Will you take $ instead of $$$ for that?

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Forum topic by Don posted 12-09-2015 06:09 PM 2617 views 2 times favorited 76 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Don's profile


550 posts in 2660 days

12-09-2015 06:09 PM

A client contacted me to make something for him and after getting all the details, I set the price and sent it out. He responded with “I didn’t realize it would cost so much.” He then asked if I would basically give him a ‘buy one, get the second at 50%’.

Would you:

a) tell him to go pound sand and stick with your original amount
b) counter offer
c) accept his plea to lower the price?

-- -- Don in Ottawa,

76 replies so far

View bobasaurus's profile


2587 posts in 2602 days

#1 posted 12-09-2015 06:13 PM

I wouldn’t compromise, gotta value your work properly. You could give the client a full breakdown of hourly cost, materials, tool wear, shop supplies, etc. Might help explain the expense. Seems like anything I do for a commission works out to a pretty low wage despite the seemingly-high cost of the result.

-- Allen, Colorado

View SirIrb's profile


1239 posts in 649 days

#2 posted 12-09-2015 06:16 PM

Raise the original price by 10% and give he the “Whats up now, Bro” look. [Thats the one where you semi close one eye and cock you head 30 degrees to the side. A hand gesture wouldnt hurt.]

If youre hungry then its different.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View tomsteve's profile


392 posts in 637 days

#3 posted 12-09-2015 06:20 PM

i wont lower a price because they asked. i have no problem in one way or another saying no, one if them being,” your boss asks for two weeks of work a month at full price and the other two 50% off. how would you feel and respond?”

View Don's profile


550 posts in 2660 days

#4 posted 12-09-2015 06:32 PM

Ok. I’ve been holding off responding for the exact reason of what has been stated. You come to me, ask for me to make something. I scratch my head, ponder a bit, pull an arbitrary figure out of thin air and then you challenge the process by offering to pay less…..hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

-- -- Don in Ottawa,

View JAAune's profile


1614 posts in 1735 days

#5 posted 12-09-2015 06:43 PM

The only discounts I’ve offered were a deadline extension (I’ll deliver within 3 months) and full payment up front. The full payment means no cash flow worries and the deadline extension means I can take on other projects and use the cheaper one to fill in my downtime during those three months.

-- See my work at and

View bigblockyeti's profile


3569 posts in 1139 days

#6 posted 12-09-2015 06:49 PM

Before pulling a figure out of thin air, I’ll establish how I’ve reached a certain price even if it’s unlikely I’ll be questioned about it. If I am asked to take a percentage off my price I’ll usually say yes, but first I need that same percentage off on everything I buy from gas to taxes, groceries, bits, blades, electricity, etc. That approach might be a bit arrogant, but it helps someone understand better why a lower offer cannot be accepted.

View SirIrb's profile


1239 posts in 649 days

#7 posted 12-09-2015 06:50 PM

I have two sides. I will haggle for something IF I can. So if you have a used car and I am looking at it, dont be set on the price.

If I am asking for a custom made / hand made piece, this is less of an random figure (Think Kelly Blue Book) and more of a you-came-looking-for-me-Jack!

So, again, I would make a point of saying the following: “I have really given your request some thought and this is what I would charge for 1 (first price + 10%) and this is what I would charge for 2 (first price + 10% * 2). Any questions?—-Wait a second, I run a fine woodworking business, this aint the soup kitchen, this aint feed my freakin sheep. You want it cheaper then go to WalMart. Oh, they dont have this? (Show the price to him again). I do.”

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View Betsy's profile


3333 posts in 3314 days

#8 posted 12-09-2015 06:50 PM

My first answer would be a resounding NO, but you could offer to do a less expensive whatever with less expensive lumber, less expensive joints, less expensive finish, etc. with the caveat – probably won’t be as nice or last as long.

I have people ask me all the time this same thing when I go to shows with my boards. My response is sorry, can’t do that. If they want an explanation why – it’s just “my price is my price”.

If you want to negotiate – that’s certainly an option – but for sure would not say “yes” straight out. Caving in without a little fight just sets you up for more bargaining that won’t feed the flock.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View nkawtg's profile


202 posts in 669 days

#9 posted 12-09-2015 06:53 PM

In these tight times, that seems to be the norm. In my line of work, customers are always hammering our price. And our price is very competitive.

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


829 posts in 995 days

#10 posted 12-09-2015 06:56 PM

I’d counter off a lower price if it were able to be done with cheaper materials, or tell them to go buy from china.

View Knothead62's profile


2581 posts in 2379 days

#11 posted 12-09-2015 07:10 PM

Tell them that the first one is a certain price. The second is double since they asked the discount question.
Labor costs make up most of the cost of a product; payroll is the biggest expense of a business.

View PineChopper's profile


187 posts in 1615 days

#12 posted 12-09-2015 07:13 PM

I think the guy is using too many Burger King coupons.
I’d tell him I have to stick to the original price.

View Don's profile


550 posts in 2660 days

#13 posted 12-09-2015 07:15 PM

you guys are killing me….

I get that someone would like a deal now and then but, as it was so eloquently stated, he came looking for me with a specific project in mind for me to make him. not something he can go and pick up at Walmart or Target, especially not Target because they left Canada with their tails between their legs :)

I am by no means over-charging the client as evidenced by looking at other sources. In fact, I’m below what they charge so….sorry.

-- -- Don in Ottawa,

View toykiter's profile


1 post in 318 days

#14 posted 12-09-2015 08:34 PM

I would be very polite and ask him ,,U do want me to make money don’t U?

View bonesbr549's profile


1137 posts in 2485 days

#15 posted 12-09-2015 08:46 PM

I set my price, and if i have to draw a design, I charge for that. If they go for the quote, then I credit it to the purchase. Early on, I would draw work up quotes and they would not materalise. This way I knew at least they were serious. However I have offered a discount for multiple pieces. I once showed a person that wanted a Armour and to show a finish i sent a picture of a wine cabinet as an example. He wanted the wine cabinet too. I did offer a cut (10%) for the purchase for both.

I set my price, and stick to it. But thats just me. Biggest thing I’ve learned be willing to walk away. Also 50% up front, and design approval with signature, and they pay for change orders.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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