Low ball pricing

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by gcbailey, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. gcbailey

    gcbailey Member
    Messages: 93

    We got contacted from a state agency who's looking to keep an office plowed, their old guy backed out and now they can't find anyone.

    The basics - 60k sq ft lot with sidewalks on 3 sides of the building. Zero tolerance from 7:30am-5pm. Lots of public foot traffic.

    The guy before was getting $100 per push with salt..........

    I thought the lawn care business around here had enough low ballers, sheesh.
     
  2. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 34,203

    I mentioned it in another thread, sent oot a bid for a small lot and I have basically started charging a minimum, so I was on the high end. $1500 for the season for the lot. Other guy was $875 for the lot and walks for the season.

    I just don't care if I don't get bids anymore.
     
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  3. BossPlow2010

    BossPlow2010 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,985

    idk Guys, we lost a bid for a 65k government property, with side about 300 linear foot of sidewalks.
    Going to be a very entertaining season watching the company who was awarded the bid :clapping:
     
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    gcbailey

    gcbailey Member
    Messages: 93

    I haven't heard back so I'm doubting we got it.... One of those private individual owns the building, leased out to state agency. So I guess the moaning and whining from the state doesn't bother the individual till people start slipping and falling all over the place.
     
  5. OP
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    gcbailey

    gcbailey Member
    Messages: 93

    State govt or fed govt?
     
  6. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,826

    It can be very satisfying driving by places that you know someone else isnt making any money on.
    This business (and the lawn business) are pretty low entry points. Anyone can finance equipment, and be gung ho to get the job done. The real perseverance comes from the experience and really the experienced know their costs and profit margins.
    I know lots of high equipped companies that talk a huge game, have a crap ton of work but essentially throw manpower and equipment at jobs and claim they are efficient because they get that much more done in a day. Turning over dollars is not profit.
     
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  7. OP
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    gcbailey

    gcbailey Member
    Messages: 93

    For real..... I got into the snow business after my first 5 years in the mowing business. Had a few commercial clients that wanted a single contractor for everything. I got burnt pretty good learning about "adequate salting" my first season.
     
  8. Drock78

    Drock78 Senior Member
    Messages: 248

    Completely agree. I think Facebook and some neighborhood apps have hurt prices. Everyone with a plow is posting and doing driveways for $20 or less. No insurance, no overhead, junk equipment..sure they can do it cheap. Then they don't show up or do a **** job and said homeowner wants to know why you charge more.
     
  9. jasburrito

    jasburrito Senior Member
    Messages: 210

    So how do guys with 50,000 trucks and plow setups compete with 2,500 truck and plow. They ca do the same job. His price for plowing and salting was about as much as a yard mowing per sq ft. I am not gonna try and compete with a fleet of beaters. (Ya i know)
     
    E-Town likes this.
  10. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 34,203

    50,000 trucks? Not sure anyone has that many.
     
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    gcbailey

    gcbailey Member
    Messages: 93

    I don't try to compete with them. We only plow commercial and 75% of that is for existing clients (HOA, industrial sites, etc...). We don't do residential, hopefully never will. We have 3 HOAs that require driveway maintenance and that's more than enough driveways.
     
  12. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 34,203

    Some well known and successful business people have said your only competition is yourself.

    I don't consider someone that prices so low it's unrealistic to be my competition. I have minimums for drives and commercials, plowing, shoveling, salting, salting walks. Don't like it, hire the guy with only 2500 trucks. And they might do the same job this year, but will they next year? Or the next? We've been around for over 80 years, we didn't make it that long by "competing" with 2500 truck operators.
     
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    gcbailey

    gcbailey Member
    Messages: 93

    Me thinks there should be a $ in front of that 50,000 and 2,500...
     
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  14. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 34,203

    What?????
     
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    gcbailey

    gcbailey Member
    Messages: 93

    I thought he talk was talking about a guy with a $50k plow truck vs $2500 beater truck being able to price against them. I don't know , haven't read too closely been cleaning up frozen snow covered leaves all day........
     
  16. cjames808

    cjames808 Senior Member
    from SE WI
    Messages: 630

    Leave them in the dust is my approach. To Bizzie to even laugh at most people when I’m going 100mph like a blur.

    My goal for this season is to hear how we are always there.
     
    ParagonExt likes this.
  17. Mudly

    Mudly Senior Member
    Messages: 364

    A 2.5k truck can compete with a 50k truck?
    I guess I’ve been doing it wrong.
     
    theplowmeister likes this.
  18. If there is a hustler around with a nice inverted set up it won't matter if you got a $50K or $3K beater on residential. He will smoke a guy on time and price.
     
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  19. BossPlow2010

    BossPlow2010 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,985

    LocaL actually, it's a fire department.
    We currently do a federal gov property, and it has been very lucrative for us, I so,etimes wish we had more.
     
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    gcbailey

    gcbailey Member
    Messages: 93

    We've got 1 fed also.... Totally agree but they have pretty strict demands. Enough to warrant a dedicated crew.