ultimately, giving out discounts is a personal choice.
if the discount creates a win-win between buyer and seller, go for it!
The Beginner Lone Wolf Seller For example, when a gig is new and the seller shows a small track record, not commanding credibility can make it harder to convince the buyer to work with the seller. Afterall, the tendency is that the quality of the work (usually) goes hand-in-hand with the length of time that the seller has been doing their craft. Especially if it’s the kind of skill that involves a direct swap of time for money.
Not every new gig means the seller is new to their craft, however. They can have 10-years experience but be totally new to the fiverr platform. Even then, a buyer who sees almost no reviews displayed by a new seller, will feel they deserve a discount simply because the risk averse buyer can’t find it easy to measure up the seller against the same ruler they use with all the other sellers. No reviews = No trust. The discount in this case might save the day.
The Team/Agency Seller If you’re an agency or middleman, a discount is nothing more than a simple negotiation with your profit margin – your slice of the pie. This is not as challenging as it is to the solo seller, since the work is not tied to the clock as much and the ‘hit’ can be made up with future sales. In general, an agency is a highly specialized team that might even include an advertising and customer service expert, and this kind of power and resources makes the team “unstoppable”, relatively speaking. Even still, the agency can have a no-discount policy.
As your skill increases and the demand for your service grows, the perceived value of your service can allow you to command higher prices. You’ve earned it! This is the natural and logical path to take, right?
SIDE NOTE: you should always want to be growing, both in skills and income. Not only to stay competitive, but especially if you are leveraging a platform such as fiverr which also must grow and, therefore, depends on the collective growth of smart sellers who have a bigger long-term plan. Those who don’t grow at all and who view themselves more as dabbler hobbyists are usually the first to kick & scream during a major (performance) upgrade and algorithm change on the platform. [Hint: always hold yourself responsible for where you are in life and your results – don’t be reactive as most people are and rush to blame external forces which are outside your control.]
When your current base of clients is meeting your cashflow goals, locking in your time at a discount means that slot on your schedule cannot be filled by higher end clients. Do this frequently enough, and your time is devalued and you’ll have inadvertently cornered yourself.This is a strong enough reason for most advanced sellers to remove the word “discount” from their vocabulary. Too many discount seekers in your clientelle hinders growth, and these type of buyers (not always) tend to be of lower quality. As a seller, this shift in mindset is one that considers the discount as an Opportunity Cost. A new seller might not have this mindset developed, yet.
When Discounts Are Insults For others, if you are a seller in an art/creativity category, getting asked for a discount feels like an insult.
…because to this kind of seller, the exchange isn’t merely a business transaction. They’re giving away a piece of themselves in every order. Their careful planning, meticulous process and full attention to detail is what gives meaning and therefore value to the delivery. Asking them to lower the price is literally telling them that their effort isn’t worth it. And THAT’S an insult. The more business-oriented buyer might retort, “Nothing personal. Just business.” To a creative person, this is infuriating.
not everyone feels this way, of course, but many do. Is there an “ultimate” right way to think about all this without obliging to a buyer you don’t want to work with? Are you doomed to regularly compromise in ways that just irk you the wrong way? Is there hope that you’ll actually feel good about waking up in the morning to get paid to do what you love? I’ll share my final conclusion by the end… read on
Why Some People Get A Kick Out Of It (But Not You)
…and of course, for others the right to haggle is more of an emotional thrill than part of a strategic business masterplan. This kind of buyer gets a kick from feeling they ‘won’ at convincing a seller to lower their price. It’s viewed as a personal victory – a game.
In the same sense, a thrill-seeking seller might make wiggle room in their prices in anticipation to ‘play the discount game’ with a similar buyer who crosses paths with them.
To the thrill-seeker, haggling is normal, it’s expected and everybody else is doing it (at least, that’s THEIR perspective). It’s what you see in movies, and definitely evident in those outdoor public marketplaces that set up like a temporary circus for the weekend.
Obviously not a universal truth because, well, I don’t see haggling at the dentist office, at the super market or with my utility company. Maybe so at a car dealership or a garage sale.
If you’re a seller who hates being asked for discounts and this happens to you way too often, realize that you just might be in a category where the ‘thrill-seeking buyers’ regularly flock.
Hold Your Nose or Spread The Wealth
One option is to adapt yourself to accomodate them and play along with their game. Just play along! Try it for 1-3 months and if it appears to increase your sales, it might be a plus.
Personally, after giving this a shot, I learned I didn’t like it too much. Am I leaving money on the table? Maybe. Horses for courses, as they say.
If this is you, I would simply realize I made the mistake of establishing a car dealership (where haggling is business as usual) and transition into being the super market, so to speak, where haggling is a bizarre behavior. There are nuance differences to consider before making the shift, but you know what I mean! Another option is to hire an assistant to handle that aspect, and you focus on what you do best (if you can afford the assistant).
(Drumroll) Final Conclusion
In the end, you have to feel good about waking up in the morning and do more business with people who want to do business with you the way you like, and less with those who don’t. We already know that we will never be able to please everyone in business and in life, and this is The One thing that always has been, still is, and always will remain as truth. And that’s why it brings me peace of mind every single morning.
Once you know what YOU want, you instantly outline the perfect client you’re willing to work with. From there, all that remains is to save a template answer to politely decline the less desirable buyer. The moment you detect the first sign of a red flag, you smile and begin to reach for that template answer you prepared.
No need to compromise
No need to be rude or even get personal or emotional
Just know what you want and know that you’ll get it.
Be flexible where it matters to you, and do business in the way that aligns with your style. Stay reasonable and always keep learning.
…that’s why I say that – ultimately – giving out discounts…
…is a personal choice
What do you want?