Negotiating Discounts

How much luck have you had with negotiating suppliers down? 

I'm so mad at myself for not trying it to begin with but there have been a few things I've managed to haggle down since I cottoned on... 

Has anybody had some real wins? What are your tips on getting the best deal? xoxo

Posts

  • SadieeeSadieee Posts: 1,781 New bride

    Meeting with potential caterer tomorrow, interested to see the replies here

  • I can't give you any specific advice. But in order to be able to negotiate you have to be prepared to walk away. So try not to fall in love with your suppliers.

  • SpacepuffinSpacepuffin Posts: 664

    It's a balance between how much you want their product/service and how much they need your custom. We negotiated 50% off our photographer because our wedding is a Tuesday in March. Other than that, my results have been mixed. Couldn't really haggle on my dress because I bought the sample which was already marked down by 50%. Couldn't budge the caterers because they are exclusive to the venue and we were set on that. We got £500 off venue hire because our wedding is off-peak. Hair and make up people were the only ones that would come out to the venue and wouldn't budge on price.

    In short, we've had some good savings and no luck at all in other areas so a mixed bag. X

  • MrsRendall2BMrsRendall2B Posts: 749 New bride

    I think one of the keys to negotiating will be having other options and other quotes. I've not got to that stage yet but when we go to visit venues, I'm taking a spreadsheet with me of the costs of all our options (it's a thing of beauty!) in the hopes of being able to haggle the price down on the one which is secretly our favourite!

    Like The new Mrs P says, you have to be prepared to walk away so even if you're leaning towards a particular supplier, you need to have your best poker face on in case they won't go lower. You also need to be firm in your own minds about exactly how much you're willing to pay and how much you're willing to give in if they won't budge. It's not worth losing a preferred supplier if they're still within budget just because you can get it cheaper elsewhere. There's generally a reason they're your favourite in the first place. By the same token, if you think you can get exactly the same somewhere else for less, be ready to walk away.

    Good luck. :)

  • Rach371Rach371 Posts: 1,118 New bride

    Our wedding is a Saturday in July, don't think we'll have much luck negotiating!

    The quote we've had for our caterer is really reasonable so I've not asked for any discount, I love their work and I think it's worth spending the money if you really really want it. Also, my caterer has to make a living too!

    I would weigh up how important the discount is to you before haggling. But I certainly will try it on suppliers that I'm not too bothered about (for me, flowers, cake and DJ are low on my list of priorities so I'm happy to haggle!)

  • MrsHowgateMrsHowgate Posts: 1,392 New bride

    I negotiated with our photographer (£100 off as not many October weddings for her), wedding car (£70 off), light up letters (£50 off) and some venue styling (10% off). Wedding dress I got 20%

    Never be afraid to ask for a discount. You never know.

  • Lucy266Lucy266 Posts: 176

    I walked away from 2 photographers and got offered discounts for both. Both times I was walking away genuinely, not bluffing. In the first case I simply could not afford her. In the second, I'd found someone I preferred. I ended up with a substantial discount (about £400) for an excellent 'tog.

    On the other hand I tried to push back on what I saw as unreasonable charges from our caterers and got nowhere. As nominated caterers for our venue they had all the power in the situation. 

    There are some who feel that haggling is unfair or disrespectful which I don't get. For example, I highly respect the work of photographers. I don't agree that you can get the same result for cheap or free. But there are plenty of 'togs who will charge up to £2k in theory but in practice may be happy to do certain bookings for significantly less. Both the 'togs who offered me a discount were well established and I don't think were doing it out of desperation at all. I would guess they were weighing up the cost of offering me a discount vs the benefits of having a confirmed booking in an early season, London based wedding which started late in the day. In both cases the benefits outweighed the costs. Good for me, good for them!

  • Laura349Laura349 Posts: 996 New bride

    I'd love to see some replies  too, as we're going to a viewing on Tuesday and was wondering about negotiations as they've quoted £943 for food! (hot buffet) 

  • gill17gill17 Posts: 568 New bride

    I got money off by simply asking for it, for offering to pay total upfront rather than desposits etc-prob most successful method i used, by playing suppliers off against each other, for asking for extras to be included for free, by paying in cash, by saying xx is our budget, could you do anything to bring what you are offering in line with that? I also got money off by not mentioning the w word, I'd like a celebration cake please... Good luck! 

  • Laura349Laura349 Posts: 996 New bride

    I managed to get some discount by the supplier knowing one of my family members! 

    I've been in talks with a local fireworks company, I noticed on their invoice that they lived a few doors down from my uncle and after asking the guy if he knew him it turned out he used to play golf with him until recently, so I ended up getting some freebies thrown in! 

  • Ambam19Ambam19 Posts: 583 New bride

    i got £250 off our tog/video by saying I loved their work and really appreciated what they did and hoped not to offend but our budget was X and could they meet us halfway between our budget and their price 

  • MrsNolanMrsNolan Posts: 683 New bride

    I'm always wary on negotiations/ discounts. Probably having been previously self employed and having a h2b who is self employed it's seriously frustrating when people say "is that your best price" etc. I feel like, if you only want to give me 75% of my rate then I'll only give you 75% of my effort. If your work turned around one day and said this client wants a discount so in order to offer that we'll take it from your pay.... in my eyes it's pretty much that.

    You need to gauge where it is appropriate, venue i would say definitely room for negotiation, cake maker definitely not. Photographer perhaps, dress yes. Etc.

    I think if it's a larger company then go for it, if it's one person working alone then don't devalue their work

  • Charlotte237Charlotte237 Posts: 274 New bride

    Cake maker definitely not? Bizarre - a few of my friends have negotiated discounts on theirs! 

