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Drive a Hard Bargain
"Never accept the first estimate from anyone, no matter how honest he seems. Give him a chance to explain his offer, ask if that's his best price and then tell him what you'd like to pay. When he smiles and says he can't match it, tell him, 'Thanks' and 'Have a nice day.' You'll usually be offered another price before you walk away. That's exactly what happened when I requested estimates for repairs to my house and yard after a storm. I was quoted more than $10,000 and got the job done for about $8,000."

—Heather Seibert Jenks, Winterville, North Carolina