by Cheryl Maguire
With Father’s Day fast approaching, I’m sharing some negotiating tips I learned from my Dad. He is the best negotiator I know and his wisdom has helped me save or earn thousands of dollars over the years for both buying and selling items. Some of the things he personally helped me to negotiate (or I used his techniques on my own) are furniture, wood pellets (used for heating our home), heating oil, cable rates, a house, and a car. He saved me the most money when I purchased a car. They even commented on my Dad’s incredible negotiating ability.
Know Your Stuff: Before you plan to negotiate either selling or buying an item, you should research it. Even if you are only selling a video game on Craigslist, it helps to know how much a new and used game costs, which you can look up online. If you are selling the item it will help you to set a reasonable price resulting in a quicker sale. If you are buying an item it will help you to feel confident about making an offer by providing reasons why you feel it is a fair price based on other similar sales.
Don’t Allow Your Emotions to Take Over: If you really want to buy or sell an item, sometimes it can cause you to get emotional. You can also be emotionally attached to an item such as your home. This may cause you to have difficulty understanding a realistic price to sell it for. It is important to try to distance yourself from your emotions because if you don’t, you will end up losing money. If you are buying a car or a house and the salesperson sees how excited you are to buy it, they will be less likely to lower the price when negotiating.
Be Realistic: When selling or buying an item you need to understand the market value of the item. There is only so much room above or below this price that most people will go. Also if you are purchasing something, the seller might not be able to lower the price but might be able to throw in something else instead. For example when purchasing a car if the dealer won’t go any lower with the price you could ask for free oil changes.
Let them Know What You Want: Be specific about what you want when you are buying something. For example, when I purchased furniture I asked for a specific discount (20% off the price) and free delivery. A person selling something can’t give you what want if you don’t tell them. Also being specific implies you are a confident person who has done their research.
Let them Know Your Bottom Line: With both selling and purchasing items, I let the other person know this is as low or high as I’m willing to go with my price. When I state this I also tell them I have no problem not doing this deal. Sometimes you might not be able to make a deal and that is okay. Don’t be afraid to walk away from the deal since there is always another person willing to buy or sell you an item.
One thing I learned from my Dad is he will ask almost anyone if they can lower the price. Even people like doctors or retail stores that are not typically known for bargaining, he asks for a better price. And sometimes he gets one. You never know until you ask.
Originally published on Signature Moms.
Cheryl Maguire holds a Master of Counseling Psychology degree. She married and is the mother of twins and a daughter. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, Parents Magazine, Upworthy, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings and Twins Magazine. You can find her at Twitter @CherylMaguire05