  • Spice3Spice3 Posts: 122
    Lucy266 wrote (see post):

    I walked away from 2 photographers and got offered discounts for both. Both times I was walking away genuinely, not bluffing. In the first case I simply could not afford her. In the second, I'd found someone I preferred. I ended up with a substantial discount (about £400) for an excellent 'tog.

    On the other hand I tried to push back on what I saw as unreasonable charges from our caterers and got nowhere. As nominated caterers for our venue they had all the power in the situation. 

    There are some who feel that haggling is unfair or disrespectful which I don't get. For example, I highly respect the work of photographers. I don't agree that you can get the same result for cheap or free. But there are plenty of 'togs who will charge up to £2k in theory but in practice may be happy to do certain bookings for significantly less. Both the 'togs who offered me a discount were well established and I don't think were doing it out of desperation at all. I would guess they were weighing up the cost of offering me a discount vs the benefits of having a confirmed booking in an early season, London based wedding which started late in the day. In both cases the benefits outweighed the costs. Good for me, good for them!

    If your boss asked you to do the same work for less  money would you be happy? It can be disrespectful if brides expect  a service for a fraction of the normal price. In many cases the employers are self-employed professionals who charge certain prices for a reason. 

  • SpacepuffinSpacepuffin Posts: 664
    Spice3 wrote (see post):
    Lucy266 wrote (see post):

    I walked away from 2 photographers and got offered discounts for both. Both times I was walking away genuinely, not bluffing. In the first case I simply could not afford her. In the second, I'd found someone I preferred. I ended up with a substantial discount (about £400) for an excellent 'tog.

    On the other hand I tried to push back on what I saw as unreasonable charges from our caterers and got nowhere. As nominated caterers for our venue they had all the power in the situation. 

    There are some who feel that haggling is unfair or disrespectful which I don't get. For example, I highly respect the work of photographers. I don't agree that you can get the same result for cheap or free. But there are plenty of 'togs who will charge up to £2k in theory but in practice may be happy to do certain bookings for significantly less. Both the 'togs who offered me a discount were well established and I don't think were doing it out of desperation at all. I would guess they were weighing up the cost of offering me a discount vs the benefits of having a confirmed booking in an early season, London based wedding which started late in the day. In both cases the benefits outweighed the costs. Good for me, good for them!

    If your boss asked you to do the same work for less  money would you be happy? It can be disrespectful if brides expect  a service for a fraction of the normal price. In many cases the employers are self-employed professionals who charge certain prices for a reason. 

     

    The supplier can always say no. I don't think it's disrespectful or unreasonable to ask. If negotiations are not an option, suppliers can make this clear upfront. I get asked for discounts every single day in my job and I don't view it as rudeness in the slightest.

  • Lucy266Lucy266 Posts: 176
    Spice3 wrote (see post):
    Lucy266 wrote (see post):

    I walked away from 2 photographers and got offered discounts for both. Both times I was walking away genuinely, not bluffing. In the first case I simply could not afford her. In the second, I'd found someone I preferred. I ended up with a substantial discount (about £400) for an excellent 'tog.

    On the other hand I tried to push back on what I saw as unreasonable charges from our caterers and got nowhere. As nominated caterers for our venue they had all the power in the situation. 

    There are some who feel that haggling is unfair or disrespectful which I don't get. For example, I highly respect the work of photographers. I don't agree that you can get the same result for cheap or free. But there are plenty of 'togs who will charge up to £2k in theory but in practice may be happy to do certain bookings for significantly less. Both the 'togs who offered me a discount were well established and I don't think were doing it out of desperation at all. I would guess they were weighing up the cost of offering me a discount vs the benefits of having a confirmed booking in an early season, London based wedding which started late in the day. In both cases the benefits outweighed the costs. Good for me, good for them!

    If your boss asked you to do the same work for less  money would you be happy? It can be disrespectful if brides expect  a service for a fraction of the normal price. In many cases the employers are self-employed professionals who charge certain prices for a reason. 

    It's more analogous to negotiating salary at offer stage which happens all the time. Some suppliers will see it as worth their while to offer a discount  (as I explained in my case I didn't ask they offered) in other cases they won't.  If a supplier isn't happy with doing something at reduced price, they are under no obligation to do so.

  • SammykateSammykate Posts: 3,797 New bride

    Work out why you should recieve a discount and use this to negotiate. Are you getting married on any day other than a Saturday, in the winter, at short notice, at very long notice and willing to pay up front? We used the fact our wedding was on a Sunday to bag a free room at our hotel and a small discount on other services. However, for important services such as the photographer I felt their asking price was justified so didn't ask. I do agree that if you end up paying your tog less than the wedding couple the next weekend then they may put less effort into your wedding- is that what you really want? Try negotiating on things rather than services if possible.

    Also try local wedding fairs as suppliers often offer a discount for bookings on the day. Designer trunk shows at wedding dress shops also often offer a 10% discount on dresses bought on the day.

  • gill17gill17 Posts: 568 New bride

    I got discount on most things including my photographer as he wanted to do our water pics and was making a family holiday out of it, he then offered us some pages for free in wedding album, offered not asked. I dont feel in any way that he put less effort in, the discount was negotiated openly between us. There is a difference between discount, which was original question, and asking for it to be done for a fraction of the cost, which is the extreme. 

    We had a last minute offer from the other photographer we were considering who dropped his price right down to £500. He knew we'd already booked another but thought it would be less than balance due. That was totally unprompted by us. I think there is a large profit margin to be considered in most things wedding related and some people and companies price things to enable discount to be given. We got £750 discount on our wedding venue for paying up front, and got discount on wedding rings and flowers and cake and wine and food, and we didnt get any less of those things or offend anyone. If they couldn't then they said no. If you don't ask then you don't get! 

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