Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Can't Hurt to Ask. Or Sometimes It Does

I'm not the best at haggling/negotiating to get a lower price.  I get a little nervous--I don't want to seem too pushy or presumptuous.


However, I found a subtle way of getting a lower price.  I used to always appreciate when vendors posted their prices on their website since I didn't have to get off my ass and call or email (which, granted, I could still do sitting on my ass but I would have to exert more movement in my fingers and arms). In general I still appreciate website prices, but I found a benefit to unlisted prices during my search for a photographer.

I contacted a photographer who had not listed her prices.  She sent me her price list, which was too expensive for my budget. When she didn't hear from me, she sent me a follow-up email. I told her honestly that I couldn't afford her but that her work was beautiful. She quickly wrote me back to say that she wanted to recommend one of her assistant photographers, for a lower price. Score!

This happened a few more times with other photographers offering an assistant or a discounted package. It didn't hurt that my wedding was small and that it was in March, not a busy month for weddings.

Of course, there was this one photographer who had been on my mind since almost the beginning of my wedding planning. I loved her website. I loved her photos. Heck, I loved the music that she played on her website.  As expected, her prices were sky high. When I told her that unfortunately I couldn't afford her but perhaps she could recommend someone she knew more in my price range, she wrote back something to the effect of:

"You won't find a photographer for that price, not in this area. I suggest that instead of having photos taken at your wedding, that you arrange a photo shoot sometime after."

Which in my head, sounded a lot like:

"You suck, and only rich people can have pictures taken at their wedding. Good luck, lameass! Bwahahaha!" 
See, so it *usually* doesn't hurt to be honest, to thank them for the time, and to leave a hint or question that your budget is smaller than they charge.  Anyone else have some polite techniques/questions one can use to see if there is a less expensive option?

1 comment:

  1. How about -- "Your prices constitute the national debt for a small country. How's about I go UN on your ass and you give me a deal?"