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Thread: Who Underbid Me? .... and by How Much? .... Do I have the Job?

  1. #21
    TreeHouser Sponsor Joezilla11's Avatar
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    So just thinking out loud.... u bid your first job and haven’t heard back yet so your idea is to go spend money on trailer and then to call them back and tell them you will do it for less? That just doesn’t sound right to me. I think your intentions are good but these are the facts and just doesn’t sound right to me. I know u want the job but if u are in it for the long haul there will be more work. What’s happens if u lower the price, buy a trailer, and cut a rigging line, or your chainsaw craps out? I’d work on adjusting your skill level before you go adjusting your price

  2. #22
    TreeHouse Administrator MasterBlaster's Avatar
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    call them back and tell them you will do it for less?
    Who said that???

  3. #23
    TreeHouser Sponsor Grendel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pantheraba View Post
    Clean-up can be a killer. Bids where you drop the tree, make a mess, get paid and leave are wonderful. "Home-owner cleanup".

    Sometimes when they realize how much work REALLY goes into cleanup they call you back. We usually end up charging the same or more as the "drop the tree" price.

    A tree that costs $400 to drop can take $800 to cleanup, e.g.

    In the tree work takes the most skill and cunning...the groundwork/cleanup is often just hard grunt work. (the groundie running ropes to help the climber look good at the climbing/rigging stuff is an entirely different matter. I love having my son, Alex, on the ground running ropes or helping decide how to make (or NOT make) the next cut. A trained and careful eye on the ground is priceless).

    Don't sell yourself as primarily a cleanup guy...be the problem solver that gets the tree issue solved...that is the primary concern.
    Great post Gary!
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.
    ~Vernon Law

    Sam

    MI-4209A

  4. #24
    California Hillbilly Sponsor CurSedVoyce's Avatar
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    For example, took down 6 smallish to medium sized pine, chipped, bucked logs, material stayed on site.... 1600.00
    Lady asked wood to be removed 2 years later, solo truck, trailer, dingo, 800.00 transport to my free dump site for burning. SO add another c note or two labor to burn. Only reason it was not more money, is that she opted to keep some of the smaller logs for a dog training obstacle course.

    If you get under bid, stop dancing around the customer and walk away. How many others liked your bid on different jobs and did you make enough money... Really pay attention and ask yourself, divide by hours and make sure you are not making store clerk wages. Take 40% off the gross to fix and buy shat before you ask yourself if YOU made enough.
    Interesting how a limited gene pool and a limited labor force seem to be so closely related.

  5. #25
    Treehouser rfwoody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanKroll View Post
    Try finding a legit lawn/ landscape service looking for more work.

    You can't base the price on your lack of equipment. If your not set up for it, you might be better sticking to what you have equipment for.

    Buy a trailer for $400 if you can't afford more. You will make the money back fast enough.


    Do you have a budget for equipment?

    Used gear is often way cheaper. I got my first pole spurs and pads for $25 plus shipping, $41 total. 12 years ago. Climbed a thin bark tree in them recently. I upgraded the pads with other used pads. I found fancy Ti climbers and pads for $200, almost new from a guy getting out of spur work.
    A trailer is in my sights to buy soon... in fact I'm trying to decide on the length.
    For my own comfort level at this point I feel better with a small "footprint" so I'm thinking about a 12' double axle utility trailer with a fold down ramp in the back -- also the shorter trailer will fit easier into tighter spots.

    Yes... buying used is definitely the smart way to go... but I'm not wired that way be default too much. I like to plan out and research exactly what I want and then go find it and buy it as easily as possible. I'm just not much of a wheeler-dealer when it comes to tools and equipment. I want to know it's right and I can depend on it and not worry about having to be working on it anytime soon -- probably a character defect of laziness -- but as I get older I just don't seem to have the mental "cycles" as we used to say in the computer world -- I'd rather keep my focus on getting and doing the jobs -- I know spurs wouldn't be in this kind of category, it would be easier to "be right" --- I guess I need to try to loosen up with buying used stuff and broaden my horizons for sources of used stuff. (the Craigslist for around here always seems to be pretty slim for anything I'm looking for).
    But THANKS for the wise advice!

    My budget for equipment at this point is whatever I need to get within reason suitable for a 1 (me) or 2 (part-time) man crew for a small business and that I can convince my wife I need
    haha, my business isn't that sophisticated. I keep up with all my stuff for my taxes but that's about it at this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bermy View Post
    I completely agree Robert, you have to know the people you are recommending!! Might be time to start to do some research...


