A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article called 6 Things You Should Always Haggle Over so, now that you know when to haggle, then next question is how do you haggle best? I'm glad you asked! Check out these strategies below and learn how to negotiate the best price like a pro:
8 Methods for Haggling Like a Pro
1.Get in the Right Mindset – Many Americans have been mentally trained to think that the price tag at a store or the bill from a hospital is set in stone. In the situations I described, I like to think of them as suggestions or starting points for a negotiation. You have to be confident that you are justified in asking for a lower price or a better deal.
With that said, you can’t take the attitude that you are entitled to a lower price or that the person you are speaking with is the enemy. Be respectful. As with most any other situation in life, treat that other person like you would want to be treated. What tone and attitude would make you most likely to help another person get the best deal?
2. Don’t Trash Talk – No retailer or service provider wants to hear that you want a better deal because their product or service is inferior. This is the quickest way to end the goodwill between you and the retailer.
However, you can look for flaws in a specific product. If you see a scratch or other flaw in something and are willing to live with the product and still think it’s worth buying, by all means ask them to discount it based on that defect.
3. Know the Price You'll Pay – It should go without saying, but you have to know what your target price is before you start to haggle. Have a firm price in mind where you will buy it if you can get this price (or lower!) and know that you will not purchase the item if you don’t get that price.
Check online resources and make sure you know what you’d have to pay with shipping if you buy online. Get yourself in the mindset that you do not have to have this item or this deal today if you can’t get it for your price. Also, be sure you don't get emotional and change the line in the sand once you are in the middle of the negotiation.
4. Talk to the Right Person – Every store or service provider will give different authority to their employees to haggle, and you have to make sure you are talking to someone that has the authority to do what you are asking.
A salesperson or a bill collector may be willing to give a discount to make a sale or get your account into pay status, but if the employee you are speaking with can’t help you, you have to move up the chain of command and make your request there. Since your best chance to score a good deal may be to speak with a manager, the best time to come is going to be at off peak times when the store is not a busy.
5. Negotiate When You Buy Big or Buy in Multiples – If you are buying an expensive item like a car, then the seller expects you to haggle, but the same idea applies to jewelry, televisions, or computers. A shop owner, salesperson, or manager wants to move these big ticket items and will work with you on the price as much as they are allowed.
They also will work with buyers who are buying multiple items. This applies to small mom and pop shops, large retailers like Best Buy, or a local garage sale. They will work with buyers who are willing to buy several items.
6. Ask for a Price-Match – One of the best ways to haggle is to prove that a competitor has a lower price. As you know, some retailers have a formal policy that they will match their competitor’s prices. But when you’re dealing with a store that doesn’t have a formal match policy, it’s a little more work.
First, make sure you have printed proof of the lower price, whether this is from a sale ad or an online store. Then, ask if they can BEAT the price rather than match. Try to let them come up with their best offer and you react, rather than giving them the price up front. Their price may be better than what you would have asked!
7. Cash is King – Every store or service provider pays around 2% to 3% of the charge to the credit card processor when you pay with a credit or debit card. If you are dealing with an online seller who uses PayPal or other online processors, the fees can be even higher. Sellers hate these fees!
After you have already made the best deal or in an effort to get the seller negotiating again, you will get their attention if you offer to pay cash. Cash means cash, not a check! Sellers will knock off the price to know that they won’t have to deal with a credit card chargeback or bounced check.
8. Threaten to Walk Away – If you aren’t able to get the price you want, be prepared to walk away. The more time that the associate has spent with you, the more invested they will be and the more likely they will be to try to salvage the deal when they see you start to walk away.
Of course, you have to be actually prepared to walk away and not make the deal at that store at that time!
In that case, I recommend leaving behind your contact information and let them know you’d love to hear from them if they have a sale or are able to go lower and that you’d be happy to come back if you haven’t already purchased somewhere else. Often, that will help them find a way to sweeten the deal!
Now that you know how to get the best price, try it out! Be sure to let us know what GREAT deals you get!