Do You Haggle, Barter Or Trade Your Pest Control Service?

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? 😉

About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.

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  • Pest Kil

    Haggling- No I try to stay firm in my price, and use the haggling from another company to my benefit. “Mrs. Jones, do you not think that a company that can do your termite service for 700.00, but wants to charge you 900.00, isn’t ripping you off on the 200.00?”
    Though I will throw in a free initial PC service if they go with a yearly PC contract, and I can do both services at the same time.

    Bartering- I just bartered a years worth of PC (about 300.00) for a brand new laptop computer, still in original packaging.

    Trading- I trade my PC services to the company that prints my sales literature. Works out great for the both of us!

    So I would have to say that all 3 have worked out for me.

    Eric Kroon
    PestKil Inc.

  • Hey you do well with that– I use to shy WAY WAY away from it (after the Dursban incident) but lately I’m more open to “swapping” than I have been. I’d love to trade some work for a new laptop that’s for sure.

    Nice work

  • Mel

    “I own 3,209 rental units. I will consider letting you service all of them if you give me half off the service price for my personal residence and do a really good job” 

  • You had me until you said I had to do a really’ good job.

  • Pest Kil

    Hey Mel, I will tell you what, I’ll give you free service and an excellent job at your home!

    Eric Kroon
    PestKil Inc.

  • Mel

    I was sent on that call to treat a house. The terms of the service were already negotiated by the manager. The home was vacant. All I needed to do was get the signature and treat.

    Instead, I inspected while she tried to haggle me down and insisted I inspect another rental property of hers across the street. Then came quote number two (havent even treated the first house) which she thought should be included for free.  Two hours later, I still have not treated. She insisted on a a ridiculous price reduction so I asked HER to call the manager who did not return my phone calls the entire time I was there. While she was making the call, I drove off!

    The only reason I stuck around as long as I did was because the day before I had to decline a meth mite infestation. The owner was not happy with me turning down that job so I wanted to make it up to him.

  • Well you certainly showed the patience of a saint there. (not sure which one) lol

    But I have to say– HOW COULD YOU PASS UP A METH_MITE JOB?  What are you on Mel? lololooloollolo

    I admit-I had to google that one–oh my. You just answered about a thousand e-mails I get on bird mites…… now the trick is- how to break it to the reader sending the impossible questions they ask.

  • Mel

    I am suprised at how many results appeared for the search. I first encountered the mite around 2006 on a video site as a comedy skit. Its a great pest control joke when describing mystery bugs. Every tech gets it. Also, its more simple to say or type out meth mite than delusional parasitosis.

    Unlike you, I had to pass up the meth mite infestation because Im not a doctor:)

  • Well I’m hooked NOW thanks to you– that’s the wildest thing. Even my wife (a nurse) hadn’t heard of it. I’m gonna look closer at it cause I truly get some really weird e-mails on the subject of mites, bites and crawlies in skin….

    BTW- I can quit any time I want to…..

  • envirocare

    Ive traded a number of times for various services and got good results from that.  I guess it all depends.  Most of the trades are people I knew.

    Karl The BugMan
    EnviroCare Pest Solutions
    Columbus Ohio Bed Bug Control

  • Stuto1

    I have given credit to a mechanic on my route for his services!

  • Wow! My credit doesn’t go very far towards mechanics- I think I need to re-evaluate my prices. lol