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????? Whats Makes A Low-Baller ?????

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Scott's, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. Scott's

    Scott's Senior Member
    Messages: 416

    I consider a lowballer a person that knows a job is worth lets say $65.00 but will come in and bid it at lets say $40.00 knowing they will make little to no money. A lowballer will come and go and another one will take his place, its just the way it works. Now lets think of a few things lets say plow guy #1 has plowed a lot that he has bid out at $65.00 and after plowing it finds out it only took him 20 min to get the job done but keeps plowing it and keeps the price the same knowing he is over charging, now plow guy #2 bids the job and sees thing alittle diff than plow guy #1 and he bids it out at lets say $40 knowing it will only take 20 min, now plow guy #2 gets the job and plow guy #1 finds out he was out bid by $25 now #1 starts posting and complaining he was lowballed by plow guy #2 when deep down inside he knew he was a little high.

    Now is plow guy #2 a lowballer or just a smart buiss man.

    Also if you get out bid by $5 or even $10 on a job would you consider the other guy a lowballer? I think many think if they lost a bid its because someone else lowballed them and not that maybe they made a mistake and over bid a job?:confused:

    Just a few thought I had before my date with a turkey.
  2. toby4492

    toby4492 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,513

  3. Clapper&Company

    Clapper&Company PlowSite Veteran
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 4,413

    Pass that pop Corn Tom
  4. gcsupraman

    gcsupraman Senior Member
    Messages: 110

    haha - that made my day.
  5. LTL

    LTL Senior Member
    Messages: 213

    People on here will call it lowballing, as I see it, if you have a healthy, legal, business, make money, pay bills and are happy with your decision - It's not lowballing. Its getting harder and harder to earn a living in this economy and it will continue to do so. But I will be told I'm wrong.
  6. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    agreed, all the local hometown stores probably use to call Wal Mart lowballers, but they are all out of business now...... Capitalism is what makes our country so great!! when you shop around for a new skid steer, if one dealer is $7k less for the same machine do we call them lowballers?
  7. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    I think a lowballer is someone who prices lots / drives cheap in order to get the bid, but gives crappy service to make up for the low price. Can you think of any examples of a lowballer who does as good of a job as a non-lowballer?

    Here is an example. There is a company here in Grand Rapids that I know of that does driveways for $199 for the season. In my opinion, that is low. How do they make up for it??? Well, they back into the drive, drop the back blade, and pull the snow into the street. Repeat if it is a double wide drive. Then, as they are leaving, they lift the blade off the street slightly and let the snow disperse under the plow, onto the road. Wierd that people had plow service, but no piles of snow anywhere! To top this off, my two customers on the end of the street have both mentioned to me what a hard time they have getting out of their street because it is always such a mess. That is a LOWBALLER thing to do!
  8. Sno4U

    Sno4U Senior Member
    Messages: 480

    Lowballer. Hmmmm. Letsee, If someone else comes in with a price maybe $5-$10 cheaper than me I call them a "competitor". Why? b/c being alittle bit below the next guy is a "competitive " price. That other person has found a way to be more efficient or whatever it takes to do it a little cheaper. I have no problem with that. But, when u have some fool thats just shooting extremely low numbers just to get the job so he can "grow" his business-thats just stupid and I call that a lowballer. There is no way any smart business person can make any money at the price a lowballer gives.
    Most of us have to honestly look at ourselves to determine if we had a competitive price to begin with and at that point then start calling the facts as they are-if you where simply outbid by a COMPETITOR or a LOWBALLER. Only thing is, either way you still lost the bid.:cry:
  9. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    A lowballer IMO is a guy that knows what you charge and will go to the customer and charge less just to p*ss you off.
    My solution.......just fill the end of the driveway in after he leaves.....lol
  10. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    A lowballer is plowsite guy who brags about the bid he "won" against 3 or 4 other guys.

    Lowest bidder is technically biggest loser.
  11. 042500hd

    042500hd Senior Member
    Messages: 251

    Got any popcorn left?
  12. deluxeco

    deluxeco Senior Member
    Messages: 115

    Lets face it guys, our industry is failing due to poor pricing and the fact that guys will bid jobs just to plow.For you old timers be honest some of the prices I see being charged are the same if not less that 10-15 years ago.Thats the same era when a pickup with a plow could be purchased for less than half of what it costs now. I called a frickin appliance guy who showed up witha $30 tool belt and charged me $65 bucks just to pull in my driveway.But someone will take a $30,000.00 truck with a plow and waste an hour plowing a lot for $65.00. Ridiculous! The only way is to bid jobs too large for the average lowballer to plow and maybe you can make money at this.

