Haggling is an art and when done at an optimum level, it can make the difference between a great bargain or a bad one. Whether you’re buying a small single item from a market stall or a large expensive product, haggling can have its uses in most situations. All that's required on your part, is simply the ability to learn the technique.
Co-authors of “Women Don’t Ask: Negotiating and the Gender Divide", Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, report that women are 2.5 times more likely to feel apprehension when negotiating compared to men, so much so that they were willing to pay as much as $1,000 or more to avoid haggling over a car. It doesn’t have to be hard though, and when paired with a few haggling tips, you can sweep up bargains all over the place.
You'll soon find that getting extra bit of cash off the price of something, all of a sudden becomes better than nothing at all. You simply need to learn the ability to know how and when to seize it.
Tips in Short
- Play Nice: Calm people who use a soft friendly voice are most likely to have success.
- Look Sharp: Women perceived as successful and resourceful are more likely to get what they want.
- Act humble: Don’t beat around the bush, say what you want and what your opinion is openly because insincerity is easy too spot.
- Win-Win Situation: Approach haggling with the mind-set to create a win-win situation for both parties involved. Nobody likes to feel like they are losing.
- Creativity: Offer to pay more cash up front or sign up to a longer-term contract in efforts to reduce the price for example. Last year's design or a display model are good opportunities to strike a bargain by asking to pay a lower price.
Haggling doesn’t require the same skill set for negotiating international peace deals so don’t be afraid to be yourself and feel relaxed. Generally speaking, people with good relationship skills are better at haggling than those individuals who are quite closed. An individual like this has a tendency to be more persistent and can more easily embrace the salesperson in the correct manner to navigate a more successful deal. Generally this is achieved whilst being friendly and considerate in your approach.
If You Don’t Ask You Don’t Get
It makes sense that if you don’t try for something, how will you know if it's possible. This applies directly to haggling and can be an excellent means to securing a bargain that you may not have got otherwise without asking. Starting off a negotiation with honesty can really help bring the vendor onto your side. Begin the conversation by saying something like “this price is more than I want to spend”. Depending on the individual and the power they have over the sale, they may be able to offer a better discounted price that may entice you to buy.
This tactic also often works when you have received a service which hasn't met your expectations. Complaining about a bad experience at a hotel, for example, can be a great way to get an upgrade if you are being genuine. Remember that haggling doesn’t have to be associated with the local street market; big businesses have flexibility to negotiate too.
Flexibility and Creativity are Key
Often a salesperson might not be able to reduce the price but they may be able to do other things in order to secure your business such as offer you a display model, a lower price on multiple purchases or services on a different date. Allowing flexibility in the negotiation can help create a win-win situation for both parties.
Timing can also play a key part in the negotiation. For example, if you need your air-conditioning system revamped or repaired then now is the ideal time to have it done. Don’t wait until summer begins again because you will be joining all the other people who are thinking the same thing. Negotiating a deal now in winter is much easier because contractors will have less business and be more willing to offer discounts to win your business. A good negotiation only works when both parties feel that they are winning, so once again, always remember to try and create a win-win situation.
Opinions across the Internet all resort back to one fundamental rule and that is “Simply ask, the worst they can say is no”.