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Learning to negotiate the price of services

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We have already established that I suck at saying no…ie foster dogs. No more of that, for now, I learned my lesson. And I’m even worse at negotiating. This has always been the case. But I’m working on myself.

I have been reading up on negotiating and even practiced some of the skills when I negotiated my new salary. But I am really hesitant when it comes to talking price/money about things and especially when it comes to dealing with another small businesses. So I’m pretty proud of this latest, money affecting negotiation…

First off, I am really pleased with the primary contractor who has been doing work around my house, stuff that I cannot do. He’s been super reliable, thorough and super knowledgeable. For the most part, I believe fairly priced. But recently, I felt like the price for specific work has been based on his need versus the effort and time it would take to do the work.

This has been the case for several projects I have had him quote and in most cases, I just choose to do it myself or have not had the work done…saving it for down the road.

But now I need help and the price just was way too high! I cut items off the list, saving some for down the road and adding some to my own to do list as I have time…like my kitchen backsplash.

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

I cut my “MUST HAVE help with” list to the bare bones…and asked him to price it. Still to high, like way too high in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for paying a fair price and understand that I’m just not paying for time but also for expertise. I recognize this and support this. But there’s still a reasonable price for work.

After several back and forth conversations, we landed on a price that I believe is fair. It reflects the value of his work and knowledge, not to mention the time it will take. And gets my must have items done.

He comes tomorrow – I will have a dishwasher, an ice maker. I could fall to my knees with gratefulness for these simple enhancements to our kitchen.

On a side note:

In July, I wrote about a case against the manufacturer of the glass that shattered in our new bathroom. I asked the BAD community what I should do. Well, I didn’t have to sue and I received a final offer that I will accept this evening. It took several rounds of negotiation. I cannot disclose the amount, but I am happy with the outcome and think it’s very fair.


So, what do you think ?