8 Tips for getting a deal

You work hard for your money and you want to make sure you make it go as far as possible. Here are some tips for learning how to be an effective negotiator. The larger the purchase the more important it is to use these techniques.

1. Ask!

Doesn’t hurt anything to ask. If you don’t ask for a deal, you’ll never know what might be possible. It is interesting that in many other cultures in the world haggling over price is expected. In fact in some cultures , if you don’t try to bargain at least a little the merchant is likely to be offended. In America though we tend not to think that way. When we go to buy an auto, we negotiate because everyone knows you don’t pay the sticker price, so it feels more natural. At Best Buy, or Lowes, or the furniture store? It doesn’t come as naturally here.

But, what is the worst case scenario if you ask? They say no and you pay the retail price you would have paid without having asked? On the other hand you might be surprised what they will do for you. There’s really no way to lose.

2. Do your homework.

Do your homework ahead of time. The person with the most knowledge will almost always win the negotiation. Check out prices online. Read reviews. Check out resources like Consumer Reports. If you are looking at a vehicle look the model up on Kelley Blue Book. If you have a friend who knows about what you are looking to buy get tips or have them go with you. If you have a mechanic friend, talk to them about the car you are looking at. Need a computer, talk to your techie friend about what you should be looking for. Planning some updates on your home, take your handyman friend with you to Lowes.

All of these things will help you be prepared when you go to make your purchase. If you know what a good price is, know the strengths and weaknesses of the product, know what features matter to you and what don’t, you will make a wiser purchase and you will be in a position to negotiate.

3. Make sure you are talking to the right person

You might need to talk to a manager to get a deal. Make sure you are talking to a person that has the ability to give you a deal. Tell them “hey I’m looking to buy this today. I would rather support a local store. Here’s the price I found elsewhere what can you do for me?”

4. Be willing to walk away

This one is really big. If you are willing to walk out the door, you put yourself in a position of power. A good salesman can sense when you’ve caught the fever and knows he has you hooked. You won’t get a deal. When you are willing to leave without making the purchase, you will find out just how badly the salesman wants to make the deal.

5. Be quiet

Let the salesman do the talking. Silence is very uncomfortable. Use it to your advantage. If you think you should be getting a better deal, just say “That’s not good enough.” and then be quiet. Combine this one with item 4 and you have a powerful one – two punch.

6. Buy with cash

You will get better deals with cash instead of credit. Cash says you are serious about buying right now. There’s something psychological about cash as well. Merchants also have to pay fees in credit card transactions. This could be significant on large purchases. They save money when you use cash.

7. Sweeten the pot

If you can tell they want your business but aren’t able to do as much on price as you want, see if you can add something else in. If I buy this camera, would you throw in a case?

8. Remember the Golden Rule

Be firm but friendly. Don’t be rude. They are just doing their job. There’s no reason to ever be abusive. Always be honest. Don’t tell the salesman you can get it for 50% off down the street if that isn’t true. You can be polite and respectful but at the same time if you have done your research and know the value of your item remain firm in your request.

Give it a try!

There are no guarantees. You may get a deal you may not. If you never try though, I guarantee you’ll never get a deal. By using these techniques, you might just be surprised at what you get.

If you try these techniques, post a comment and let me know how it worked!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.