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Frustrated!

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by kolkie05, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. kolkie05

    kolkie05 Senior Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 114

    Guy's,

    I've now run into the second situation this year where guy's are coming in under bidding like you wouldn't believe!:realmad:

    This is my second condo building where I thought we were giving a good price for lot cleanup, salt, and walks. The president calls me today and said that a guy came to them willing to do the whole thing for $200 a snow event (not including salt)!!

    Like I said this is the second time this season this has happend. Is anyone else noticing guy's doing work for next to nothing?
     
  2. towpro570

    towpro570 Senior Member
    Messages: 241

    times are tuff so people will do what they have to just to pay the bills and not come up any richer and still glad to work
     
  3. GPS

    GPS Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 268

    Yup. This winter is going to have every Tom, Dick, and Harry out there putting a plow on their truck thinking they're going to make a killing all winter. 90% won't have any commercial or liability insurance, allowing them to work for much less than an actual business. Blame this wonderful economy.
     
  4. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    The trick is to not back down - you'll need nerves of steel, though. They might be bluffing. Even if they're not; Once they get you to lower your price, they'll never stop playing you. Why work just to have work? Leave the crap for the other guy.

    They told the other guy (if there is one) the same thing.

    Been there, done that. When he told me "the other guy didn't how up", I told him "Not interested any more". Maybe taught him a lesson?
     
  5. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,954

    i bid 15k for a seasonal job, went for 9k.......just one example.
     
  6. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    Ask him if he has seen their business license, certificate of insurance (you should include on in every bid) or references list. Tell them you would be glad to provide service if they change their mind as long has you still have time in your schedule. They could need you after the competition finds out he is working for a loss and stops showing up. Or it could be he plans to rape them on the salt.
     
  7. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,245

    was is it a condo or a parking lot and if so how many acres was it? Just wondering. :drinkup:
     
  8. kolkie05

    kolkie05 Senior Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 114

    I love this site it's a great place to vent and get good info! Thanks guys!

    The problem is I know this guy is not pulling a fast one. The last condo assc it was just plowing a small lot maybe 50x100 and the guy gave them a seasonal rate of $1700 for 5 months! With at least 15 snow events that's like charging $100 no matter what the amount of snowfall. It cost that much just to put gas and drive up there..lol
     
  9. Bajak

    Bajak Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    Now that is the truth:salute:
     
  10. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,954

    parking lot, 45600 ft2. medical building, so 0 tolerance
     
  11. creativedesigns

    creativedesigns PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,929

    In Ottawa, there are some lowballers like that, BUT being the capital city its very politically correct, so lowballers don't last long. LOL
     
  12. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    it's only going to get worse before it gets better. people are desperate, cant blaim them i guess, you gotta do what you gotta do to survive, ive sort of accepted that fact
     
  13. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,954

    thats why its important to strengthen existing relationships, and contact as many people as possible to build new ones.
     
  14. kolkie05

    kolkie05 Senior Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 114

    I could use the extra cash like the next guy is it worth it to lower my prices to compete with these guys?
     
  15. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,954

    that doesnt even justify a response
     
  16. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    why would you work for a loss?
     
  17. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    listen, the economy sucks and everyone could use the extra dough. if you can plow it for cheaper then do so, if you can't then don't. Hell there are a lot of lots around here i would love to have but i can't be the low bidder on all of them. It's not about lowballing or over pricing anymore, if you can logically say you're covering your costs and you're a legitimate company (has insurance and a payroll, not cash) then go for it, somebody has to be the lowest bid, ya know?
     
  18. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    it's all about what you can live with. some lots i have to cover costs and fill a route (they tend to be the small 100k SF lots but still) and others is where i make all my money. it's all about your mind set and knowing your costs. when you can figure out what your bottom line is, is when you start tinkering with profit percentages and then the overall factor of, how bad do you want the work. personally i have equipment loans on a few pieces so i still have to be aggressive because i know i need x amount of dollars per winter season to pay my taxes, loan payments, business insurance and whatever my repairs might be before i even consider the costs of an individual lot.
     
  19. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,600

    :gunsfiring: :realmad:
    Some of these low ballers .... you KNOW they will not show up to provide the service. Will spread the salt thin, will cause damage, probably have no insurance. etc. etc.

    I've seen bids come in that there is just no way they are even covering their cost. Simply put the get-rich and mount a plow crowd is alive and active. If these low ballers would sit down and calculate their expenses to what they may make they would just stay home.

    For me I'm sick of hearing ... were waiting for a few quotes but, those 'companies' just aren't getting back to us. No Duh!
     
  20. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    definately but that's the thing, if everyone is calculating their costs, then it's just a matter of what proft margin are you willing to work for.

    i hear ya. i get under bid by 20-30% on 40k/year jobs. what are you going to do? i can;t plow it for that much, so i tip my cap and take notes, cause either they know something i don't or we aren't offering the same services and that's how i attack my marketing when i go after lots.