It is a common misconception that when a seller says “firm on price,” they are not willing to negotiate.

So, in reality, what does “firm on price” mean? And what should you do if a seller is firm on price? Can you still negotiate?

These are the questions that we’ll answer in this article.

Finally, we’ll also compare the terms “Firm Price” and “Fixed Price”. These terms sound the same but are quite different in reality and replacing one with the other can lead to confusion and misunderstanding. 

What does “firm on price” mean?

When a seller says they are “firm on price,” it means that they have set a specific price for their product or service and will not be accepting any offers below that price.

It is important to note that this does not mean the seller is not willing to negotiate.

In many cases, the seller may still be open to negotiating on other aspects of the deal, such as payment terms, volume discounts, shipping costs, discounts on related products, or other concessions.

what does firm on price mean
How “firm” really is “firm on price”?

Should you negotiate if the seller is “firm on price”?


At first, it may not be wise to push for lower prices or even discuss prices at all.

Instead, focus on the product you’d like to purchase.

Engage the seller in a discussion of the product’s benefits, explain how you could use the product, ask for advice on how you could extract the most value from it.

You should use this opportunity to build goodwill with the seller by mentioning how much value you see in their product or service. Trust us, they’ll appreciate it!

When it comes to negotiating the price, always start by nibbling at the edges and only later, much later, discuss the core.

For instance, ask the seller if they would be willing to discuss shipping costs or some ancillary cost related to the purchase.

Here’s the thing – You want to get the seller to give you a price discount on something – anything – related to the purchase.

It’s not going to be on the product itself because they are “firm on price”. But they might be flexible on other things. Find out what these are. Test the waters.

Because once the seller makes a concession and gives you a discount on something, unknowingly they will have opened the door to negotiating the price of everything – including the main product.

Also, remember that some sellers will pretend to be “firm on price”, and simply use this term as a negotiation tactic.

Now, it can happen that in your first attempt the seller does not budge. That’s fine. Be prepared to walk away. And most of all, make sure that it is clear to the seller that you are prepared to walk away.

Come back after a few days or weeks. If the product is still unsold, restart discussions with the seller. Many sellers need to be convinced that they have done everything possible to sell at the highest price. And when they see that they are about to lose the customer for good, they will start to soften up. That’s when you should move to close the deal with a price discount.

Firm Price Vs Fixed Price

A “Firm Price”, as we’ve seen is the price under which a seller is not willing to entertain an offer.

What we have also seen is that, under the right circumstances, a firm price can be negotiable.

A Fixed Price, on the other hand, refers to the price a buyer will pay regardless of the cost that is incurred by the seller. In other words, a Fixed Price is non-negotiable.

A Fixed Price is typically used in the context of a Fixed-Price Contract. In a Fixed-Price Contract, a customer (the buyer) purchases a product or a service from a contractor (the seller). The customer agrees to pay a fixed price regardless of what it costs the contractor to deliver the product or service and fulfill the contract.

In a Fixed-Price Contract, if the contractor takes more time to get the job done, the customer still pays the Fixed Price that was agreed and the contractor has to accept a lower-than-expected profit or even a loss.

However, if the contractor is able to finish the work in less time than expected, the customer still pays the agreed Fixed Price and the contractor gets to enjoy a higher-than-expected profit.

So the terms “Firm Price” and “Fixed Price” are quite different and it’s best not to confuse the two.


“Firm on price” is an expression that is used by a seller to indicate that they are unwilling to entertain offers below the price that they have set for a product or service.

But in reality, this doesn’t mean that they are unwilling to negotiate.

In fact, saying that they are “firm on price” can in itself be a negotiation tactic.

At first, a seller might be unwilling to negotiate the price of the product but if they are open to discussing other aspects of the transaction, then at a later point in time, you can bring the discussion back to the price of the product.

Finally, remember the difference between “Firm Price” and “Fixed Price”. These terms have totally different meanings and should not be confused with each other.