I have a confession: I LOVE to negotiate. I know some people hate it and it makes them uncomfortable but I really like it. And when I land a better price: talk about a happy dance of self accomplishment. Literally, visualize me doing a happy little booty dance because it happens!
Of course there are some instances that make me uncomfortable but I’ve learned — particularly after being a business owner for nearly a decade — that nearly everything is negotiable. Everything.
There are a few keys however on how to negotiate a better price. It doesn’t take rocket science and it doesn’t require you to even be incredible bold. At the end of the day, most sales people in any industry want to be helpful, and they want to make a sale. Closing the deal benefits both of you — remember that — so it’s equally up to you to ensure you walk away feeling as good about the transaction as they do. And, I mean this for everything from a pair of shoes to a car. Seriously.
A previous post I shared about 10 things to stop buying now was super popular last year so I’m testing out another financial topic — are you a fan of these? Let me know and I’ll keep them up.
Here are five ways I’ve learned to negotiate a better price on nearly everything. Consider this money found!
How to Negotiate a Lower Price:
1. Be kind, and smile.
This is the easiest and best one. Don’t be so tough. Kindness always prevails, and a smile gets you everywhere. And, don’t think I’m subtly implying you should be flirty. Be nice. People want to help nice people. Be patient and courteous and grateful for the help. Imagine the BS that sales people across all industries and levels deal with each day. You being kind works to your advantage.
2. Ask, “are there any coupons / discounts / promotions I should know about?”
This is my favorite one, especially in retail environments like a Macy’s, Ulta, etc. Often there are sales going on that I don’t even know about but I can’t tell you how many times asking this innocent little sentence has paid off for me. Literally, paid off — I’ve for sure saved moola. There’s a coupon sitting in the back, they mention a coupon online I can pull up and show them, etc.
If they say no, I often say, “are you sure there’s nothing I should know about?” If not, say something along the lines of, “well it would be amazing if there are any complimentary upgrades or free delivery, or installation….”
If often works if they want to close the deal!
3. “My max budget is closer to XX. Can we do XX instead?”
If you’re looking at something, particularly a bigger ticket item and the number is more than you want to spend, tell them before you walk away. You never know what someone will do when you simply state to them your max budget (and heck: even if the original number they come back to you is under your max, lower your faux max budget and see if you can get a further discount).
4. Be loyal.
We all know that loyalty is everything. Going to the same store and same person and/or referring your friends to someone always works. That sales person sees your value and wants to keep you, and will be sure to tell you about discounts, tell you a sale is on the horizon, throw in a freebie or little extras, or put something aside for you.
5. Have cash available.
For individual business owners, cash is everything — it saves them money (approx. 3 percent) if you use it compared to your credit card. For example, a green market vendor or small boutique is more likely to hook you up if you have cash on-hand. Not to say I often do (ha!), but I try to, particularly when I’m going to spots where it could be of value.
So there you have it, just a few tips to empower yourself to ask for that better price. Remember, they want to help you and close the sale, too. Final words of wisdom: I know you’ve heard this before, but don’t be afraid to walk away if the price isn’t what you’re comfortable with, or if you’re in a rush. These are the two biggest reasons we all feel regret after a purchase.
Take your time and feel good about the price you’re paying, whether that’s for a $15 fun pair of boutique earrings, a cell phone contract or a new car.
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