Asking a company to lower their price

Salmon Falls CabinetryMarch 31, 2013

I am coming from the business side, and some of the posts I see just amaze me. Here's the thing, and I will explain my view.

Don't ask a business if they are willing to lower their price.

If you cannot afford it, then don't buy it. Don't be rude and ask someone to bring their price down. They make a living just as you do. It would be the same as being offered a job but only if you take it for 20% less than you are asking for.

If you don't want to pay that much, find another place that has the exact item and see if they have it for less.

If you ask me for a price, I give it to you and that's that. If you ask me to lower my price, then I completely understand that you cannot afford me and may absolutely feel free to go wherever you wish to see if you can find better VALUE. At that point, I choose NOT to do business with you. This "asking for a lower price' is what we in construction call "the big red flags". It is a lose lose situation.

Think of it this way. If the other side actually AGREES to lower their price, then they weren't giving you their honest price in the first place. They were trying to pad it, or they are too hungry for money. Either way, it is not a great situation.

I would not trust ANYONE who gives me one price, then agrees to a lower price shortly after. No trust, no sale. How could I be assured they will follow through with everything than an HONEST business does right up front.

Who knows, maybe I am old fashioned. I am here, as a business, and I figure all of my operating costs per job. I figure the labor, the profit, the overhead, and the materials. It costs me what it costs me. I can't magically take less money and make it work. I think it would behoove my customers to know that I will be there in the future, rather than taking as much out of me as they can and hope that doesn't force me to close my doors because I can't cover my operating costs.

I posted this youtube video the other day and it explains OUR side of business. Pretty much anything in construction is considered this way. Would you treat any other businesses this way, like what is show in the video?

Here is a link that might be useful: Vendor Client relationship in real world

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It's an interesting topic - I'm of the old school that doesn't like bargaining and if I can't afford something I don't buy it or I shop for it elsewhere. BUT outside of the US, bargaining has been a traditional way of life in some countries - in fact, if you don't bargain people look down on you for being stupid. With the advent of the Internet, things have been changing in the US with many stores willing to match internet prices.

Even in the US it was practically required that you bargain for a new car - no one in their right mind would pay the sticker price - then Saturn came along with fixed pricing and changed the model somewhat, at least for a while.

Even online, I don't always go for the best price - sticking with reliable merchants with good repair/return policies is important. I use amazon a lot - but even there, the price on a given item can vary dramatically from day to day and they're still making money at the lower price.

Obviously, you can't bargain the price after the fact like the guy in the restaurant tried to do, but bargaining up front these days seems to be more acceptable.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 1:39PM
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Hmmm. Ok. Glad I didn't read this before I negotiated on our tile for the bathroom, backsplash (different vendors), wood floors, tub, Emtek door knobs etc, etc, etc.

In fact I would go the exact opposite route and ALWAYS ask for a discount. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but I have no problem asking and if someone were shirty about it then they aren't the type of business I would want to work with anyway.

Our bathroom tile came from an extremely high end vendor and we would not have been able to afford it (or anything as nice) if we hadn't negotiated.

If someone says no that doesn't mean I won't use them, although I may shop around more before deciding. We would have left thousands on the table or had to compromise greatly if I hadn't asked for discounts.

In fact I just got an additional 5% discount off the cheapest price I could find online for a large order of Emtek knobs. It really adds up after a while!

This post was edited by hobokenkitchen on Sun, Mar 31, 13 at 13:44

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 1:40PM
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Is this a serious post? Because I find it really hard to believe!!!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 1:59PM
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I think it's dead serious - what can't you believe taggie - that there are people who don't like bargaining and just want to pay a fair price for something? Actually, your attitude encourages people to deliberately mark things up just so they can then mark them down and give the buyer the impression that they're getting a really good deal.

I know someone who sells cars which, as I said before, is one place you have to bargain. She told me someone came in with a printout from a consumer service listing what price he ought to pay for the car he wanted and practically demanded that she sell it to him at that price. She was happy to do since she would have sold the car for less if he hadn't acted that way!

There's actually no good answer here - there are arguments on both sides.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 2:21PM
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Bargaining vs. non-bargaining cultures story:

We had a house guest from Germany one summer who wanted to buy a guitar case. He also wanted to go Mexico, so we drove an hour south to Tijuana. Downtown Tijuana streets are lined with little shops that sell everything imaginable and much of their business is done with tourists. He saw a case he was interested in and the shopkeeper named a price. The house guest was going to hand over that many dollars when my husband said, "Wait." He then offered the shopkeeper about 1/3 the asking price. Then there is a ritual. The shopkeeper refuses and offers a lower price than starting. The buyer comes up a little. The shopkeeper tells sad stories about his starving family (in TJ terms, this man does very well, no starving family involved), offers a price, counter offer, and eventually after the requisite amount of melodrama, the price ends up at about 1/2 of the original price. All are happy. Our guest was in deep shock. No one in Germany at that time (the late 70s) bargained with shop keepers.

Do I like bargaining? Not much, but it doesn't hurt to ask if that is a "best price." If the seller says "yes," then I take their word for it. Sometimes, though, there is a better price. Example: we bought $2300 of lighting stuff at Ferguson's. The original quote was a couple hundred higher. A "best price" inquiry brought an immediate positive response. I'm glad I didn't have to listen to the starving family story though.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 2:23PM
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I think it depends what you're shopping for. It sounds like the opening post is referring to construction work.

I sometimes ask stores if they are competitively priced or if they match internet pricing. I give them the opportunity to match if they want the business. It seems to be common that they will and I am now finding that they seem to be priced competitively to begin with these days, unlike in the past. They lose business to the internet, so I don't think it's a bad thing to ask if they want the business.

Things like construction and labor, no way. They will make up for it with shortcuts or by rushing the job. Neither of which I want done to my house. Actually, they do that without the discount! So it's bad enough, as is.

I do expect a pro-fessional job and skillset for those amazingly high hourly labor rates that are charged, however. That seems to be hard to come by and it is not asking too much! This is a sore topic for me, lol.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 2:26PM
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One further point - unfortunately, these days you often have to ask "Is that your best price?" because the "bargain hunters" have forced merchants to deliberately mark things up and you clearly don't want to be taken. If he says sorry, that's the best I can do, then likely you're getting a fair price.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 2:27PM
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Hm. These days, what with the internet and free shipping and massive competition, I think more and more consumers are going to be seeing if their local vendors are able to compete on prices. And I think a lot of vendors would prefer having the chance to at least come down on price. They can always say "No, we don't negotiate".

