912
Rep Power: 0
SECTLANDSCAPING is on a distinguished road
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
sorry to hear that. One of the problems with buying a service business is you cant guarantee the clients will stay. Thats if its legit unlike in this situation.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-05-2011, 11:10 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 38,064
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Oh WOW!

Can you tell us more about this scam he is pulling to help other members avoid similar situations in their area?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-06-2011, 06:53 AM
LawnTard LawnTard is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 8
Rep Power: 5
LawnTard is on a distinguished road
Default

Like the other poster indicated, you can expect a drop in clients as soon as you buy a legit business simply because you're not the guy they know and signed up with. In this case the guy claimed he had around 260 clients, I sent out letters saying that I'd be taking care of their account because he was moving and the new office number is ect. A bunch of letters came back undelivered because that person doesn't live there. But more alarming was that my answering machine was full of people saying things like, "I don't know who he is...", "My son mows my lawn...", "He mowed my lawn last year a few times but we fired him for...", "He owes me for services not performed...". My answering machine was full of people who didn't know the guy or wasn't using him. I also got a bunch of letters back saying similar things.

Then I found 3 other guys that he "sold" his lawn business to as well. They all had similar stories. They also gave him a down payment. It's not a bad program because the police wanted to say it's a civil court matter, until they found out that he'd done it so many times.

If you're new to he biz you might be better off just getting the accounts yourself, not buying them. If you're in the biz it's better to just fake sell your business to one person so the police can't establish a pattern of fraud.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-06-2011, 11:16 AM
DeMenkey DeMenkey is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 72
Rep Power: 5
DeMenkey is on a distinguished road
Default

Wow. Thanks for the info. I had 13k two weeks ago to buy a predone business here but everybody's equipment ked crappy or they sounded funny.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-06-2011, 01:28 PM
eMCeeW eMCeeW is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 25
Rep Power: 5
eMCeeW is on a distinguished road
Default

Ugh, some people are low. I hope this only encourages you to make a good name for yourself and develope an awesome business.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-07-2011, 06:54 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 38,064
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

How was this deal put together?

Did you get a chance first to visit all the customers? Did you meet him in person?

Was this deal just for the customer list or was it for equipment too?

How did he handle payment? Did he take the down payment and then disappear and when was final payment to be made?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-07-2011, 11:44 PM
LawnTard LawnTard is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 8
Rep Power: 5
LawnTard is on a distinguished road
Default

The scammer worked in different ways. He learned from me that he couldn't just sell the accounts. I put a 5K deposit down (I lost the least), after that I mailed all the "customers" letters that said I'm the new owner bla bla bla. I got a bunch of people who said I've never heard of that business or that person before. My son, husband, another company ect. mows my lawn, we don't use a lawn service. You name it I heard it over and over again. I had a performance clause in my contract that said if you lose more than x% then the deal is off. Well he never had 260 accounts to begin with, I suspect he had more like 80. Like I said the other victims were scammed differently, I guess he realized that if he's going to get more money he'd have to drag it out so he can get the big payment. I can't speak to their experiences but He moved towards selling a partnership. No I didn't visit 260 customers, yes it came with some crappy equipment, no he didn't disappear. He's an ex-laywer so he tried to blame it on me and use his knowledge of the law to stay out of reach. He knew it would be a civil matter like the cops said but that money came too easy, he couldn't stop doing it. But as luck would have it the four of us met each other and when all of us presented the evidence they knew it wasn't a civil issue.

Interestingly enough you can Google his name and see where he lost his license to practice law. From a lawyer to scamming people to cutting grass to scamming people again.

Last edited by LawnTard; 12-07-2011 at 11:52 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-09-2011, 12:08 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 38,064
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Did any warning lights go off when you first met him in person or any other time besides when you started to get those mailings back?

If you were to look to buy another business again, how would you do it differently this time?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-10-2011, 12:35 AM
LawnTard LawnTard is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 8
Rep Power: 5
LawnTard is on a distinguished road
Default

No warning lights went off for me or any of his other victims, in my opinion that number is closer to 10 than the 4 that are in my case. I don't think there can be that many complete fools, also it makes me more comfortable to say the guys a good con artist. Wait, when he told me he had the routes memorized instead of written down that should of flagged me but the deal was so good and I thought he was just super disorganized.

It's better, cheaper and you're customers will be more loyal if you build your business one at a time, I've bought several lawn companies and the customers just aren't your customers and they regret you taking over. They'll fade out at maybe a 50% rate in three years. Regardless of the story you tell someone, they want to be the ones making the decision they don't want you to take care of their lawn as a result of a decision they didn't make... Yes even if the work is better. If you still want to buy one then do it with low down payment and owner financed, there's a certain amount of honestly that takes place when the owner knows he's not going to get paid if he's not on the up and up.

