The Hawk-Mo Hotwire

Micro Entrepreneurism, Simple Living & Art

Consider this the next time you are inclined to ask for a discount

Keyword here being “ask.” It’s one thing when a company, store, brand or friend is offering you one. It’s entirely another when you feel like you deserve one.

I understand that my perspective on discounts has gotten more extreme since becoming a small business owner because I now sit on the other side of the fence. But even before that, I was never keen on asking to pay less then the requested price for things, even at yard sales and flea markets where you’re “suppose” to bargain. I look at it like they’re asking what they believe to be a fair price for the item, and I can either afford it or I can’t. And who am I to determine whether or not I need the money I’d save by offering them less more then they need it?

At least 3 or 4 times a month we get an email or phone call from a complete stranger (this post is not for you people near and dear to our hearts, ok? you guys are special), who isn’t even a previous customer of ours, asking if we can give them a discount. The reasons for this request vary from purchasing more then one of an item, to I work at a big company, to I simply can’t afford it, I think its too expensive, I don’t want to pay that much. Some of them don’t offer a reason at all.

So what people? You think we charge extra to everybody else just so we can give you a break because you deserve it and they didn’t? And what about us? Do you realize that my paycheck at the end of the week would be directly affected by that? Your decision to spend your paycheck on our gear shouldn’t force me to decide whether or not I want to sacrifice mine to make that happen. We charge what we believe to be a fair price for our work, if you can’t afford it, I’m sorry. There are things in this world I can’t afford either, so you know what I do? I decide if I really want it and then I save my money until I can.

I updated our FAQ page to reflect my thoughts on this matter:

Q: I’m kinda famous and definitely super connected and will get you tons of new customers once I get my hands on some of your gear, so can you hook me up with a discount?

The way we look at it, every single one of our customers past, present, and future, is kinda famous and super connected somehow and has the potential to get us tons of new customers if they like what they get. We actually depend on you guys to spread the good word. That said, we can’t afford to give everyone a discount. We know our gear isn’t cheap, but it isn’t cheap because it isn’t made in China. If you read our “About Us” page you’ll see that we’re a small homegrown company, we make everything we sell, and we’re doing our best to live personally and professionally with the health of our society’s future in mind. We work hard to impress you guys – to make the best that we can, and to provide the best service that we can – because we wouldn’t want to be in business any other way. A huge part of what enables us to do that, is that fact that we’re small, but being small means that we don’t have brand recognition and a huge marketing budget, which is where you guys come in. A paid ad is nothing in comparison to a heartfelt personal recommendation or review from one of you. And you can feel good knowing that you’ve supported a fellow human (us) and helped someone else find some awesome gear that they wouldn’t have otherwise known about. So, long story short, we can’t offer you a discount, but what we can do is make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside knowing you did something good for this world.

Can I get an Amen?


About mudly

Mud is main blog writer extraordinaire, picture guru, and the garden and adventure instigator. She loves to cook, but doesn’t much like following a recipe. She also loves typewriters, the color turquoise, and wearing tie dye with stripes. And she dorks out on while dreaming up and planning her next garden.

4 comments on “Consider this the next time you are inclined to ask for a discount

  1. Mitchell Brown
    April 14, 2011


  2. Meka
    April 15, 2011

    Amen sister!!!

    You can only ingaine the S&*%t I hear can’t you!


  3. Grace
    April 17, 2011

    Totally. Growing thick skin to say “no” with a smile is a tough part of “growing up” in your business. We have people do that all the time to us in person, either IN our store or at festivals (somehow more understandable???). I also try to explain, simply, nicely, we charge this amount for a reason and we would be happy to throw in an extra sheet of our test print wrapping paper but that is it.

    People also ask if they can drop off their own shirt for us to print on if that would be cheaper. That is why we had to add a part to our FAQ page explaining that it will ALWAYS be more expensive to do that, because it is custom, takes extra time and energy for us to have our production pattern interrupted– all to save a few extra bucks?..

    It’s the practice of not taking it personally. Of letting go and setting boundaries. It’s an on going process. I love that you touched on it, I think I might need to follow up with a blog post of our own too.

    You rock Mud.
    Keep it coming.

  4. Brad Sears
    April 19, 2011

    Amen! Grace has it right: developing the ability to say, “no” with “grace” and professionalism is part of the business maturation process.

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This entry was posted on April 14, 2011 by in Rants.

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