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 2:33PM
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weissman, what I can't believe is that there is someone in business who is so uncomfortable with any attempt at negotiation that they would walk away from a deal ("At that point, I choose NOT to do business with you").

I sell software for a living. To large multinational corporations. Believe me, they negotiate price and terms all the time. They have professional vendor management professionals who are trained to do nothing BUT negotiate. Negotiation is a fact of life. If someone asks you "is that the best you can do?"' it is an valid answer to say yes it is, and then enumerate your advantages and the value over your competition. I do this often myself. But do get all indignant and walk away from a deal? Well, I'd be walking away from a LOT of business.

That's why I find the OP hard to take seriously. Or if it is in fact serious then I would count my blessings to have been spared from dealing with such inflexibility and indignation. I had much rather have found that out before the work starts, than in the middle of a job when it's already committed.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 2:35PM
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So I've been in sales for the better part of 20 years. I bargain, but not all the time.

I was just in Costa Rica and watched these stupid Americans try to bargain a guy for two coconuts, a bag of nuts and a coke. Ridiculous.

Sometimes a bargain is a lower price, or more service, or a different way of doing things. Always be polite. Always ask for something that makes sense. Always accept no for an answer and then decide what you're going to do next. If you don't, you should expect to have insulted someone.

I had a customer many years ago that always pushed me for discounts. Finally I looked at him and said "okay, you help me and I help you". He ordered twice as much as he used to and I gave him really good discounts.

A good bargain is when both parties win. Nothing wrong with that.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 2:43PM
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ok taggie - I understand your point now - the OP did express indignance that someone would dare question his price - I do agree that it's fine to ask if that's your best price and if told yes, then to take it or leave it.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 2:57PM
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I hate negotiating. But I will sometimes ask for something reasonable, in a nice way. I have asked if a supply place offers special pricing "to the trade" or "professional" pricing if my GC made the purchase for me (this place did not, at least on the items I wanted). I have also asked if there is a volume discount, sometimes yes, sometimes no. Sometimes I ask if it's an item that tends to go on sale, if I have time to wait.

But I don't negotiate with my GC. I do buy just about anything that can be seen, he buys the rest. Saves him time finding items, and I get exactly what I want and can control the price. Now I do sometimes ask him for something extra, like he installed my towel bar during the bathroom remodel, that was not explicitly stated in the contract and he doesn't charge extra for that. If I ask for something reasonably substantial, I do expect an additional charge.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 3:39PM
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Yesterday I brought my car in to my dealership for a new water pump which service had advised several weeks earlier due to slight leak noted while up on the lift. I delayed immediate fix: I wanted to research the situation a little first: youtube a water pump exchange for my car, and check the underside myself by placing cardboard down under the car. The dealership's estimate was $1100.00, including the timing belt given their job proximity (due at 75,000 miles and I was at 55,000 miles).

Sure enough, I noted a slight intermittent film on the my garage placed cardboard to confirm the leak. Viewing the mechanic video showed this to be a rigorous job.

My bill yesterday for the same quote and job was $960.00 with absolutely no request for lowering the job price by me. I think in general being an educated consumer is helpful, and that dealerships respect such too.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 4:24PM
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Salmon Falls Cabinetry

Then label me indignant. I don't care. I am up front about everything I do in business. I don't raise my prices just to lower them for a haggler to come along and negotiate. I have better things to do than sit around and see who is more clever at negotiating skills.

You say you find it surprising that I wouldn't even bother after being asked? You obviously have not been in my shoes ever. This isn't a sale on software, this is a long term contract. Once I make that decision to lower my price, then it opens the door wide for you to negotiate anything else. It is easier for you now to negotiate ANYTHING that you just don't like. And I have seen many posts here that contain this attitude. Just a simple "oh, I don't think it should cost that much for marble countertops", well then open up a countertop business and see what kind of profit margins there are. Asking to lower someone's price is adding insult to injury.

Take for example a contractor. Once you get that person to "throw something in" at the beginning, then you start looking for other things the contractor can "throw this in too?" an extra outlet, a small upgrade to hardwood floors, and your answer would be "oh, it's not that much for you..."

If you think I am wrong, you would be delusional. The negotiating right off the bat is a gigantic red flag that trouble will continue for the whole project. There is no joy in doing anything when an overbearing customer just takes and takes and takes. Thus no need to even bother with continuing the conversation from this point.

If you ask me for a price, THEN ask me "is this the best price you can give me?", then I am here to tell you that is not the way to ask if you want to have a successful business transaction with that person. Can you ask? Sure. Ask for it in the INITIAL face to face meeting, not AFTER he takes all of his time to give you his FREE quote.

Many of us in construction have been dealing with this for a long time. So much so that now we pre-qualify you to even work with us. If it actually gets to the quote and I am asked "is that your best price?" or "can you bring it down?", that is usually the LAST red flag I will see, not the FIRST, thus no need to keep going with the ruse that I am actually going to have a decent time doing business with you.If you want to continue haggling and negotiating, there are others out there you may track down and do business with.

Don't say I didn't warn you when I see your post up here that you have an awful seam in your counter or that you think the design of your kitchen sucks or that the color just isn't right. I see those posts constantly here, and for GOOD reason. Once you start taking money out of people's pockets, that is when they start cutting corners to make payroll. If that is the business you wish to work with, by all means.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 4:31PM
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Salmon Falls Cabinetry

@ sparkling water....thank you for that. That is exactly what I do as well. If it comes in lower than my operating costs, I have no issues charging less. I absolutely never charge more than I quoted, but I will charge less.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 4:34PM
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No one has only one price. They have one for repeaters and another for their best customers and another when they don't want the business or can't take on the work. If they have everything covered and this job is gravy the price is different. When things are slow and they need the income the price is another figure. If you have a budget or another lower quote the price can change. You have to find someone to work with you but expect to come up against an OP or two and move on. The job will be done even if you have to watch YouTube and do it with a freind. It's not brain surgery- a life doesn't hang in the balance.
Projects are fun.
When I pay, I'm the boss. If I come in contact with a my way or the highway sub I show him the highway.

This post was edited by dan1888 on Sun, Mar 31, 13 at 18:51

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 5:04PM
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Salmon Falls Cabinetry

I didn't say I had one price. I have MY price. If a potential client has a different number in their head, that is THEIR price, not mine. If one cannot afford my price, then don't try to drag me into that delusion.