Good Luck
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Amazon sale on Lawn care business tips book Steve Lawn Care Business Marketing - GopherHaul Forum News 0 03-17-2011 12:15 PM
Lawn Business for Sale Cheap SprinklerRepair Starting a lawn care business. 0 03-22-2009 05:20 PM
Plow truck for sale on craigslist justin_time Truck, Trailer, and Outdoor Power Equipment Discussion, Repairs. 3 10-24-2008 11:13 PM
Lawn Mowing is a scam???? Steve General Talk 4 06-12-2007 07:15 PM
Beware of this business scam Steve General Business Discussions 0 08-08-2005 03:30 PM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Any successful one man...
WarriorLandscapingCAN
Today 06:04 AM
Today 06:04 AM
by WarriorLandscapingCAN
0 1
Enter to win Free...
arthur712
Yesterday 11:28 AM
Yesterday 11:28 AM
by arthur712
0 23
What were your top...
WarriorLandscapingCAN
09-13-2016 05:10 PM
09-24-2016 12:12 PM
by jrs.landscaping
3 344
I have a new show!
Chilehead
09-19-2016 06:50 PM
09-23-2016 05:45 AM
by Chilehead
7 121
First commercial estimate
WarriorLandscapingCAN
09-19-2016 12:42 PM
09-22-2016 05:42 PM
by acrajchel
7 122
Larger projects - Labor...
WarriorLandscapingCAN
09-18-2016 07:38 AM
09-21-2016 06:51 AM
by Chilehead
5 148
I need some business...
Firehouselawn@hotmail.com
07-06-2016 05:42 AM
09-16-2016 01:50 PM
by DLC123
5 598
Is it too late?
Cpadgett
05-28-2016 09:10 AM
09-16-2016 01:35 PM
by DLC123
15 1,311
Not a newbie just...
lwlawn
09-09-2016 02:32 PM
09-16-2016 01:25 PM
by DLC123
2 503
I'm making stupid money...
WarriorLandscapingCAN
08-07-2016 07:07 PM
09-16-2016 01:15 PM
by DLC123
6 1,380
Lawn problem
magiccc
09-14-2016 11:37 AM
09-15-2016 06:14 AM
by Chilehead
2 275
What kind of seed do you...
Bradcook21
09-02-2016 02:58 PM
09-12-2016 07:18 AM
by joshp
4 899
Commercial Flail Mower...
Chickenthief
09-05-2016 04:46 PM
09-09-2016 04:50 PM
by Steve
7 764
Newbie here
paulgrant
09-07-2016 04:52 PM
09-09-2016 12:01 AM
by paulgrant
2 607
Hello, New Member Here,...
Chickenthief
09-05-2016 06:19 PM
09-08-2016 09:35 PM
by Chickenthief
6 724
Pricing fall cleanups?
WarriorLandscapingCAN
09-06-2016 11:17 AM
09-07-2016 04:06 PM
by Steve
3 699
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
09-06-2016 05:25 PM
by Steve
1,255 443,715
My Invention
biglee
01-11-2015 06:51 PM
08-31-2016 02:47 PM
by Steve
21 3,256
fliers
joshp
08-19-2016 03:23 PM
08-30-2016 07:47 PM
by SC93
11 1,977
fert/lawn programs
joshp
08-28-2016 10:43 AM
08-30-2016 03:27 PM
by acrajchel
2 1,111
Landscaper taking on odd...
WarriorLandscapingCAN
08-07-2016 06:57 PM
08-28-2016 10:31 AM
by joshp
7 1,320
Review of our lawn care...
Lawnline
07-12-2016 06:40 PM
08-27-2016 10:51 AM
by Steve
7 2,158
» Popular Tags
annual apartment become an entrepreneur best mower be your own boss bidding business business education business help business management complex contractor hacks contracts convention converting customer dethatcher edging entrepreneur entrepreneur education estimate estimates fuel problems fuel pump half moon blade intro introduction jjandm lawncare l.t.rich landscape landscape design landscaping landscaping design company landscaping richmond va landscping lawn lawncare lawnservice lowering grade marketing mulch planting raising grade residential lawn care richmond va richmond virginia lawn care seasonal snowblower snow plowing snow shovel sprayer start a business start a lawn care business start business start up toro timecutter townhome tree tree service video web design websites what to charge work from home z-max z-spray
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:29 AM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:29 AM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy