Author Topic: How to say: Do some price research.  (Read 2614 times)

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PennyandPleased

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How to say: Do some price research.
« on: April 08, 2013, 09:51:09 AM »
I am one of 7 bridesmaid in my cousin's weddding. (The rest of the bridesmaids are friends from her highschool and college so I have only met them all once or twice.)

We are currently planning the shower and bachelorette parties and the other bridesmaids seem to either not care about money or are oblivious/don't know how to look for less expensive options.

Example: We need to rent tables and chairs for the shower. The MOH sent around links to the tables and chairs she wanted to rent. I did a bit of googling and found almost identical tables and chairs for half the cost. (The chairs she liked were $3.25 each and the ones I found were $1.30 each.) I realize that does not seem like a lot but when you have to rent 60+ chairs it adds up.

Example 2: We need to rent hotel rooms for the bachelorette. We are staying in a major city.  The bridesmaid in charge of looking this up suggested rooms at "Hotel ABC" that were about $375 per night when an almost identical hotel a few blocks down were $260 per night. We will have 4 people in a room to split costs so it wouldn't be cheaper for me to just stay in the other hotel on my own.

We have been splitting up "jobs" for each event and I try to volunteer to do the jobs that are going to cost the most so I can do price comparisons.

I promise I am not a cheap person and I'm not suggesting renting ugly, poor quality chairs or staying in a roach motel or anything like that. But I would rather not spend $100 on something when we can get the same thing for $50.

Is there a polite way to suggest that people do some price comparison research and look for less expensive options? Would it be rude to say: "I love those chairs you chose - these are almost the same for half the price."

Or am I basically out of luck and can only control the price on what I am assigned to do?

BeagleMommy

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Re: How to say: Do some price research.
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2013, 10:06:58 AM »
That's a tough one.  Would it work to say "That's a bit out of my price range because of the other activities.  Are there less expensive options?".

Thipu1

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Re: How to say: Do some price research.
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2013, 10:10:20 AM »
In the circumstances, I don't think a polite suggestion would be out of line.  No one likes to spend more money that needed and offering reasonable alternatives is to everyone's benefit. 


cicero

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Re: How to say: Do some price research.
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2013, 10:19:16 AM »
nobody wants to spend more money that necessary but i wouldn't automatically assume that the other people "don't care". but these two examples aren't really comparing apples with apples -
in the first, you said "almost identical tables and chairs". the MOH may have a reason for choosing what she did - just because you found less expensive options, doesn't mean it is a better choice (I'm just throwing this out there - but maybe she had a bad experience with that vendor, maybe the chairs she chose are sturdier, maybe the bride wanted *those* chairs).

in your second example, you found an "almost identical hotel" that is located "just a few blocks away". again, maybe there is a reason she chose that location, that is not *just* based on cost? in this particular example the difference per person is about 30$, and if it is a nicer property in a better area, i would let it go.

the other issues may be more significant because they add up - chairs, tables, decorations... Again, don't assume they aren't checking prices, but you can certainly ask - I think you could say something like "you know, I used MuchCheaperOption company last year for a party - they gave us excellent service and were overall about 25% less expensive than other places."

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PennyandPleased

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Re: How to say: Do some price research.
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2013, 10:32:42 AM »
I think you could say something like "you know, I used MuchCheaperOption company last year for a party - they gave us excellent service and were overall about 25% less expensive than other places."

Thanks! That's a good point - there may be reasons they are chosing what they are chosing. I haven't questioned anything at all at this point because I didn't know if it was rude or inappropriate to ask if a cheaper option for something would work for them.

I like your suggestion about sharing my own experience.

As long as it's not completely wrong to inquire about something less expensive that's what I was hoping to do.

CluelessBride

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Re: How to say: Do some price research.
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2013, 10:37:53 AM »
I don't think there is anything wrong with suggesting alternatives as long as it is done politely. Since it sounds like most of this is being done over email, just reply to the email with additional information that you have. "That's a gorgeous looking hotel! As a heads up Similar Hotel down the road has rooms available at $XXX rate. I'm not sure if you have a special reason for picking Pricey Hotel, but if not we could make the bachelorette more accessible for the budget conscious guest." or "That chair rental company looks fine, but ABC company rents the same chairs for cheaper and also has good customer reviews. We would save $X dollars."

Just pick your battles if this is coming up a lot. You can almost *always* find something cheaper (albeit with trade offs). A decent savings is definitely worth letting people know about. But if you are replying to every single pricing email and some of the savings are minuscule (say finding the $3 favors from a different vendor for $2.95, a $3 savings) it may start to annoy people.

As an aside it's also worth considering that there may be some reason that the more expensive option is better or even cheaper (lots of "discount" places hide their costs with fees). So for example if the delivery fee for the cheap chairs is $150 vs. free delivery for the expensive chairs, you'd be better off with the expensive chairs. Or if the cheaper hotel charges $30/car/night for parking and most people are driving themselves.

WillyNilly

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Re: How to say: Do some price research.
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2013, 11:00:55 AM »
I found myself in a very similar situation years ago. I was one of 7 bridesmaids for a friend. Myself and one other, my BFF actually, had our own apartments and supported ourselves. The other 5 women were all professionally employed, but each lived at home with their parents, rent free and on their parents car insurance. Money never seemed to be an object with them, they just went with the first, easiest thing they found. Meanwhile I worked in the party industry and knew significantly better prices were out there. It was very frustrating.

