Whether you are buying a car, appliance or TV, if you know how to negotiate you can likely pay less. In fact, negotiation is an important part of frugal living. Many people don’t like to negotiate, but the majority of the time you can get a better deal by simply asking for it.
Tips for Effectively Negotiating
First of all, research the item in advance. Are there better deals online? Will another store beat any advertised price? The more you know about what the product is worth, the better you’ll be able to work towards that price. It helps to be informed about what's available, and the possibilities associated with the item in question. If you have proof of the price, such as a sales flyer from another store, or a print out from an online source, that can help bolster your case. But you don't need to pull out prices from other stores immediately.
Silence is a remarkably effective negotiation tool. You can ask, “is this the best you can do?” or “how can we make this more affordable?” After you have asked your question, don't try to make small talk, or suggest some other price. Silence will add pressure on the salesperson to come up with something to offer you. It's actually better for the other person to offer the first price. Once the salesperson offers a suggestion for a price, you can go from there. Actually, hesitating when the salesperson offers his or her first offer can prompt a lower offer almost immediately. At the very least, it will give you an opportunity to introduce the price you have from elsewhere.
Realize, too, that price isn’t the only thing that’s negotiable. You may be able to get accessories or an extended warranty included to sweeten the deal. Don't be so blinded by price that you fail to consider the value of other items. In some cases, the salesperson might not be able to go too low with the price — but it might be possible to offer you something else.
Negotiating isn’t about bullying the salesperson. You want to make sure that you are polite throughout the transaction, and that maintain a respectful tone. Try to work together so that both sides feel it was a “win-win”. The salesperson can feel as though he or she has made an important sale, and you feel as though you got a good bargain.
Ultimately, if you’re truly not willing to pay a certain amount or you know you can get the product cheaper somewhere else, you may have to be prepared to walk away. This is not a threat to make lightly, and it's one that you can only make if you are really serious about it. Don't offer an ultimatum too quickly. Leave a little wiggle room. And, in the end, if you really can't come to a desirable accommodation, you really will have to walk away.
But if the item really is available elsewhere for a better deal, then you are probably better off taking advantage of that better price.