Is It Time To Lowball?

Posted on May 13, 2009 by - Also by this author

A Progressive Downgrading of Lifestyles
As the recession continues to depress economic spirits, there is no doubt people are trying to stay afloat and dropping their prices on everything from houses to silk screening of T-shirts.
I am not ashamed to say that instead of going on vacation to Jamaica, Hawaii or Laughlin this year, we will drive two hours to the California coast of Pismo Beach. Not exactly tropical or adventurous, but at least I can still take a 10-day vacation.
I am noticing more and more of my friends who are not quick to throw down hundred dollar bills to pay a cocktail tab and shout, “Keep the change,” so that everyone knows what a big baller they are. Now, conversations are more like, “How much was your drink? I think mine was about $4.”
Friends that we travel with used to ask us to just book them a room too. Now, they are asking how much the room costs before telling me to book it along with our reservation. All this makes for a buyer’s market. It seems like just about everything is “on sale” or “reduced,” and then of course the sadness of so many local businesses placing signs in the windows saying they are going out of business and “everything must go” during the final days.
Since I despise low-ballers who cut their prices, it has placed me in a quandary. I have found myself negotiating with clients where I would not used to do that. In fact, I have told people, chartering from us is just like buying a box of Tide. We have a price for everything, and what the price IS, is what each person pays. There are no deals, no discounts, no negotiating — and if you have to ask how much it is, you probably can’t afford it.
In an effort to stimulate my own economy, I have eliminated my Saturday night five-hour minimum charter period in favor of taking splits and even two-hour gigs or even a single hour if you chartered four earlier in the same day. This has proven highly successful without cutting my prices. My employees are working all night long on Saturdays just driving many different people instead of one party — and it’s working. What are you doing differently?
— Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor
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