I hate face-to-face negotiations. So, in the past, I’ve paid full price for items that I’m sure I could have gotten for less, simply because I don’t like asking for discounts. Recently, however, I managed to to make two rather significant purchases, and I negotiated lower prices for both of them. Here’s how.
Purchase #1 – A new grass trimmer.
I purchased a new grass trimmer from a large retail store. After deciding on the model that I wanted, I asked to speak to the head of the outdoor power equipment section. (I’m not sure what his official title is, I just know he works with the outdoor power equipment.) I told him exactly which model I wanted to purchase, and I told him that I was ready to by, that day, but that I didn’t want to pay full price. At first, he mentioned that I could get a 10% discount, if I would only apply for a store-branded credit card. (Click here to read about an interesting conversation I once had with a salesperson about store-branded credit cards.) I explained to him that I had cash, and that I do not use credit cards. I then stopped talking and just waited to see what he might say.
At first, he didn’t say anything, and then he decided to speak to his manager. I assured him that I would wait for him to return, and he headed off to have a conversation. A few minutes later, he returned, and offered me a 10% discount, no credit application necessary. At this point, I almost went forward with the purchase, but I really wanted to test my negotiation skills. So, I simply asked, “Is that the very best you can do?” (This is an old negotiating tip, and one that many others have been using for years. For me, this was a first. Seriously, I do not like face-to-face negotiations.) He found his manager again, returned, and told me that the absolute best he could do would be a 15% discount. Not wanting to push things further, I accepted his offer, made my purchase, and now I’m enjoying my new grass trimmer.
Now, I’m sure that some of you out there are much better at negotiating discounts than I am. I’ll freely admit, I’m usually a pushover. So, the 15% discount, while nothing spectacular, was pretty major for a guy like me, who usually avoids the negotiation process all together.
Purchase #2 – The Vacation
This one happened just a few minutes ago. Last year, we found a really awesome, affordable place for our annual family vacation. It’s on the beach, it’s secluded, and it’s perfect for our young kids. This year, while booking our stay, I decided to see if I could get a discount. I emailed the property manager, mentioned how much we loved our stay last year, and asked for the lowest rate she could give us for an eight-night stay. A few hours later, she emailed back, with a total that was 10% less than what the property’s website was stating. Again, instead of jumping on the first offer, I emailed back, and mentioned that we really loved the site, but that we wanted to be sure that we were getting the best possible rate. A few minutes later, she emailed back, and gave us a 25% discount on the cost of renting the condo. Not bad, I’d say, for a few clicks on the old keyboard!
There you go. Two tales of negotiating success. What about you? Do you like to negotiate? (I know lots of guys who do. I know guys who will negotiate the price of anything! Me? I think I’ll save it for major purchases.) Would you like to become a better negotiator? With the current economic climate, do you think we’ll see more people negotiating prices?