We all want to get the best value for our money, it’s only natural. When we’re buying something, the urge to negotiate, haggle, strike a better deal, comes automatically. Yet some of us are better at it than others, and will usually walk away having secured a far better price. There are many tricks to a successful negotiation strategy - for those unaccustomed to it, or not sure if they’re doing it right, here are some to remember.
Nothing sends a negotiation off the rails faster and more definitively than rudeness. Always keep your cool and mind your manners, and remember that the person on the other side of the desk, or at the end of the telephone, is just trying to do what’s best for them too. A friendly approach will often work wonders, but if you’re using flattery, take care not to go too far with it.
If you’re a regular user of a product or service, keep an eye out for reward schemes. Some are well-known, such as airline Frequent Flyer miles, but you come across them everywhere, in all sorts of industries, from supermarkets to Mecca Bingo, car hire to contact lenses.
Whatever you’re looking to buy, it’s worth putting in a bit of research before you put down any hard currency. If you see a new TV on the high street, you could well find it for less online, and you may find a range of retailers offering the same model at varying prices. Comparison websites are available for all kinds of things, from home insurance to energy providers, making it easier to switch to a better deal than ever before. And remember that even if you live in a rented home, you should have the basic right to switch provider if you feel you’re losing out.
The Power of No
After a long sales negotiation, if you feel you’re still not getting a good deal, simply stand up, thank the other party for their time, and walk away. In most cases, you’ll quickly be called back with a better offer. If someone has expended a lot of time and effort trying to make a sale then they definitely won’t want to throw it all away.
Especially common when buying something like a car or an electronic device, unnecessary extras will often be offered at the point of sale. It’s like the racks of sweets and magazines at supermarket checkouts which you don’t want or need but are placed there to tempt you. Do you need that extended warranty, that wax job on the car, that insurance on the phone? Probably not, and you’ll probably be paying more than you need to if you take the offer.
Obviously not applicable in all situations, but in many cases the offer of paying for something in cash can lead to a reduction in price. This doesn’t automatically mean the recipient plans to avoid the tax, but just that it’s easier to have a bit of ready money in the pocket straightaway rather than waiting for a bank transaction or cheque to clear.
Buy at the right time
Some products are routinely best-priced at certain times of the year - that’s a given, right? Look for clothing and electronic deals in the January sales, the best-value gym memberships during periods of good weather in the summer months. But consumer experts advocate that in the UK there are good times to buy almost anything, for instance, laptops often come down in price in July before new lines come out at the end of summer.
3rd Party Sites
There are abundant 3rd party voucher sites offering superb deals on everything from theme park entry to clothing, spa experiences to holiday accommodation. Savvy shoppers know to register for daily emails and always scan for voucher and discount codes before buying anything online.