North Americans, where I live, loathe haggling. Americans like to stick to numbers on price tags. Women tend to be far less likely to negotiate than men, according to research. Nonetheless, it is very common in most cultures, especially the easter you go. Rob over at the Passive Canadian Income blog related a negotiation experience that led to savings led me to write this.
Experts and experienced hagglers alike agree that bargaining does not have to be difficult. The down economy, combined with a few pointers, allows you to easily snag great deals.
Negotiating does not necessitate the same skill set as multi-national peace talks. Ask for what you want and express your feelings. Be adaptable and creative.
If you make the transaction negotiable, the salesperson may offer a discount on something other than what you had planned, such as a floor model, a lower price on multiple purchases, or services on a different date. Alternatively, while haggling, you can ask for something slightly different than what the majority of people want.
Whether you’re confident in your bargaining skills or not, all agreed on one thing:
“Just ask.” The worst thing they can say is “no.”
A simple guide to haggling
- Be courteous. People who are calm and speak in a soft, friendly tone are more likely to succeed in negotiating.
- Humble yourself. Instead of putting on a show, just say what you want and where you’re coming from. Insincerity is easily discernible.
- Know your limits, know your floor, and be willing to walk the walk. Know the most you’re willing to pay, the least you’re willing to accept, and have a backup plan in case you need to walk away. This is known as a negotiation envelope, and it includes the most desired outcome (MDO), the least acceptable agreement (LAA), and the best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA). The majority of people forget or are unwilling to walk away as their BATNA. If you are unable to leave, you have no leverage. There can be no negotiation if there is no leverage.
- It’s a two-way road. Consider haggling as a way for both parties to get what they want: you get a great deal on your goods, and the seller unloads merchandise and makes a sale.
- Consider thinking outside the box. Offer to pay cash or in advance, sign a longer service contract, and be willing to accept a floor model or last year’s design.
- Don’t try to bluff. When you tell a vendor that you can get what you want for less down the street, you are insulting them. You’ll quickly become unlikable and violate rule number two. If you can get it cheaper down the street, go ahead and do so. And if you’re faking it, your bluff will be called.
- Simply do it.