Post # 1
Are you guys negotiating with vendors? We found a baker on CL who offered us a good price on cakes but during our tasting she said she had another bride interested in our date.
I emailed her a week later and stated we still hadn’t made up our minds about the cost and since we didn’t want her missing out on potential business to offer the other bride the date. She wrote me back and knocked $150 off the cost!
I decided to try the same thing with our florist. Orignal quote was $415 (just bouquets, boots, and petals, I’m doing centerpieces). I called him and said it was out of our budget and what would the cost be for just bouqets? He said, “How about this? I’ll take the Bridesmaid or Best Man flowers from $60/ea to $50/ea and apply a coupon code for 10% off. So $334 incl. tax?” WOOHOO! Nearly 25% savings!
I’m NOT a haggler. I’m shy and never thought this would be possible. Are you guys haggling? Any success?
Post # 3
Wow. That’s awesome. I have a friend who is a wedding planner and she swears by this method.
Post # 4
Haven’t had to haggle yet but I will definitely keep it in mind while planning!
Post # 5
Yes, everything is negotiable! It can feel uncomfortable but if you do it in a tactful manner I think most vendors (esp independent and small shops) will be happy to work with you. They want your business and you want a deal, so why shouldn’t they meet you half way (as long as you are being reasonable).
I haggled for my dress and the cost of alterations. I’m working with my photog on a package that meets our budget and will include free engagement pics.
It never hurts to ask!
Post # 6
I’ve negotiated pretty much every price during wedding planning. The only vendor that would not budge on price was the day of coordinator. Everyone else gave significant discounts.
Post # 7
I do it! I get scared in person sometimes, but over e-mail I haggle a lot.
Post # 8
I pretty much negotiated something off of everything. However, mostly I was asking them to meet a competitor’s price or work with my budget. Many vendors had “packages” I wasn’t really interested in so it was easy to go “a al carte”. If they did a good job, I made sure I gave them good reviews, etc. All in all, I probably saved about $2,000.
Post # 9
I found that there are a few tricks to haggling…
1. Let the vendor/ sales person set the new price. Just say, “I’m not sure this will work in our budget, but I would really love to work with you. Is there some way we can work together?” They may drop the price lower than you think. The first rule of haggling is to let the other person bring up a number first. It’s funny though, people who know to haggle hold fast to this rule. Sometimes it turns into a game of chicken.
2. If you make a counter offer first, have written verification that the offer is reasonable. Have print outs of competitors’ rate/qoute. For a car, use Kelly Blue Book (I knocked off $1,800 off a car with this).
3. Be willing to compromise if cost is the most important consideration. As PP mentioned, go a la carte instead of package. Go with a lesser cost substitute that works.
4. Be empathetic to the seller. This is their livelihood. Let them know you are interested in their work first, not a good deal. As a former business owner, I usually bent for customers who wanted my product for their wedding. It’s very flattering. If customers immediately tried to knock down the price, it really turned me off.
4. Be willing to walk away if the price isn’t what you want. Don’t just act like it, because savvy sales people know how to call a bluff.
Post # 10
Yes, it works! Though for me as well, it has usually worked out accidentally because I simply was not willing to budge from my budget. I empathized with the vendor that I am sorry I am not able to do business with them because of my shortcoming. I did not want to insult them by trying to haggle. This in and of itself became a non-haggling haggle. Get it? I was sincere though. It was generous of the vendor to work things out with me. I would’ve walked with my pocket change otherwise and not bothered to get that product/service at all if it was not on my priority list.
Post # 11
It doesn’t work every time, but it definitely works more often than I’d expected! My friend coached me to ignore my instincts to be nice and to just be up front and say that’s out of our budget, is there anything you can do for us? Probably 4 out of 5 times, they would knock something off the price.
Many vendors I’ve talked to do seem to expect this and it seems like many pad their prices in anticipation of bargaining. The only cases in which it hasn’t worked for us are when we are working with a vendor’s base package or it is already designed as a “budget” package.
Post # 12
WOW I wish I knew about this haggling! I still have a few more things to pull together so I will keep this in mind! The only thing that I have haggled Thus far was our caterer about a price that use to be on their website (which I printed all menus out), they updated their website (this was before I ever made 1st contact) w/o any pricing and then told me a new price. Obviously I emailed him back telling him that I was confused with the price since I had the printed off menus which also itemized how they would tax, etc. He said they would honor the price with only the specific listed sample items within that menu. Which is FINE for me. We saved almost $10 per person x 120people. Thats some good savings!!!
**Only thing I am worried about is if their will be a bad taste of “business” talk in their mouths. I hope not because when we hired them we only put a down payment and loved their taste testing of their food.
Post # 13
Ugh, I have tried to haggle and failed miserably. I don’t know if I’m just not good at it (which is highly likely, I hate bartering and always feel bad about offering less) but every time I have tried to negotiate a price I have been told that the price is firm. I think part of it is because I’m having a destination wedding so the vendors know that I am limited on my options, but it sucks. My friend was able to get a $3k ceremony fee totally waived…. I was in awe. I don’t understand how you ladies do it!