The Art of Negotiation ~ Part One

The Art of Negotiation

Most Americans think that negotiating is something reserved for car purchases, job offers, and garage sales.  You won’t hear a lot of people say, “I love to negotiate and haggle over prices!”  This makes me sad, because we’re leaving a good amount of money on the table when we don’t negotiate. If you’ve traveled to other countries, you’ll know that they love to haggle and negotiate.  In fact, merchants in other parts of the world might be offended if you don’t try to negotiate with them.  Before I tell you how to negotiate your way to a fatter wallet, I first need to bust a few myths.

Myth #1 – “Negotiating is conflict, and I don’t like conflict.”  Somehow, as a culture, we’ve framed negotiating as a combat sport, which it isn’t.  Negotiating is simply asking for a better value than what’s offered on the price tag.

Myth #2 – “When you negotiate, there’s a winner and a loser.”  It is possible for both parties to feel good about the deal!  We’ll talk about how to create a win-win deal.

Myth #3 – “Negotiating is hard.  It’s just easier to shop around for the best price.”  Once you know the basics, negotiating is easy!  In fact, you might even grow to like it.  Plus, time is money! Who wants to spend all day driving around (wasting gas) to different stores to score a deal?

Negotiating is simply asking for a better price or additional benefits and features.  If you DON’T ask for a discount, the answer is already “NO.”  If you don’t ask, you’ve already lost.  So you really have nothing to lose by asking!  Here’s how to ask:

  •     “Is this price firm?”  If the answer is yes, then you know the sales person isn’t open to negotiating a discount.
  •    “When will this item go on sale?”  If it’s in a few days, they may be able to give you the discount now, or hold the item for you until the sale starts.
  •   “Are there any coupons available?” I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many times the salesperson will reach behind the counter and pull out a coupon for me to use.  They may also tell you there is one on the website, which you can pull up on your phone and scan for a discount.
  •   “Can you give me a cash discount?” Due to the rising cost of credit card processing fees, many businesses are offering cash discounts. 

Do you use any of these negotiating strategies on a regular basis?


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Christine Luken

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 30 comments
Robin (Masshole Mommy) - May 8, 2014

I am SOOOO bad at negotiating and I think a big part of that is that I am not confident when I make a counter offer.

popcosmo - May 8, 2014

My husband is the master negotiater and I used to resent when he would ask for discounts! However, I’m learning what you mention here: if you don’t ask, the answer is already no. Great tips… and he would love that I’m agreeing with you!

cynthia L - May 8, 2014

I love all of these ideas and am glad you shared the list. I forget to ask for discounts when I am out shopping for larger items. I will have to remember these tips.

lisa jones - May 8, 2014

I Always Try To Negotiate It Doesn’t Hurt To Ask Right?!

Helene Cohen Bludman - May 8, 2014

These are great reminders that it never hurts to ask. I usually don’t even think of negotiating a price but I need to remember this next time.

Angela S - May 8, 2014

I’m not sure if it’ that I have gotten older or more confident, but I haggle a lot more these days. It certainly never hurts to ask for a better deal.

Dawn Lopez - May 8, 2014

Ooh, these are really great ideas! It also reminded me of the time my son tried to haggle at Disney World.. lol! Didn’t really work out for him though.

Karen @TheMissingNiche - May 8, 2014

I always kick myself when I don’t negotiate and should have! Over the years I’ve learned there are some instances (like new jobs) where you must negotiate or you will regret it forever!

Wendy - May 8, 2014

I almost ALWAYS ask for a better price, or a coupon. The only times I don’t is like grocery shopping, or at a restaurant.

Jessica Lieb (@bkeepsushonest) - May 8, 2014

I love negotiating. There is such a thrill and feeling of success when you get a good deal.

Pam W - May 8, 2014

I’ve never been good at negotiating, but I have some friends that are. They always get such good prices.

Carlee C - May 8, 2014

I actually took a course like this in college. I use these skills everyday with my kids.

Maria Oller - May 8, 2014

Great post and if you are smart you need to negotiate a lot in life and even marriage for it to be succseful.

Sandra - May 8, 2014

I used to be so good at negotiating but now my husband is better than me.

maria @ close tohome - May 8, 2014

my kids try to negotiate with me all the time. I need to get better in my business as well

Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly - May 8, 2014

I thankfully learned from my Grandma, she is a master negotiator and definitely taught me her tricks! I actually really do love to barter, negotiate and haggle. I do it often when I travel and purchase from vendors in different places that I visit.

Lexie Lane - May 8, 2014

I think win-win deals usually generate more business. I love this post and really thought provoking.

Tess - May 8, 2014

Im not good at negotiating, so these would help me. There are many things that I could use it for.

Lois Alter Mark - May 9, 2014

Negotiating is so hard but I’ve learned that it never hurts to ask. The worst someone can say is no.

StacieinAtlanta - May 9, 2014

I always negotiate, and it makes my husband so uncomfortable. I am going to make him read this lol.

    Christine Luken - May 9, 2014

    My hubby doesn’t like negotiating either. I’m the one that haggles whenever buy cars. To me, it’s fun (since we’re paying with cash)!

Danielle - May 10, 2014

These are great tips, and strong reminders! Learning to negotiate is something I am working on, and I think I am getting better at the more I practice… here’s hoping!

Debbie Denny - May 11, 2014

Love all the ideas. Fantastic tips.

Debi - May 12, 2014

I do the coupon question but I need to get better at negotions.

Lisa - May 14, 2014

I’m the coupon person! 🙂

Janeane Davis - May 15, 2014

I am getting better at negotiating for all kinds of things as I get older and learn more about the world.

www.crystalknows.com - October 10, 2016

I pay out mine off every month too and do not even care what the rate happens because it doesn’t apply.

Reina - October 12, 2016

They might be willing to waive fees or even work out a more flexible repayment program.

Lise - November 22, 2016

When my children were little they had a ton of ear infections, so I was at the doctor a lot! I did not have the money to keep coming back. My doctor said…”this is my practice, you don’t have to pay for this visit and I will give you the medicine”. At that moment, I realized life was negotiable. This was a moment of both relief and empowerment. I also learned over the years that the ability to negotiate is a skill that takes time to develop.


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