North Carolina
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Is it okay to negotiate vendor pricing?

I've noticed huge disparities in vendor's pricing-- cakes, DJs, flowers, even photographers and videographers. I've done my homework, and weeded out the definite no's based on website, feedback, reviews, and word-of-mouth. But we're still left with 3-4 vendors (in each area) that are comparable, each with their pros and cons, and some pricier than others. I can't seem to weigh them out evenly. Is negotiating a price acceptable? Has anyone had any success with that? Advice would be appreciated!

Re: Is it okay to negotiate vendor pricing?

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    JemmessicaJemmessica member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I think it depends on the vendor type... I'd say anything is negotiable though.... It will depend on what you want... if you want a certain photographer, and they are $500 over budget, but your willing to let them only work 6 hours instead of 8.... they might do it for you... my theory is that it can't hurt to askif you want certain flowers, that might not be.... some flowers are pricey-er than others.... I guess it just depends on what your negotiating, whom with, and if your comparing apples to apples....a bouquet from florist A with peonies is going to be $100 while a bouquet from florist B with roses is going to be $70..... just depends on what your comparing, and if your comparing them equally....
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    edited December 2011
    I did some price negotiating and had some success.  Remember the economy isn't back 100% so it never hurts to ask.  Just make sure you have your game plan outline before you talk to them
    image
    image Ellie and Morgan
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    edited December 2011
    My motto is: It never hurts to ask! If there's one that you love more than the others (but it is more pricey), I would be honest and say something like, "I really love your work and I've heard wonderful things about you, but you're a little over my budget. Is there anything you can do to reduce the cost?" I think most vendors want your business bad enough that they'll work with you. Granted, you may have to have a cake with 1 flavor instead of 2, or a DJ for 3 hours instead of 4, etc, but if you really like the vendor, it may be worth it?? Just my opinion -- can't wait to hear what others say! HTH.
    image Matt & Ashley 5.08.10
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    anniechu10anniechu10 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thanks for your input. I realize it is near impossible to compare subjectivity. Of course, things that have a finite value (peonies vs. roses) you can compare... but say, in choosing photographers. I have met an experienced, well-recommended photographer who is local and is willing to "work with us" because for whatever reason, she is eager and wants us to be her subjects. Is that something you hear often from vendors or are we really getting special treatment? Then I compare with other photographers, and their pictures online look just as nice, but their packages are a little cheaper. Does that mean their albums included in the package are not as nice to explain the cheaper prices? It is just not possible to compare without knowing/seeing/touching. How did you make your decision?
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    edited December 2011
    As far as photographers are concerned, definitely go meet them and DO see/touch, etc. One thing I learned is to ask them to see pics from an entire wedding. Some photographers edit the pics that they put on their blog really well, but the other non-blogged pics are not nearly as nice-looking without all the fancy effects.  Also, many of them should have canvases of their work up in their studio for you to see. Ask to see an example of the album(s) that they offer, too. And personality was a HUGE factor for us! We just clicked right away with the photog that we chose. And yes, some photographers are trying to "build their portfolio" and they really are "eager to work with you." Some of them are just not doing as much work b/c of the economy and they're really eager to work with you too.
    image Matt & Ashley 5.08.10
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    JemmessicaJemmessica member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    well, for things like photographers see if you can see an entire shoot.... see if they will get you a cd of another shoot they did, that way you can see their work from beginning to end, not just the photographers favorite ones....as far as albums go.... touch one, feel it.... different photographers use different products, some ARE nicer than others, and it's usually reflected in their pricing.... make sure to see and touch albums they offer.... I personally would have probably never chosen to get KISS albums for my boudoir shoots, but after seeing and touching them, that's all I wanted....and my photographer offered them seperate from her pricing... everything she does is a-la carte..... meaning you get her photog service, but it's up to you to order your prints on your own and then an album if you want one
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