Let's talk about the price, baby!

"$175 for two cubic meters, delivered" (that's roughly 0.55 cord)

Me: Ask him if he would agree to 160

"Would you agree to $160?"
"No. I don't work for free."

Wife: Wow. I don't feel like buying firewood from him anymore.

The harsh winter isn't over yet, and we need more firewood. We found a guy through an ad he posted online. The price was acceptable, so we reached out to him.

As we double-checked the order together, he realized that he made a mistake in his ad, underpricing the delivery. No problem, we are reasonable people.

But we also have this rule: "Price is almost always negotiable."

Whenever we purchase something, we ask for a personalized and fair offer. Sometimes it's declined. Most times, it's accepted, and both parties are happy. We get a good deal. They get our business.

Negotiating has always been a thing for me.

As a child, I've witnessed my mum bargaining regularly. Her reasons were different than mine, though.

My mother came from a very modest French family. Her parents always had to be scrappy and highly adaptable to be able to provide for the family. Money was spent carefully.

She carried some of this mindset to adulthood. However, though getting a discount was essential to her on some level, it was never serious; she treated it as a game.

When she bargained, my dad was always a bit embarrassed. I probably was, as well.

But as soon as I started living on my own, I did the same. It was never a conscious decision but something that happened naturally. My first job wasn't well paid for the first two years, and I had little cash left at the end of the month. Negotiating was a way to improve my lifestyle.

I would negotiate a discount at the local pizza shop, or on a coffee machine at the store, or the rent of the shitty garage across the street. And so on.

Negotiating never left me. The behavior was learned as a kid, and the habit was built as a young adult.

This skill served me well as an entrepreneur. When you pay operational costs with money from your own pocket, you benefit immediately from a good price.

Ok, I said that "price is almost always negotiable," but how does one do it?

I find the easiest way to be a simple ask: "Would you agree to <target price>?"

It's more sensible than asking the selfish "Can I have a discount?" or the vague "Would you agree to make an effort on the price?"

It's a specific request, but it doesn't shut the door to a counteroffer from the other party. So, start here.

Now, what shall we do when the other party refuses (sometimes quite rudely) to negotiate?

First, acknowledge that it's no big deal. You don't need to feel anything about it.

They are not required to play the negotiation game with you, and you are not required to work with them. If you don't like their answer, buy somewhere else.

However, if you are ready to pay the original price, simply say so!

Back to our firewood purchase. We waited a few minutes, and then my wife replied:

"I didn't mean you to work for free. Let's go with the original offer if you can't reduce the price!"