I like the brain surgery analogy. What exactly is that implying? That a homeowner can get a few tools and cut a nice seam on a countertop? Or build custom cabinets?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 5:24PM
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My industry is in the process of turning what has been viewed as a commodity into a valued service. It's not easy. I've pissed off some customers and won some new ones.

The way you run your business is one way. Others run their business differently. Right or wrong, its how they do things.

Any one of us who bargain will tell you it doesn't work all the time. Two weeks ago I made someone angry trying to negotiate down the price of a rug on CraigsList that was two hours away. We came to an impass and didn't do the deal.

If its that upsetting to you, why would you stay on here and give free advice? Not trying to start an argument, it's an honest question.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 5:28PM
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Salmon Falls Cabinetry

Giving free advice is my choice. I enjoy giving it freely, I am on many forums and spend way more time there than I probably should,

I am not forced to come here and post, I enjoy posting. I enjoy this site. I enjoy seeing many successful projects.

But that is completely a different topic than someone asking me if I am willing to negotiate the price I just spent a few hours of my free time only to have it thrown back at me with the statement that "I can't afford that! Bring your price down and we have a deal"

The answer is "no"

Two completely different topics 1929.

This post was edited by KentWhitten on Sun, Mar 31, 13 at 17:42

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 5:41PM
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That makes sense. And I agree that they are different, albeit somewhat related. I think advice like yours is valuable.

For the record, we did not negotiate our Contractor's price. We worked into the agreement that we would purchase many of our own materials and that saved us money. He did a couple extras, we paid for some add-ons. He's done two jobs for us. The second job (a six figure addition) never went out to bid.

However, we did a lot of negotiation, comparison shopping, eBay, flea market, CraigsList and salvage stores for materials. It was a win-win.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 5:54PM
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Holly- Kay

I have a business also and I don't mind at all if a person asks for a lower price. I can almost always give a very modest discount. However I only will consider a discount if the customer asks in a pleasant way. I had a customer recently who called for pricing. My sales person gave him the wrong price, by twenty five percent lower than the actual price. When the customer came in to buy the item and I told him the price he said"never mind I can buy it on line with free shipping for the original price that your salesperson told me". The item was priced more than fairly and I explained that my overhead is higher and that I offer service after the sale. Well he said he was going with the on line site and then had the nerve to tell me that actually my price was a great price, I had Walmart beat by 20%. I don't mind competition at all even on line competition what I do mind is a customer who tells me my price is too high with one breath and with the next that my price beats Walmart! GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 6:07PM
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Salmon Falls Cabinetry

I was probably a little over the top with some things, so I apologize. Just something set me off. It is a daily struggle with any business and any type of retort about what my price means to someone else I take a little on the offensive side.

I have suppliers that constantly the price changes. I do shop around, but almost every time I stick with the same people. The service is one great big part of it. I know that they are there and will be there to help me. The price is competitive, but not the lowest. I have never asked them to make a deal for me. They have it built into their business model, as do I. Volume, yes, gets a discount. Of course. More widgets, more production, lower operating costs.

Lower than WalMart? Wow.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 6:16PM
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Just out of curiosity, since I'm not done with projects yet, how do you view other cost saving strategies?

For example, a job that is just a lot more than anticipated not because you are pricing high, just because of what needs to be done. Is asking which parts are the more expensive parts and might you have suggestions on a different approach irksome? Or if you could suggest how to break it into two phases, if possible?

Obviously there are ways of being honest and level headed about things that help questions of cost be received better. So assuming the person is genuine and not being a jerk about things.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 6:20PM
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KentWhitten, I would guess that you also operate with the intent that you are will give a fair price for your work, taking your costs and adding a reasonable overhead. You don't try to gouge your customer (ie, increase your price by 50% because it is a single female for example). And, I bet you give your customer a clear understanding of what the job entails, how long it will take, and why it will cost that.

A lot of contractors don't do that; many view it as a game of getting as much as they can get away with. No different than the customer who wants to pay as little as possible.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 6:41PM
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We didn't negotiate with our GC or granite place. Both were nightmares. So there's that.

We didn't negotiate with our current GC either and he's a gem. But did I negotiate with Fergusons and other suppliers - as much as I could!

I also just bought a rug off Craigslist. Got a great deal. ; )

Oh and I take umbrage to the suggestion that I don't want to pay 'fair price'. What twaddle. Stores don't sell things for an unfair price, so if we get a great deal on tile, appliances, etc then that's great.

There's no need to cop an outraged attitude if asked for a discount - just say you worked hard to get the quote as lean as possible and you think the client will be very happy. That's all. I just can't imagine getting all wound up about it. I got asked for discounts all the time. I always said no but explained the value of what I did to them. I don't think I ever lost a listing for not discounting.... but I would have done had I copped a huffy attitude about being asked!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 6:59PM
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You can't make one rule on this topic and have it apply everywhere. My friend's son works for Best Buy. He tells me that for appliances and TVs, they expect you to haggle. And doesn't BestBuy, Sears, and several other stores advertise that if you find a better a price elsewhere they will match or beat it? They are inviting you not to accept their posted price.

For a small, non-chain retailer, it's a different story. I wouldn't negotiate there, and, at the same time, I would expect that the small retailer would provide the customer service that I would not get at Best Buy (as an aside, try buying a fridge at Best Buy--I guaranty that if you hang out on the Appliances Forum for about an hour, you will know much more than the appliances salespeople at Best Buy).

I am in the market for some window blinds. I phoned one local neighborhood store simply to inquire whether they have the brand I am interested in. I wanted to purchase from a local store rather than a Big Box store. Before I could talk further, the person on the phone asked me where else I was looking, and that she could beat anyone's price. I hadn't even gotten to that point yet!

So, regarding this thread, my response is "it all depends".

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 7:39PM
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Salmon Falls Cabinetry

Who says I am copping an attitude? I'm sorry, but if you can't afford me, you can't afford me. How is that copping an attitude? I don't have an issue if you cannot afford me. I'm not craigslist or walmart, so don't treat me as such. I run a business to make money, not give discounts to everyone coming through the door. This is no news flash about what the whole purpose of a business is.

Once you do make that decision to negotiate, it is obvious what the main selling point is all about and I don't want any part of it. I'm not the lowest and never have been. Sorry if you mistook me for a chump and don't like the way I feel my business needs to run to make it work, which it has for 30 years now. How many have gone under in the last 5 years because they sold on price? Most of them.

