Post # 1
FI and I are meeting with a potential DJ tonight. Both my photographer and my venue recommended him and I trust their judgement. I asked my photog (since they’re friends) if she thought he’d be willing to negotiate his prices since we’ve had a rough year. She passed the message on to him and he got a hold of us and said he’d be happy to negotiate without sacrificing any of his services, and we could discuss that when we met.
We weren’t planning on having a DJ at all and were going to DIY it. Since we haven’t budgeted for a DJ, I don’t know how much we could pay him. What’s the best way to ask him how much he’d be willing to work for without sounding rude or cheap? He’s already fairly reasonably priced (I think…$895 for four hours of dancing, set up two hours beforehand at no additional cost).
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Post # 3
I don’t have any input here but I gotta say not what I was expecting when I read the subject line, lol.
Post # 4
- Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch
That price is not bad, but I don’t know if you can get far by asking a DJ to name their bottom price. I think instead I’d just figure out how much I’m actually *willing* to spend, and offer 10% less first. Just like, “We can’t afford a lot; we were hoping to stay in $X range” and see what happens.
Post # 5
Ditto MissDoodles: if you think his rates are already fair, can you see if he can throw in something special for you guys (lights, smoke machine for first dance, something like that for the same price?)
Post # 6
i have to ask— do you know what he *normally* charges for his services? One main thing is you want to make sure you offer him a fair rate without being offensive.
Post # 7
I’d just be honest. I’d figure how much you could spend, and if it’s more than 5-10% less, tell him things are very tight for you financially, and that you forgot to budget properly for a DJ (try to word this better so he doesn’t feel like an afterthought!); is there anything in [x] range that he could offer?
Acknowledge that his rates are already reasonable, but that he came highly recommended from your caterer and photographer, and that you wanted to at least talk to him to see if there’s any flexibility in his services.
Figure out, too, what you’d be willing to give up. Could you give up an hour on the early or late side, and just give a pre-made CD with dinner or dance music to your reception site and have them play it? Is there anything that you could barter (e.g., if you’re a tax attorney, offer to do his taxes; if you landscape, offer to do his lawn, etc.)?
Post # 8
I would say, what can you offer us for $X (whatever your budget is) and then see what he says.
Post # 9
@ snake: Yes, he’s got his rates posted on his website and I certainly don’t want to offend him.
I think part of it is that I’ve never hired a DJ before, so I don’t know what goes into it and I certainly want to be fair.
Post # 10
Great advice. Thanks everyone!
Post # 11
I think the easiest way to bargain is to meet with multiple DJs and get quotes from each. Then you can go to your favorite DJ with some ammo and say, “Well DJ X will provide us with the same services for $A, but we’d really like to go with you, so do you think we can work out a price closer to that number?” If they know they are in direct competition and might miss out on the sale, they are more likely to drop their prices. This method pretty much goes for any wedding vendor, and has worked for me!
Post # 12
@missdoodles: Glad to see I’m not the only one with my mind in the gutter this morning! HA
And I agree with telling him “I have x to work with – what can you do for me?” in so many words…
Post # 13
Best. DJ. EVER! Not only was he a very nice man and obviously good at what he does (apparently he only works by referral), but when we gave him our budget ($1000) he said “oh. I was thinking $900 for everything.” We hired him on the spot.
Post # 14
Hooray MissHelen! I’m glad that everything went so well. And one more thing to check off the to-do list 🙂