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Just got laughed out of a bid have prices dropped?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by rscritch, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. rscritch

    rscritch Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    I met with an apartment complex this afternoon. New to me. One of my guys use to plow it and knew them. they are 100,620 sq ft of parking lot. pretty straight forward places evenly spaced to stack snow ect. using my two calculators that I use with a 2" trigger I had a 2" to 4": snow plowing costing 726 or 776 plus salt and my salt bill at 871 or 915 depending on caculator. I've used my two calculators for 2 years now and had good luck fyi no side walks. I was told they have other bids down in the 400's on snow and half of my salt price has any one else noticed a down turn in snow pricing?
  2. gc3

    gc3 Senior Member
    Messages: 713

    There's always gonna be a downturn in snow plowing prices from the low ballers. It depends how bad they want the bid.
  3. rscritch

    rscritch Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    I wasn't sure if it was bs or there really are people out there doing it that cheap or if I screwed it up. we usually only do parking lots and driveways. Not a lot of apartments so who knows.
  4. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    Apartments are a big PITA. Some tenants will come move the cars, some will wait till 3 hours after the last flake falls, some wait 2 weeks.
  5. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,943

    they prob got used to a cheap deal from last contractor & then this year tried to call a few "noobs" got low quotes & figured thats what the price is/should be. Truth is alot of diff budgets for diff people, with diff expectations. Maybe they used to a "ok" job/pricing, but then again maybe prices are dropping, lol I don't know squat about Il, was it low snow years last few years?
  6. Citytow

    Citytow Senior Member
    from phila
    Messages: 548

    your numbers to me vs. sq ft. , in MY AREA , are fair . let them have it . big deal ? its not the first time you'll lose a fair bid . sure as hell wont be the last . just look around this site ....they give it away here .:laughing:

    we'll continue to stand firm , unlike the others . when the contract sheet hits the fan (blizzard), my phone blows up with comments like , "HELP, WE WERE BONED ". resulting in a 100% profit jobbers. they are at your mercy .

    while the kids hide under the covers
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
  7. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,771

    If I understand your numbers you are charging about $900 for about a ton of salt. If I turned in those numbers they would laugh at me too.
  8. Fatality

    Fatality Senior Member
    Messages: 226

    So at approx 2 acres you are charging 700? At an acre an hr you are making 350/hr? Something doesn't add up.

    2 acres is maybe a ton of salt on the heavy side of an app and your saying it costs 850 to salt?
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
  9. jerpa

    jerpa Member
    Messages: 92

    It seems high to me but what are your yearly averages? Overhead costs are always there so I understand price per push increases as yearly snowfall decreases. I'd bid it at about $400 per push and about the same for salt and I seem to be a bit higher than average for my area. In Philly I'd bid twice that but they get half as much snowfall as we do.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
  10. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    Keep the bid handy if they call you this winter because of non performance on the contractors part and hand them a three/five year contract with built in price increases.

    If they had a cheap guy last year who did not return that should tell you they weren't making enough money, had poor performance or weren't getting paid. If they couldn't make money in the snow business last year they need to rethink the pricing schedule, if it was an performance issue the customer needs to rethink their budget and if they weren't getting paid you need to run like he11.

    Perhaps they did (rethink their prices) and this years pricing kicked off the customers search for another sucker.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
  11. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    Snowfall rate, cost of living, and a lot of other factors make it impossible to compare rates outside a very small region. Everyone's cost of sales is so different.
  12. derekslawncare

    derekslawncare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,003

    I just bought a new to me skid loader, a 20' shipping container and 25 tons of salt so I can handle my own salt supply this year, as apposed to purchasing from one of my larger competitors. Because of the increased expense, I included a notice with all my contracts this year explaining the equipment purchase and that I did it to avoid being cut off again like last winter which sent me scrambling every storm to find salt. I raised all pricing approx. 10% and thus far, have only lost one out of my 10 customers. It was a church who said they were going in house this year. All others have returned signed contracts except one, who stated by phone that they were staying with me, just hadn't gotten it approved and signed by corporate yet.
  13. Ne1

    Ne1 Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    I don't claim to know anything about pricing in IL but the numbers you gave seem really high. From what I have seen apartment bids seem to go get pretty cheap and they are a pain to plow.
  14. rscritch

    rscritch Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    Straight plowing it's 2.5 hours. It's on the far north corner of town add .25 and the hassle of a apartment building. About another .5 at 225 an hour and there is my price I use excel and quick books to estimate every job and to make sure I don't miss any thing but on a labor break down that's where it came from. As for salt I charge 1260 per ton.
  15. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 722

    That's a misprint right?
  16. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 6,078

    1260 per ton!!! What is your direct cost of the salt?
  17. Advantage

    Advantage Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    Well that explains why your bid numbers are so high.
  18. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,771

    :eek: I thought those numbers were only possible in Phila. :laughing:

    If I charged that for salt I wouldn't have to worry about the shortage. I wouldn't have any customers :laughing:

    Glad to hear you can charge that
  19. jerpa

    jerpa Member
    Messages: 92

    If that plowing price included a second cleanup trip, or waiting for cars to be moved to clear the entire lot at once, I'd be close to that. Otherwise my price above would be per trip to plow what could be plowed. I wish I could get 12x the cost of salt.
  20. rscritch

    rscritch Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    I'm at about 196 a ton , delivered so only 6 times cost and I have to store it, and load it and make sure I all ways have it. It's 3 times the cost of bagged. I'd rather have fewer customers that I can take excellent care of than alot that I cant.