I have thought back to when the last time someone actually asked me to lower my price and honestly, I can't recall it has been so long. I guess that is why I am so disgusted by the amount of people here who think if they cry and whine enough that the poor soul on the other end of the business transaction will relent and give them what they want.

Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part. When you ask me for a discount, that affects me DIRECTLY. $200? That doesn't seem like much now does it? Maybe at Christmas time, but who needs that extra $200 anyway? There's plenty to go around. I mean, just think what that client can do with that extra $200 now! I just gave you early Christmas presents! It's on me. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 7:44PM
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Salmon Falls Cabinetry

I am still seeing comparisons of what I am discussing with RETAIL stores and essentially a commodity. Let's not blur this line. If you are asking for a widget, and store a and b both have the exact widget, then price is obviously a major point. I price shop with tools just as you would with appliances.

Construction is not a commodity. For me specifically, I am talking about my custom cabinetry shop. If you ask me to make a custom kitchen, then I will give you the cost. If it is too much, then a mid grade manufactured cabinet is probably your best bet.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 7:52PM
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I think it all depends and when I ask about price discounts I explain I'm willing to give on my requirements too. For example, the cabinet maker I used was definitely high end and I knew his price would be high. I had a pretty firm budget and his quote was over that amount. Did I ask for a discount? Of course! And we worked out a great deal. I was willing to give up dove tail drawers and a couple soft close doors (where they weren't important) and I also agreed to deal with the overhead of purchasing some of the inserts. In addition, I knew well ahead what I wanted and my job was not so large so he could squeeze my job in between some of his more elaborate and expensive projects. My little project was sort of a bonus for him so we both won in this case. He got extra business and I got it to work in my budget. I certainly didn't demand a discount and walk away. I always like to see if there is a way to get a win-win.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 8:00PM
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You say you find it surprising that I wouldn't even bother after being asked? You obviously have not been in my shoes ever. This isn't a sale on software, this is a long term contract. Once I make that decision to lower my price, then it opens the door wide for you to negotiate anything else.

Kent you seem like a nice enough guy, but a little overemotional on this. Yes I've been in your shoes pretty much every single day of my career. Software is also a long-term sale and a contracted one. It includes maintenance (aftersale support) and almost always includes services. And I want it to lead to repeat business just as you do.

I guess all I'm saying is that I think you should use the opportunity of a customer asking for a discount as an opportunity to differentiate yourself and calmly explain why you are worth your price. Because the client clearly doesn't understand it if you don't bother to share it with them -- and just act all huffy instead.

Btw, my own kitchen cabinet maker was fabulous. And no he did not discount from his original price. But I asked! And he showed me why he was worth his price. He brought me into the back of his shop, he showed me his people at work, and the results of what they were doing. He explained his on-time record and his quality and provided references. And I ended up paying him $3000 more than his initial price (almost 10% over quote) because of some extras he did along the way.

I don't understand how you equate a pre-contract negotiation question with expecting a customer to want you to throw in free stuff during the job?

Anyway, it's your business and you can run it however you choose. I just think you are (1) being unrealistic in your expectations, and (2) limiting your opportunities by taking things way too personally.

Regardless, good luck to you and best wishes.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 8:02PM
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Salmon Falls Cabinetry

See, that is nice! You didn't really ask for a discount, you asked what could be done because you had "x" amount of money to work with.

You did not say that you wanted all of what he had in the scope of the cabinetry, PLUS give you a discount. That's two very different things. You agreed to his price for what he quoted. So, you downgraded on some things.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 8:06PM
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No I didn't downgrade on anything. He gave me his price, and I said that was more than I was hoping to pay and asked him if that was the best he could do. And he said yes it was and explained why.

And then I ended up signing with him at his price. No downgrading.

Then during the job he did some extras, and I ended up paying him $3000 over and above the contract price.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 8:11PM
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I get huffy and bent out of shape sometimes too when people denigrate the value of a kitchen designer in the renovation process. People really don't understand the value that we add to a project, usually without any additional cost. And yes, that can make me grouchy. I'm human. It's only the occasional poster who gets virulent about it, and that's usually someone I wouldn't have wanted to deal with as a customer anyway.

But, most of the time, I get over my snit and don't publicly whine about it. You should too. And be thankful that you too have the luxury of "firing" any customer that you don't think will provide a smooth business experience for you. No one likes to work with someone who delights in making the experience confrontational. That goes for contractors and customers alike. If it's not a good fit, it's not a good fit. Just be glad that there are enough people who value your services at whatever rate and who will keep you busy despite you posting a very public rant with your real name attached that doesn't put you in the best light as someone easy to deal with. I hope your portfolio speaks for itself and that you remain busy.

Oh yeah, as to someone asking for a discount, it does sometimes irk me a little as I do offer my services at a very low margin compared to traditional shops, but that's what customers are trained to do these days. Look at JC Penney and how they are failing as a company because they gave up sales in favor of everyday reasonable prices. Customers want discounts. So yes, you build in a little bit extra margin in order to be able to give a discount and not affect your overall bottom line negatively. There's no harm in building in an extra $500 that you take off of every order just to give people a feeling that you are willing to work with them on price. If someone wants more money off than that, that's when you smile and tell them that's the best that you can do, but here is what you are getting for your money. If someone's priority is finding the cheapest price, they probably won't buy from me anyway as I won't sell Chinese crap cabinets. I can let those sales go without a qualm, as I'm likely to get them back in 3-4 years in a new house, and wanting something better this time.

This post was edited by live_wire_oak on Sun, Mar 31, 13 at 20:21

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 8:13PM
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Salmon Falls Cabinetry

@taggie, I wasn't talking to you.

@ live wire oak, I have nothing to hide and am not ashamed of my opinions.

I appreciate the emails I have gotten in support. Thank you.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 8:54PM
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I see your point, but there are several scenarios I have experienced very recently. Let's assume I have received several estimates and have a good idea of what something should cost.
1. If I consider the price already very fair, I won't haggle to see just how low I can get the price to go.
2. For one very high estimate, I politely told the business owner that I would go with another place because they had a much, much lower price. He then offered to cut his price to HALF the original quote. This really ticked me off because obviously, the first quote was a complete rip-off attempt.
3. Other businesses may offer a discount or add-on if I explain that I have a better offer from a competitor or when I tell them that I'm sure that their price is justified, but simply more than I expected to spend.
And, yes, I am amazed how disparate estimates are with different companies for very specific work and materials that allow quite accurate comparisons. As a customer, I am frequently the one who feels getting ripped off.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 8:57PM
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My husband builds custom-made bicycles, which is a business experience not unlike a custom kitchen. And he is very much in alignment with Kent's viewpoint. When he first started the business I was shocked when he would not bend over backward for every customer demand. We needed every sale and I was tempted to backseat drive and encourage him to be more flexible on price and design. But oh my goodness was he right! He does not give discounts and he gets annoyed when asked - using many of the same statements as Kent (to me, not to customers). And yet - people wait in line for a year to get one of his bikes.

