Is it just me or are there others out there who hate to negotiate for goods or services? Maybe I’m the extreme because I don’t even like using coupons or gift certificates. To be honest I guess I feel like they somehow aren’t real money when I’m using them and if I’m buying them, I feel like their worth is less than what I’m spending. Shoot I don’t even like returning something to a store even if it broke 10 minutes after first using it. I do return things don’t get me wrong, but I still don’t enjoy the back and forth because it’s all about a deal that went wrong and for me that’s an uncomfortable place to go.
So when it comes haggling, bartering or trading I’m usually just not up to the task. I know this means I’ve missed some really great deals out there but it hardly seems worth it most times when I’ve got to beat you up just to get a deal. That said, I have actually used all 3 tactics from time to time and come away with some pretty good results. BUT, I’ve also gotten burned and unfortunately that happens far more to me than getting the good deal.
To me, if I tell you my termite job is $900.00 and for some reason you balk, then I say, Ok, just today I’ll do the work for $700. Then wasn’t I a bit over priced in the first place? Was I just trying to get you for that extra $200? Now I know this is a solid and accepted sales tactic (to a point-I mean every customer wants to feel like they got a bargain) so I’m not calling everybody out on their price fluctuations. But for me, I feel like I shoot from the hip and give my price right out front and if you take it, great, if not that’s fine too. I do know that when the tables are turned and suddenly someone tells me that they’ll knock off 2, 3 or $400 dollars- I get a little suspicious and usually don’t take the deal. Now some folks live for the hard bargains and on rare occasions I will do the back and forth. I might throw in a 1/2 priced pest control service, lower my bid or give into a demand but I feel like the process is exhausting and like I’m at odds with this person in a negative way. But, somehow when all is said and done, they’re as happy as can be & I have work. So perhaps it’s a win win.
Do you like haggling?
One barter I remember specifically was a client of mine had a 55 gallon drum of Dursban 4E that I wanted. He wanted my service as well and so we got to comparing the worth’s of what each was offering and negotiating a deal. In the end I gave him 1 years free service which worth about $300.00. On paper, I thought I did pretty good but in reality, the drum either sat in the sun and heat to long or something because it really wasn’t very effective. I guess I could have complained and took it back but I guess I’ll have to refer to paragraph one of this article as my defense. That said, I have bartered and made out Ok but I’m more of the opinion that if you just give me the money for my service, I’ll go out and buy my own Dursban.
Have you bartered?
I guess trading and bartering are really the same thing and haggling goes hand in hand with both. But when I think of trading, I think of trading service for service and not a product or thing. I did trade some carpet cleaning once for a termite job and man was that a disaster. Oh the carpet turned out great and the guy lived up to his word alright. It’s just that in doing the termite job I drilled into a pipe and old faithful was put to shame that day. That was the most expensive carpet cleaning I ever had.
Then there was the time my lovely wife tried her hand (literally) at trading services once. She was getting her nails done and got to talking- Well imagine that! Women Talking? Nooooooo. Well she did and lo and behold the manicurist and her thought it was a good idea to trade her fingernail painting for a little roach job. So imagine my surprise when I walked into a kitchen infested with german roaches and a smiling cosmetic technician just waiting for me. Me & the Mrs. had a talk… Out of the 3, haggling, bartering or trading, I’d say trading services has been the worst failures for me. Even when things went Ok, I still had a nagging feeling that deal wasn’t fair. That the service values didn’t match and I got the short end of the stick most times.
Does trading your service work out fairly?
I realize that for some these approaches work out great and maybe even better than cash in some cases. I know many people in the industry that THRIVE on haggling and the art of the deal. One of the most successful salesman I ever knew always said, “My job doesn’t start until they say NO.” I’ve just never found any real joy in it nor any abundance of success. I’d love to hear of any of your triumphs and more importantly if you have any keys or pointers that could help make me a better negotiator. Hey I can’t really pay you anything but I can send you a pint or two of some Dursban, what’d ya say? 😉