Price negotiation is somewhat common in our society. You negotiate when buying or selling a car, a house or even items you find on Craigslist. Heck, one time my husband even negotiated the price of ribs at Sam’s Club. But, not everything should be negotiated.
I read an article one time that suggested negotiation as a money saving tip when it comes to weddings. Upon first thought, you may think it’s worth a shot. After all, you are on a budget and weddings aren’t cheap. However, a surprising number of wedding vendors – almost all that I spoke to before writing this post – agreed that they’d walk away if a client tried to negotiate with them. Here’s why…
- Negotiation with a wedding vendor takes money out of their pocket. This is quite a literal statement. The wedding industry is very different from almost every other field. Because most wedding vendors are the sole employee of their company and weddings typically only take place three days a week, there are a limited number of days a vendor produce income. Add in the fact that each area of the country has a “wedding season” meaning that most vendors have to make enough to support themselves for the year in a 6-8 month period. Negotiating the price down means that vendor is at risk for not making the money they need to that year. This would be like if your boss came up to you and said you are only going to get half your paycheck for the pay period but you still need to provide the same level of output. What would you do?
- Not negotiating doesn’t mean a vendor won’t work within your budget. Just because you don’t negotiate with a vendor doesn’t mean that said vendor isn’t willing to work within your budget. Vendors encounter budgetary constraints everyday and know better than anyone how quickly things add up. Each vendor is filled with cost saving solutions that still allow them to provide you the same quality of service without sacrificing. Does this mean that you are going to get the gold level package at the bronze level price? No probably not. But, most vendors are always willing to create custom packages to meet your needs and budget.
- Negotiation with a vendor is like telling them they are worthless. Would you expect a 20 year veteran to work for the same amount as a recent college grad? No. It’s the same in the wedding biz. Most pricing is a reflection of the vendor level of experience in the field. Negotiating the price with them is like saying the years of hard work they put in are for nothing and that their work is no more valuable than a newbie.
- No one likes working for free. How would you feel if your boss told you you had to work late every night this week plus this weekend, you weren’t going to get paid overtime and if you didn’t do it, you’d be fired? Pretty sucky right? Being told to work for less than your worth makes people feel invaluable. When someone doesn’t feel valued, they’re less inclined to perform at their best. And when you’re talking about a day as important as your wedding, do you really want anything to be subpar?
- Vendors aren’t scared to walk away. As the industry has grown over the last ten years, there are more and more couples willing to invest in quality, professional vendors that will truly make their day special and stress free. You also aren’t the only couple inquiring about a particular date with that vendor. If you become too firm in a negotiation, most vendors are not scared to walk away knowing that someone willing to pay their full fee is waiting just around the corner.