The Art of Negotiation ~ Part One

The Art of Negotiation

Most Americans think that negotiating is something reserved for car purchases, job offers, and garage sales.  You won’t hear a lot of people say, “I love to negotiate and haggle over prices!”  This makes me sad, because we’re leaving a good amount of money on the table when we don’t negotiate. If you’ve traveled to other countries, you’ll know that they love to haggle and negotiate.  In fact, merchants in other parts of the world might be offended if you don’t try to negotiate with them.  Before I tell you how to negotiate your way to a fatter wallet, I first need to bust a few myths.

Myth #1 – “Negotiating is conflict, and I don’t like conflict.”  Somehow, as a culture, we’ve framed negotiating as a combat sport, which it isn’t.  Negotiating is simply asking for a better value than what’s offered on the price tag.

Myth #2 – “When you negotiate, there’s a winner and a loser.”  It is possible for both parties to feel good about the deal!  We’ll talk about how to create a win-win deal.

Myth #3 – “Negotiating is hard.  It’s just easier to shop around for the best price.”  Once you know the basics, negotiating is easy!  In fact, you might even grow to like it.  Plus, time is money! Who wants to spend all day driving around (wasting gas) to different stores to score a deal?

Negotiating is simply asking for a better price or additional benefits and features.  If you DON’T ask for a discount, the answer is already “NO.”  If you don’t ask, you’ve already lost.  So you really have nothing to lose by asking!  Here’s how to ask:

  •     “Is this price firm?”  If the answer is yes, then you know the sales person isn’t open to negotiating a discount.
  •    “When will this item go on sale?”  If it’s in a few days, they may be able to give you the discount now, or hold the item for you until the sale starts.
  •   “Are there any coupons available?” I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many times the salesperson will reach behind the counter and pull out a coupon for me to use.  They may also tell you there is one on the website, which you can pull up on your phone and scan for a discount.
  •   “Can you give me a cash discount?” Due to the rising cost of credit card processing fees, many businesses are offering cash discounts. 

Do you use any of these negotiating strategies on a regular basis?


Comments 30

  1. My husband is the master negotiater and I used to resent when he would ask for discounts! However, I’m learning what you mention here: if you don’t ask, the answer is already no. Great tips… and he would love that I’m agreeing with you!

  2. I love all of these ideas and am glad you shared the list. I forget to ask for discounts when I am out shopping for larger items. I will have to remember these tips.

  3. These are great reminders that it never hurts to ask. I usually don’t even think of negotiating a price but I need to remember this next time.

  4. I’m not sure if it’ that I have gotten older or more confident, but I haggle a lot more these days. It certainly never hurts to ask for a better deal.

  5. Ooh, these are really great ideas! It also reminded me of the time my son tried to haggle at Disney World.. lol! Didn’t really work out for him though.

  6. I’ve never been good at negotiating, but I have some friends that are. They always get such good prices.

  7. Great post and if you are smart you need to negotiate a lot in life and even marriage for it to be succseful.

  8. I thankfully learned from my Grandma, she is a master negotiator and definitely taught me her tricks! I actually really do love to barter, negotiate and haggle. I do it often when I travel and purchase from vendors in different places that I visit.

    1. Post

      My hubby doesn’t like negotiating either. I’m the one that haggles whenever buy cars. To me, it’s fun (since we’re paying with cash)!

  9. These are great tips, and strong reminders! Learning to negotiate is something I am working on, and I think I am getting better at the more I practice… here’s hoping!

  10. Pingback: The Art of Negotiation ~ Part Two

  11. When my children were little they had a ton of ear infections, so I was at the doctor a lot! I did not have the money to keep coming back. My doctor said…”this is my practice, you don’t have to pay for this visit and I will give you the medicine”. At that moment, I realized life was negotiable. This was a moment of both relief and empowerment. I also learned over the years that the ability to negotiate is a skill that takes time to develop.

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