Post # 1
I guess it could be sort of wedding related – but I’m asking more about home projects.
Last year, H and I had Invisalign braces (we’re still doing them). We were able to pay cash and get 10% off our bill which was a huge savings.
Now we’re getting some landscaping quotes to take care of this awful corner of the yard that we haven’t managed to tackle in the past 5 years despite the numerous hours we’ve spent on it. We’re calling in the professionals.
I considered asking them if they have a discount for up front in full cash payment (rather than their 30% up front deposit).
Then I wondered, would it be wise to hold off on giving them all the money up front, just in case they don’t finish something, etc?
We had a small concrete job done last year, and they left piles of hardened concrete laying in our grass and didn’t clean up ALL of the mess It was very clear concrete people were there (I expected it to not look like anyone was there, except for a new concrete wall appearing). It would have been nice if we kept 10% of the bill and used it to get them to come back to clean up the mess rather than paying them in full (not even sure how’d you even do that since they wanted full payment up front, say no I’m going to keep 10%?).
What do you think? Ask the landscapers? It could save hundreds of dollars!
Post # 3
I would definitely ask about paying cash and see if they would be willing to give you a discount. It could be a great way to save some money. But maybe in installments, so you save yourself the hassle “just in case” anything goes wrong or the landscaper isn’t the most reliable, if you feel more comfortable with that.
With landscaping/big house contracting and stuff, I would definitely specify that you would like some sort of written contract/estimate for the job though, more so if you are paying cash. I know some people keep the taxes, or similar off the bill then they don’t have to report it to the government and that’s how they get around giving discounts for paying in cash.
In relation to wedding planning, my photographer does that. If we pay her in cash we save the taxes, BUT we have a contract with her anyway that specifies this and everything that is included in her package we are contracted for.
Post # 4
I wouldn’t, but here it is illegal for businesses to give a discount for paying cash, so my view is a little biased.
Post # 5
That is interesting about Canada! Good to know. It’s not uncommon here .
Post # 6
@sienna76: People still do it here quite often. If they are willing to do that though, it makes me wonder if they are doing things to code, etc.
Post # 7
I would only consider paying in full, in cash, up front, for an item that #1 I could take with me (i.e. not a service), #2 wasn’t likely to be stolen/lost/damaged and #3 wasn’t of too high a value. Paying a deposit to guarantee a time for a service to be delivered is fine, but if you pay in full in cash you have no recourse if the service is never delivered. If I am buying a tangible goods item, or if buying a service from an established company, I pay by credit card as there are a lot of consumer protections built into the card. My landscaper doesn’t show up? I’ll just dispute the charge rather than chasing the now-bankrupt company trying to get a few pennies back.
Post # 8
@fishbone: That is one way to really put some boundaries on it! I considered those as well.
But with my Invisalign, none of those applied however. Would braces be something you would not have asked for a discount, based on your guidelines? I guess a difference is that I have to show up at their office every 6 weeks for new trays – would that make it different?
I actually don’t know which forms of payment they take. It’s a husband/wife team (landscaper/designer). So maybe they don’t even take credit cards – I’m formulating questions for them now.
Post # 9
No way. I’d never pay up in full for any sort of contract job like that. Too many stories of people paying for it, then getting screwed. Hell, people pay up front half and still get screwed by contractors that don’t care to do a good job or finish the job.
Post # 10
You should never pay 100% up front for contracted work. Especially home repairs and construction.
There are millions of horror stories out there about shoddy work, incomplete work, or people who paid and never showed up at all.
The only bargaining chip you have with these people is paying them.
If anything…. ask if there’s a discount for paying 50% cash up front and the remainder in cash when the job is finished to your satisfication. But DO NOT pay them everything before they even start work.
Anyone who is reputable isn’t going to need your money up front to buy materials or hire a crew… so keep that in mind as well.
Post # 11
I would ask for a cash discount, but for something like landscaping, I would not pay them in full until the job was complete.
Post # 12
I don’t think it’s illegal here to give a discount solely on the basis of paying cash, but it feels illegal because most cash discounts are associated with sidestepping taxes. But there are a lot of gas stations around here that give discounts for cash because they don’t have to pay fees associated with credit cards. So it’s a discount based on their reduced cost of handling cash.
Post # 13
Ah, simply being contracted work makes the difference here. I was looking for boundaries like that.
My teeth were not a contracted service I don’t think.
Post # 14
Sometimes it is okay to get the cash discount- I did after my dental procedure. However, in this case- I would NOT pay cash (prior to the work being done) to any kind of business – esp. a construction or contractor. Unless you really really know who you are dealing with- those businesses are notorious. Even with my amazing dentist, he did the work before I paid and got the discount.
I once made the mistake of paying for cash for a guitar repair before he did the work and he took FOREVER. I learned my lesson. He did a good job, but it took a month when he said a week (before I paid cash).