Aug 14, 2011

Let the terrible economy work for you

Tomorrow I have three different painters coming to my house to give me estimates on painting my dining room, family room, kitchen and downstairs hallway. I have every intention of taking advantage of today's downturned economy and negotiating a far better price than they originally quote me. Here's my plan.

  • All three painting contractors were told in my original phone call that I have others coming to give me estimates, so they know in advance if they want my business they have to come in lower than the other two.
  • I will offer to pay with cash rather than credit card so they don't lose 5% right off the top for their merchant fees. Of course, this gives them the opportunity to not report it to the IRS as income, thus saving taxes - but that's their call, not mine.
  • I will offer to be flexible in the time frame to get the work done, so they can work me in on "off" afternoons when they've finished one job and not ready to start the next. (However, we will establish a "work done by" date so they don't get carried away with this one.)
  • If they want to put an advertising sign in my yard, that will be another $25 off -- why should I give them free advertising space?
  • I will infer that I have more painting jobs coming up in the future (I actually do. I need to get our exterior shutters and house trim painted). That tells them if they get my business now, they will probably get more in the future.
  • Once I receive their "best price", I will ask for 10% less than the lowest estimate I get, and then see if any of the three agree to the price.
I'm expecting quotes of somewhere between $900 - $1200 (I don't need ceilings done except in the kitchen), with me buying the paint myself. My goal is to pay $750.

I'll let you know how I do.


beebee said...

sounds like you did your homework. When I get ready to get my bedroom, hall, and two bathrooms painted I will need you to come negotiate for me. LOL
Just make sure they are licensed and insured.
I look forward to hearing your outcome.

Karen said...

You're a smart cookie! We'll be doing our own painting, because even in this slow economy we can't afford to have someone do it for us.