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Raise your prices in the Toronto area!

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by coolgreen, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. coolgreen

    coolgreen Member
    Messages: 53

    After last winter - the worst on record for our area, some idiot is out there undercutting me and cherry picking my clients!

    I try to stop and talk to every landscaper I see to tell them I've put my prices up, and everyone I've spoken to says they are doing the same.

    But there are some morons out there pricing driveways at the same rate we were getting eight years ago. Who are these idiots? Don't they check to see what the going rate is for the type of work they are doing? All they have to do is call - I will gladly tell them what to charge.

    I don't see newly constructed gas stations selling gas at 8-year-old prices. No, they check to see the f@@@* going rate for their product.


    I gave up on commercial bids last year due to the fact that every year there is some idtiot ready to do it cheaper than the year before. It's the only service I know of that goes down in price every year instead of up to match inflation.

    I will have enough clients for the winter, but that is not the point. I'm so pissed off I'm just about ready to get out of this business. I can't think of any other line of work where some people act so DAMN STUIPID!
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2008
  2. Bruce'sEx

    Bruce'sEx Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    Don't know what to say, we've gone up, we've gone up every year, lose a call, pick up a call. samething every year. Can't say much about resi drives, we won't do them. But our commerical, we'll most of them we've done so many years we don't have much problem with people low balling. Most low ballers are one truck wonders, and we remind our contracts about that. Low ballers might have alot of work, but if they do have the one truck and it breaks down, then what you going to do, when your lot is not plowed.
  3. coolgreen

    coolgreen Member
    Messages: 53

    I did not mean to offend the "real" snowplow contractors out there

    I did not mean everyone out there is an idiot. There are more professionals in this industry running first-rate businesses. It's the few that are ruining it for the many.

    And it is those morons who keep driving the prices down, which in turn is driving me nuts.

    That's the problem with this business. All you need is a truck with a plow on the front and all of a sudden you are a snow plow contractor.

    There should be a licensing system, where contractors are checked for proper (safe) equipment and proper insurance. That might weed out some of these fools and keep prices to what they should be, somewhere, say in THIS CENTURY.

    IPLOWSNO PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,620

    you already know what the problem is? all those guys that think theyre cool drivin p/us. they dont need trucks they want them. then you have a guy like me that doesnt want one but HAS to have one. im successful in what ido and i dont need leather gps butt warmer none of that. just a plain old inexspensive work truck will do.
    but when you have coin in your truck you have to make coin with your truck, imo and how hard is it to drop a plow really? i know there are better guys and so forth but really your not in a skilled occupation, learning wise,all you need is a plow and truck. hell you can start a company with just shovels? it all comes down to price in the end imo?
  5. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    Well it's everything you've said above AND the guy who buys a truck & plow to do his driveway, his neighbors' or parents' driveways, and someone puts an idea in his head to make a few bucks to pay off that plow, so you have a million homeowners out there each plowing a bunch of our would-be clients, and none of them are doing it for the going rate. Then the consumers talk, "well Doris, I'm only paying $15... call my neighbor & have him plow yours too."
  6. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    I can, how 'bout the lawn cutting business? Talk about a screwed up market!
  7. coolgreen

    coolgreen Member
    Messages: 53

    I don't seem to have the same problem with lawns. Either they want good service or they hire the cheap guy because they don't care what their place looks like

    With snow plowing, I find just about everyone will take the lowest crappiest price they can find.

    It's not until the following year that the respectable companies pick them up due to the fact the lowball idiot only showed up half the time (or not at all) because he had to take on a million contracts in an attempt to make somewhat of a living.
  8. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    Newmarket is a little different market then Toronto, don't you get 1.5 -2 times the snow fall? We run into some of the same problems on large bids someone comes in at half the price as us but puts in half the equipment. I hope we get a winter like last year again. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.:drinkup:
  9. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

  10. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    Lets hope so....:drinkup::drinkup::drinkup:
  11. A Man

    A Man Senior Member
    Messages: 338

    I don't do any residential, but what is the going rate for in the Toronto area? Sorry to hear that there are contractors out there devalueing the industry.
  12. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    lanw mowing is a screw up market

    alot of guys keep saying raise yoru salt rates..... charge more for plowing,

    i even said i went up 20% on salt , but a few said 30% or more , because there cost went way up

    the entire time , i keep saying, that its not always about what you would like to charge, its about what your compition is charging..... so yeah your salt cost goes up 200% , but if you raise your price behond what the compition is, (even if they are fly by night) you should expexct to lose work -

