Customer Trying To Negotiate Before I Even Give A Price!

Business By Toptier Updated 30 Oct 2009 , 7:24pm by __Jamie__

Toptier Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 2:55am
post #1 of 14

Ha, this cracks me up. I've been having an email back and forth with this lady about a cake. She inquires and I send her my basic spiel. So she comes back and says, well your competitors will do a free tasting and free delivery - I had explained in my email that I do a free tasting for cakes serving 100 or more but that I charge $25 for tastings for smaller cakes. Hers was for 50. What cracks me up is that I haven't met with her or quoted her a price so what's to stop me from just including her delivery fee and sampling fee in her per serving price? She told me where the cake has to be delivered to...I mean do people really think that "free delivery" or "free anniversary cake" or anything "free" is actually free? Come on, if a business is offering that they're including the cost of that service somewhere in their price, don't people get that? Come on people, you have to look at the WHOLE price.

I turned away the order because the whole thing just gave me a bad vibe. Frankly if someone is going to try to negotiate like that right off the bat I felt I was better off staying away.

13 replies
LKing12 Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 3:07am
post #2 of 14

Good for you! I have quit feeling bad about what I have to have for my cakes. Especially when I buy gas, flour, sugar, butter....!

Pookie59 Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 2:42pm
post #3 of 14

I think the standard reply needs to be "my prices are not negotiable" and stick to that. Why work for free?

Melvira Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 3:02pm
post #4 of 14

Good for you for nipping it in the bud. I really don't understand why people think they are really getting things free. If I am offering free tastings, free delivery, free anniversary cake, free massages, free car washes, and a celebratory high five, then my 'price per serving' is going to be higher. Sorry, that's just how it is. People don't do something for nothing, especially not with this economy. And people who come out of the gate with that attitude, I'd rather not even deal with them. Anyone who opens with, "Well, your competition will do this, this, and this." my response is, "Then I'm sure you'll be very happy as their client. Sounds like they'll take great care of you." I don't like feeling like I'm being accosted or pushed into a bidding war. Especially since I don't HAVE to have their business. I like to work with friendly, happy people who recognize good taste and appreciate it. And who aren't afraid to pay for it. JMHO... I guess I'm goofy like that. icon_rolleyes.gif

majka_ze Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 3:18pm
post #5 of 14

There is a popular saying here "I don't want the discount for free". It comes for a quite popular story from the sixties. Up to the generation born up to perhaps 1980 all the people here know that discounts don't come free.
But the later born people didn't learn it. They missed this classic in their education...

HarleyDee Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 4:47pm
post #6 of 14

Clueless cake muggles.. they'll never learn icon_biggrin.gif

Lambshack Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 5:01pm
post #7 of 14

If she already knew what the competition was doing, why on earth was she calling you??? I'll tell you why... because something about you and your products was MORE special than the competition, and she thought she could ... let's say it all together... HAVE HER CAKE AND EAT IT TOO! lol

After the competition comment, I would have promptly said, "Well, thank you, however I don't consider them competition as the reason you called me is the perfect example of you wanting something different, and therefore my prices are XYZ. Shall we continue?"


__Jamie__ Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 5:03pm
post #8 of 14

I have it clearly stated on my site that I am more often than not going to be priced higher than the competition. And then I say why. icon_biggrin.gif

Melvira Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 5:36pm
post #9 of 14
Originally Posted by LURVELY

I have it clearly stated on my site that I am more often than not going to be priced higher than the competition. And then I say why. icon_biggrin.gif

Amen sister. I'm not turning my oven on for a few cents. Forget it. I'll go play a game with the kids instead. thumbs_up.gif

CoutureCake Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 6:15pm
post #10 of 14
Originally Posted by Melvira

Amen sister. I'm not turning my oven on for a few cents. Forget it. I'll go play a game with the kids instead. thumbs_up.gif

Amen to that!!! For the other profession I'm in, my going rate averages $1500-$1750 because of industry standards and the agreement I have with my agent that I won't underquote them... I got an email/call about a Halloween gig a while back, I referred them direct to my agent (makes my life easier even if they do get a sizable %)... She talked to my agent, he said "she can do the show on her own without going through us, but you'll need to call her to see if she wants to..."... ROFL... She calls me... Only wants to spend $200-$300.. "But you're so close to here" I said "I still have overhead that goes into the work I do and need to pay the bills, your budget won't even meet what I spend to put on a show for overhead"... "Wool... Do you know anyone just starting out for that rate?"... (composing myself to stay off the floor and outright laughing over the phone).. "The last time I did a show for $350 I got my butt chewed by my agent for two hours, the only other person I know who has done cheap gigs lives in Chicago, and (your budget) won't even pay his gas to get here..." ... Her... "But doing this show will give you some exposure locally" (aka cake translation: I'll give you lots of referrals if you do my cake for free - to everyone else who wants something for nothing)... Me... "Thanks, but I need to keep my pricing consistent with my agent to avoid any issues there, good luck with your party! bye!"

It's not just the cake industry, it's other industries as well... I was sitting on the phone going .. o.k. $300, not going to pay my expenses, and it's Halloween, I'm already busy with a competition during the day tomorrow, and my 4 1/2 year old dressing up and going out in her costume is more valuable to me... OTOH... regular rates, Honey, Daddy's going to take you Trick or Treating ... icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Melvira Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 6:20pm
post #11 of 14

Good grief it cracks me up how people think you will do stuff practically for free for 'exposure'.

OH MY GOODNESS!! I NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT!! What a moron I've been! I've been charging people, when all along I could've been doing it at my expense to get my name out there! Good grief.

Toptier Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 7:19pm
post #12 of 14

She knew exactly what she was doing...but, so did I. I call it psychological warfare, the art of putting someone on the defensive right away to get a better price out of you. Not gonna work with me. Fortunately I don't have to take every order that comes through the door. I just knew she was gonna be a 'zilla after her comments. I told her that it sounded as though the other baker/bakery could fill her needs better. She responded by saying oh I wanted to support a local, small business. That sounds great but you're not SUPPORTING a business, you're trying to get the best deal for yourself.

You know, a delivery charge is a bonafide charge, does it not take gas and time to get there and back? If you don't want to spend the money, come pick it up!

Thanks for letting me vent a little, I knew you guys would understand.

KitchenConvert Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 7:20pm
post #13 of 14

Toptier, I completely know what you mean about everyone asking for a discount. Here's a story about two customers I just had this week...

Customer A called and wanted cookies for her child's school, I asked if she had a budget and she basically said "No...I just want something special for the kids. Whatever you decide is fine." We talked about delivery vs pickup, and again, she basically said--"Whatever is more convenient for you....I don't mind paying for delivery if that's what works out."

Customer B called and wanted cookies for her child. From the getgo, she asked for a volume discount (on about 3 dozen cookies), asked for a discount because of a (loose) personal connection we have, asked for free delivery (about 40 miles away).

What irks me is that I absolutely wanted to do both orders. Both cute, fun, orders that I would have put a lot of time/effort into. But, because I couldn't offer free delivery, I lost Customer B. Kind of sad and I think I did the right thing, but it highlighted for me what kind of customer I really want to work for. icon_sad.gif

I can understand asking for volume/referral discounts (those are reasonable and I do that to some extent...just not her circumstances) but free delivery that would have taken me about 1 1/2 hours! I had to draw the line. icon_sad.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 7:24pm
post #14 of 14

Sure volume discounts for cookies are totally appropriate. Once you're talking dozens and dozens and dozens of cookies. icon_biggrin.gif

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