Normally people (including myself) prefer to always look for the cheapest price, and if it is a good product, much better. Unfortunately there are people who are absurd and ask difficult works and at prices that border on the ridiculous. It is true that you can't say no when someone contacts you, but you never know if the project is going to end well or if are going to pay you on time for your effort, resources and time.
But in my little (yes, little) experience as an architect I've noticed little clues that you realize that this project "so good it can not be true" will not end well. That's why I'm going to put in this post the most memorable quotes I've been told and clues that you recognize that this work will never be done.
A. "Do you have any regular telephone where I call him?". If you do not understand this sentence which are not of Ecuador, it means they are asking for a "normal" phone (not a cell) either office or home to continue the conversation. Not much to say about this phrase but every time I hear it I think 2 things: 1) He/She rally doesn't has a cellphone plan and 2) if he is cheap with their pennies cell phone, then so be cheap with my pay.
B. "Can I have friendly price." If you do not call to wish me Merry Christmas then why I am going to charge a "friendly price" for my work?
C. "We are working for the Government/State/city/etc." I do not know how it will be in other countries but here working for a public institution is synonymous with two things: 1) The pay is very juicy, and 2) Payment will take centuries for not having the necessary documentation and records. If you are a reader of another country can not complain about the local bureaucracy. I added that although the pay is very good but takes a long time to make payments many times you have to put your own money to continue the project.
D. "We call X to participate in competition." I am not against contests. I am against those contests where the prize will appear in the list of works to be developed or as a blueprint for a great work and there is never a monetary value to offset those lost hours developing this draft. Another bad thing if they did not realize this phrase is that if you are called to participate is more like a desperate plea for you to participate.
E. If the project is in X city, or town that say it is neither rural nor urban, can be sure that it's like playing with a double-headed ax. While your work in these sectors may become iconic for the area, one can't be sure whether or not the budget that will achieve planned due to problems of no qualified staff, lack of resources in the area, inaccessibility, etc. That's when before starting negotiations proceed to inflate the budget for alleged "disadvantages", which leads the client to "frightten" for the price and begin the "tug of war" to have a budget that make happy both parties or until one of the two become "tire of the war".
F. Those who do not want to give you some money down. That's the worst, it's like working for free. Never do this, it never will work out. And further to this point never work for someone who does not want to pay more than 50%. Escape as fast as you can!
As a favor I would ask you don't apply none of this techniques either. Thank you.