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quick question about low ballers

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by aees115, Nov 26, 2004.

  1. aees115

    aees115 Member
    Messages: 43

    why don't most of you people dislike low ballers? i am a seasonal business owner because i landscape. so in the winter time me and my guys don't have much to do. i usually low ball on things that are big to occupy their time so they have something to do when i am not busy. same goes for the snow when their isn't much to do in the winter time why not occupy you guys by ice control or plowing????? maybe theres something i am missing that some guys want to bleed every penny out of a client??? just a quick question please don't take offense to it. do all of you people have year round jobs? or small enough companys to not low ball things to occupy your guys?
    thanks please dont take offense
     
  2. Mick

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

    "Why don't most of you people dislike low ballers?" I guess that means you're saying most guys like lowballers.

    I think you're asking why they do dislike lowballers.

    Anyway, let me ask you - How would you like it if someone consistently bid landscaping jobs for half of what you do?

    Or, if someone showed me your bid, and I said "I can do that for half of what he's bidding".
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2004
  3. JustUsDe

    JustUsDe Senior Member
    Messages: 181

    Mick,
    I was wondering who was gonna answer that question. I was also wondering how nice of an answer it was going to be. Leave it to you to be nice and to the point at the same time. I can't answer the question because I am trying to be a professional business person and I can't think of a nice way to answer that question.


    Ray
     
  4. rnblase

    rnblase Senior Member
    Messages: 123

    Low Baller Answer

    To answer your question, why people don't like low ballers.

    Apparently you do not understand that the snow removal business is an industry in itself, as allot of people on here can tell you, you can make a living at it if you so choose.

    You might want to start thinking of low ballers as someone who contributes to bringing an industry down. Just as cutting grass 15 years ago would bring you twice as much money as it does today, because of low ballers customers can find almost anyone to cut there grass cheaper than the other guy.
    And believe me my friend, that does not help pay the bills.

    This is why the next time you think of low balling something you might want to ask your self; How much is my time worth?

    If you want to stay busy in the winter do us ALL a favor take up a hobby.
    :nono: :dizzy: :realmad: :nono:
     
  5. roidman81

    roidman81 Member
    from nj
    Messages: 32

    regestration

    Together we in the industry can stop low bidding ... registration and licensing.. it sounds like a slogan a dream but it is real and all WE have to do is start!
     
  6. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    It is supply and demand and there are too many plows out there for the work availible so that drive down price to big time sometimes. Like it or not, there is little that you can do about it. It will get worse before it gets better.
     
  7. wls

    wls Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    The other day was our first plow of the season, I knew about four or five of us in my city that did plowing on a business level. By that I mean having a business and insurance etc. Anyways I saw probably 10 different trucks out plowing, some even without amber lights etc. Not saying all them aren't legit, but makes you wonder. :)
    If they don't even have the overhead to buy a light, and probably no insurance, you know they can plow cheaper then me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2004
  8. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113


    I would venture to say that over half of the small time operators out there even have commercail insurance and registration.
     
  9. aees115

    aees115 Member
    Messages: 43

    thats great to see but not many people answered my question??? i am a legit business and all. someone said "i saw a guy without amber lights" in my state you need a permit to have amber lights so if someone doesn't have them it doesn't mean your not legit or committed. however i landscape too. if someone low balls me all the more power to them but i am plenty confident in my work and i by all means am not cheap. if you have a strong customer relations you shouldn't have a problem. from what i can gather here is the people who don't need year round work don't low ball. but to keep your guys busy because you don't want them to be laid off you would low ball. i know thats what well established businesses do maybe its a different stand point with others. for me i have all my lawn accounts that i plow for strictly commercial i dont really like residential because no money in plowing i see and to many headaches. i don't low ball when it comes to snow because i have a strong client base. in my view i think i am higher then most guys.
     
