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Mind Boggling!!! RESI bid beat by $115

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by justinsp, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. justinsp

    justinsp Senior Member
    Messages: 166

    Today I was working on my follow up calls from bids I put out friday and monday. Called a bid back on a driveway that was appx 20' wide by 80' deep, 2 cars wide, 4 deep. So I put together the proposal for seasonal service with driveway service and shoveling of front entrance (which is about 40 sq feet, figure take me about 3-4 min to get out shovel, back in truck) With a $50 prepay discount I am doing for new customers the bid came to $335 for season thru march 31st. 2 inch trigger. I was thinking to myself that this was way too low but the house is right in line on my current route. Anyway, I called the homeowner today and was told I was "way too high". I then proceeded to ask him what kind of rate he was looking to pay and was told "Last year I paid $220 for the season". I was stunned. I have accounts in that same area that I serviced last season and was at those properties 11 times. That means the contractor got it done for $20 per time. I told him I am unable to even come close to matching that and asked him why his contractor from last year is not doing it again for that rate. Homeowners response was "oh, contractor called me and told me he is not coming up to this area any more, downsizing his route" I told homeowner to work on getting a few more bids and that I would call him back in a few days to see if he still needed help and for a final follow up.

    I am still in AWE that some contractor would sign a seasonal contract for $220. I hope that guy learned the hard way and lost his rear if all his accounts were that cheap. Hopefully wont be in biz next year at this time.

    So, has anyone else run into these cheap rate contractors out there? Maybe I shouldnt even call someone doing it that cheap a "contractor"
  2. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    It all depends on the area. Around here everybody says driveways should be going for at least 20 bucks...yeah right just try and get that. We have rates around here that are too low but what can you do. I have to feed a family and pay bills too. We do driveways at a price that some of you guys would laugh your arsses off, granted there are several right in a row in a couple of subdivisions but still pretty low. But a dead give-a-way is usually when they say "the contractor is down sizing or not doing this side of town any more". Stick to your guns, if you dont think you can do it for that price then move on.
  3. Fatality

    Fatality Senior Member
    Messages: 222

    20 bucks per drive that would take 5 minutes is outstanding
  4. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    yeah, we expect about 20 events a year, and we get 15-25 dollars per event depending on how much snow comes down, i don't have a problem with that price, i think i make decent money at that
  5. Sno

    Sno Senior Member
    Messages: 320

    5 minutes....

    You must have been born there and never left?

  6. Deco

    Deco Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    win some , lose some . lets see what kind of service they get this year . they may call you back , i had that happen twice . "uuh , the guy never showed , can you stop down ?" dont get angry or burn the bridge .stay tough
  7. TonawandaNY

    TonawandaNY Senior Member
    Messages: 160

    I think your right in line with what I would charge for a driveway that large.

    I agree that 220 is way to low. I am not sure how folks can afford to do it that cheap unless they dont have car payments and are driving a 10yr old truck.
  8. NLS1

    NLS1 Senior Member
    Messages: 313

    I am only a little ways away from you, and the other contractors price sounds very low if it is in fact real and does in fact include shoveling. Don't sweat it, happens all the time, you never know if you are bidding against a beer money guy or maybe he had ten others on the block.

    I will just say something like, "wow that is a good price, especially since you know he has you taken care of with commercial vehicle insurance and general liability insurance and pays taxes and all, you should stay with him." That gets them thinking that the clown probably doesn't do any of that stuff and they are playing with fire.

    Walmart shoppers are the same way, they are only looking at price, not service or trust.
    Some people want awesome service and others only want cheap. You can only please the ones that want cheap until the next guy comes in lower. The ones that want a trusting relationship with great service are way more loyal and happy even if you are more expensive than the lowest bidder.

    I'm done now...:p
  9. bike5200

    bike5200 Senior Member
    from Ky
    Messages: 437

    These lowballers as everyone calls them are making money in there eyes. They probably are out of work, have a truck and plow that is paid for and the H/O is writing a check to them. At the end of the day they have money in there pocket. These guys might have a few good jobs in the neighborhood and might have bid a few drives lower to keep working in the neighborhood. How do you know these so called lowballer are not getting some extras though out the winter.

    I have seen contractors that do not drive the latest and greatest new truck, buy good used equipment and have a good part time mechanic that keeps everything running. They run a tighter ship and keep there cost down, or will some call them a lowballer. But these contractors some times complain about other contractors as being to low.
  10. Deco

    Deco Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    business is business . not just in this field . i dont take it personal . it's business .
    the thicker the skin , the stronger
  11. martyman

    martyman Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    I've gone to a few quotes and got low balled this season and I'm just ignoring them. If you let people pressure you into doing a job that you know is not worth your time you are a boob.
  12. Schuley

    Schuley Senior Member
    Messages: 160

    I have a company by me giving seasonal prices that figure out to $14.50 per event. I locked in all 45 customers from last year, and even picked up some of his for a higher price because he doesn't do the best work and doesn't shovel.
  13. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,533

    i did a follow up call for a driveway, was told i was too high as well, 300 bucks, no shoveling. she went with a contractor who is doing it for 168
  14. Harleychvy

    Harleychvy Senior Member
    Messages: 149

    I'm losing bids over $5-10 this year. It's riddiculous
  15. lawn king

    lawn king PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070

    Hell, our cost of living is so high here, we need to get $20. just for the bid! :nod:
  16. ColumbiaLand

    ColumbiaLand Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    $45.00 Minimum Per Drive If Its A Per Push!
  17. ColumbiaLand

    ColumbiaLand Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    Once your established and you have enough work to do ok, set a minimum price don't play around with numbers just to make $1 profit.
  18. pushin 4 u

    pushin 4 u Member
    Messages: 82

    round here we can get $40 for a 2-car and $50 for a 3-car per-push including shoveling upto the front door no salt. for a seasonal price i take the avg storms X $ = and maybe take a little off the top and i can still make a little payuppayup If the homeowner doesn't like the price...there's always another one...DON'T SWEAT THE PETTY STUFF...PET THE SWEATY STUFF!!!:laughing: :laughing:
  19. piperpm

    piperpm Member
    Messages: 39

    Stick to your guns... I have a guy in our area using the stop-watch method and billing for total minutes of service at end of year...no shovelling, no concern for quality but clients are getting a season for around $200 in some cases! It is low-balling no doubt but don't get sucked into it.
  20. snowbrothers101

    snowbrothers101 Senior Member
    Messages: 154

    I agree. Focus on your company and what you need to deliver service and make a profit. It is the only way to keep your sanity.