Learn to negotiate the price of services


    from Hope

    We’ve already established that I sucks saying no … that is, foster dogs. Not anymore, now I’ve learned my lesson. And I’m even worse at negotiating. This has always been the case. But I’m working on myself.

    I read a lot about negotiating and even practiced some of the skills as I negotiated my new salary. But I am very hesitant when it comes to talking about price / money and especially when it comes to dealing with other small businesses. So I’m pretty proud of this latest cash-making negotiation …

    First of all, I am very happy with the main contractor who did work around my house, things that I can’t do. He was super reliable, thorough and super competent. Most of the time I think it’s quite cheap. But lately I’ve felt that the price of a particular job is based on its needs versus the effort and time it would take to get the job done.

    This has been the case with several projects that I had him quote and in most cases I just choose to do it myself or not let the job do it….

    But now I need help and the price was just way too high! I cross things off the list, save some for later, and add some to my own to-do list when I have time … like my kitchen splashback.

    But I can’t run a water pipe to my refrigerator or install the plumbing for my dishwasher. And while I could probably install countertops myself, it’s risky, the material is expensive so it would be bad and expensive to screw something up, especially the one around the sink.

    I’ve reduced my “must-help with” list to the bare essentials … and asked him to price it. Still too high, way too high in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I am in favor of paying a fair price and understand that I am paying not only for time but also for expertise. I acknowledge and support this. But there is still a reasonable price to be paid for the work.

    After several back and forth conversations, we ended up at a price that I think is fair. It reflects the value of his work and knowledge, not to mention the time it takes to do it. And do my must-have items.

    He’s coming tomorrow – I have a dishwasher, an ice maker. I could fall on my knees in gratitude for these simple improvements to our kitchen.

    As a side note:

    In July I wrote about a case against the manufacturer of the glass that broke in our new bathroom. I asked the BAD community what to do. Well, I didn’t have to complain and I got one last offer that I’ll accept tonight. It took several rounds of negotiations. I can’t say the amount, but I’m happy with the result and think it’s very fair.

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