5 Tips for Effective Negotiation while Shopping

One of the practices that seems to be making something of a comeback in the United States is bargaining. When you are shopping, whether you are at the department store, or whether you are shopping for a car, negotiation can help you get a better deal.

Here are 5 tips that can help you get a better deal while you shop:

1. Be Friendly and Polite

First of all, politeness can go a long way. Create a connection with the sales person. When you are friendly, especially after the salesperson has had a rough day with other customers, you can get a little help. Smile, speak kindly, and make small talk. When you are polite, you can butter up the salesperson and have a better chance at a discount.

Even if things don’t go your way, keep your cool. Don’t become angry and belligerent.

2. Use the Power of Silence

You don’t always have to be talking. If your first offer is met with a counter-offer, you can employ silence. When my husband and I were shopping for a car, we silently exchanged glances when the salesperson offered his “best” deal. Waiting 30 seconds prompted him to drop the price further as we worried about our silence.

Take a few seconds for thought. For a salesperson, 30 seconds seems like a long time, and a minute seems like an eternity, so when you are quiet, he or she might want to fill the silence.

3. Be Clear about What You Want

Make sure that you are clear about what you want. You might have to compromise a little bit, but when you are clear, there is a starting point. Look for a solution as you negotiate. Find out about alternatives, and be clear when the salesperson hits on one that appeals to you, and that you are willing to work toward.

If you think that you could do better, ask if there is a supervisor or manager you can speak with, who might be able to help you in the way you want.

4. Ask about Upgrades and Accessories

Even if you don’t get a huge discount, you can get receive other benefits. Ask about upgrades and accessories to go with your purchase. Sometimes, you can get good value when you stop focusing just on the price aspect and look at other ways to receive a value-add. Find out if you can receive an upgrade, or find out if other accessories can be thrown in.

5. Get Ready to Walk

In some cases, it helps to be serious about walking. Don’t just accept a deal that you aren’t comfortable with. Besides, sometimes regretfully shaking your head, politely thanking the salesperson for his or her time, and then getting ready to leave can be just the thing that nudges the salesperson to make a better deal.

Your willingness to stand your ground can provide the salesperson with the incentive to give in just a little bit more on the price, and offer you a slightly better deal.


About the Author

Miranda writes about financial topics for several web sites. Her blog is Planting Money Seeds, and her book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger, is available on Amazon.