There are times in life when we need a bit of help. While there’s an awful lot of things we can DIY and figure out for ourselves, sometimes, we need to outsource part of the process to someone with more training than we have.
While it may be necessary, this can often be an uncomfortable process for those of us who are concerned with ensuring we always get the best deal. Given that we don’t specifically understand the cost of some of these tasks, we don’t really know if we’re getting a good price or not. We know we’re paying for expertise – be it from a builder, a lawyer, or whoever it is we are seeking advice from – but that doesn’t mean we know the value of it. With no frame of reference, it can be difficult to know if something is priced at a level that’s worth what we’re getting.
So, in an attempt to take some of the guesswork out of the situation, here are five ways you can ensure you’re not paying over the odds for the expertise that you need.
#1 – Do Your Research
Don’t go into the process of obtaining quotes and talking to people without having a strong idea about what you need. If you’re vague and just “I know I need help, what do I need…” about it, then you’re open to being taken advantage of. Be concise about what’s required so you can appear to know your stuff – even if you don’t!
#2 – Check Your Options
Thanks to the internet, it’s now easier than ever to get ideas and comparison quotes about the work you need. For example, if you need a lawyer, then you can check out The Good Solicitor Guide to give you some guidance. If you want to see if a building quote to renovate your bathroom is fair, then the ‘Is This Quote Fair’ sections of MoneySavingExpert will be a godsend. By being able to compare and get the opinions of others, you can always be confident you’re getting a good deal.
#3 – Check For Discounts
One of the best ways to go about obtaining discounts is to make it clear you have extra work in the future. You may find that any expert you’re looking to hire is willing to lower their prices if they think it could lead to more opportunities later on. It’s up to you if you feel comfortable hinting this is the case even if it isn’t; but there’s no harm in making a suggestion about an ongoing relationship as and when needed.
#4 – Be Personable
The cheekier you are, the better deal you might be able to negotiate. See a quote as a starting point rather than a figure that you can’t do anything about. Ask if there is any way to bring the price down, but in a friendly, cheeky way rather than with the tone of someone making a demand.
#5 – Ask For Time
The moment an expert gives you a quote should not be immediately followed by acceptance. Even if you think it’s a good deal, say you need some time to think it over and you’ll get back to them. This puts you in a stronger position as it makes it clear you’re not desperate, which might help a future negotiation.