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Why do people try to haggle with sign shops?

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Sven, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. Sven

    Sven Member

    Apr 1, 2011
    NE NJ
    Really, what is it about the sign business that makes people think they can talk you down in price? You don't do this with the mechanic, or with a contractor, or plumber, etc. If I say the sign is $35, why do they waste my time and say, "can you do it for $30?" Sometimes people will actually hand me less money than I asked for INSTEAD of haggling, as if I'm just gonna say, OK, OK I'll take $5 dollars less, why not? It is a complete lack of decency and respect, and I'm getting sick of it.
  2. binki

    binki Premium Subscriber

    Jul 23, 2007
    The PRC
    It isn't just sign shops. I worked with a guy that said he argued over everything he purchased. I was in a Taco Bell with him when he haggled over the price. The funny thing was he got a discount!

    This really strikes me today as we have a guy who has a last minute order and when I give him a prices wants to knock 25% off because of his budget. Now that I think of it, we are going to turn it down even if he offers full price.
  3. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

    Sep 29, 2003
    Wetumpka, AL
    Because sometimes it works.
  4. round man

    round man Active Member

    Oct 16, 2005
    an old man in this business once told me,..."you can always lower your price but it's damn near impossible to raise it",...his point was that if you know they are going to want to haggle over your price go in with a higher price,if for nothing else to compensate yourself for the time they are going to waste haggling over the price,.....
  5. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    2 things....got it to this.
    #1. when the vinyl machine took the TRADE OF SIGNMAKING, to a business of making signs........
    #2. when the people with vinyl cutters(no talent)came int the business, the ONLY SELLING POINT THEY HAD..was to be lower priced then the real sign guys.
    #3 and now you see the same thing going on with the PRINTERS....the only thing that separates one from another ..IS PRICE....
    so now the people who buy signs have BEEN TRAINED BY THE VINYL CUTTERS AND PRINTERS....product can be had for less, IF YOU PUSH THE ISSUE)))))
  6. danky01

    danky01 Member

    Jul 6, 2010
    After 15 years I have gotten used to customers who want to haggle, I still hate it, but I have learned to expect it. It's not just the sign business, it's everywhere Offset Printing, Screen Printing, Promotional Products, just about any other business you can think of. Last year I quoted a price to one of my best customers, he told me he could get the same sign at half the price. My reply was, you should get it from them, I don't work for nothing. He bought from me.

    What really burns me about this business is, the guys that think they own this industry. Even tho you spend thousands of dollars to buy equipment, hire employees, buy supplies and lease a store front, they still think you shouldn't be in business. They think you are taking their customers and dollars. The truth is, if they would learn to advance with technology they wouldn't have anything to worry about.

    I once had a guy that worked for me, he had a degree in graphic arts. The guy couldn't even turn on a computer much less design something. It burned him up that I owned the shop he worked for, because I didn't have a college degree. It didn't matter to him that I started working at 14 when my dad died and that I earned my way with my sweat and taught myself what I needed to know to do every job in my shop myself. Every single piece of equipment I own I paid cash for, NOTHING in my shop is financed. It was all paid for with my sweat. So when you guys think you own this industry, I don't think so, my little piece of it was paid for with MY sweat.
  7. Gene@mpls

    Gene@mpls Very Active Member

    Jun 17, 2003
    Blaine, Mn
    Simple solution. No. Once had a customer tell me that 'I never take no for an answer'. I said 'Sure you do- I just
    told you no'. He still comes in but he talks to my daughter. Mission Accomplished- ©GWB
  8. Moze

    Moze Precision Sign Services

    Feb 27, 2012
    Dallas, TX
    I think Mr Butto should draw a comic for this.

    Title of the comic: You Get What You Pay For

    Customer: I need vinyl lettering for my storefront window for my business name. How much?

    Sign Guy: What is the name of your business?

    Customer: Stephanie's Scrapbooking.

    Sign Guy: Your price will be $275, installed.

    Customer: Can you do it for $200?

    Sign guy: Absolutely.

    Next Frame: Vinyl is installed and reads: ''Stephanie's crap''.

    Customer (horrified): What is this?!?

    Sign Guy: I removed $75 worth of vinyl.
  9. ThinkRight

    ThinkRight Active Member

    Nov 13, 2011
    Atlanta Ga
  10. danky01

    danky01 Member

    Jul 6, 2010
    i love that one!!!
  11. John Butto

    John Butto Very Active Member

    Jan 9, 2007
    Hey Moze, you want that comic for free or do you want to haggle for a price. Ask Neato, JillBeans, Joe Diaz or Dan for free art. You paid Neato for your logo, go to him for free stuff, now get out of my shop.
  12. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

    Jun 18, 2004
    I have 2 good friends that are great with haggling, & I learn from them how they handle it, some of it I will not do because it is just being cheap & I mean being cheap.

