When it comes to negotiating, some people are better than others and everyone plays by different rules. There are also some places where we tend to negotiate more than others. So let's discuss how to negotiate prices with a DJ we are looking to hire for our wedding or social event.
When you need a DJ you either go online or you call someone who may know a DJ. You then call or email each one of them to get a quote for your wedding or event. And you may realize that the price varies a lot and that depends on experience, talent, work involved and even the equipment or services included with the price. 99.9% of the time, the prices given to you will be negotiable, at that stage.
Once you meet with the DJ and you explain exactly the number of hours of DJ services required, the location, the equipment needed, etc then you will have the price tailored to your needs. But what if it is a bit over your budget, how do you negotiate?
First of all, you have to keep in mind the experience, professionalism and the talent of the DJ you are dealing with by checking his or her reviews. Secondly, you can simply ask if the price is negotiable and in most cases it will lead to a conversation about what the DJ can do or why his/her price is worth it. Keep in mind that the DJ business has busy periods and some not very busy periods in the year. So you can expect a better deal during the "not busy" season.
Thirdly, please do not offer a ridiculously low price (based on the DJ's price) just to make sure you end up saving more if the deal ends up meeting in the middle. I did receive some very low offers (even after I shared with them my regular prices) and it just doesn't feel right. I personally tell them to contact other DJ's that are in the beginning of their career as they might be able to accept a low price. In some cases, I may even offer them names of stores who rent the equipment and I send them links to some great mixes they can add to a playlist, free of charge.
But in all seriousness, negotiating means being able to read the person in front of you. If you heard the DJ's mixes, read the reviews and know that he/she will be a perfect fit for your event, then do not lose your chance just by low balling the price. Keep in mind that not all DJ's will be willing to negotiate and that is OK.
Watch out for some DJ's that will over charge for nothing (just because the price is higher it doesn't mean that the DJ is better). Focus on the person's qualities, musical abilities, experience and reviews. Yes, some DJ's are like brand name DJ's that you can pay extra just to have them at your party but the quality of the transitions between songs is just as important.
In conclusion, you can negotiate with a DJ as long as it is within a reasonable range. If you already have a price in mind then tell the DJ your budget before making him/her meet you somewhere.