I would suggest a two fold approach. First, do politely suggest other options, such as "those are nice chairs. I was wondering if you picked them for a particular reason? I only ask because I noticed ABC rental has these chairs for half the price." If there is a good reason for the more expensive chairs, like they have a seat cushion, or include free delivery and pick-up, ok go with them.

The other thing is, if you find the more expensive item is consistently being justified, simply state your budget and the consequences. "Thanks so much for organizing the bachelorette party, it sounds like a great time. Unfortunately the costs are adding up and I don't think I can participate fully anymore. My budget is $XXX and we are already at that with the hotel, spa afternoon and dinner costs, and we haven't even figured in transportation costs, breakfast or drinks. If we changed to Other Hotel we would save $30 each, and their in-house spa has some more affordable options like salon services which cost about half the price of the massage and body treatments. It would mean a 3 block longer walk to dinner, but the financial savings would be significant."

TootsNYC

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Re: How to say: Do some price research.
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2013, 11:15:48 AM »
Maybe send an email and say:

"Since we are spending other people's money, I think we owe it to one another to make a sincere effort to find the most cost-effective way to spend it. We should find three potential sources, or bids, for every expense that will be more than $50.
   "Because even a little bit extra can really add up. it's only fair to everyone for us to not be wasteful.
   "And let's always do the multiplication for how much it will really be--60 party favors, any delivery or other fees, etc."

(I live in a small co-op; we are required to get 3 bids for almost everything. I try to not nickel-and-dime things to death; if I'm going to save $10 by going to a lot of trouble, I won't--that's only $1 per apartment, and my time is worth more.)

And if they are spending your money, you really are not rude to say, "I think we can do this more cheaply and still get something nice." At this point, it's business. You won't be insulting about it, that's very clear, so speak up! (If nothing else, it might be an education for them.)

Lynn2000

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Re: How to say: Do some price research.
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2013, 11:24:30 AM »
If you're expected to pay for something I think it's okay to politely question the reasoning behind it, especially if you see something that looks very similar but cheaper. Maybe start by asking if there's a particular reason for X, because there are Y and Z options that seem similar but cost less, just curious about why. I think if people are asking others to spend money they should be able to explain why they're going with certain more expensive options. BM1 or 2 or whoever presumably volunteered to be in charge of organizing each activity and they should be doing it responsibly--not necessarily spending hours scouring the Internet for comparable items, but they also shouldn't be picking the first thing that comes to hand. And they should be aware of hidden/indirect fees, like delivery and parking, if they expect others to chip in on those.

I think the awkwardness could come if they don't seem to have a good reason, or they don't have what you think is a good reason. Like maybe someone says, "Well, that cheaper hotel is in a dodgy area, I've been there," and you're thinking, "I've been there too and it's perfectly fine." Personally I probably wouldn't try to change anyone's mind on that point, but I would keep my overall budget in mind and not exceed it. Like, "Okay, Hotel X and Spa Y sound great. But, to be honest, I can't afford to use those, AND go for dinner at Restaurant Z. I'm going to bow out of the dinner, unless you guys want to talk about cheaper alternatives to X and Y." Well, I don't like that wording... It shouldn't ever be like you're trying to force them into getting something cheaper that no one else wants, by withholding your presence from an activity. But on the other hand you shouldn't have to spend more money than you're comfortable with, as long as you give them plenty of notice when you can't commit to something.
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siamesecat2965

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Re: How to say: Do some price research.
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2013, 12:26:07 PM »
Maybe send an email and say:

"Since we are spending other people's money, I think we owe it to one another to make a sincere effort to find the most cost-effective way to spend it. We should find three potential sources, or bids, for every expense that will be more than $50.
   "Because even a little bit extra can really add up. it's only fair to everyone for us to not be wasteful.
   "And let's always do the multiplication for how much it will really be--60 party favors, any delivery or other fees, etc."

(I live in a small co-op; we are required to get 3 bids for almost everything. I try to not nickel-and-dime things to death; if I'm going to save $10 by going to a lot of trouble, I won't--that's only $1 per apartment, and my time is worth more.)

And if they are spending your money, you really are not rude to say, "I think we can do this more cheaply and still get something nice." At this point, it's business. You won't be insulting about it, that's very clear, so speak up! (If nothing else, it might be an education for them.)

I like this suggestion. I am a consumate bargain queen, and while I may not always pay the lowest price for something, that doens't mean I don't LOOK for it. Sometimes its better to pay the higher price, but I like to explore all my options and go from there.

I think if you are all paying for all of this, its perfectly ok to maybe see if they'd be willing to "shop" prices for stuff. it maybe that for the chairs etc. they went with someone they know and have used, wihtout bothering CRIVINS! any other options.

For me, this is what happened recently. My college reunion is in a couple of weeks. i am staying with a friend, at the slightly pricier hotel right next to campus, that we can walk to. she reserved 2 r5ooms, one with king bed, and a second with 2 doubles. the room with 2 was about $50 more but i told her i'd prefer that as I am too old to be sharing a bed anymore. I then went online to the hotel, and fond the same 2 bed room for $30 cheaper. So i booked it, and she cancelled her reservation.  We certainly could have found something cheaper, close by, but we decided we were willing to pay slightly mroe for the convenience.