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[RP - Poll] Bargaining  

30 members have voted

  1. 1. (Buyer) Your work is great but I can't afford you. Can you give me a 30% discount?

    • Of course! I will be happy to accommodate your budget.
    • I will consider it, if you give me a longer deadline.
    • I can only give you a 10% discount.
    • No! I can only offer you my regular rates.
    • No, I am not a charity.


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Let's do a little role-play.

A client comes to you and asks for a 30% discount.

How do you respond?

Choose the answer that is closer to what you would say and if you wish, write us your thoughts and experience with bargaining.

Edited by sunboatrecords
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Posted (edited)

Let me start this!

I have finally graduated to “No! I can only offer you my regular rates”.

I only give discounts if it is a pleasant project and there is potential for repeat business.

In the past, I was much easier to be swayed by buyers, as I was still building a good body of reviews.

Edited by sunboatrecords
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Whups. My brain is a bit addled at the moment, for some reason I interpreted the question as pertaining to my day-job, and not my freelance work, where we have a tiny bit of wiggle room baked into the price.

Even then, as a service-industry job, we only discount if we've made a mistake. (And the time is usually already gone, so it's more of an apology, than a discount.) 

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It depends on the project, how much work it is, how easy/complex, when they need it delivered (if they want it really fast then less chance of big discounts), how much time it will probably take (including for delivery), how busy I am/amount of orders in queue and when they need delivering, maybe whether they're a good buyer.

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36 minutes ago, sunboatrecords said:

I have finally graduated to “No! I can only offer you my regular rates”.

Good for you. I essentially say the same thing. But I generally say it more like. "I'm sorry but we don't offer discounts, however many newer sellers who are trying to gain experience and clients do. I'm sure you can find someone here who is less expensive, and if you need it fixed later, I will be available.  Good luck."

I find it helps to point out that they can indeed pay less, but that comes at a different kind of cost. 

Edited by newsmike
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I've done this a few times. Even with buyers I know I usually say no. I make the occasional exception. Today was the last time... you don't need to look far to find out why...  When your start discounting the cost you start discounting the perceived value of your work and in the eyes of the buyers, consciously or not they will discount the value of it. you need to keep this in mind. its not just the price your discounting. its the perceived value of your work. 

it goes like this.

Buyer. can you give me a discount.

me. unfortunately not as the amount of work that goes into this is very high and the amount of time is takes means the cost is very representative and I cannot discount it.

buyer. please I cant afford it. 

me. Im sorry I cannot discount this but I'm sure there are other sellers on here that can provide the service you require at a lower price point.

this usually gets rid of them, usually...

If its a buyer I have worked with before I usually say no but a few days ago I gave someone I have worked with before a discount. let me put it this way. it didn't end  well. By having a higher price point its going to raise expectations by buyers of the work quality and they are more likely to communicate any issues with you, perceived or otherwise. my advice is do not discount your prices as you are putting yourself in a risky position, even with people you have worked with before. If anything raise them to get rid of people asking for discounts.

If people  think you can offer discounts, they will think the work has less value and that is where trouble starts  

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, newsmike said:

Good for you. I essentially say the same thing. But I generally say it more like. "I'm sorry but we don't offer discounts, but many newer sellers who are trying to gain experience and clients will. I'm sure you can find someone here who is less expensive, and if you need it fixed later, I will be available.  Good luck."

That's a great way of putting it!

I usually offer a longer response. Especially, if I have to explain why their project does not qualify for the standard rates.

Earlier in the day, I was approached by a buyer who was shopping around. They had already received samples by a number of sellers. Then, they asked me if I, too, can provide samples to address some issues that others couldn't. I was in the studio, produced a couple and explained that the order does not qualify for the standard packages as their audio consisted of different sections.

I am already one of the most expensive engineers in audio editing, and they informed me that my custom offer is far beyond their budget.

Well, they came back after an hour, and accepted the offer. I beat the competition based on skill. 

This scenario has happened many times, with one big difference: I accepted to give them a huge bargain.

What a fool I was. Why would you put the same price on something that is of higher quality.

They don't make any exceptions at the grocery store, anyway!

