Low Baller Definition

What makes one a Low Baller? What is your definition?

Joie N. CA

For me it’s the person or company that in order to get a job away from someone else will intentionally underbid them significantly. Or they don’t carry insurance. This is by no means an exhaustive list but it will get you started.

My definition is someone who bids jobs to get them, not to do them. Usually they are salesmen who have never touched a squeegee in their lives. But what does he care? Actually doing the work is not his problem, he just wants his cut. He is the most hated man in our business, even by workers in his own company. Suddenly it is their fault the job didn’t make money. They have driven down prices so much in my town that we aren’t getting the same amount for a job as we did 25 years ago.

I would have to aggree. I know of a few here in my town that get estimates from every one and then adjust their price accordingly. they normally get the client and the client calls us down the road cause they want a better job. Easier in the long run to just charge your price and forget about the rest.

For me a low baller is someone who charges below their market average. Like if the average company charges $250 for a certain type of home and someone comes in at $175. It is not unethical, it is desperate. One could argue that charging $325 in this same situation is unethical.

To be honest I never think nor care about these guys (until I see a post on here). They can go right ahead and own craigslist. They do not phase me in the least.

What is a lowballer?

I always think of the comedy routine by George Carlin when he talks about drivers. [I]“Anyone who drives slower than me is an idiot and anyone who drive faster than me is a maniac!”[/I]

I know in my territory that some companies, large companies who dominate some areas, actually charge less than me. I also know a few that charge a fair bit higher than me.

I’m happy with my current prices as they meet my goals as to what I need to make per hour. To improve my income at this point is just a matter of acquiring more customers.

I will never lower my price to steal a job from another window cleaner. When people tell me how low they paid the last guy I tell them they got a sweet deal so they better hang on to him.

Who gets to set the $250.00 in the first place? So the average company gets to determine pricing structure now and everyone should conform to average and if you dont your a low-baller?

Would you hire the company that gives you the cheapest price to work in your home? Quality has to suffer, if the price is to low. I think most people want the job done right and know they have to pay an honest price to get what they’re really looking for.

Joie if you are asking this question because you are out there bidding and dont want to be labeled this. I wouldnt worry one second about it. As a newby you need to fill your plate with work so that you can first support yourself. I would be cleaning glass at whatever I could rather than setting at home making nothing. Once you are making a living then focus on how to make it a business.

Another forum a guy said that he never tries to take another window cleaners job. He wont undercut and if someone else is doing it he just leaves a card and says if anything changes then call him.

This method is leaving your business to chance. If by chance the guy doesnt show up they might call you. If by chance his prices are too high so what you walk away.

Every business that is paying for glass cleaning is a potential client and you can rest assured I am not leaving anything to chance. I am in the drivers seat of my business I will go in there and try to get the account. Not always with price but I am going in.

One mans thoughts

Why is it assumed that price is a direct corrulation of quality. I know guys that get good money and I wouldnt have them wash my doghouse windows.

Don the window cleaner tells you about his regrets of low pricing on his new website. Where it says “Don the window cleaner” highlighted in blue on the blog - click & it takes you to his new website - the free pdf download is on the right of the page.

You are correct. All I’m saying is if the price is to low there isn’t enough money in the estimate to pay the workers to do the job correctly. They can’t or won’t work for nothing if they are on a percentage and the owner can’t pay more in payroll than the job is bringing in if they are hourly.

I agree but lets take that same scenario and assume that that person doesnt have employees but is doing the work themselves and is happy making whatever was the bid. Are they a low baller?

I hate this term by the way as it is a label that is full of assumptions, audacity and arrogance.

I understand your passion, Mike and agree that we all want to work. The person I think of is one w/ no ethics. In my service area there is enough work for 3 times the wcing companies we presently have but you still run into those persons that are less than ethical. I think everyone corrulates price w/ quality. A Volvo is better than many other vehicle out there and the price tag shows it. Why is it better? Because the company takes a little more time to do things right. Because they charge more they can take that time and not have their bottom line suffer.
Wcing can be the same. I charge more and take a little more time to make sure it’s done right. In that case price corrulates to quality. When the lowest bidder gets the job often quality suffers. I’ve seen that played out in the construction industry and this one firsthand.

No, they’re just starting out. But if they keep the prices to low for an extended period of time they might be forced out of business. Because if the prices are to low they will not be able to hire help, pay insurance, replace their vehicle, buy better equipment, and so on…

I am not advocating one be unethical. I am not really telling anyone to go out and slash pricing structure of the competition. However, I think that labeling people low-ballers is unjust and unfair. If a person decides they want to make 10 bucks an hour cleaning windows more power to them and shame on any of us for labeling a person because they dont conform to a average pricing structure that we dictate.

I have one route I just ran the numbers on we ran over 14,000 last month and did it in under 160 man hours. This route does this month in month out. So you could say we averaged about $87.50 a hour. Now lets assume that Joie who posed this question asks me what is the going rate Mike. My reply would be “I make 87.50 an hour” But is that really what she should expect to make right off the bat. It took me 7 years to get that route put together like it is so that it is that profitable. So if she sits around a waits to get accounts that pay that much or she wont do them for less for fear of being called a low-baller she may wait a long time and fail desperately in business. So if she goes out and starts making 35-45 an hour do I think less of her and label her?

I could by this general term label you Tony a low-baller. You went deep discounted your prices to attract your homeowners to a monthly route. If I came along and was bidding a house and you are doing one for 75 because you do it monthly and my normal price is 150.00. What would I think. Thats why I say this label is full of assumptions we most of the time dont know and it is wrong to tell newbies to the business what they must charge.


dude, what are you talking about? I don’t know who determines the price first and I really do not care. I prefer not to play that game if possible.

Please define low baller for us since being priced lower than most does not suffice. I hate these low baller discussions anyway and I wish I would have kept my hands in my pockets…

That I 100% agree with

The point is we that have been around for a a while generally set the average and look at anyone not getting our prices as lowballers. Who gives us the right?-rhetorical…

I dont know the meaning and actually think the word serves no useful purpose.