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The Haggler

Price list, schmice list. For Hagglers, a posted summary of fees, typical in small retail shops and service-based companies, often means nothing more than a starting point for negotiation.

When Alicia Aeziman opened her dog grooming business Alicia’s Grooming in Longboat Key, Fla. nearly five years ago, many people who came into her shop bypassed the brochure containing prices for services, heading straight to the bargaining. “They told what they paid a previous groomer and, because I was newly opened and wanted customers, I capitulated,” says Aeziman.

The following year, she affixed a 6-foot by 5-foot fee schedule to the wall. It’s still up, but some potential clients still ignore the numbers. Now, however, when they tell her about cheaper prices elsewhere, Aeziman has a stock response: “That’s a great price, I’d stick with that groomer.” She added, “When new customers realize I won’t match prices, they typically stop fighting me on it.”

Blend Images | John Lund | Marc Romanelli