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Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Bossman 92, Sep 29, 2006.

  1. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,768

    Met the low baller of the area today.:gunsfiring: I saw a guy working outside of a small restaurant today, and stopped to see if he knew who to talk to about snow removal. He introduced himself and i knew who he was> :realmad: We talked for a min and he started telling me what i was doing wrong, and how to make money!!! Let me tell all of you a small secret you should include salting in all plowing prices and charge 30 bucks to plow an average Wendy's. but don't tell anybody!! Also you should charge 25 bucks an hour for Lowes, but run 3 trucks, thats how you really stick it to them He gave me a list as long as your leg about how to make money plowing, then told me he was out of business due to the low ballers:dizzy: I didn't have the heart to tell him that less than a mile up the road i make 150 bucks an hour plowing a good size lot, with a 3/4" trigger Hope this helps you guys with your bidding this year.

    Remember 25 bucks an hour, but run lots of trucks!!! :dizzy:
  2. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    Gotta love it!:eek: He is wrong tho, you use too much fuel with lots of trucks. You need to run one truck at $7 an hour.

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,228

    I heard you charge them whatever it takes to get the job then just don't show up.
  4. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,768

    shhhhh dont give them anymore ideas>:gunsfiring:
  5. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,768

    Hey sorry for whoever had to move this. I debated on either comm. issues, or estimating. sorry :confused:

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,228

    This is a sore point with me for the reason of what i was trying to do over the summer.

    A national service company has moved into this area and the prices they are bidding are so low I just can not imagine them getting contractors to do the work. If they do then you either have the guy with no bumper and muffler held up by a hanger and no insurance out plowing or you give in and ***** and moan about the price while plowing.

    Some of the places I put bids in I was laughed at. Some saying they can get it plowed for half the price I was giving and in most cases less then what was being charged 2 freaking years ago. Example. A Best western I did 2 years in a row now wants a price that was lower then I 1st did it for including salting because this company will "beat any price".

    He showed me a flier or junk mail he got from them and it said if he sent a copy of the bid to them so they could verify the price he got they would beat it by at least 10%. They are not even doing the work of bidding they are letting schmucks like me go out and do the leg work and then just undercutting the bid.

    I wont be plowing in Kalamazoo this year and will be going back to Illinois to contract but I feel for the guys in this area and don't see how they will even pay for gas doing some of the lots I have bid on at the price the winning bidder gave. The hotel in question (and I had 3 of them) wanted the front cleared and salted by 7am and rows in between cars done as well by 7 am. Then after check out you were to come back and clean the whole lot. With 2 inches and doing it properly it took me a honest 2.5 hours. Not counting the drive time back in the afternoon to do the clean up which with as many cars from doing just the rows most times turned out to doing the whole lot once again. This year they wanted it done for $75.00 total including salting the whole thing. I told them good luck at getting quality and dependability at that price and I don't haggle my prices. I don't rip people off but dammit I am not doing it for free either.
  7. Mick

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

    So, what would happen if you gave them a bid of $50 for a $200 job? If they said "Sorry, we can't beat that even though we said we would", then you say "Sorry, I'll have to withdraw my bid".

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,228

    I don't play those games. It would also lead to me getting a bad rep in the long run and put me on a level with them.
    They have the same owner so he knows the job I did and even mentioned how "great" I did. He is expecting that same kind of service I provided at a Dollar store price.

    If I have time I may drive over if there is snow here and not by me in Illinois just to see what kind of job he is getting. And to rub it in when I see what I expect to.
  9. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,768

    I live in a small town, 60,000 people in the entire county! Every year i send out a professional letter to all the business that i would like to do business with. Wait a couple weeks to see who calls and then go beat on doors. This year i send out 250 letters including churches! Thats all the places that have plow-able lots! There are only a handful of people that plow professionally, but there are a ton of people who drive hoopties and push junk plows around for beer money. I use to live in a much larger city and could plow all day for 150 - 200 bucks an hour, here its a bit tougher. I have to compete with guys who mow for 15 - 20 bucks for a commercial property, and there plowing prices are just as bad. You can charge a fair price and have customers, i have already proved that, it is just tough convincing these morons to do it. My best customer had a employee fall with a law suite the year before i took it over. When i turned in a bid the manager said it was alot more than they were use to paying, but they could not afford another lawsuit. He looked at my equipment and was satisfied, singed the contract and i have had no problem keeping it payup It's tough to convince some people of my prices, but once i work for them renewing their contracts is not a problem.
  10. jcesar

    jcesar Senior Member
    from Mi
    Messages: 492

    I had a guy ask me last year for a bid on a gas station. So I gave him an honest bid.
    He said his guy did the entire lot, sidewalk, and salted for a seasonal price of.........400.00!
    Told him he better call the guy fast!!!!!
  11. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    I would call that guy and have him subcontract all your other lots at that price
  12. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    used to do that on roofing when some storm chasers came in town one year. couldn't beet them so i hired them.
  13. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    Tell the potential customer to keep your number and give you a call if anything goes wrong with the person they hired (lowballer). I got two out of the three driveways I got out bid on by a lowballer back after the first storm. One driveway came to me 5" into the storn when the guy never showed up.
  14. mike33

    mike33 Senior Member
    Messages: 335


    You can hash this all you want its called elements of business it happens every where all the time. stick with your price and move on if you dont get the job. Remember we all started out some where and including my self worked pretty cheap to get work in the eary years. Now im established i retain 98% of my accounts with out problems.
  15. Rcgm

    Rcgm Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    The old Low Ballers. I gave a price of 1200 dollars last year to plow a sub division they laughed and said we got a price of 600 why are you double I said because thats what it is.So they took the other guys on first snow dumped 8 inches the other guy never showed up they called me at 6:45 in the morning and said ok he never showed up. I laughed and said well what happened? You got the contract and we know now why you are double LMAO. Then she says people are complaining they can't get to work can you be here in 20 mins LMAO again said I will be there withing 2 hours sign the contract she was standing in the middle of the road flagging me down signed contract in hand.
  16. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,768

    Got a call this morning from an area business about snow removal. I talked to the manager and he asked "are you the guy that plowed for us last year" I said no sir, and he said "then I am intersted in receiving a bid from you" He must of had a low baller last year :gunsfiring: :gunsfiring:
  17. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    We had a Best Buy / Target- 200 + car lot and a 3 lane road around the building, loading docks and streets.We worked it with 3 trucks and a salter each event.A one inch trigger.
    National company who will remand nameless took the contract. Was $1,500 each event 1 inch trigger before. Now it's $500 and must work the site for the entire event. A fly by night Mom & Pop took it with ancient equipment.
    The third event they are calling, wanting us back, too bad, so sad we are too busy to take it without a premium added to it.