For highly skilled labor, many do find it insulting to be asked to compromise on price or design. Work like that is intensely personal and a tremendous base of experience goes into a design. I agree that it is nothing like shopping for appliances. In fact, quite the opposite. The primary commodity is time. Only so many cabinets or bicycles can be built in a year. Selling more doesn't help the bottom line one bit - all it does is build a backlog. So he focuses on building great relationships and delivering an unsurpassed product. That costs a lot and he won't apologize.

It's been a fascinating journey for me to watch the business. Many times it's contrary to my instincts but I have been proven wrong for many years now. :)

We enjoyed working with our home contractors because we see the process the same way as they do. When our initial budget was exactly double what we could afford, we cut the project scope and never asked for a discount. Best of all, the project came in way under budget and we used the leftover for the kitchen. Gravy!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 9:33PM
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Holly- Kay

I am doing a total kitchen renovation. About 10 years ago we had a wonderful kitchen designer do shelving and cabinetry in our library. He just did an amazing job on the design, and the cabinet makers did an outstanding job as well. When I started thinking about a kitchen redo I knew I was going with the same company and same KD. Maybe my bad for not pricing more than one but why argue with success?

The pricing was higher than I expected but I knew that I would be happy when the job was done so I signed the contract with no bargaining as I was so pleased with our earlier project.

I am so looking forward to the finished kitchen!!!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 9:41PM
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I don't know about you folks, but every day I get a number of calls from building contractors, usually the first words out of their mouths is "We are giving a 30% discount, or 40% " or whatever.

I get sooo many calls that most the time I do not even answer the phone!

Maybe I should not say "Contractors". I think most of these calls are telephone solicitors than x or Y construction company has hired, and in fact I have learned to listen for a delay and a funny noise from the phone and I hang up.

Do not these type of calls encourage folks to "Adapt the behavior" that Kent complains about? Folks new to remodeling or hiring a contractor may just assume it's "Standard Practice"
to "Get A Deal"? (They might get the idea that "All Contractors mark up everything 30-40%) and expect negotiation or whatever to bring the price down?

SparklingWater did offer some good advice about being an "educated customer"

"My bill yesterday for the same quote and job was $960.00 with absolutely no request for lowering the job price by me. I think in general being an educated consumer is helpful, and that dealerships respect such too."

To me though, She is putting a little too much trust in that dealership, unless she has a very rare honest one, that I've not been able to find.

Why do I say this? Had a check engine lite lit on a 98 accord.
(EGR) but not the egr valve, it was new. I called every Honda dealer within 100 miles of me and all were close to the same priice to fix it, $499. Then I called the dealer closest to me, They came back with $199, I shudda kept my mouth shut, but I wanted to give them an "Atta Boy", and I said "Boy that's sure a lot better price than any other dealer gave me", guy says I better double check that price, He does, comes back with $399.

Well I checked the internet and knew what was wrong and how to fix it, (Thanks to Eric the car guy). It's a 10 minute job!!!! do the math!!!! 10 goes into an hour 6 times, so we multiply the price by 6, that's almost $3000 per hour that most the dealers quoted me.

Why is that? After getting ripped off by a Cadillac dealer on putting a new battery in the Caddy, 3 hours labor and a $350 bill, I did some research.

The guy that writes up the work order for the car at the dealerships is paid a % of the amount He writes up, rather than a straight salary, IE the more He writes up, the more He is paid!!!

I in fact ask the Honda guy if He was paid that way, He said, "I'm afraid to answer"!!!!

I only mention this, so folks don't get the idea that they can walk into a dealership repair shop without doing the proper research first, just like they should when pricing out various Contractors.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 10:07PM
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We didn't bargain with our custom cabinet guy either, mainly because we had worked with him before on another kitchen and I had an idea of what was a reasonable cost.

I asked him for a quote on a custom vanity.... and then asked if he could do better. He did not get offended, probably because we have bought two full custom kitchens from him and recommended him to countless others.

Someone who would fire me for asking if an improvement could be made on price isn't someone I would want to work with and I don't sound like the kind of customer you are looking for either. I suspect we would not work well together.
So continue your policy of firing anyone who asks for a discount - you'll be doing everyone a favor! : )

Again, for the record I am not saying you have to discount - just that getting huffy about it and saying people are whiners really doesn't help your cause. It's certainly not making me wish I had worked with you whether I could afford you or not (how arrogant does that sound!). I'm sure the feeling is mutual.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 10:19PM
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Salmon Falls Cabinetry

I think Gary has stated it much more tactfully than I have. I absolutely agree that there is an issue not with just the general perception of contractors, but all of construction. I see it myself trying to find decent workers. All of the builders I work for say the same thing. "We just cannot find honest, decent workers" and yes, the consumer is the unfortunate target.

So I do understand being gun shy if you have been burned. Referral networking works for both sides of the business equation. Just getting 3 estimates doesn't do you squat. Maybe you get 3 estimates from bad people.

I personally would say 5 minimum and I don't mean estimates, I mean referrals.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 10:28PM
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I get where you're coming from, and I can kind of see your point of view. Here's the thing though: although you say "we in the construction biz see this as lose lose (when a customer asks for a discount) you're clearly not seeing the whole side of the story, because a good chunk of the construction biz does not react the same way you do to such a request. In fact, many in the construction biz regularly offer discounts, and/or reduce their pricing to get a job. What is a consumer supposed to do?

Fewer consumers might ask for discounts if the consistent experience was that you get what you pay for, but oftentimes, you don't. Sometimes, you get more than you would have thought you would. Other times, you get far less than you thought you would. High pricing doesn't always mean good work or fair value. I think we've all seen enough posts on here saying "my custom cabinet maker tried to sneak a defective counter top in on me, or botched the stain job, or made the wrong door profile, etc." to understand why people don't just automatically fall down and worship someone with blind trust just because they're custom or expensive.