    Quote Originally Posted by Joezilla11 View Post
    So just thinking out loud.... u bid your first job and havenít heard back yet so your idea is to go spend money on trailer and then to call them back and tell them you will do it for less? That just doesnít sound right to me. I think your intentions are good but these are the facts and just doesnít sound right to me. I know u want the job but if u are in it for the long haul there will be more work. Whatís happens if u lower the price, buy a trailer, and cut a rigging line, or your chainsaw craps out? Iíd work on adjusting your skill level before you go adjusting your price
    Thanks a lot for the feedback and perspective, Joezilla11!
    Yeah, you make a good point that in the long haul there will be more work.... but this job seems ideal and to me it is important to me to get some confidence and momentum and experience on a "real" tree removal job *for pay*

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterBlaster View Post
    Who said that???
    haha, I might have implied it reading between the lines!

    Quote Originally Posted by Grendel View Post
    Great post Gary!
    Yes, sir. I need to go back and re-read it again.

    Quote Originally Posted by CurSedVoyce View Post
    For example, took down 6 smallish to medium sized pine, chipped, bucked logs, material stayed on site.... 1600.00
    Lady asked wood to be removed 2 years later, solo truck, trailer, dingo, 800.00 transport to my free dump site for burning. SO add another c note or two labor to burn. Only reason it was not more money, is that she opted to keep some of the smaller logs for a dog training obstacle course.

    If you get under bid, stop dancing around the customer and walk away. How many others liked your bid on different jobs and did you make enough money... Really pay attention and ask yourself, divide by hours and make sure you are not making store clerk wages. Take 40% off the gross to fix and buy shat before you ask yourself if YOU made enough.
    Thanks for the real life example, CurSedVoyce!
    Yeah, for me at this point it is sort of a middle ground gray area between bidding *real* professional prices and trying to get the job at something "reasonable" so I can start getting the experience and hopefully increase in confidence in the work -- which will help me bid/sell (myself) on the next job.
    Did you take down those pines from the ground or did you have to dismantle from the top at all? Thanks!
    - Robert
    Slowly trying to make a profit in tree work with my neighborhood tree service.
    Thinking I want to become a Certified Arborist.
    www.PoagvilleTreeService.com

  6. #26
    California Hillbilly Sponsor CurSedVoyce's Avatar
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    Both
    Interesting how a limited gene pool and a limited labor force seem to be so closely related.

  7. #27
    Acolyte of the short bar Sponsor Bermy's Avatar
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    Well I just got an email from the client I just met and did the written estimate for...thanks but they found someone else.
    I have to admit its a bummer to get that email...I do wonder who got it and if it is a pro crew or the part timers...and what their bid was. Did they get to know how much I bid and underbid me?
    I would really like to know what their quote was, for comparison. but I'm not going to bug her about it. I reckon once you've quoted, and you don't get it, don't offer to lower it to beat them...starts to look like you've been gouging from the start.
    Sucks.
    Keep smiling, they will wonder what you're up to...

    Originally Posted by woodworkingboy
    It's always better when people get the feeling that they will regret their decision, before they have to regret their decision.

  8. #28
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    Sorry to hear that, Bermy. At least she had the decency to get back to you with an answer. That seems like it might be a rare thing, nowadays. Maybe she'll still be a good future prospect.

    Tim

  9. #29
    TreeHouser Sponsor bstewert's Avatar
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    I'd be hard pressed to think of an example where I would go back with a lower price, and even harder pressed to think of when I would raise the price after a quote. In writing, or my word, no difference. If the bid was too low, I'd just suck it up, do the same quality job, and write it off to experience. If the bid was too high, I might even turn in a lower bill (depending on how much I valued a future relationship with them).

    100% of my jobs are from referrals or repeat customers. I don't ask if they are getting other bids, but if I sense they are, I will often give out 2-3 other companies names and suggest they call to compare. Don't really want a "low-price" customer.

    I don't put any correlation to rich-poor and cheap. Some people just can't afford, and others just choose not to. But cheap exists at every level.

  10. #30
    TreeHouser Mick!'s Avatar
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    "Cheap exists at every level"

    Great quote, and very true.
    Iím condescending, that means I talk down to people.


    Mick

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