“H” is for..........
Haggle has to be the theme for this segment of “ABC’s of Haggling.”
I mean, what other word is more appropriate than “haggle” when we’re talking “H”, right?
So, first things first. Know thyself. Are you comfortable with the prospect of negotiating with a merchant for something you want? You should be. After all, you are negotiating a price for YOU to BUY something from the merchant. Keep this fact in your head that you are the customer and you are choosing to buy from this merchant. There are plenty of merchants to go around. There are plenty of customers to go around, too. The only difference is that you don’t have to pay the store rent and other overhead every month. So, think about it. Who needs who?
When you start thinking this way, it puts you in a clearer, more confident position when trying to haggle. Also, it helps to deflect some of the sneaky techniques that merchants sometime use on their customers to make them feel guilty about not paying their price. Some merchants want you to feel that they are doing you a favor! Imagine that!
Go in with full ammunition. By that I mean, know your stuff......know what the item costs elsewhere. Know what a fair price is for that item. Chances are you’ll know all this if you have been shopping around in stores and on the internet. Smart hagglers do their homework........because they know eventually it will pay off. Literally!
Go in with a set price in your head. Know your limit on what you are willing to spend and stick to it. Challenge yourself, if you have to. Make it a goal of yours to stay within your guidelines. Doing this will help you in your negotiations. As you engage in more haggle situations, you will become quite proficient in being prepared anywhere and anytime. Each haggle endeavor is a success, whether you get a discount or not, because with each haggle you walk away with experience. Each experience helps you practice and hone your skills.
Along with knowing yourself, know with whom you are haggling. Make sure this person has the authority to give you the discounts or whatever you are asking. NEVER let them know how much you are willing to pay! They will ask you, you can be sure of that. When they ask you, answer their question with a question. That usually stops them in their tracks. Don’t weaken. Let them wonder how much you are willing to pay. With this “unknown” fact, haggling can lead to some worthy negotiations. Remember though, be a worthy customer! Don’t waste the merchants time or energy if you really are not interested in buying anything.
As I mentioned before, haggling is great for honing your skills; just be sure to haggle for something you are willing to buy. It would be rude to engage in haggling when you know that you are not going to go through with the transaction. Here’s another no-no: if you’re at a garage sale, yard sale, or flea market, make sure you have exact change or close to it. It wouldn’t be very “worthy” of you to haggle an item, let’s say, down to $5.00 from a $15.00 price tag and then expect the person to have change for a $50.00 bill. How rude and certainly not worthy!
Want to share some of your haggle stories here? Have a question about a haggle disaster or an upcoming haggle? I’d love to hear about it! Shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
and I’ll post your stories or questions here, if you like. Together we can hone your skills and come out winning!