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Lowballer stories

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Mick, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. Mick

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

    I read lot about lowballers, so thought I'd start a thread specifically for those stories - kind of a place to vent. Since it's my thread, I get to start.

    If not a lowballer, what would you call this? I had a private road I'd done for several years -- $55 for 3-6" to $110 for 9-12". Lost it this winter to a guy who wanted to start plowing, so he bought a truck just like mine - '96 Chevy one ton flatbed, 6.5TD with a 9' Fisher and 2 yd sander (I've never seen it, but a friend told me about it). Anyway, the customer calls and tells me this guy "wanted to start plowing and offered them a deal too good to pass up". Went on to tell me they'd been real happy with my service, etc, but this guy offered to do it for $20 per storm, regardless of depth. This is a one lane road - 7/10 of a mile long with two hills and one sharp curve. Plus, he'd be doing three driveways that I wasn't doing.

    I do have two $20 accounts right next to each other - each one is a single, straight push about 50' and stack at the end. But that’s as low as I’ll go - just not worth it for any less.
  2. LB Landscaping

    LB Landscaping Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 324

    Thats lower than lowballing Mick.

    Got a company here that gets there business by just beating the lowest bid. They don't figure costs, time etc. they just knock a few bucks off the lowest bid. Not sure how they find out what the bid amounts are but they do. From what I hear they call commercial accounts and say tell us you lowest bid and we'll beat it if you'll give us the contract. I bid on a condo they bid on last week. The condo associtation pres said that they were the worst company they have ever dealt with and that the association learned there lesson that cheaper isn't always better. Maybe this is a case of lowballing actually paying off for me.
  3. ICindrich

    ICindrich Senior Member
    Messages: 120

    My father owns a decent sized construction company and is an excellent and accurate estimator. We constantly have fresh carpenter turned GC's coming in with bids that are below our cost, get the job because the architect we do alot of work for allways designs the houses more expensive then the homeowner wants, and then the lowballer doesn't have enough money to do the job right, or just plain f's it up. These guys only last one job before their gone, but there seems to be an endless supply of them!!
    I just wish the architect would smarten up, but we've got enough work to stay fat, so i guess it aint so bad

  4. clark lawn

    clark lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    from NE ohio
    Messages: 1,233

    i lost a hotel this year to a guy that plows and salts it for less than i can by salt for. he buys it at lowes at $5.00 a bag and pays tax so he probably is not a legit co. ive seen him in there a few times. lot takes between 800-1000# of salt and he does both for $65.00 per push. gets done every two inches so depth doesnt matter. i asked them if he was insured they didnt know or care.
  5. go plow

    go plow Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    i was plowing/mowing a factory and the factory owners home. for many years, as people saw me mowing his home i picked up 6 of his neighbors, this past fall, his wife called someone to plow, she thought that she would shop around i guess, so i called to see if we were all set for plowing, he told me that he was upset to have to tell me that his wife hired some else and signed a contract without him knowing, so i told him well if your not happy with this guy call me and ill see what i can do for you. i thought i was being nice.... well i still take care of the other people near his home, and i always see him out shoveling the driveway, he never had to before, when i took care of it, plus when the parking lot needed sanding, i would do his house for free seeing that he gave me alot of work.... so not only does he have a contract that he cant get out of, unless he pays for the whole season, he has to clean up after this guy .. lol lol