How to get a better bargain

Product by:
Lynnette Hartwig

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On 21 November, 2013
Last modified:21 November, 2013

Summary:

There are plenty of techniques you can use to get a good deal when negotiating with tradesmen. This book shows you how to be firm but fair.

What you really want when negotiating for services is for the good top-notch guy to give you his best price first, without any overcharging, according to Lynnette Hartwig in her book Negotiating When Money Matters: Getting Good Deals. The book provides an extensive array of tips and techniques for obtaining quotes, negotiating arrangements, supervising works, and getting follow-up and warranty service in order to obtain the most favourable outcomes.

Before reading the book I would have said that negotiating a good deal is mostly about getting a few quotes, trying to identify and select an honest contractor, and then closing your eyes and hoping for a good outcome. That is completely the wrong approach, according to the author. What you really need to do to get the best deals includes:

  • Read up on the subject so that you really understand what the job involves and learn the jargon
  • Read online reviews and information sites
  • Work out how much time and materials are likely to be required, and revise your estimates as you learn from different prospective contractors
  • In discussions with sales reps and estimators, identify the factors which could increase their costs and work out ways to eliminate them
  • Get multiple written quotes, and scrutinise the lowest ones carefully as the lowest bids are where the swindlers live
  • Set a payment schedule which gives you some control to ensure the job is finished properly
  • Pay by credit card so that you can claim a charge-back if things go awry

There are plenty more pieces of advice and stories in the book which, although it concentrates primarily on home construction and maintenance-type contracts, is relevant to many other types of negotiations. It took me quite a while to work through the whole book, but in my opinion it contains many valuable lessons for anyone who would like to achieve a better outcome when next engaging a tradesman.

There are plenty of techniques you can use to get a good deal when negotiating with tradesmen. This book shows you how to be firm but fair.

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