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Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by PLOWMAN45, Dec 3, 2004.

  1. PLOWMAN45

    PLOWMAN45 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,817

    boy am i pissed i have a boarding house for pets for five years and i got a phone call today saying some will do it 25.00 dollars cheaper someone is eating into my commercial accounts anyway i needed to vent

    :gunsfiring: LOWBALLERS :angry:
  2. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    That sucks. How about using some grammar, punctuation, and spell check?
  3. DJL

    DJL Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    These clients are so cheap that they leave someone they've been with for five years for 25 bucks that you don't need em anymore.
  4. PLOWMAN45

    PLOWMAN45 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,817

    yeah boss when im not so pissed i will think about the grammer check next time ok
  5. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,137

    I know how you feel it sure seems to be a cut throat business anymore,not a profitable as it was at one time thats for sure.
  6. bolensdriver

    bolensdriver Senior Member
    Messages: 603

    I charge $5.00 per driveway. :p Just Kidding

    I remember once I did a driveway and someone went to the owner and said he'd do it for five dollars. What an idiot. I have seen his work, he pushed the snow towards the house. Anyways, she didn't trust him, so of COURSE she kept me. :)
  7. EskiePages

    EskiePages Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    I don't totally get what you mean, but do get your drift some. I've worked in the pet market(boarding, grooming, etc.) in the past and $25 doesn't make a lot of sense to me as you mention it. Most dog boarding in my area is in the $10-15/day range. Grooming's another area and depends on the dog and what's done with them, but a $25 difference there would be pretty major too.

    Still, what it boils down to, as with plowing and other markets, is QUALITY! I remember the boarding kennel I worked at and there were a couple slightly "cheaper" places nearby. I had to talk to a number of people over the years about what that extra dollar or two difference meant! MOST either stuck with us or came to us afterall, so the explaining of what that QUALITY difference meant was important...not only to them, but to us!

    I'm seeing likewise in the discussions here on the plowsite. I'm not a pro-plower, but have enjoyed reading many of the topics here and even on plowing it seems QUALITY is a vital aspect to all this. In some of the discussions there's been mention of how the snow is plowed at a place and discussing it with the owner before bidding on the job or giving them a quote can make a big difference. I know it can to me....you can just ram it all in a pile by the garage or you can neatly push it back off the side a little further for more room or what have you. Little things can make a big difference and more than likely the REAL Pros know better how to do that. So, in the end, sometimes that little extra in $$$ can make a big difference even to the customer.

    BUT, the important part here, is they need to know WHY the price difference is worth it. If they truly don't give a rat's behind, so be it.....concentrate on your other customers that ARE satisfied and word of mouth will get around! Whether in plowing, pet boarding, what have you...

    It sucks to lose customers, but it helps to have a knack for dealing with those only concerned with price. MOST people want QUALITY as well as a good price(which you find if you really discuss it with them). Combined in an overall explanation of VALUE, it can get through to many, many people. Those that you can't get through to, oh well.....respect their decisions, and who knows....they just may come back to you someday when they've learned that "the lowest price isn't everything".....

    Continue giving true value to those good customers that stick with you and they won't leave you. I know in the kennels I've worked with, reputation was a big thing.....we kept a LARGE percentage of our customers year in year out....the place I worked for is STILL doing great business these days, and their prices are NOT the lowest around, but they still offer great value overall and people know it! I've learned a fair amount from that, and it's amazing how many other areas it applies as well.
  8. PremierLand

    PremierLand PlowSite.com Addict
    from detroit
    Messages: 1,572

    well i aggree with the quality aspect and higher pricing... I am by no means a professional. But with my lawns, I increased my prices $4 higher than most people were charging. and This year for snow I raised my prices from $18 to $25 (8x50ft drives, most of the guys charge $20, from what ive seen, some do charge more but again, they must be better quality lol.) and they all said "sounds good" and some said "thats reasonable for your service, can you do my 2 neighbors too!" which felt real good for me. Anyway what im getting at, if people realise the higher price = better quality, there likley to pay.

    Think of it like a birthday, your most likely not going to go to mc donalds for your bday, your more likely to go to a better restraunt, wether its apple bees or benny hanna. Its all about the quality and people realise that.

    but then again, i am by no means a "Professional", so some of the guys with big egos can throw this post out the window. :waving:
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2004
  9. osbo68

    osbo68 Member
    Messages: 49

    If you are getting paid to plow then you are a professional. If not you are an amatuer or so they say. The sad part is that I have seen better Amatuer's than Pro's. I believe you have to take pride in you work. I get paid to remove snow from lot's. I guess that make's my a Pro.. To me it means plowing to the curbs, leaveing no trail off, timely service, clean straight edges,etc . It's all those types of things that make you a Pro.
    I treat all of my lots like the lawn guys treat there customer's lawns. If we all take pride in our work the customer will see that. Don't worry about the one you lost.There are plent more fish in the sea. Give your accounts 100% every time and you'll get the nice lot's with the good asphalt. Let the lowballers take the other crap because that's all they can get.
    Remember this though. That low baller could be a new guy just in the biz and not familair with the rate's. We all started somewhere in this biz.

    Oh yea I get the good lot's :) But I still have a few crapper's :realmad: ,but you know what I love 'em all!!
  10. ta3834bbl

    ta3834bbl Senior Member
    Messages: 215

    Hi, guys. This is my first post/reply, and I must say, I started plowing about 5 years ago and have just a few customers. But , they are repeat customers for the same amount of years. I plow just to supplement the fuel prices and plow maintainance (sp). When I started plowing I had no idea what to charge so I just shot a price. I later found out how low of a 'lowball' my bids were. Too late for these customers, but they have become pretty good 'friends' of the business if you will. If I get a call from other lots, I bid what I think it is worth now, not just to get the job. I had other jobs when I started and they were very cheap bids also, but as stated in some of the other posts, they were so cheap that they would actually try to bid me down with stuff like " there really isn't that much snow, how about half price?" and this would be after I was done ! I left those jobs for the real beginners to learn with. Some people just don't know what a good deal is until they have to pay someone that knows what a job is worth before they know how good a deal they originally had. I guess it put them in the same boat I was in, each of us just didn't know how much the service was really worth.

    Sorry this was so long winded, but it hit home with the beginner/proper rate statement from above.

    This looks like a really cool site!
  11. larryjlk

    larryjlk Member
    Messages: 66

    Seems to me that the term "lowballer" gets way over used in these discussions. Perhaps a consensous definition should be established. To me, a lowballer is someone that knows a competitors bid and undercuts it to get the job, as ie., "the other guy quoted me $x, can you beat it?" Or knowing what the going rates are in his area, substantially cuts the price as ie., taking what he knows s/b a $200 job for say $100 so he can "build his business". I don't think it means that just because he submitted a bid for less than yours he's a lowballer, if he honestly felt that that's what the job's worth to him and especially if he had no prior knowledge of any previous bids.
    We've all been underbid at one time or another, that's the nature of bidding and you can't always blame it on a "lowballer". But, maybe if it makes you feel better, you can. :)
  12. caz41

    caz41 Member
    Messages: 86

    Well put Larry. Just because someone puts in a bid that is lower than yours, and the business takes that lower price, SO BE IT. I have been under bid many times and I realize there is nothing you can do about. If that person is putting in such a low bid as you put then they will not be able to make the payments and will be out of business shortly. On the other hand if they can get away with less profit then they will survive and you still will not have the account. My point is either way life goes on, there will be a sunrise tomarrow and you will get other accounts.