The adage “Shop around” comes into play yet again. These kinds of services are, by definition, local, so you’re almost guaranteed to be talking to a small-business owner rather than some faceless corporation. As we mentioned before, it doesn’t hurt to flatter a bit in your request, telling the landscaper or housekeeper that you would prefer to work with them, but that you’ve been quoted a lower rate by one of their competitors. If you can refer them to other potential customers, that’s a bargaining chip as well, says Edgar Dworsky, founder of ConsumerWorld.org.
Dworsky says he used this tactic last winter when hiring someone for snowplowing work. The quote came in $300 over what he paid previously, Dworsky says. He pointed this out and asked if the price could be lowered a bit and if the driver could plow his neighbor’s walkway too. The result: $100 off the price, with the neighbor’s work included.
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