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Changing a bid

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Young Pup, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. Young Pup

    Young Pup PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,522

    I was wondering if anybody has changed a bid after the estimate as gone out. I am sure most of you will say don't do that. But hey this is my second year of plowing and I have to learn some how. I underestimated the size of the lot. I was back down at the site tonight getting some measurements for mulch. When I was walking the lot with no cars in it I realized I screwed up. The property manager seems to be a nice guy and really wants to change contractors on the site. I am unsure about this so that is why I thought I would post this. Don't be to hard on me guys. But hard enough that I don't screw up again.


    Young Pup
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2004
  2. PSDF350

    PSDF350 Senior Member
    Messages: 577

    i would say no. but if you are going to lose your shirt on it, better change and possibly lose account, then to get job, then not do it proberly becuase you cant afford to and lose it anyway. but if you can suck it up and use as learning experaince and raise estament next season.
  3. Young Pup

    Young Pup PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,522


    What I am leaning on doing is approaching the property manager and saying look I screwed up it should be this amount. If he seems a little hesitate then I was thinking of saying I can split the difference and eat the rest of the cost myself. I have been thinking about this pretty much all night and that seems to be the direction I am heading. What do you think?

  4. PSDF350

    PSDF350 Senior Member
    Messages: 577

    i think any time you change a bid is a risk. the real question is are you willing to take the risk and lose the job. plus possibly get a bad name. or would you be better off doing the job right and take the loss. but next year make a correct bid. tough call wouldn't want to be in your shoes. there is no right or wrong answer here. do what you think is best. just remeber when you go see him with the change what is he going to think about your proffesionalism. whatever you decide good luck. just make sure if you do or dont and get the job do the best you can.
  5. lawnmedic

    lawnmedic Senior Member
    Messages: 703

    I would expect the property manager to cancel your bid and go with someone else, but I would try to feel the guy out and suggest that you error ed on the bid. Maybe he would give you a second chance....
  6. ALEX516

    ALEX516 Senior Member
    Messages: 103

    Young Puppy

    Hey, Listen, I do more borwsing than anythign else on here, I sometimes put my few cents in, and this is an issue which I am sure EVERYONE has had at one point or another, I F'D up a county bid for snow, severely, Why???
    Because I underestimated it and more imporantly I did not know how municipal pricing went. I learned from the mistake and actually had to cancel my bid as they were reading the one before mine. ALL the prices were grossly different than mine and although I would have won, I would have lost everything devoting myself to the properties I was bidding on. I've since learned, espescially the few days following the bid reading...

    I kpet telling myself "How could I screw up like that???" But summing it up, simply is this,.,,,,,,, Better to completely NOT have the job than have the job and loose money or loose everything...

    I'm talking $15,000 per storm here, so I'm not sure the kind of $$ you're talking about, but I'm glad I pulled out and did not risk anything...

    Good luck and please let everyone here know how you make out.
  7. Young Pup

    Young Pup PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,522

    Thanks for the reply's guys. I am going to go out to do my Lawncare customers for the day and really am going to think about this. I am not talking about losing big bucks. I slept on it last night and when I woke up I was thinking a long the lines of what you guys are saying about unprofessional. Can I live with this mistake? Probably. I would be risking losing the seasonal contract if I screw up and change the bid. I think I just answered my own question. Thank guys when asking questions it helps to figure these things out.
  8. jhook

    jhook Senior Member
    Messages: 375


    I would have to agree with the guys here. If you're not really going to loose anything, I would let it go the way you wrote it.

    Brings up a good point about bidding though. Never rush into a bid. I personally will visit a site more than once before I throw down a price. Not talking about driveways here, but bigger lots. I show up and talk witht he guy about it and then later that day or evening, I go back and look it all over again on my own. I also never ever give out a price on the first time when I show up and talk about the job, this lets me be sure before I commit myself. I always conclude the meeting by saying, I will fax/mail/drop off the proposal tomorrow or by the end of the week or whatever suites the situation. This also gives me the time I need to put together a very professional looking proposal and allows me to emphasize things that may or may not have come up during the meeting. Points about insurance, backup equipment, etc can be made in to a good sales letter (proposal).

  9. BreyerConstruct

    BreyerConstruct Senior Member
    Messages: 132


    Very good point about not leaving a bid on first visit, and going back to get a 2nd look. I've made mistakes because I didn't do either of those items, not w/ plowing, but w/ bidding other building, etc work. Thanks for the reminder. I needed that.

  10. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    Young Pup; Your thoughts about going to the manager are what I would do.
    If he accepts Great.
    If he will split the difference that is also Great. but if he isn't willing to talk then you may want to pass this job by.
  11. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    Young Pup I would definatly talk with the manager about this. Just bring up the fact you underestimated the size of the lot. If he balks on it then consider just eating it for the season. Most of these guys know were you should be close too so he may know you were off allready. Also something to consider in your future bids is measure the lot and listing that in your bid. Any paving, roofing, or flooring contractor would include square feet in there bid. Something to think about. This could save your butt someday if you bid a lot and didnt realize there was 2 acres out back. You could be held legally responsible for the plowing of that "whole property".
  12. bterry

    bterry Senior Member
    Messages: 183

    Here's another possibility, based on a bid I put out last year.

    That bid was for a sizable asphalt lot with gravel drive and loading docks out back. I probably could have done it in an hour, maybe a little more. The business owner sponsors my race car - so I wanted to give him a good price. I qouted $75 - less than half of what it's worth. When I went back to check on the status of the contract, he told me that I was way high, and that he had two qoutes lower than mine! One of which was for $45!!!

    I'm just saying that this owner, just might not like your bid anyway. I sucks to have to compete with lowballers, that why I won't do it.
  13. Young Pup

    Young Pup PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,522

    I spoke to him and he seems ok with the increase in difference of the estimate. But I should know more next week for sure.He was taking a long weekend and would not be back in the office till next Wednesday. Time will only tell.

    Thanks for all the support and help on this matter.
  14. Young Pup

    Young Pup PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,522

    update for those that care.

    He came back from his long weekend. Called me and wants me to combine everything into one lump sum for the whole year. I personally think it is going to be hard to do with snowplowing. Here it is to hard to predict how much snow. I am doing three prices. One for summer. One for winter. And one with both. Dropping off on Friday. Will update one more time later on.

  15. Mick

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

    Actually, that seems like a good deal. Think of it as job security or year-round income. Just figure a seasonal price for snow; plus your summer figure and go with it. Not only are you not losing a winter bid, but you're keeping a customer year round. I'd say he realized you were too low to begin with and is willing to renegotiate. Jump on it. Maybe divide the whole thing into 12 payments, having a steady monthly income? Go out and market the same concept to a few others and you'd soon have a pretty good network set up. The other thing is that with this type of set up, they'll be less likely to replace you, knowing that if they let you go over snow, they might also lose you over the summer, too (or vice versa).
  16. lawnmedic

    lawnmedic Senior Member
    Messages: 703

    Annual contracts really help when applying for credit. You can show that as guarantied income, not relying on weather....
  17. Young Pup

    Young Pup PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,522

    Well, As I just updated on another post, I did not get the contract. Turns out I was to high on the summer part of the bid. By 1500 dollars. I was upset thinking I was a little low on this. Turns out this guy is working for peanuts and I am sorry thanks but no thanks. Live, Learn, and move on.

    Thanks for the help,