    So with those customers that try that trick I go up in price or bid high let them bargain it down & laugh.

    These days I bid higher & if the customer makes it easy for me I'll drop the price. Sure surprises them.

    I was in Mc Donalds the other day this guy talked for a whole hour trying to get free fries from the manager which did not budge lol people.

    What customers I don't like are the hidden partner ones ... You talk & agree on a price & etc. with one nice partner or cash talks representative, ya think everything is fine & dandy maybe even doing the job or even about to finish ...Out comes the the other partner(s) & all hell breaks loose...The stories I get & scams they try. geez I also wonder why as hand crafted skilled professionals, they gotta try & scam us so darn much just for fun.
  13. ddarlak

    ddarlak Trump Hater

    it's so ingrained in the business that i beat up my suppliers on at least 50% of my purchases and usually get a discount. especially fellers, they always lower their price, just for asking...
  14. Moze

    Moze Precision Sign Services

    Feb 27, 2012
    Dallas, TX
    I've got Microsoft Word, I can just do it myself. Plus my niece is a really good artist. Maybe I'll just open my own sign shop.
  15. danky01

    danky01 Member

    Jul 6, 2010
    Fellers should give a discount. They are higher anyway. N. Glantz is cheaper and their truck delivers right to my door which saves me shipping.
  16. Conor Knoxx

    Conor Knoxx Member

    Jun 7, 2007
    Gananoque, ON
    I think "haggling" just happens a lot in all small business. People know they are either dealing directly with an owner, or at least a manager with a lot of authority. They assume owners will do anything to make a sale... and too often it's true. Should we get angry at "them" for asking?.... or at ourselves for agreeing? (or at least participating). Its really not hard to say "my prices are not negotiable" any more than its hard to ask for a discount.
    No reason to get angry about it :wink:
  17. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

    Mar 12, 2005
    New England
    I hate it. This business is incredibly competitive and so are my prices. I don't inflate my prices to compensate for hagglers, that would be unfair to my good customers. How I handle haggling depends on how my daYs going and the attitude of the haggler.
    Sometimes I'll spend the time to discuss the options and sometimes I tell them to leave.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2013
  18. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    Sep 27, 2010
    That's what I will do in most instances. I won't do a design that is filled with special effects (puff, fringe, applique etc) and haggle over the price downward, but I will have a medium priced version and an economy priced version for them to pick from.
  19. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    like i said before, it started with the VINYL CUTTERS ON EVERY CORNER.....and people with no talent used price to get their sale.
    i can say this as i do remember when it was mostly a painters market. i would have work scheduled out to at least 30 days.......most of the time, and the few........YOU GOTA DO THIS NOW.... people.........WHO PAYED for doin it NOW))))) NO HAGGLING. most the was happy to get their work done within a week window. AND AT THE PRICE I SET... NO HAGGLING. and in those day people even gave me bonus money.....$10-40-50 bucks sometimes, they was happy to get the work done.
    INDIANS....you must mean people from INDIA. them and the middle easterners..........haggling is ingrained in their dna)))))) and since iam half italian, it dont bother me to teach them how its done)))))) i have always had the ability to "read" people, in a couple minutes on 1st meeting with them. when i see who iam dealing with i PRICE ACCORDINGLY... as with these people, they are not happy with just a PRICE, but have to "haggle" so they feel like they got a deal. what i would normally price out at $100, for them its $150-175))))))) now i let them do what they are going to do.....i win they win....everybodys happy.
    now where i am in this business, i dont haggle with anyone. most of the "painting" stuff i do, is more of like this: "you can paint that?" OKAYYYYY...DO IT)))) just give me a bill)))))))))))
    the vinyl i do, is mostly for old customers.....i have always been fair priced with them and they APPRECIATE that.
    i get the "give me a ballpark figure" and i do.........between $100-$1000, iam only limited by your wallet))))))
  20. ggsigns

    ggsigns Member

    Sep 5, 2009
    Norcross, GA
    I personally don't like to do it but one of my kids does it all the time. Not really haggling, he just politely asks if there's any wiggle room on the price and he gets something off at least half the time. His theory, if you don't ask, the answer is always no. If a prospect asks me once I'll say no but be nice if they continue to try and grind its goodbye call someone else.

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