Edited by sunboatrecords
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I swear most of the time the people who ask for discounts are the ones that cause the most trouble. 🤣

I also find the ones that value your work the most are glad to pay full price and even generously tip! 😁

Edited by theratypist
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14 minutes ago, sunboatrecords said:

That's a great way of putting it!

Yes. You get to offer help by directing them to an alternative and at the same time remind them that cheap is the opposite of quality. 

14 minutes ago, sunboatrecords said:

Well, they came back after an hour, and accepted the offer.

People want what they cannot have. When you nicely and professionally refuse, they want your service even more. It's like being refused entry at a club because you aren't dressed well enough. But they say, the 7-11 across the street is open. 

Edited by newsmike
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I voted for the 10% discount, but I always take into consideration what @uk1000 mentioned.

But overall, people don't often try to bargain with me for some reason! Maybe because my prices aren't that high? But there are always bargain hunters out there, of course, so what's more likely is that I just don't encounter these types of buyers often. If I do, however, I usually stick to my guns (or stand my ground is a better phrasing?) and say sorry it's not worth my time. In a more professional manner of course. I noticed (what's already mentioned above), that this conveys confidence in your own skills and trustworthiness regarding the quality you'll deliver.  

Whenever someone wants to order something beyond my packages, I always ask about their budget to get a sense of their seriousness and if our expectations align. If it's something close to what I had in mind, I mention what I'd normally charge but since -insert reason e.g. fun project- I'll provide a discount. It makes a buyer feel special and I'm not losing a lot on the deal. Win-win! 

2 hours ago, theratypist said:

I also find the ones that value your work the most are glad to pay full price and even generously tip! 😁

So true, I have so many buyers saying they'll gladly even pay more! But I always charge what I find is fair and according to my normal rate, because it otherwise feels somewhat like being a scammer. Perhaps that sounds dumb but I have to live with myself at the end of the day 😅

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Well for me the only time someone paid anything different from my prices they went higher. I know we're discussing bargaining but I would like to give an insight about why we should always stick to our prices rather than anything else.

He paid 40$ for a package that was 15$, even though I explained 15$ was more than enough for what he wanted. I didn't know what to do. I ended up giving him two versions of the video and a promotional image. 

Thing is, I think the buyer got a sense of entitlement because he doubled the price. He wanted faster than lightning work, I delivered a version earlier than the delivery date and had some troubles delivering the second one because of my browser and he didn't understand (no reason to be so pushy, I was delivering earlier than expected). He left a 3.7 stars review. The whole ordeal was unbelievable for me. I was relatively new.

Moral of this story for me would be, higher prices for the exact same service you offer at a lower price point also mean the buyer would be more demanding... And sometimes you don't want to risk a negative review just for the extra money. 

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For my repeat customers, depending on the order contents I will offer a discount.
Generally speaking though, I don't. If the buyer complains I tell them that since my other buyers always pay in full, it would be unfair towards them
if I gave discounts. In most cases they get it, in other cases they start to complain telling me I shouldn't charge too much, they have a limited budget, I have many orders so I shouldn't be too greedy, etc etc. 
I do have a list of other buyers whom I trust and I believe some of them charge less than I do, so I direct the buyers to them. 

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15 hours ago, theratypist said:

I swear most of the time the people who ask for discounts are the ones that cause the most trouble. 🤣

Absolutely! This is so true.

12 hours ago, vickiespencer said:

will give a 5% discount to longtime repeat customers

Yes, I do give occasional discounts to long-time sellers that don't cause any problems. The Seller Plus coupon option helps with this although most just contact me for custom offers at this point.

No! I can only offer you my regular rates. -- My vote!

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21 hours ago, sunboatrecords said:

Let's do a little role-play.

A client comes to you and asks for a 30% discount.

How do you respond?

Choose the answer that is closer to what you would say and if you wish, write us your thoughts and experience with bargaining.

I have given people a discount before but I no longer do.

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22 hours ago, newsmike said:

Good for you. I essentially say the same thing. But I generally say it more like. "I'm sorry but we don't offer discounts, however many newer sellers who are trying to gain experience and clients do. I'm sure you can find someone here who is less expensive, and if you need it fixed later, I will be available.  Good luck."

