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I recently had a client ask me if I would be able to match a bid, after I bid their project plus 2 possible smaller stairsets that they other did not bid.
The two bids, ours & the others, were only different in detail-same work to be completed, although I was charging for stain and threw in a small bonus beam staining.
The client and I agreed on the same price, but I redacted the bonus beam & took 5%, nothing signed yet.
24 hours later, the client asked about 2 smaller additional stairsets being discounted if they were then bundled back into the the larger project. The numbers worked for me so I took an additional 5% off the smaller projects.

I am curious to know how some might deal with clients asking for discounts in similar or different circumstances...?
 

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28 years in this business, no great long-time well-paying customers started out asking for discounts, bundles, etc. I've had plenty of customers like you're describing though. Generally speaking, they're the most demanding, PITA ones who rarely turn into the kind of return customer you want. Give em a discount now, they'll expect it later. As soon as you stop giving them discounts, they're off to the next painter.
 

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28 years in this business, no great long-time well-paying customers started out asking for discounts, bundles, etc. I've had plenty of customers like you're describing though. Generally speaking, they're the most demanding, PITA ones who rarely turn into the kind of return customer you want. Give em a discount now, they'll expect it later. As soon as you stop giving them discounts, they're off to the next painter.
Spot on.
 

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I'll offer to use to cheaper materials or reduce the scope of work like Lil mentioned. Beyond that it's on you to close the deal. I've had more than a few clients where I was the highest bidder than they still hired me.


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If you reduce your price in order to land a job sure as heck you will get a call to bid some jobs for the same time frame that would have been better and higher paying.

Also, I just usually ask them why they want to hire us over the "cheaper" guys and then when they give their reasons, I tell them those are the very factors that make us a bit higher.
 

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I have a preferred customer discount but that is only for family and close friends.
Actually, those are the only types of discounts I give too. Fortunately, I make it a point to never work for family and close friends so I'm good. :devil3:
 

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28 years in this business, no great long-time well-paying customers started out asking for discounts, bundles, etc. I've had plenty of customers like you're describing though. Generally speaking, they're the most demanding, PITA ones who rarely turn into the kind of return customer you want. Give em a discount now, they'll expect it later. As soon as you stop giving them discounts, they're off to the next painter.
I had a builder back in the the day, who was a certain ethnic stereotype who is known to want to buy everything wholesale. The first job I bid for him, he came back with, can't you do better.
I dropped my price, needing work at the time and got the job.
I worked for him many more times and always figured it 20% higher and he would always say can't you do better. I would then drop my bid 10%, which was more than I really wanted for the job, and many times he would agree.

The thing is he was looking for a deal and I would play his game, but in the end I outsmarted him because I know he was looking for a discount!
There is more than one way to skin a cat!
 

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We too have worked for some who's native culture almost requires that prices be haggled over. Fortunately for us, we don't live in their country.
 

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I had a builder back in the the day, who was a certain ethnic stereotype who is known to want to buy everything wholesale. The first job I bid for him, he came back with, can't you do better.
I dropped my price, needing work at the time and got the job.
I worked for him many more times and always figured it 20% higher and he would always say can't you do better. I would then drop my bid 10%, which was more than I really wanted for the job, and many times he would agree.

The thing is he was looking for a deal and I would play his game, but in the end I outsmarted him because I know he was looking for a discount!
There is more than one way to skin a cat!
Only in the interest of being contrary to the discussion in order to stimulate debate, wouldn't the practice of raising prices for a particular "type" of individual be considered an unethical business practice, let alone discriminatory?
 

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Is it any worse than upping prices for a HO that is a pita? Since we are playing devil's advocate. You can always be up front with people and say I don't think we would be a good fit... or I don't give discounts for professional work but we can change the scope of the project if budget is an issue.
 

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Is it any worse than upping prices for a HO that is a pita? Since we are playing devil's advocate.
Even in the case of the PITA, past debates suggested that premiums should be based on the amount of extra time it would take to deal with them, rather than randomly raising labor rates when the opportunity presented itself. I concluded it was ethical to price a PITA job based on the extra time needed, rather than raise labor rates willy nilly.

It would also benefit the painting contractor when he or she reaped the rewards of completing a project under their budget.
 

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Is there a chart for level of pita = x extra hours? And are there guidelines for rating just how much a person is going to suck the life out of you? Just wondering. ;)
 

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Is there a chart for level of pita = x extra hours? And are there guidelines for rating just how much a person is going to suck the life out of you? Just wondering. ;)
Well, it's an interesting point. First, you would have to determine what the liability is when working for a PITA.

1. Is it the extra time holding their hand

2. Is it extra prep and materials needed

3. Are there conditions that slow the project momentum, like special hours of access, designated entry and exit points that aren't convenient. Etc.

Mental anguish, in and of itself, is not enough to justify higher labor rates unless you can prove the PITA has created a hazardous environment. Then, a premium would be warranted. Otherwise, we're simply talking about extra time. And price should reflect that.
 
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