When the invoice for work rendered states the material cost $30 and the labor cost was $300, don’t you see red? We all do. Certainly a workman is worthy of his/her hire and they’re due fair compensation for the work performed, but a little negotiation can go a long way toward lowering the overall bill and make everyone happy. Use these tactics to negotiate (haggle, dicker, barter) a better price for almost any service.
Pick your Opponent
Paid employees usually have little to no leverage to reduce prices or add on services, pick the top person on the totem pole to negotiate with. Pick the contractor doing your bathroom remodel, owner of the lawn care service, owner of the dog grooming facility or auto shop owner to talk to when you’d like to cut a better deal for current and future services.
Give respect, get respect. Don’t tell the person their services are not worth what they’re charging, approach it from a different perspective so as to not get the haggling off on the wrong foot. Place the blame on your own finances, everyone can relate to that approach and you might get a better price. For example, if the lawn care service gives you an estimate of $35 a week, tell the owner you wish you could afford their service but your budget is tight and $25 a week would make the deal. You’ll probably get the service for $30 for respectful dickering.
Know what your bottom line is before beginning the negotiation and be willing to walk away if the other person isn’t willing to meet in the middle. Both parties in a negotiation will have a bottom line and haggling is about meeting somewhere in the middle so both parties walk away happy.
Sweeten the Pot
Offer to pay for services rendered in cash, that is often incentive enough for a discount. If you like the way a certain dog groomer handles your dog, let them know you’ll be giving them all your future business if the price is right. In the world of negotiation, you give a little to get a lot.