This is almost exactly what I say. Other people here can do it cheaper, they just aren't as good at it as I am. And if they decide to look for someone cheaper, I let them know I'll still be available when they need more help later. I keep that pretty open-ended, letting them know even if they need advice later, I will be around. This works very well for me, often resulting in sales after a rejection.

I will RARELY make exceptions for a project I really, really want to do or a cause I really want to support. Recently I did a series of covers at a very low price because the style was my exact style that I love to do, can do fast, and have perfected, I really liked the buyer, they were very easy to work with, their work supported a cause I like being a part of AND it resulted in a string of fast deliveries and excellent reviews. 

In the other direction sometimes I offer a high price because I don't want to do it, it will be hard, the buyer is going to be difficult, etc.

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On 1/8/2023 at 3:48 PM, newsmike said:

Good for you. I essentially say the same thing. But I generally say it more like. "I'm sorry but we don't offer discounts, however many newer sellers who are trying to gain experience and clients do. I'm sure you can find someone here who is less expensive, and if you need it fixed later, I will be available.  Good luck."

I find it helps to point out that they can indeed pay less, but that comes at a different kind of cost. 

This is essentially what I say as well. I think it's important to reinforce the idea that their budget is the issue, not how much I charge, and if they'd like to pay less they can surely find a newer seller here who works at lower rates. I'm always available in the future whenever the budget allows for it.

All of these are subtle hints that they can cut corners if they want to, but that is, in fact, what they're doing.

I find that the kind of buyer I want to work with tends to see the light, eventually.

 

That said, I also have a pretty short leash for this kind of thing, so if they continue to attempt to haggle, I usually just cut them loose.

 

 

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My approach is slightly different. 

I don't want to antagonize anyone, nor do I take the discount request personally.

However, it is my responsibility to pivot away from their poking at my pricing.

So what I usually do, is challenge their proposal: "I don't see how I could deliver my usual quality on that kind of budget. In order to keep the price under $x, we would need to cut quite a few corners and to be honest, I wouldn't want to compromise on your vision."

Then I suggest alternatives that don't involve me, like another fiverr freelancer or what to type in the search bar to get something that matches their budget.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, frank_d said:

"I don't see how I could deliver my usual quality on that kind of budget. In order to keep the price under $x, we would need to cut quite a few corners and to be honest, I wouldn't want to compromise on your vision."

What a lovely way to say "P*ss Off."

Brilliant in that it essentially says, "Allow me save you from the consequences of your own cheapness." 

Edited by newsmike
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1 minute ago, newsmike said:

What a lovely way to say "P*ss Off."

Brilliant in that it essentially says, "Let me save you from your own cheapness." 

That's the great part: it actually helps them. 

In some cases it makes them understand that trying to go cheaper will not bring the expected results.

In most cases, however, it just helps them understand that they need to look elsewhere.

The interesting part is that until I challenge their assumption, it's impossible to see if they have a skewed value perception due to ignorance or because they are just shopping based on price or just don't see the actual value I bring to the table.

At any rate, this helps resolve the issue on both ends. As an added bonus, they do remember that I helped them find another vendor.

Now if only Fiverr would grant an incentive so that all sellers did just that when they couldn't establish project fit... 🤔

 

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In my experience, buyers that ask for discounts off the bat are usually the more difficult buyers to work with. They're usually the ones with more questions, more of a need to chat, always checking in for updates, and basically just taking up more time than than their order is worth. So most buyers who ask for discounts are just a red flag to me. There are exceptions so I would always judge every situation independently, but 95% of the time I would let them know I'm unable to discount my prices, and remind them there are sellers at every price point they're able to search for. 

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1 hour ago, callyofficial said:

In my experience, buyers that ask for discounts off the bat are usually the more difficult buyers to work with.

I agree. If they ask for a 30% discount, they'll usually try to squeeze an extra 60% out of you.

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On 1/8/2023 at 3:55 PM, markp said:

When your start discounting the cost you start discounting the perceived value of your work and in the eyes of the buyers, consciously or not they will discount the value of it.

This is the same logic by which I decided not to take advantage of giving out coupons. It just felt needy.

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This thread is turning into a goldmine of information.

I am humbled by your participation. Thank you!

 

PS. I just realized that I posted it at 11:11pm—GMT +2. The universe is working its magic. 🙂

Edited by sunboatrecords
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