The Worst Fees Ever


5 of the worst fees I have ever had waived
Mike Bowman  

I am a consumer, as well as, a business owner and a former retail executive. I understand both sides of the "fee coin". Many consumers wrongly believe that fees are just part of doing business; that they have no choice but to pay extra for the privilege of doing business with a seller. Sellers look at fees as an additional source of income that has no cost. For example, your monthly gym membership cost was calculated at a rate by the gym owner to cover the cost of serving you and providing a profit. Fees are not part of that calculation. If you pay something like an "initiation fee" to the gym owner, she doesn't provide an additional services, she is simply making a bonus. If she didn't collect the initiation fee her monthly membership cost calculation would still put her where she financially needs to be.

Because fees are no cost bonuses to sellers they can EASILY be persuaded to drop them. That is, if they believe their sale is in jeopardy. The second most powerful negotiation tactic you can use is to simply ask for the fee to be waived. There is an excellent chance that the seller will agree with no further discussion or questions. Additionally, when you ask for your fee to be waived it puts the idea in the seller's mind that if you have the guts to ask for a reduction, you may also have the guts to use the most powerful negotiation tactic tool ever devised: your feet.

If you ask a seller to waive a fee and they refuse, tell them good bye. Getting up and walking toward the front door will nearly always change a reasonable seller's mind. Why? It makes absolutely no sense to lose a sale over a fee.

Some of the worst fees I have ever been asked to pay, but got waived were:

1. College application fee. Me: You are asking me to pay $40,000 for tuition, but want a $25 application fee? Please waive that. College: Ok.

2. Furniture store. Me: I am about to buy $2,400 worth of furniture, and you want a $50 delivery fee? Please waive that. Salesman: Ok.

3. Credit card company. Me: I have had this card for 3 years and paid you on time every month. Now you surprised me with an annual fee of $29? Please waive that or cancel my account. Credit card company: Ok.

4. Gym membership. Me: I agree to pay you $40 a month for a gym membership, but if I have to pay your $100 initiation fee I can't afford them membership. Will you please waive that? Salesman: Sure. Not a problem.

5. Photography studio membership. Me: Yes, I would like to be a member of your rewards program, but you would have to waive the $39 fee. Studio: No problem. We will waive that fee and also give you a give you a coupon for 20% your next visit.

About the author Mike Bowman
Mike writes for, a website that makes small business ownership and personal finance fun and entertaining through the stories of real people. Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter @TheQuarterRoll

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