    IDOCTORTREES Senior Member
    from MONTANA
    Messages: 792

    low ballers can help you. They get the account,They fail,Your called back,Gives the chance to raise the price where it needs to be.
  14. Greenscape4u.co

    Greenscape4u.co Senior Member
    Messages: 101

    I don't know about the rest of everyone here but I started out with an old beet Toyota and mickey rigged plow on a winch doing residentials for peanuts just to get started. Maybe we should just focus on our Client base and continue to do quality work and let the chips fall where they may. jmo
  15. jayman3

    jayman3 Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    Yes that always seems to be the problem but the property managers seem to lik eto try new ones that are cheaper nature of the beast I guess.
    I am not with you on a winter like last year JD man it was crazy here in Ottawa but the average one will be good.
  16. Sno4U

    Sno4U Senior Member
    Messages: 480

    I'm not really sure if your taking a shot a stupid snow plowing guys or not. I get the feeling that you think if a person has pulse, they can be a professional snow plower. Am I correct?
  17. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    These guys are always out there. I have a friend like that, and no matter what I try and explain to him or teach him or show him the stubborn ******* won't learn.

    This is the guy I was talking about last year trying to put a plow on a 3/4t 2wd Ford diesel with a 4x4 mount, busted suspension that couldnt hold up the truck let alone a plow (3" off the ground) and no bed floor to go make his millions snow plowing doing driveways at $10 each... no insurance (I dont need that they can suck my **** dry {his expression not mine})

    This is also the same guy that will jump in his truck with a mower and weed trimmer, drive into the next city, mow and trim for an hour with a second guy, and drive back again, for $20!!! Now you try and explain to him... that he really didn't make $20 but he can't seem to grasp getting his costs included LOL... $10 to the helper guy, $5-10 at least for fuel for the truck, mower, and trimmer... you just paid out to mow someones lawn!

    No, I made $20!


    The best is when he makes contracts at these prices LOL... or tries to pull out trees with his 2wd Ranger.. :dizzy:

    MIDTOWNPC PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,554

    Every year, dad always says "when it starts let it be wet and heavy"
    I love watching the snow blowers crap out.

    Ive tried to raise the prices a bit, however usually that leaves me with getting negotiated back to the same price as last year. However im still very happy with that.

    I find people don't want to hear excuses why it has gone up. Its gone up, if you can sign fast I will match last years price. (I did well last year)

    I wouldnt want to be plowing around oshawa, with all the layoffs and all the guys with trucks (and payments to make before the loans are called), there must be tons of plows being hung. They will all gun for those big spots too, mr homeowner just got a plow and going to get into the biz, would love to be seen at tims, and tell all his buddies he plows tims. Wait till he loses his shirt and can't even afford to buy a tims.

    I am finding there is hardly any loyalty anymore... I mean look at this.. I really like Sunoco Gold diesel, but how loyal am I going to be when Ultramar is selling it 10 cents cheaper..?

    I get this in the computer business all the time, my neighbor who works with computers, built my machine, got the parts from a place online and now my machine is dead and so im here. Wheres your neighbor? at home sleeping cause he works nights... wheres the online store, its gone? wheres the warranty? there isnt one... then we open it up and find its held togeather with wood screws and rubberbands.. and then they tell is they paid the neighbor a bloody fortune.

    Everyone is shopping everything right now. I said to dad the other day, I bet we are going to lose 3 of the resurant / bars that we have. We don't have signed contracts with them, for 4 years its just been handshakes and heres the invoice. But I just know that someone is going to be doing it for wings and beer. Cause the only problem with a heavy winter is it makes all the people who are not in business, think they SHOULD be in business.

    Im in computer retail, its the biggest cut throat business EVER. Some of the tricks that go on here are wild and ruthless. I have said for years in the computer store that the only one can hurt me is foolish guy who does no research and has money to burn, he wont last in town but he will cost me money in the mean time.

    Pitch your sale that you have a reputable business, your insured (get proof on paper), you have backup, and maybe look at trying to get a multi year contract? Remind them how many people are going to be hungry for the work, is the cheapest price really what they are looking for or are they looking for a combination of wuality at a good price, cause you felt you were offering them that. Its not going to be business as usual I think its going to be SURVIVAL. I can stick around a long time.
  19. snowguys

    snowguys Senior Member
    Messages: 708

    well call me a low baller if you want but i stayed at my price for plowing last year went up on salt becuse it costed me more but the way i look at it yea gas went up but i plow large hotels and and chain stores but they allways pay i but 15 days on the bill and i get a check within a week
  20. PIRATE

    PIRATE Junior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 10

    lowballers attract lowpayers