How to get wholesale prices for landscape materials.

A great way to make more profit on your landscape projects and have more room to be more competitive in your pricing is to purchase your landscape materials at wholesale prices. Why pay retail when you can potentially save up to 40% on materials? Sounds great, but how do you get those prices? That is what one member of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum was interested in finding more about when he asked about the process.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I just started up a lawn care / landscaping company and am wanting to know how I can get wholesale discounts at nurseries. Any suggestions?”

A second lawn care business owner said “all we do is bring along a copy of our business license. We do this for all supplies.

It also pays to do your research on the companies and suppliers first. I call them from my house phone and for example I will say I am doing a landscape on my property and need 16 yards of organic top soil. I live in such and such an area, what would it cost with delivery? Then I wait a couple of days and call back. I will say ‘hi may I speak with the person in charge of commercial sales? Good day, my name is blah blah and I own blah blah Yard Care. We are a new company in town and are looking at supplier rates. What would you charge for 16 yards of top soil delivered?’

My #1 goal doing this is to ensure I am receiving a discount. I did this with about 8 suppliers last year. We are one of the largest clients of organic soil, mulch, top soil and turf dressing in the area. I would have to check my records to be certain but I think we bought close to 200 loads of product last year. We did the same thing with a quarry as we go through around 20 truck loads of rock a week. Today alone I used 6 loads on a road I was hired to build.

The way I see it, if these suppliers want my business, I have to get a discount. There are a lot of places I can purchase the same materials from, so the one that gets my business is the one that is most convenient for me to pick materials up from and the cheapest priced.

Depending on the supplier, I get anywhere between 20 to 35% off the retail customer rate. This gives me a little wiggle room. The biggest discounts I get are sod and organic lawn soil. For plants and shrubs I will get anywhere from 30% to 40%.”

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