    RODHALL Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    I know what it cost to run my junk. I know what it cost to repair my junk.
    I own my junk, so I have no payments / interest to worry about.

    When you get a new truck and start plowing most will buy it on time so they have payments to make and they will buy the plow on time also. Say $500 for the truck and $100 for the plow a month..

    You get 3 plowable snow events a month, you each bid the same 10 jobs. So you will be plowing 30 different places a month (3 snows x 10 bids = 30) fuel and salt will be about the same, for both people. If both are trying to make $100 hr not counting repairs, insurance, maint, and what nots.

    The difference in bids will be the $20-30 extra the guy with the new truck and plow will have to charge for each push to cover his payments. The person with the new truck has to also add in extra in case of lost bids so it may be more $$$ then what is stated above….
    * when you put someone you have to pay $xx per hour that number could be a tad bit bigger.

    So if it be lowballing, so be it……..
  14. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Realistically we are all lowballers. Think about like this.

    Guy one bids 1000.

    Another bids 800.

    You bid 700

    Lowballer bids 600.

    Lowballer gets job you complain about it. After one yr he goes out of business.You kept you bid bid the same because you did your homework and you feel you can do the job and make money. Now because you have the lowest bid they think your the lowballer and they want to know how you can make any money. So are you lowballer now or are the other 2 overpriced ?
  15. toby4492

    toby4492 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,513

    Lowballer :confused:


  16. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Toby is that you reliving your "Glory Days"?
  17. ford550

    ford550 Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    Though this is true, If you are a real business man you will understand that at some point you will have to replace this equipment and so technically you have a monthly payment, it is just to a set-aside account for the future purchase of equipment that you are actually using now. At some point, whether it's repair or replace you should be charging the same. For example, I own outright a couple of my trucks and plows, I still charge the same as if I had payments on that equipment, because at some point that equipment is going to need replacing and at an inflationary rate. A truck today will not cost the same 5 years from now, etc. Most guys will understand what I am saying.

    As far a "low-ballers", I think we have all "low-balled" as some point. Is it really low balling? I know I could charge $60/hour and still make money, but do I, NO. I want my business to make money, a profit, that's why I am in business. It's just everybodies profit margin is going to be different. It's called competition, as was stated before. It's your job to figure out how to be competitive and sell your services.

    Just my .02
  18. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    No that be poor business, operating with lower overheads allows you to lower your bids but at a lower profit margin. You are building no equity in your equipment, losing deprecation losses from your taxes, and creating a atmosphere of decreasing profits. major corporations work at cutting cost all the time but you don't see prices going down because they are trying to increase profitability with out changing the price to the consumer not lower the price to the consumer. If you base your profits on a percentage of cost, then by your theory if you lower your cost 10%, you can then lower your price 10% but in the process you lowered your profit 10%.
  19. wls

    wls Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    I believe a lowballer is someone that has very low overhead, thus bids low, just to get food on the table. They probably don't have plowing insurance, and a new truck. In my town, there are probably 3 business's that have ins, the rest (probably 25 rigs) drive a mid 80's truck, with a plow that looks like a 50 gal water heater cut in half, nothing wrong with the setup, as long as it works. But I hardly believe they have the overhead I have, even though my plow trucks are paid for. I still carry ins, that may change this spring. Oh ya, the town I'm refering to has a population, of maybe 1200 people, and the way the economy is, I have seen 4 new rigs pushing snow around here. But the amount I push I am happy, I've turn down business this winter so far, there is life other then being out plowing. :)
  20. deluxeco

    deluxeco Senior Member
    Messages: 115

    I've heard some stupid theories in my time, so God bless the guy with low overhead, if he bids according to industry averages he will make that much more money. The bottom line is the prices in our industry have not kept up with all others. Your insurance has gone up,your fuel has gone up,sales tax has gone up,workers comp has gone up.Equipment is only a small portion of costs associated with this industry.And even if you are a one person operation is your labor not worth something. The bottom line is that most guys are making as much or less than a decade ago! And to me that is the most critical issue.