The lowest bidder loser. That is something you do not want to be as a client. Over the last 20 years, I have heard it all in landscape design.
It is probably the most heartbreaking thing when people get some bids and let’s just say you get three bids. One is 10 grand. One is 20,000. One is 30,000. They pick the lowest bid. Well, there are many reasons why, because you actually get what you pay for and it’s actually really true, even in the landscape business.
I want to explain to you a couple different types of landscape companies or types of people in the industry that do this kind of thing. Just like warning signs to look out for. OK?
Again, if you get a bid that’s 10,000 dollars, but everybody else is double, put that 10,000-dollar bid aside and pick somebody from the other. Obviously, because you’ve gotten referrals, too. You’ve done your homework.
The first type of guy, the scam artist is what I call him in the industry. Totally the person that ruins it for everybody in our industry, the scam artist, the lowest-bidder scam artist.
What he does, he comes in, he gets you to sign that 10,000-dollar contract. Then all of the sudden, they’re not there for three days and you’re wondering why. You’re calling him. He’s not answering his phone.
Literally, all of the sudden, they show up and say, “Well, I have a change,” or “I need more money. I wasn’t expecting this to happen,” or “This isn’t in your contract.” You literally have to pay him more money or they’re not going to work at your house.
The same type of guy will put a big hole in your backyard, make it look like there’s a big bomb went off in your backyard, and then not show up. He took your deposit. Yes, this happens. It doesn’t happen all the time, but I have heard it from people. I just don’t want that to be you.
The second type of person who does this is somebody who actually does good work, decent work. Probably used to work for a landscape company that actually had somebody who had staff that did bids for them and designs. Maybe they were the superintendent or maybe they were a foreman. They decided to go off on their own.
I actually work with clients and help these kinds of landscape design clients, out, because they really need help. Unfortunately, what they do is they get your deposit. They do the work. They realize that they don’t have enough time on the job. They’re losing money, so they do a shabby job. They do it really quick. You’re not getting good, quality work that you should have been getting.
What happens is half-way through the year or maybe even at the end of the year, in the winter, they realize that they’ve made absolutely no money and they go out of business. You’re stuck with a shabby patio or plants that are dying or dead. You’ve got nobody to replace them for you and you’ve absolutely no warranty.
I’m going to tell you right now the lowest bid is not worth not having a warranty. That’s really important. That protects you. You want to hire somebody who is not going to be going out of business. That is huge. Try not to be the biggest loser in the bidding war.
If you are one of those contractors that actually is doing this, stop it. You’re terrible! You’re ruining it for the clients. You’re ruining it for the good companies out there that are working very hard to do it right for their clients. In the end, you’re going to go out of business and you’re going to need a job.