Are you a good haggler? Me neither. Is haggling an important skill to develop? You bet. Even “non-negotiable” items are negotiable. Regardless of what anybody tells you, there’s nothing that has a fixed price. You can haggle your way to a better price on everything.
Well, maybe not everything.
Can you imagine going in to Walmart and trying to negotiate the individual prices on a cart full of groceries? Not only would it be tedious, but each minute you spend haggling is time spent not doing something else, so although everything is negotiable, saving your haggling for large ticket items makes the most sense.
Before you become a great haggler you have to get used to tense situations. Be prepared to hear, “no,” prepare to annoy people sometimes, and prepare to stand your ground and walk away if needed. Good hagglers have a thick skin or at least they act like it.
Here’s what you need to know to become a better haggler:
When It’s Most likely to Work
Look for damaged products, old products that look outdated or even dusty, a price that is higher than other stores in the area, items that are going out of season, or the store seems to be overstocked.
If it looks like something that the store would want to sell even if it means taking less money for it, those are prime haggling products.
Don’t make it a competition or you’re going to lose. Be complimentary of the store, the product, and the service you’ve received in the past. Also try to find a time when the store isn’t busy and the manager is busy and stressed.
Finally, try to haggle in a discreet location. If a manager says yes to your offer, they don’t want others to hear it and flood him with offers too.
Have you ever met one of those people that emphatically state, “l’ll give you $50 for it.” A good haggler knows that the best way to get the price they want is to be gentle, friendly, and fair. You might say, “I noticed that this item was scratched on the side. Would you take $20 off the price?”
Or, you might say, “I was at another store earlier and they have a lower price on this. I like shopping here and would like to purchase it today if you’ll match their price.” Finally, you might try “I’ve noticed this item sitting here for weeks now. If you can shave 10% off of the price, I’ll be happy to purchase it today.”
If the manager turns down your offer, ask her if she would consider discounting the item at all and if so, how much. If they decline to haggle on the price, politely thank them for their time and walk away.
If they make a counter offer, take a moment to consider the offer and accept it, counter offer, or politely decline. Remember that the art of haggling is about respect. If you make the manager defensive, you will lose.
Give haggling a try. As they say, practice makes perfect. It may not work out well your first time but your skills will improve. Good luck!