I think you have the right to fire a customer if you want - your business, your rules. Whether or not it's smart - that's for you and time to decide. I will suggest though that you might not want to take it so personally. Accept that you work in an industry that does not have uniform expectations regarding the acceptability of the practice of negotiating. Get mad at your fellow cabinet makers that do offer discounts - not the customer. The customer doesn't work in your industry. If they did, they wouldn't need you. How is the customer supposed to know that your rules are different than Bob's down the street?

Also, you might want to consider that at least some of your potential customers (before you toss them out the door for asking, that is) may not be saying "I can't afford you." They may be saying "I like you, but I'm not sure I like you $X more than the next guy. Maybe I will be certain I like you $Y more than the next guy." Just because someone can afford you doesn't mean that they will be automatically willing to spend $X more on whatever, if any, advantages you claim to offer them.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 12:58AM
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Circus Peanut

The primary commodity is time. Only so many cabinets or bicycles can be built in a year. Selling more doesn't help the bottom line one bit - all it does is build a backlog. So he focuses on building great relationships and delivering an unsurpassed product. That costs a lot and he won't apologize.

This. This this this. :-)

I think most folks here are NOT talking about the same fully custom work that Kent is referencing. They are talking about cabinet dealers.

I wouldn't have dreamed of haggling with my cabinetmaker's pricing -- although we did do a bit of service bartering, since I do custom work in other areas. Worked out very well for both of us.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 7:43AM
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Cabinets dealers and KD's feel the same way. My time is in the design, not the actual building. Asking me to lower my price is asking me to work for less money. How would it make you feel if your boss came to you and said "I know you have a great track record, but instead of paying you your normal $30/hr. today, can I pay you $20?" If I provide you with an estimate, the way to lower the price is to give up something, put something back (custom finish, accessories, etc.).

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 7:58AM
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"How would it make you feel if your boss came to you and said "I know you have a great track record, but instead of paying you your normal $30/hr. today, can I pay you $20?"

I'm female. I've always had to work at a discount, lol.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 10:19AM
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I have friends who work for large organizations who have had benefits/ pay/ bonuses cut in this economy. It happens.

It's also completely different as the OP can say 'no', explain why and possibly still get the business (if he hasn't fired the person / assumed they can't afford him first).

I just don't get the moral outrage about it. Very puzzling to me.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 10:58AM
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I do get the moral outrage. How did your friends feel when their pay was cut without any lessening of their productivity or expectations? If they were outraged, they would have had every right to be. It does happen, but it is also a major blow to morale.

Is Kent's tone a little strong? Yeah. But I do understand how this situation feels insulting to him.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 11:25AM
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I think people need to be true about their budget. I also think that you really can't compare a 9 to 5 job with a set salary to a contracted job.
Kent, I do hear where you are coming from. But, because their are so many variables in doing say a kitchen, I don't think it is too unreasonable to ask about pricing.
I agree that the question should be I have X dollars, how far will this go?
When we were getting estimates, I was very leery of stating my budget. I felt that if I could afford X than that was what going to be what the estimate to turn out to be, not lower.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 11:31AM
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I think we are talking apples and oranges, commodities and services.

For a service, you should have already spoken with several folks who can provide the same service. (Btw - when bidding I like to be sure the basis is the same - then price out the individual ideas). Once I have received the bids, I analyze them. If there is a disparity between who I liked best and the average fair bid (not the low guy), I call the guy I liked and tell him so and tell him that he's higher and by what margin. I then ask if there's anything I should take into consideration about his bid. I tell him I may not be able to afford him.

I never asked for a discount, but I gave the opportunity if the service provider wanted the business or could sell me on why they are worth the difference.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 11:42AM
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Another question: How would you feel if you find out that prices are jacked up because of your zip code? (Socialism at work?)

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 11:46AM
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I recently hired a finish carpenter to put up closet doors and add wood shelves to two small closets. The doors needed to be cut to fit since the person who made the closet did not make the opening a standard size(it is 34" instead of 36"). He also worked on other small jobs: hanging fan, patching sheetrock, installing granite saddle, fixing molding etc.
I contemplated whether the price was fair(250/day)since I'm not aware of current rates. I enquired and was assured by someone in the construction industry that a reliable tradesman(and he is reliable, polite, meticulous and communicates well)is worth $31.00/hour. When it was put that way I agreed. I will be giving him money to cover his tolls/gas because if you factor travel I think 31/hr is too low now. I would like to keep on good terms with him because good finish carpenters can be hard to find.
When I ordered my Soapstone I paid the price quoted and am paying the price quoted for the sills also. I knew the price of SS so it was not a surprise to me. Someone asked me if I bargained the price. Nope. The dealer is excellent I know I'm getting what I pay for.
Sometimes people bargain because they are in unfamiliar territory(me) and in our society you can sometimes feel that you are going to be taken if you don't start off by bargaining. Sometimes people are a pain in the a**(not me !). The latter should be avoided but you need to differentiate between the two.
Joel Salatin of polyface farm tells a story of a customer who pulled up in a Mercedes and demanded to know why his free range eggs weren't cheaper. Joel told them that he deserves a white collar salary too. agreed. I never bargain with farmers !.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 11:56AM
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Interesting, and I agree with part of the OP's statement, but not all.

When I was granite shopping, I found my slabs at company A. There were at least 5 granite warehouses on that street. Of course they wouldn't tell me the price, but called my fabricator, and talked to them. Then I talked to the fabricator, while still in the office of company A. The price was too high, and I told her I couldn't afford it and would keep looking.

The saleslady told me to wait and she had a conference with her boss. Then she called my fabricator and talked, and then handed the phone to me. The price had been lowered by the granite company so it now met my highest price.

I didn't do a thing to bargain with the granite company, and would have walked out the door to keep looking. It was the saleslady who started the negotiations.

So while some people set firm prices, I think there is some wiggle room for others and they are more than willing to lower their prices.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 12:30PM
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Part of what is confusing to those who do not deal with the trade frequently is the wide disparity in pricing. We got 3 or 4 bids for our job, prices were all over the place. So how is one to know what a fair price is? Part of our due diligence, of course, was ascertaining whether we were really comparing apples to apples or whether some contractors were including things in their bids that others would anticipate adding in as changes as the work went on. But we still ended up with a big price differential among bidders.

Ultimately, when we selected our contractor, we didn't negotiate but we did mention that there had been several lower bids and asked if he could do any better. He politely said no, but we went with him anyway. There's nothing inherently wrong with asking. Most of the time it's a matter of how one asks-- and how the other party responds.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 12:45PM
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Kent ... you basically have a "my price or the highway" attitude.

