I’ve seen it happen before.  In fact when buying services or I’ve done it before.  I’ll admit it, I’ve “beat someone up” on pricing.  I’ve done it a couple times and I’ve regretted it every single time.  Here’s an example:

Cheap Web Design dollar sign image

Why not to "beat someone up" on price

I had recently moved into a new house and the landlord left behind lots of junk.  I don’t mind several garbage bags full, I mean a couple tons.  Broken vacuum cleaners, boxes of old screws, to stacks and stacks of stone flooring tiles.  I got a great deal so I was willing to pay someone to get rid of the stuff.  I was looking to maximize the savings of my new cheap rent by hiring a junk removal guy for as little as I could get.  After several years as a businessman my negotiating skills have been improving steadily.  When I got someone to agree to haul away the whole lot for $150, plus whatever $ they could get for the scrap metal in the junk, I felt proud that I had saved my family hundreds of dollars off the first quotes I received.

But then he doesn’t show to do the work.  I call him and he says he’s sorry but he found some better paying work.  I shrug this off and try again.  Before I can even get started, someone knocks on my door and says he saw the pile of junk out side and wants to know if he can haul it away.  He’s desperate for money he says, so he’ll work for cheap.  I tell him his truck is awfully small and it’s going to take him a lot of trips but he agreed on the same price as the old guy.

Well this guy gets started.  In the end he didn’t take away all of what I wanted him too, he stole my garbage cans and my expensive tie down straps. It also took him twice as long to do the job as the last guy.

Did I save money?

Sure, I saved about $200 of the what the professional junk haulers wanted to charge.  But I didn’t get what I wanted.  In the end I even felt like I got ripped off.  Now this was only having some junk hauled away, but what if I had beat someone up on the price of a more important  service, like my marketing?  In my case I was able to sweep up the broken glass and haul the rest of the stuff away to the junkyard.  But what if it was a service that required skill and talent, like web design?

Now I’m not going to say you get what you pay for.  After all it’s easy to pay way too much for something.  You don’t get what you pay for then.  If you paid $1000 for a can of beans, it wouldn’t really matter how good they were, you’d still only have a can of beans.  However, if someone has a can of beans on sale for a dime.  I think I’d steer clear.  Wouldn’t you?