How to Haggle

haggleI love the thrill of getting a bargain (and then sharing tales of my spoils with my friends).

I have also learned along the way, that simply because a price tag is attached to an item does not mean that it is set in stone.

Simply put, when it comes to some kinds of shopping, you don’t ask, you don’t get. Haggling is a skill though, that takes forethought and practice.

Scout it out

First of all, you must realize that not all businesses (or proprietors) will welcome your attempts to negotiate their pricing.

Be smart, and scout out possibilities. Big ticket (electronics, furniture, vacations to name a few)  items also tend to allow more room for negotiation than smaller ones too.

Price not Only Benefit

While your goal may ultimately be to receive some leniency on price, there are other rewards to be taken as a consumer.

If price is non-negotiable, what about getting management to throw in free services, maintenance, a discount on a future purchase or a gift card for your next visit?

Even if you don’t necessarily save today, you can work towards some savings for the next time.

Write a Script

Haggling has much to do with the presentation of your argument (as well as timing).

Get prepared ahead of time. Write a script (at least mentally) to play through how your negotiations might unfold.

Determine what objections you might receive, how you might handle them- and at what point you should walk away, based on what you’ve set as your bottom line.

Make sure that you are talking to the right person (likely management) who are authorized to make discount decisions.

Play the Bluff

Let the vendor believe that you are preparing to walk away. If they really want the sale, and are able to meet your request, they will likely be prepared to stop you from leaving and going to the competitor.

Be Reasonable

When you are setting out for a discount, do some research into what an item generally sells for on the open market. Be reasonable in setting your price.

If you are super-low, it almost seems ridiculous. The vendor will be insulted, and the door will be shut before the negotiation even begins.