How do you respond if someone says "That's more than I have budgeted for, where can I save some money on the item/project?" Do you offer them a less costly alternative or tell them to take a hike?

How do you respond if someone says "Here's what I have budgeted for the project, what can you do?" Do you try to work with it or tell them to take a hike?

How do you respond if someone says "Here's the effect I would like, can we make it happen with the budget I gave you?" Do you sit down and discuss it or tell them to take a hike?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 1:15PM
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Salmon Falls Cabinetry

How does one know? That is a great question and I have a great answer!

When one goes to get a quote or bid from a contractor, and you want to compare them across the board, there HAS to be a fully detailed scope of work, written down for everyone to bid on.

The sad fact is that nearly no one does this. Less than 5% easily. So, if you are explaining it to contractor "a", contractor "b" hears something different. You MUST have apples to apples comparisons.

So, who makes this elusive scope of work? Well, someone has to pay for it. Namely the client looking to have work done. An architect will do this, but for a steep price usually. A contractor probably won't be willing to work with you on nailing down a specific scope knowing that you will be shopping that list around all over town.

The other way is from the reverse side, which really doesn't work all too well. You ask the contractor what is going to be included in the quote. I assure you, I can be quite vague about things and you wouldn't know any difference. You'd say "oh....that looks fantastic!" not having the slightest clue that there are some serious gray areas.

Unfortunately, that is construction. Especially renovations. No one is a wizard and knows exactly what is buried in the walls. There's a best case and worst case scenario. The GC picks what he feels is going to happen based on his years of experience and gives you a price cap with a clause stating if he finds something in the walls unexpectedly, then the client has to cough up money. I think this is where some people get discouraged and feel like they are taken advantage of. Not true. It's called unforeseen circumstances.

The customer really has to be educated, or roll the dice with a complete stranger. Like I mentioned earlier, get REFERRALS. That is the most important step right there. Those estimates hardly mean anything.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 1:15PM
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Salmon Falls Cabinetry

@ marti8a, I have no problem at all with how you handled that. You didn't ask for them to lower it. You said you were looking elsewhere. That is completely fine!

Of course, how they said "wait! wait!" ...there's no way I personally would have stayed. Never.

It is best to go right in for the "I want you to give me your price, no dickering, just give it to me.

Countertop companies drive me nuts sometimes. They went through quite an industry change, it is more of a commodity now. But there is still some value hidden charges that one doesn't realize at the same time. Fabricator a hones the underside of the island overhang where fabricator b doesn't. No one knows that until you get the slab there and say "what the heck?" and now you are all mad because you paid money for what you thought you were getting and nowhere did it say they don't hone the underside. It is a very fine line and like I said, the customer really needs to be educated WELL. If it seems a little on the shyster side, then it quite possibly is.

Referrals and view the work. Know what you are getting BEFORE you buy. Many people are just in such a dang hurry to get it done. Details are omitted when that happens.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 1:23PM
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Kent ... Once I make that decision to lower my price, then it opens the door wide for you to negotiate anything else. It is easier for you now to negotiate ANYTHING that you just don't like.

Up until the contract is signed, yes. After that it's all change orders.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 1:25PM
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Salmon Falls Cabinetry

@lazygardens. That is precisely the way to ask. Don't ask me to take less for the same product. Ask me what can be done to get the price down.

These are two COMPLETELY different ways to ask. The latter tells me that "I have not budgeted quite that much" or "I want to upgrade somewhere else, what can we do to get the price down"

Asking me straight out "can you lower your price" means you want caviar on a budweiser budget. That answer is "no"

It is not "my way or the highway" I am saying don't ask me to take less money on the same product because you don't have the budget.

This happens on almost EVERY job and I oblige by doing a little here and there to get the price down, but that means DOWNGRADING the product some, not working for free.

If the spread is thousands, we are more than likely never going to meet at an agreement. If it is hundreds, then the client usually makes some sacrifices up front on things that can be replaced later on, such as dovetail drawers.

BTW, soft close doors are completely standard now. Anyone getting a product that does not have soft close doors integrated right in the hinge should be talking with their cabinet supplier, because that is about a $25 difference for an entire kitchen.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 1:31PM
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Salmon Falls Cabinetry

@lazy gardens "Up until the contract is signed, yes. After that it's all change orders."

That is rarely the case on small items like an extra outlet or lift the cabinets 1/2". Big items, sure. Small ones I assure you they get absorbed by the contractor.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 1:36PM
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Salmon Falls Cabinetry

Posted by nosoccermom
Another question: How would you feel if you find out that prices are jacked up because of your zip code? (Socialism at work?)

That is actually capitalism, not socialism.

That happens right where I am at all the time. Two towns separated by about 10 minutes driving time in Maine. One is Kennebunkport, very high end. The other is Sanford, one of the lowest end spots in Maine.

This is why there is no such thing as "the going rate", which I saw posted above. Everyone has their OWN rate, there is a general RANGE of cost, but to try and exact it somehow is folly and naivety. It's like asking what the price of a Mercedes.

I don't change cabinet pricing according to location, but I certainly decide on what we in construction call a PITA factor. They can be anything from how the client pays (commercial is 90-120 days), power requirements (yes, I have been on jobs with no power), an absentee homeonwer (in the case of a well to do global expert in chemicals who was NEVER there at his house to make decisions), or are pets crawling all over me( yes, that happens), or is retired Uncle Bob watching me the whole job (I need another pair of hands to count how many times lol)

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 1:50PM
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Nosoccermom, we call it being 'neighborhooded' - as soon as contractors/ landscapers, etc, etc arrive here the price goes up. A lot.

I have had quotes from 3 different tree services to take down a couple of trees out front.
Prices have ranged from $1200 - $3400 for the same tree. The most expensive guy is the one who does the most work in this neighborhood. It's such a rip off.

The quotes to do our bathroom were INSANELY different. The local referrals were outrageously expensive. The gem GC we are working with now comes up from Philly. I love him and I love that he didn't neighborhood us.

The first time we put in custom cabinets we got several quotes for the same kitchen. Again the quotes varied HUGELY. It was absolutely ridiculous.
I still simply don't get the moral outrage. I just don't. I wouldn't with custom bikes either.
Customer: "can you go a little lower on price?"
Vendor: "unfortunately this is the best I can do on price, but I think you'll be delighted with the outcome".

