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Prices out of control.

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Brian Young, Nov 6, 2005.

  1. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    I gave two estimates yesterday after I guess the same guy. My bid-$25.00 per push, his bid $8.00 WTF! This driveway was at least 80ft long in between houses and very narrow. Bid 2, my bid was $23.00 his bid $8.00. Who the hell does driveways for $8.00's. I tried to explain to the customers that I doubt he is insured and not very dependable but it was all about the money to them. How do you even try to compete with idiots like this? yeah they will be either bankrupt or stop showing up in the middle of winter but that doesn't do us any good now. I wish you had to belong to a association or something in order to plow or mow for a business.
  2. Mick

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

    You don't. That's ridiculous. All you can hope for is that he gets all he can handle, then you get some at what you want. Just figure it's actually costing him to plow those accounts. Really no use in discussing "realities" with the homeowner. For now, all they know is someone is offering to plow their driveway for $8 vs your $25. Do you have anything to show them that you would be any better than that guy? If not, how can they know he won't be at least as good as you? Talking about your costs is pointless, that's not their concern. Do they really care if he is properly insured or not? Why don't you hire him to plow your driveway, to fill his route up faster? Some might suggest hiring him as a sub, but I wouldn't. It might give him ideas that he could make more - so then he's bidding $20 against your $25. Result - you lower to $20 to compete and overall lowering of prices in the area.

    You know what you need. Stay with it and ignore the others. If you simply can't get any work at your price, it's time to consider another line of work.
  3. Killswitch

    Killswitch Senior Member
    Messages: 246

    Costs me 8 dollars to do a job like that, or to even go look at it to bid.

  4. greenpastureslc

    greenpastureslc Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    Let the people know that if he gets hurt or does any damage on their property that they could be sued and their homeowners insurance could drop them for hiring an uninsured contractor. Then they would have to pay a premium to get insured elsewhere. "So tell me Mr. Homeowner is it worth saving a few dollars now to possibly lose your insurance covorage and have to pay more later anyway?"
  5. paponte

    paponte Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    $25.00 !?!?!?! Geeze, we get minimum $60.00 for a driveway... period. :cool:
  6. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    I really hope you dont need help with this decision...:rolleyes:
  7. Great Lakes Sno

    Great Lakes Sno Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Hell my warm bed:sleeping: means to much to me to want to get out of it to plow driveways for $8.00.

  8. DESTEFANO3782

    DESTEFANO3782 Senior Member
    Messages: 179

    Just Tell The Home Owner You Appriciate The Oppertunity On Bidding There Property. Leave A Card And Say If We Can Ever Help You In The Future Feel Free To Call Us. At 8 Bucks He Minus Well Put A Sign On His Roof Sayin "im Free Use Me"

    TRUE TURF LAWN Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    why are you wasting all are time with a question like this.
  10. Acmemechanic

    Acmemechanic Senior Member
    Messages: 137

    Re prices out of control

    Just sit back and wait sooner or later he will need a set of tires to push with and no way can he buy them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:yow!: :gunsfiring: :realmad:
  11. SLSNursery

    SLSNursery PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 140


    I think I would need at least $25.00 to provide a response for you! Cash or credit card would be fine.
  12. silvetouch

    silvetouch Senior Member
    Messages: 336

    I really can't even think of a response for this post. LOL!
    We have a company here in South East Michigan ( i don't want to name the company - don't wanna get sued). Anyway, They only plow residential driveways and send flyers around saying they'll due drives for $99 FOR THE WHOLE SEASON. Not to any surprice they were on our local news last year nurmerous times for scamming people and sending outragious extra bills at the end of the season.
    At $99, last year would have been about $6 bucks per push. Just plain ridiculous.
  13. Kaptain_Kurt

    Kaptain_Kurt Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 53

    I don't even think people would hire me if I bid an $8 push.

    Why don't you hire him to do all your jobs for the $8 each. You can sleep in and concentrate on getting more accounts for him to do for you.

    I am probably going to lose $$ at $25 per driveway this year. Last year I broke a front driveshaft on my 4x4 and had to call in my backup to plow. I missed 2 more events while waiting for my truck to get fixed. I had a contract for $3k for the season and the truck repair alone was $1,500. Toss in the gas, tune-ups, misc. parts and insurance and I plowed for free last year. I did get the plow truck with the contract for $1 though, so I think I'll be ahead eventually (hopefully). Last week somebody stole the wheels and tires right out from under the truck and left it sitting on blocks. It really pissed me off until I realized something really funny. Those are very old and odd sized rims with 20-year old tires on them. I can't believe they still hold air. Anyway, last year I priced the cheapest tires i could find for the rims and it was gonna be $800, so I skipped it. Well ha, ha, ha. After the theft this year, I went to the 'you-pull-it' junk yard and found a set of stock white rims with an almost brand-new set of nice tires on them, balanced and all for $100! I never would have ended up with such a cheap set of wheels/tires if somebody hadn't stole the one's I had! So thanks to whomever took the time to steal those, and I really did appreciate that they gently put the truck on blocks so no damage occured to the underside or axles. Thanks!
    Just once I'd like to catch a thief in the act tho....someday somebody is gonna get years and years of my pent-up frustration in a few swift blows about the head and neck.
  14. genrock

    genrock Member
    Messages: 60

    NEWS BULLETIN::yow!:

    This just in. Police have apprehended a would be plow truck operator stealing rims and tires off of real contractors vehicles. Police say the man was upset because he thought he deserved some credit seeing how he was only charging $8 per driveway.
  15. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    LOL, Thats Funny !:D
  16. gpin

    gpin Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    Or maybe the homeowncers lied to jerk you into a lower price. I plow a few of my neighbors for free but I would be embarrassed to bill $8. How do you even bother to collect $8?
  17. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    Sorry I didn't mean too, don't reply if its a waste of your time. Geeeeez!:dizzy:
  18. spiviter

    spiviter Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 74

    Forget the driveways, Go for the commercial lots. I have banks, auto centers and small strip malls. And they all pre pay for the season...
  19. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    No you don't- legislation is NEVER the answer in a free market place.
    a legal requirement to belong to an association also will NOT guarantee pricing for you over him- if it could you'd BOTH be out of business. Again it's called a FREE MARKETPLACE. Come on, Even SIMA is overpriced for the majority of legit plow contractors.
    You don't compete- simply leave a card and say Thanks. I can't compete with that price, but if something happens and I can be of service to you please don;t hesitate to call. And leave it at that. He'll be out of business by the end of the season- the gas costs alond will kill him not to mention if he breaks down some time. All it takes is one time for him not to show up (be it a break down or otherwise) and they'll drop him.
  20. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    Boy that could get ugly if you get alot of snow...:rolleyes: