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Emerald’s Gem Box: I’m tired of haggling

I've never been one to "hold anything back" and usually speak my mind, on almost any subject. However, I have been debating, for quite some time, on whether or not to write a column about people who try to haggle with me on my advertising prices.

You see, the newspaper business is, in all senses, a public service.

We love our job. We love to inform our community about what is happening in our corner of the world. We love to spotlight our neighbors, our neighbors' farms, our neighbors' businesses and the youth of our community. Our daily lives are spent purposely finding ways to help our community and keep you, our readers, in touch with your surroundings.

However, newspapers are also a "for-profit" business. We have utility bills, payroll, payroll taxes, automobile expenses, insurance bills and printing bills; just like any other business.

I, in all my years in this business, have not raised my prices beyond what they should be, in order to make "a bigger profit." Our advertising prices and subscription prices are at the bare minimum and are in-line with all other weekly/bi-weekly publications in our area. I wish we made more money than we do; if so, I could pay my employees more.

In all my years in this business, the one thing that I have always resented was a business trying to haggle with me on prices. I don't understand where that mindset originates.

I would never walk into a boutique and pick up a $50 dress and tell the owner I will give them $30 for it. I would never sit in a restaurant and ask the waitress to ask the owner if I could buy the $12 hamburger for $8. I would never go to a gun store and pick up a $200 shotgun and offer them $125 for it. I would never tell the automotive store to knock $50 off his price for fixing my brakes or changing my oil. I would never tell my insurance man he needed to take $200 off of my annual fee. I would never walk into a furniture store and offer $300 less on the bedroom suite they had for sale.

So, I have to ask, why is my business different?

In fact, all businesses have other options. Instead of buying a $50 dress … find a $30 dress you like just as well. Instead of buying the $12 hamburger … buy the $8 salad. Instead of buying the $200 shotgun…buy a less expensive gun. Can't afford the $1,300-bedroom suite? Then find a cheaper one you can afford!

In my business, if you don't like the price of the half-page ad … then buy a smaller ad, but don't ask me to knock $50 or $100 off of it. I have bills and employees to pay, just like you.

We are absolutely here to serve you, our friends and neighbors. We are committed to serving and providing the informational needs of our community; searching for new ways to serve our readers and help boost the local economy through advertising and news coverage. We spotlight "mom and pop" businesses in order to help them grow, which in turn helps our community grow. We love telling of honor rolls, anniversaries and birthdays; anything to help our neighbors get to know each other better.

Thank you, Madison County, for your patronage and friendship through the years. I have spent my entire life being in business here and it has been a blessing and an adventure, and with God's grace, I will have many more years of helping keep Madison County in tune and informed with what is happening … in our corner of the world.

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