  10. Robhollar

    Robhollar Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    All I have to say on this is to look at the rest of aees115's post. Keep in mind he is only 20 years old...Rob
     
  11. roidman81

    roidman81 Member
    from nj
    Messages: 32

    Nj

    The snow here is not regular snow its kind-of a nice white powdery stuff at night.. no one out just plain old winter wonderland... THEN the suv guys come out say around 430 am or 5 am .. then the guys in there Mercedes an then about 600am the sales guys grand pr-ix.. all hell breaks loose.. the lo-ballers get into accidents with these guys. Did you know that 90% of all snow plow related accidents occur going to and from you sites?? huh make you want to get out there and make money ??!!
     
  12. Mick

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

    Ok, I'll try again (thanks for the compliment, Ray). To start with, to me a lowballer is someone who deliberately and knowingly underbids by using someone else's bid as a guide. Now, if you submit a bid based on your costs and profit margin, that's not a lowballer (in my opinion). The reason I hate lowballers is that they are frauds, cheats and lazy (by definition).

    The other form of lowballer is the one who does not have the appropriate "trappings" for the business (commercial vehicle insurance, general liability, licenses, permits etc; I'm not talking about the guy who uses old equipment until he can afford better). This guy is unfair competition as he is not legitimate. Unfortunately, some people and even businesses use these guys because they can do the work cheaper than the guy running legitimate business.

    Now, you said you lowball in order to have work for your guys during the winter. Well, I'm just the opposite. My focus is snow and ice management, sale of treated salt and firewood. So, if I should hire someone should I get a couple of Murray mowers and take a loss on mowing to keep them busy during the summer? Heck, I could probably read up a bit and do some rock wall installs, rent a Bobcat and do some grading for the cost of the rental or maybe dig some foundations. Well, maybe I wouldn't do as good a job as some, but I could be cheap and keep the guys busy.

    Maybe I could even move into your neighborhood and bid on the same jobs as you. I could bid pretty low, too. I'm retired with a good pension, so I could actually take a loss and put you out of business.

    Have I answered your question sufficiently?
     
  13. JustUsDe

    JustUsDe Senior Member
    Messages: 181

    Mick,
    If you need help putting people like him out of business let me know. I will save you the Bobcat rental and let you use it for free if it helps to knock out someone who thinks it's okay to steal food from my family just to keep busy in the winter. I will even through in some free mowers and weedwackers. I'm sure some of the other legit business people on this site would kick in some supplies. Let's knock them out one at a time.

    There I went and done it I lost my cool and didn't stay professional, Hey but you know what it feels good.

    OH, Yea, Which is it aees115 Do you low ball or not? In two different posts you say you do and you say you don't in this thread. I'm confused, what are you trying to get at with this question?

    Ray
     
  14. jax1013

    jax1013 Senior Member
    Messages: 114

    Flip-flop

    He pulled a John Kerry move...FLIP-FLOP... FLIP-FLOP
     
  15. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    It is a fine line between being a low baller and trying to get more bussiness. Just because you might charge less it does not make you a low baller as I have seen some real high baller scalpers too. I guess it is all a matter of prespective and we bargin shop at store for best price, what cant clients do likewise? (BTW, I am not taking sides here, I am only saying it all is a matter of how you look at it sometimes and how hungry the plow operators are too.
     
  16. aees115

    aees115 Member
    Messages: 43

    well apprenetly we hav alot of illetrate people here. as i had said. I am NOT a low baller as an opinion i am alittle high on things. so who ever may want to go to one of my clients and bid on the property to low ball i have no problem with.......... as i said i have a very strong client base......... so apprently we arnt reasing the between the lines... all i asked was simple question about why people dont like low ballers and some got all up in arms about it.
     
  17. aees115

    aees115 Member
    Messages: 43

    one thing i will even give you my numbers then you can low ball to make you morte confident
     
  18. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation Senior Member
    Messages: 408

    Lowbaling or highballing is all relative . If you are the most expensive contractor then everyone is a lowballer , if you are the cheapest guy on the block everyone else is highballing or ripping off the customer. The economy , and the law of supply and demand will even out the pricing . What ever business you are in , regardless of what it is , there is always someone cheaper and someone more expensive.
     
  19. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    It is not worth getting in a tizzy over.
     
  20. larryjlk

    larryjlk Member
    Messages: 66

    perhaps if you're consistantly getting low balled you might want to reconsider your prices. just a thought.