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WHAT is a Low Baller?

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by QuadPlower, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    There are several versions running around plowsite. Most of the time it is used to describe a person that did a member of this site wrong.

    "I was under bid by this low baller."
    "This lowballer plowing for beer money. . . "
    "I found out that this low baller does it for half of what I would normally charge."
    "I bet the low baller doesn't have insurance or pay taxes."

    In my opinion, a low baller is someone that under bids KNOWING how much the current bid is for. OR someone who bids a job low just so the current plower looses it.

    Someone who doesn't know how much it really cost to do business or is just breaking into the market and bids low is not a low baller. They are just ignorant.

    What is your definition of a Low Baller?
  2. procut1

    procut1 Senior Member
    Messages: 380

    Your definition is the true definition of what a "lowballer" is.

    Lowballing is a calculated intentional practice.

    What everyone else is describing is losing a job to someone who is doing it cheaper.

    I get a laugh at that one too. 100% of the time someone on here complains about losing a job it is ALWAYS PRICE.

    No one EVER lost a job for not doing a good job.
  3. f250man

    f250man PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,124

    I would consider a low baller as a guy or gal that dose not charge market price on his or her bids. New to something should not be a reason to bid it cheap if you are jumping into a business you need to do your home work and find the going rate and bid accordingly. That is my opinion.
  4. ahoron

    ahoron Senior Member
    from here
    Messages: 422

    It seems a lot of people on here are HIGHBALLERS they think they can charge more for the same service. If he can do it cheaper he must not have insurance and not be paying taxes he is a low baller. If you can get the same service for less you would. You could do a lot near your house cheaper then a guy that has to drive 10-15 miles then are you a lowballer? What point does it go from good business to lowballing? If you have all your lots near each other you can do them cheaper then if you had to drive. Does that make you a low baller or a good businessman?Being new is a reason to bid lower. Who would you hire assuming the price is the same the guy you have used before or some new guy? You would hire the guy you know. Seems some people here think everyone else has the same over head they do. I would define a lowballer as someone who is doing it so cheap that they are losing money. Seems to me most of the lowballer stories here are from people who got their feeling hurt
  5. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,392

    A Baseball pitcher that can't throw a ball between the lower part and upper part on a strike zone. :D
  6. Mick

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

    I agree that it would help if there was a standard definition of "lowballer" other than someone who got a job you wanted. I've posted it before, but see what you think:

    LOWBALLER - A person who knowingly and intentionally uses another's bid or estimate as a basis to form a lower, competing bid.
  7. Spudgunner

    Spudgunner Member
    Messages: 40

    My cynical answer:
    "A lowballer is a person who takes business from me that I think I'm somehow entitled to." This definition would seemingly belong in Ambrose Bierce's "The Devil's Dictionary"...but I'm pretty sure it isn't in there. :D
  8. TPC Services

    TPC Services Senior Member
    Messages: 875

    the truth does hurt do'nt it.
    most lowballers do not have insurance, or a clue what it takes (I.E. gas, wear tear, commercial insurace, company insurance labor, mis cost) to o the job

    your comment about how someone choses you over the other guy sould be experaince. I would not have some smoo come and hack up my property if he does not have prior experiance.
  9. IMAGE

    IMAGE Sponsor
    Messages: 1,737

    I plowed out a Subway drive thru for $20 and a 6". I was there and had a plow, they had a snow drift and closed drive thru. One time thing, 3 min of work.

    Does that make me a lowballer?
  10. ahoron

    ahoron Senior Member
    from here
    Messages: 422

    Yes, a professional would have a 12" and a bag of chips maybe even double meat:D
  11. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    Does Subway have a contract with someone else? I wouldn't think so. Its like an old lady asking you to do her drive because you are doing the neighbors. If you are there, you do it for whatever. Would you sign a contract for $20 and a 6" sub? I hope not.

    You would be a low baller if you did it for that knowing the last contracter did it for $20 and a 12" sub.
  12. IMAGE

    IMAGE Sponsor
    Messages: 1,737

    Yeah I just wanted to throw it out there. They were in a strip mall, and the building owner did it, so I wasnt taking someones work, I made sure to ask first:) I did leave some cards with the manager to give to the plaza owner though.
  13. v-plower

    v-plower Senior Member
    Messages: 118

    To myself and those I plow with as well as other local friends in the industry the term "low baller" describes guys who bids less than the going rate.
    For example someone who comes in at $80 per push on an account which is $100/push all day long.
    I agree that it is intentional/calculated and that they probably know what the other guy was charging or bid.

    We refer to the no insurance, non tax paying, ridiculously low bidding guys as "*****s".

    Image, that one time plow would not make you a low baller in my eyes just right place, right time but as mentioned earlier you should have gotten a 12", chips and a drink!
  14. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,990

    A Lowballer is someone who buys knock-off/aftermarket parts on line then calls the local dealer wanting free help installing them.

    Messages: 56

    My first post

    Im a lowballer. this is my first year plowing and i feel i had to offer an advantage to get work. I got work because of my lower rates. Next year i will work on increasing my rates. I am insured and take offense to guys hating on lowballers. America's economy is formed on competative business. Alot of guys just hate to loose work and see a young gun coming up but thats life.
  16. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,034

    I agree. It's like when I lose a big job and then the first big snowfall they ask if I can send a loader over to help them out!
  17. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,034

    That's how I got started!
  18. Spudgunner

    Spudgunner Member
    Messages: 40

    You're a competitor...and more power to you! This is America and there is NOTHING wrong with engaging in price competition. It does put the onus on established companies to be more innovative...another good thing, IMO.
  19. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,477

    Define market price.

    Walmart market price? Or a specialty shop market price?

    Market price based on my overhead with several employees, trucks, loaders or your market price based on 1 truck, living at home with your parents? (not saying this is you, just making an example.)

    See above.

    Market price is as volatile as gas. If you have lower overhead, your prices can be lower. If you want to set a 'market price' that would be collusion or price fixing and would be considered illegal. There is no such thing as market price, despite how badly we would like to see it. Because we're in America, home of capitalism. If someone can do as good a job or maybe better, then the property owner is an idiot for not spending his money wisely.

    It is a fine balance between charging enough to make decent money and still provide a high level of service to those who want that level of service.

    So am I truly a lowballer if I know my numbers, willing lower my price and accept a lower profit margin because I want a job? How about if I do this to keep my employees and equipment operating?

    In addition to Quad and Mick being correct (IMO) a lowballer is one who is not a legitimate business entity. No dba or not incorporated, not paying taxes, no insurance are things I would also lump into the definition of lowballer.
  20. Mick

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

    Nothing wrong with that. I don't hate seeing a young gun starting out, either. In fact, I've helped a couple around here. Just don't get upset next year when you lose your customers to the next young gun starting out by offering rates lower than you. Don't expect to keep the same customers when you try raising your rates, either. That's why they went with you in the first place - price, not service. I always tell people - When you start out, you need to decide then what you're going to base your business on. If people get to know you as "the cheap guy", you're going to have a hard time getting them to see you as "the guy who charges more than others, but does a hell of a good job".