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Is everything negotiable?

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by glengraving, Jul 3, 2019.

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  1. glengraving

    glengraving UKBF Contributor Free Member

    94 40
    I think I've heard it said - perhaps on these forums - that if you're in business, everything is up for negotiation. You're doing yourself a disservice if you don't test the waters with a bit of haggling, be it with big purchases or everyday expenses - there's often a deal to be had.

    To what extent have you found this to be true?
    Ever pushed your luck where you thought there wasn't room for negotiation and been pleasantly surprised - or do you find it to be crass, and prefer businesses you deal with to respect your list price, as your respect theirs?
    Posted: Jul 3, 2019 By: glengraving Member since: Jan 24, 2019
  2. Clinton

    Clinton UKBF Legend Full Member

    5,006 2,168
    On the odd occasion when someone has tried to negotiate my price that's my cue to find that, unfortunately, my diary is now full up and I don't have the time to take on another client.

    I don't do clients who "push their luck".
    Posted: Jul 3, 2019 By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
  3. MBE2017

    MBE2017 UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,933 696
    Most products / stock can be negotiated on, but like Clinton, once I state a price for my work I do not budge, simply because I keep myself busy enough and feel I am worth the money.

    You have to decide for yourself how hard you want to push things, sometimes you can get a small discount but lose a lot more in trust and relationships in business by doing so.

    It can depend on the industry as well, some work on very low margins, in some my clients get 85% as standard on some products.
    Posted: Jul 4, 2019 By: MBE2017 Member since: Feb 16, 2017
  4. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    24,273 2,943
    If you spend £10k at once with a supplier then its worth negotiating a little. Some suppliers won't negotiate unless the order (not annual spend, just one order) is in excess of £100k.
    If spending £200 then probably not worth negotiating with a supplier.

    However if say getting some work done and its a quiet time of year for that type of business you are using then nothing to say negotiating won't work.

    Have been to assess jobs and had idiots try and negotiate terms and fees to their advantage but very much against mine.
    Quite often later get a call a month later accepting my quote. That's usually when I declare I'm already booked up. The ones who seem to think I should just accept their changes I have found are also problematic to work with.

    I don't mind working. I do mind someone trying to get me working with big risks to me or payment dependent on rolling a 7 on a d6.
    Posted: Jul 4, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  5. Darren_Ssc

    Darren_Ssc UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,237 380
    Ironically enough, there is a book called Everything is Negotiable which is well worth a read but, as others have pointed out, expecting everyone you deal with to get into a haggling match can be counterproductive.

    Getting the lowest price doesn't always mean you're getting the best deal. :)
    Posted: Jul 4, 2019 By: Darren_Ssc Member since: Mar 1, 2019
  6. pentel

    pentel UKBF Regular Free Member

    473 82
    In my industry price is usually negotiable.

    However it is usually along the lines of changing specifications to meet customer price expectations, this usually leads to increased margins. I am quite often amazed at some of the things customers are willing to forgo to save a few pounds.
    Posted: Jul 4, 2019 By: pentel Member since: Mar 12, 2011
  7. Financial-Modeller

    Financial-Modeller UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    782 272
    It depends.

    I would not make or accept a cheeky offer to simply reduce price, but appreciate the maturity or sensibility of negotiating to align interests and/or manage risk.

    Also I find it valuable to consider the costs and aggravation of unwinding a situation if it goes wrong, and will include that in my appraisal. This will often bring about valuable negotiation that the other party may not have anticipated.
    Posted: Jul 4, 2019 By: Financial-Modeller Member since: Jul 3, 2012
  8. Clinton

    Clinton UKBF Legend Full Member

    5,006 2,168
    It is a delicate balance, and choosing whether to negotiate or not is a matter of good judgement. As I've said above, I don't negotiate when it comes to my fees and charges. That said ....

    I negotiate big deals for people selling their businesses - deals in the millions of pounds. And here's what I think: When someone states a price and refuses to budge, that doesn't make them good negotiators. In fact, being inflexible, and unable to give and take, is the hallmark of a BAD negotiator.

    A good negotiator susses in the first meeting exactly what the other side wants. He then works on giving away as little as possible to make the deal happen. But he gives and he takes. (Or you do a Chris Voss and never give anything! :))

    However, of the two situations above, the latter is a clear negotiation situation and the former is a conversation you're trying to turn into a negotiation.


    Fees, too, can be negotiated. Even the fees for the most respected, arrogant, we-won't-drop-a-penny, high-demand professionals. I know, I negotiate tens to hundreds of thousands of pounds of fee reductions when I place my clients with the most respected investment banks / M&A boutiques / corporate finance firms.

