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: 4
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: 37,343
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: 4
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: 4
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: 4
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: 37,343
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: 4
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: 37,343
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: 4
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
More Rain or Less?
Steve
05-20-2015 12:06 PM
Today 04:37 PM
by SGL1
12 209
uploading video on here?
holymoly
Today 08:13 AM
Today 10:26 AM
by Matther777
1 31
What a JERK!
Chilehead
05-06-2015 08:13 AM
Today 08:23 AM
by luckylogger
10 607
new here ! need help
pgrace
Yesterday 11:29 PM
Yesterday 11:29 PM
by pgrace
0 37
Equipment dealers
mattthelawnguy
05-21-2015 04:33 PM
Yesterday 10:24 PM
by Chilehead
3 92
Irrigation
pboy8634
02-21-2010 12:46 PM
05-22-2015 10:05 PM
by biglee
25 8,409
Beginner Mistakes:...
Steve
01-31-2007 11:45 AM
05-22-2015 09:58 PM
by biglee
37 9,082
What's your next...
Steve
05-15-2015 11:54 AM
05-21-2015 11:23 PM
by biglee
13 340
Peace garden ideas
SGL1
05-13-2015 03:15 PM
05-21-2015 07:51 PM
by avetslawncare
16 479
Show us your stripes
Just for Cuts
05-21-2015 03:07 PM
05-21-2015 03:07 PM
by Just for Cuts
0 80
problems with a customer
LawnCareMan280
05-19-2015 06:28 PM
05-21-2015 02:58 PM
by Just for Cuts
4 153
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
01-11-2015 10:41 AM
05-20-2015 09:18 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
84 6,768
Total yard rehab
SGL1
04-23-2015 03:59 PM
05-19-2015 08:22 PM
by SGL1
15 793
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
05-19-2015 04:12 PM
by NinaMarie86
1,223 389,294
New Lawn Service
carmelitaslawnservice
05-19-2015 10:02 AM
05-19-2015 02:51 PM
by Steve
1 106
Landscaper Jailed After...
SGL1
05-18-2015 08:15 AM
05-19-2015 02:37 PM
by Steve
5 201
Pictures of commercial...
avetslawncare
04-01-2015 09:47 PM
05-19-2015 02:29 PM
by Steve
38 1,972
feeling like im being...
Bradcook21
05-17-2015 07:33 AM
05-19-2015 02:11 PM
by Steve
6 210
good news yesterday
Bradcook21
05-17-2015 07:08 AM
05-19-2015 06:16 AM
by Bradcook21
3 141
ignition coil
jasonw
05-12-2015 05:31 PM
05-18-2015 12:07 PM
by Steve
3 262
Anyone need help? I have...
biglee
05-06-2015 12:22 PM
05-18-2015 12:06 PM
by Steve
13 673
Big (to me) mulch job
tl757
04-23-2015 05:32 PM
05-15-2015 08:46 PM
by biglee
22 1,482
big dog mowers?
Bradcook21
05-13-2015 04:03 PM
05-14-2015 10:55 AM
by Steve
4 285
Small HOA Bid
lxarth
05-06-2015 10:37 PM
05-13-2015 11:55 AM
by Steve
9 502
New company in Michigan
SEM
04-24-2015 09:27 PM
05-13-2015 11:51 AM
by Steve
11 641
Fired for refusing to...
Mr. Mow
05-09-2015 06:15 AM
05-12-2015 01:36 PM
by Steve
6 498
I have ZERO confidence...
Just for Cuts
05-01-2015 04:24 PM
05-12-2015 03:53 AM
by jrs.landscaping
31 1,083
landscape insurance
clarkslawn
03-30-2015 10:14 PM
05-11-2015 01:15 PM
by Steve
6 1,018
String trim BEFORE mow...
Mr. Mow
04-12-2015 08:13 AM
05-10-2015 07:50 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
9 1,045
Bought my first STIHL...
Mr. Mow
05-09-2015 06:29 AM
05-10-2015 08:36 AM
by Mr. Mow
9 411
advice wanted please and...
CHenricks
05-07-2015 08:40 PM
05-08-2015 04:20 PM
by CHenricks
7 430
Hello
SallyBorowicz
05-06-2015 11:14 AM
05-08-2015 02:21 PM
by Steve
3 340
Mower Advice
tl757
05-06-2015 02:31 PM
05-08-2015 01:45 PM
by Steve
6 464
Home today...Still...
biglee
05-06-2015 11:59 AM
05-07-2015 12:06 PM
by biglee
2 339
I'm Back With The Best...
aduttonater
02-21-2015 12:41 AM
05-07-2015 11:17 AM
by Steve
79 3,951
color fliers?
holymoly
04-18-2015 02:32 PM
05-07-2015 10:57 AM
by Steve
16 1,029
Looking good
mrsmichigan
05-06-2015 09:47 AM
05-07-2015 10:53 AM
by Steve
1 290
What are your biggest...
Steve
05-05-2015 01:24 PM
05-07-2015 10:52 AM
by Steve
2 336
is craiglist good to...
JBENI
04-16-2015 11:11 AM
05-06-2015 07:15 PM
by TheYardGuy
12 1,101
Go daddy web site and...
jcurr33
05-04-2015 06:00 PM
05-05-2015 11:57 AM
by Steve
2 366
How busy are you now?
Steve
05-04-2015 01:10 PM
05-05-2015 11:47 AM
by Steve
4 401
mowfinder
scaypa
04-27-2015 05:44 PM
05-04-2015 01:14 PM
by Steve
1 433
Latest video, Facebook...
Sprinkler Buddy
05-01-2015 06:54 AM
05-04-2015 01:09 PM
by Steve
3 398
weed
avetslawncare
04-16-2015 07:56 PM
05-01-2015 11:38 AM
by Steve
8 815
so i need somehelp with...
dalvan0
04-28-2015 07:43 PM
04-30-2015 10:55 PM
by avetslawncare
3 712
Anyone have a Lawn Care...
nishirandall
04-28-2015 08:45 PM
04-30-2015 12:00 AM
by Steve
1 476
mowing pic
joshlawncare
04-25-2015 12:34 PM
04-29-2015 10:55 PM
by Steve
5 579
Help with a truck
bdodson89
04-27-2015 08:15 PM
04-29-2015 10:47 PM
by Steve
4 472
Ford F250 Wheel loaders...
jrs.landscaping
04-28-2015 05:34 AM
04-29-2015 07:47 AM
by jrs.landscaping
2 433
Correct me if I'm wrong...
SGL1
04-26-2015 02:41 PM
04-28-2015 06:57 AM
by SGL1
12 610
» Popular Tags
ad landscaping apartment complex auger bark billy goat brushcutter blades blowout bob villa collections commercial contract help curb appeal services demonstration design edging employee problems equipment dealer equipment rental facebook ferris flyers foreman grass growing a lawn care business hardscapes hills hiring husqvarna hydraulic landscape services lawn aeration lawn care lawn mowing marketing marketing secrets more customers business mr dave ordinance past due patio install per hour charge pricing profit on employee pto push versus ride running a business scag v-ride scripts secrets to landscaping seo shell shreaded small engine repair sq ft square foot sulky toro grand stand tractor auger trailer trailer mate pro tree trimmer rack truck new used landscape web design website website design winterization won't return wright stander rh www.greenturion.co.za
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:59 PM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:59 PM.

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