DONE! No need for firing, pearl clutching and general outrage.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 4:38PM
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Salmon Falls Cabinetry

"unfortunately this is the best I can do on price, but I think you'll be delighted with the outcome"

I say the same thing, just with less less words. People read something on the internet and assume they know the emotion that goes with it. Take it with a grain of salt. I'm not belittling, I'm not outraged, I'm not firing. All I say is "no", there's nothing wrong with that.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 4:54PM
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It seems like one big different in price negotiation is whether we're talking about a labor rate vs a product. So comparing bargaining on the price of a car with bargaining on the price of a labor rate does not seem like an apples to apples comparison.

I work for a company that does custom engineering work. When a customer requests a quote, we provide it based on the specs that they've provided. If the customer does not like the price, they will come back and ask what can be done to lower the price. Sometimes it's a change in timeline and other times it's a change in the specification of the work. Similarly if I were looking to get a quote from a contractor on a large job, I might ask what can be done to adjust a price (if the initial price is higher than I want) and the contractor can tell let me know what work can be left off or timeline can be changed or if nothing can be done to change the price. That seems like a reasonable and fairly normal negotiation. I would not expect to negotiate a labor rate, only the amount of labor to be provided.

I do agree that negotiation/bargaining may also be a personal preference or cultural thing. I do not expect to bargain on something like a new light fixture or plumbing part, but I would expect to do some negotiation on a vehicle (new or used) or used furniture. I don't think I would ever expect to negotiate on labor rates. This is simply how I was taught, but I would expect that others may have been taught differently. I also think it is very reasonable for any sort of seller/laborer to refuse to adjust prices. As long as both parties remain respectful, I see no harm. Certainly at any point in pricing discussions either party can walk away. I imagine being up front about budgets and expectations on the buyers part and rates and itemized prices on the sellers part can go a long way to keeping both parties expectations in check and in line.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 5:04PM
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Good luck with your business.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 5:49PM
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Woah, KentWhitten, initially, I certainly saw your point; however, if you tell me that zip code determines your PITA rate, then don't you think it's very justified that people may ask you to adjust your price? Because maybe they have the anti-PITA factor, e.g. don't have pets, no Uncle Bob, offer you sandwiches and soda, don't ask for extras, don't complain, and pay cash upfront.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 7:50PM
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I always ask for a discount. Maybe not directly but when I see the fully detailed scope, I ask where I can save some money. Perhaps there is something in the initial start that I can do myself (prep type work) that will save an hour of labor. Maybe I can go and buy some of the supplies myself if I can get a discount (military/student/etc) or if I have to pay a fee for the contractor to get the supplies, I would rather get them myself. There are a few other cost cutting measures, which I don't think hurt the contractor, I am not asking him to cut his per hour price, just how many hours its going to take to get the job done.

Never be scared to ask someone to back up their price.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 9:25PM
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I didn't ask for discounts from cabmaker, granite fabricator, or GC. In fact, when the GC forgot to include the built-in cutting board that I had asked for (he turned out to be very absent-minded), I was willing to pay for it rather than holding him to the amount on the contract. I tried to be fair, because he had the power to screw up my job. He did make some mistakes and get sloppy at the end, anyway, and that was with him happy. Just think if he thought I was screwing him over.

It never occurred to me to ask a craftsman to reduce price for no reason. (ao34 -what you do is different, because you are changing the service, not just the price.That's reasonable.) Plus, they all knew I was getting a few quotes, so if they were smart, they weren't padding anything. Appliances, however, I bought at a discount from a local appliance store by telling them what I could get online. The appliance store has sales - they do have a built in margin.

It can go the other way, where they ask you to negotiate. That annoys me. Once a vendor did that to me, but it wasn't the kitchen. It was Invisible Fence, you know, the electric dog fence. They were the first ones I talked to, and I told him that. I also told him I had appointments with the other two guys in town. Inv Fence guy closed his presentation with "After you get the other quotes, I hope you'll give me a chance to see if I can meet them." Really? As opposed to, say, giving me your best price right now, since you know I'm getting other quotes? Inv Fence also runs 50% off sales. So if you call only Invisible Fence and you don't have the coupon, you pay twice as much? I hate that. I used Hidden Pet Fence.

I guess I'm just not cut out for bargaining, even if I am Italian. I don't like feeling like I could be getting taken if I don't know some arcane secret or play some psychological game or clip some coupon. I love the new JC Penney policy.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 10:13PM
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It does not matter if you are selling products or knowledge or experience or talent, the bottom line is "Supply and Demand". If you are hungry, if you have to pay bill, "my way or high way attitude", "moral outrage" ...etc. will all be out of the window.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 1:11AM
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The OP wrote: "Think of it this way. If the other side actually AGREES to lower their price, then they weren't giving you their honest price in the first place." Everywhere you look these days there are "sales", "specials", "deals", etc. Why would I buy something at full price if it will be significantly less expensive the following month?? Also, if you go online, you will see the same item sold in an amazing range of prices. So what is the "actual" cost??

Seems to me it is the vendors who are playing games with prices, and you shouldn't be criticizing the consumers for trying to get the best value for their hard earned dollar!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 6:18AM
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I don't mind folks asking, starts a conversation which is good. OTOH I don't drop price, have varied markups, pad, have PITA charges or gouge.
For many like me the margin is not large enough. During my first few years on my own (started in the recession) I did discount a few selected jobs, unasked. They were situations that looked to produce more than average referrals, would have gotten the jobs anyway. Yes I told them though. It was a marketing choice.

Legallin it is partly sellers with varied markups AND partly the public. Many internet dealers have set themselves up as distributors with a mfg. They are supposed to be selling to businesses but sell direct instead-very common in plumbing items.
Occassionally a mfg shuts one down but less and less.

Where I used to work they sometimes ran an ad that I hated- for 65% off on one brand of cabinet. People would flock in, many were dissappointed at the prices though. That was a disount off of list and amounted to standard pricing. I suppose they thought there was enough profit in cabinets for a real deep discount. Often the piblic expects big discounts and "free" stuff.

I've run a promo or two for 5 off on certain items. Now if I did that 5 off on everything, all the time I could not keep the doors open but folks are not impressed. Often the public prefers to be sold the emporers clothes. As a dealer I'm left with the chooice of growing slowly doing things the way they should be done or doing things in a manner I think deceptive. Going to stick with slow and steady.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 8:30AM
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Salmon Falls Cabinetry

What happened to all of the posts from 830 this morning on?

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 5:20PM
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