My wife and I have decided to build a pool. At this point we have had five companies out for design meetings and I have proposals from four of them. We didn't give any of the companies a budget but we did give them all the same parameters in terms of overall pool size, amount of decking, features and we let them all know the purpose of the pool (fun for the kids/family.)
I will post company names and such once we sign a contract.
Bids have come back and are a pretty wide range (~$25K difference between high/low.) I was surprised that one of the well-known, national companies is the low bid. "Low bid" company had us come in and refine our design and then had a special and knocked another 3% off our price. We research the heck out of everything and online reviews for low bid company are - in general - very positive. We like the salesperson for low bid company and I think we're very close to signing a contract with them.
That being said...any suggestions for negotiating? I generally suck at negotiating so any pointers would be helpful. I've already dropped emails to two of the higher bid folks to let them know the score. Basically emails that say, "we really like your design but you're 15% higher than the next bid and the features/size are almost the same - do you want to review your proposal to see if there's any additional discounting available?" I also plan on calling them each today to give them an opportunity to say their piece and see if they want to move.
One company in particular has a sales rep that talks way too much and feels very car salesman-ish. He's quietly arrogant, very pushy, and neither of us like him. In doing research on his company (a national branded one), we've discovered a large number of customer complaints about their warranty and lack of customer service. This jives with our experience from their company thus far. Even though their bid is competitive I really just want this individual to go away. I'm not entirely sure how to politely do that. I figure I'll start with the truth (warranty/service concerns) and when he gets pushy about it we'll just have to agree to disagree.
Anyway - any suggestions on negotiating price? I will share photos, design and details once past the negotiation phase.