    But that's a completely different kettle of fish and such negotiation can never, never, never be done between client and professional. It's partly face - the professional can't be seen to be negotiating his fees, it damages his reputation. But it's also that the client has absolutely no idea what buttons to push to get the reductions he seeks, not the vaguest idea.

    It's only someone who regularly speaks with and regular hires professionals in that field who'll know the hows, whys and wheres of getting concessions. And it needs to be someone the professional already respects.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
    Posted: Jul 4, 2019 By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
  9. BusterBloodvessel

    BusterBloodvessel UKBF Regular Free Member

    258 101
    This seems a very sweeping statement and surely depends entirely on the product/industry/market position?

    I have customers who spend £100k a month, I also have some who spend £2k a month but if they saw an opportunity to go into a new area and wanted to place a 5k order I'd consider negotiationg a discount on that to help them - it's not a big order to us but it's a big relative increase.

    The bigger distributor I might consider negotiating on a £150k or £200k order!

    Some distributors of our product have MOV's of just £100 carriage paid and would consider a discount at £500 just to get the order value up.

    I used to work for a company selling plastic components for literally pence, people would order a bag of 10 components for 70p! Again, £100 or even £200 on these and we would do a deal!

    So what level someone will start to negotiate at will surely vary wildly?!
    Posted: Jul 4, 2019 By: BusterBloodvessel Member since: Jan 22, 2018
  10. Maxwell83

    Maxwell83 UKBF Regular Free Member

    708 185
    Echoing Clinton, when sell professional services (i.e. your time), the customers that want a bargain are going to be the worst to deal with. I always rejected them and did not enter into a business relationship with them. That was a business where there was no repeat business - it was once and done. Perhaps if they could have become repeat customers I may have considered it.
    Posted: Jul 4, 2019 By: Maxwell83 Member since: Aug 4, 2012
  11. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    33,297 9,849
    I know a printer whose photocopying prices are fixed. No negotiation. People point out they can get it done cheaper down the library and he tells then to go down the library. They then whinge that the library is a mile away. His point is that while you are trying to negotiate a deal he's not working and is loosing money. So he doesn't negotiate unless you are bringing in £££ every day.
    Posted: Jul 4, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
  12. estwig

    estwig UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Like others, my price is my price, if you want to negotiate then you can go away. Therefore I don't haggle prices from others.

    I submit plans to building control for approval, my client pays building control for this. I've been nagging BC for the last few months to put their fees up, my theory being I'm not paying for it, but I can perhaps get a better level of service from them for an increase in their fees.
    Posted: Jul 4, 2019 By: estwig Member since: Sep 29, 2006
  13. AllUpHere

    AllUpHere UKBF Ace Free Member

    3,343 1,265
    Part of good buisness is knowing when to negotiate. With some things only a mug pays full price, with others all you are doing is negotiating yourself into an inferior product or a worse service.
    Posted: Jul 4, 2019 By: AllUpHere Member since: Jun 30, 2014
  14. David Haughton

    David Haughton UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    27 5
    Depends. I'd never negotiate with someone offering a service. They're either offering a fair price for their service, or they're trying to rip your eyes out. If it's the former, i don't want him out of pocket because they're going to resent you, or not work as hard etc etc. If it's the latter, i just don't want them.

    If it's a product i think it's always worth a haggle (within reason, if the results will be worth your time). Just recently i put in a big order for some furniture, and half joking asked for extra discount as a one off and got an extra 25%. You just never know.
    Posted: Jul 5, 2019 By: David Haughton Member since: Aug 19, 2017
  15. billybob99

    billybob99 UKBF Regular Free Member

    1,733 554
    Question everything.
    Negotiate everything.
    Doesn't always work in Sainsburys.
    Posted: Jul 5, 2019 By: billybob99 Member since: Apr 23, 2013
  16. Darren_Ssc

    Darren_Ssc UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,237 380
    One of my clients is a furniture retailer and the second most asked question is:
    'If I order 2 xxx,how much?'.

    The answer is 2x whatever it says on the site.

    The most asked question is about out of stock products, btw,with the assumption being that there is a secret supply available just for people who go out of there way to ask.
    Posted: Jul 5, 2019 By: Darren_Ssc Member since: Mar 1, 2019
  17. glengraving

    glengraving UKBF Contributor Free Member

    94 40
    That's what I think when customers ask for discounts in my store - do they ask the same at the checkouts in Tesco etc?
    Sometimes you know if a customer comes from a certain culture based on haggling that your initial price should be a little higher, so they can feel like they've lowered it.

    For products, it's understandable - buy enough of a thing and it can be a bit cheaper. It becomes disrespectful when it's your time that they want a discount on, I feel.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
    Posted: Jul 5, 2019 By: glengraving Member since: Jan 24, 2019
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