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Meier plowing bids?

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by hickslawns, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 627

    Has anyone else been contacted by the Meier's stores for snow or mowing bids before? I went through the mowing bid last year and got a good laugh. Let me explain. They use a reverse auction format. Set up all on internet and people put their prices in real time. Example of how this worked on the lawn mowing bids. First run through, they split the stores in half. East/west, north/south, I dunno, but they split them and did 2 days in a row of bidding. On the day my store went to bid, everyone logged on, and crashed their system. Second try, I watched the bids going down and never put in a bid. This is a 12-15 acre mowing bid I was looking to mow for $40-50 per acre(tons of traffic, bumpier than all get out, tons of trash and trimming). Bids open at $200 less than my bottom dollar, and final bid was for under $200. I think it was around $175.

    Now lets see the quality for their money. Trash blown and shredded into confeti every week. Minimal string trimming. Grass looks respectable except for trash shreddings, and dead grass laying on top. You are expected by Meier to respond when they want to be mowed within 24 hours. So if they call Friday afternoon, and you are working till dark, or off to the lake for that matter, there goes your weekend.

    I am not even considering wasting the time bidding the snow for them in this manner. If past memory serves me, they have a 3 or 4" trigger on a 24hour store. I can see it now, $35/hour bids winning the contract. Snow is falling and gets up to 4" and manager calls deciding he is wanting service at 2PM Saturday afternoon just before Christmas. LOL In the past, I have been asked for 2 prices. One for aisles only during certain hours of the day, and two is for total lot clearing in the nighttime hours.

    My question to all at plowsite is this: How many of you went through this process with them? Any different results? Did anybody that bid these make out at all? Did anybody else even have to go through this? Just curious, because I got the info e-mail today. Be careful if you are bidding this. Don't get caught up in the moment and underbid yourself just to say you have a big store contract. You still need to make enough to profit, or call subs in if you find you are over your head, or if you break down. I don't know anyone working snowplow hours, eating at gas stations, and tearing up equipment just to break even or lose money!
  2. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    I would'nt even waste your time on these bigger stores like that, because if Ive learned anything in this business (lawn care & plowing) THIS is the stuff that happens. Normally its the big national lawn care companys that put in these really low bids.
  3. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 627

    You are right. Then they call the guys they beat out to plow for them. I am curious to see where the "bidding" ends on this one. I am guessing someone will be calling me to see if we will sub for them for $35/hour. lol
  4. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    Your right, I dont know about anywhere else in the country but here in Minnesota that becoming a big problem. Atleast here in the west-metro area.
  5. Big Nate's Plowing

    Big Nate's Plowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    you cant expect anything better then that from Jeff Gurtz /JG Property Management/Perfect sweep, they have ran the prices for large commercial properties into the shitter, I am trying to steal 3 of the lowes away fom them right now and so far my bottom dollar is over $350 higher per plow/salt then they are, good god they are putting salt down for $80 a ton!
    Between them and GreenSweep they have managed to screw up the pricing market here, greensweep went in and bid all the tacobells at $60 plow & $60 salt across the board, hell I remember getting paid as a sub from a buddy that had the contract and I was getting $100 a location to plow only... . .. . I think I will stick to the small commercials this year, maybe add in a few more of the new self storage places that have sprung up cause I gotta keep that $120/hr figure if I am to afford that new 46" LCD HDTV

    shoot me a pm if ya want to do lunch sometime

  6. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 627

    Nate- Lunch sounds great! Maybe if we get a slow spell this winter I will meet you halfway around Findlay or something. Grass is finally growing here, so we are humping it hard trying to rally into winter. We need to finish strong on the mowing in case it doesn't snow much after this drought summer! Maybe we need a northwest Ohio get together!
  7. ynvvbr

    ynvvbr Member
    Messages: 68

    Get used to the Reveerse BID, unfortunately!! That is how to my knowledge Target, Sprint, and Footlocker have all gone the last several years in our area. Hell i got nailed from one of our accounts that some guy came in and bid a 67,000 sq ft lot at $229 and offered a 1 ton truck at $37.50 per hour. Needleless to say we sent them word today that we would not be dropping our prices.. I hope to god they reconsider, but why kill ourselves or any of our subs for crap money!! If i gotta be up for 2 days I am going to make it worth my while and everybody elses.

    Here is a good laugh for ya. One of those reverse auctions was down to I believe 6.8 million 30 seconds left,one final bid was made $5 million. Who in god's name is leaving $1.8 million sitting on the table!!!!
  8. plowed

    plowed Senior Member
    Messages: 344

    Take a good educated guess. It shouldn't be too difficult...
  9. Mick

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

    And you'll likely get a call or email asking if you want to subcontract for a third or fourth of your usual rate while being required to carry five million of insurance naming them as additional insured.
  10. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 627

    This sounds like a guy I know in another business that always brags about doing $1.25M or $1.5M per year. He can't even keep his payroll up or truck payments made. Tell you what, if I gross $150k per year and retain $40k salary and $10k business savings per year, it is better than having $1.5M or even $10M annual gross and not being able to keep the lights on. I don't want to retire anytime soon, but I want to make a fair profit. Nickel at a time boys, nickel at a time. . . These guys are lowballers at the big league levels, but they won't be around when they can't pay their subs, fuel, insurance, payroll, maintenance. . .need I say more?
  11. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,041

    Just dug this oooold one up from some years back about Meijers. Anyone deal with there bidding this year. If so how did it go