HOW TO MAKE A DEAL | WHAT I LEARNED IN CHINA
How to Make a Deal: The Art of Haggling
I’ll be honest. I’m not one who tends to negotiate with people. I’m too ‘nice’ and I have a hard time saying ‘no’ to pushy salesman. (Which is why I usually leave situations like that up to my husband). Of everything I learned in school, ‘How to make a Deal’ wasn’t been one of them.
So when my husband and I traveled to China a few years ago, I was a little culture shocked by the constant haggling and ‘wheeling and dealing’ that went on in every shop and on every street corner.
Different vendors were selling the exact same products throughout the malls and street merchants. And each vendor had a different price listed for the same product! I’m not talking pennies, but prices varying as much as$10-$50! Needless to say, I was a little overwhelmed. Okay – I was A LOT overwhelmed.
I’m so thankful for our translator, Susan, who traveled with us. She was a strong woman with a good sense of authority. She made sure we always got the best prices possible! I learned so much from watching her interact with the vendors.
With Susan’s help, I was able to browse the different stores, pick out what I really wanted, and then I let the Negotiations began! (all through Susan of course!)
I’m an introverted woman by nature. So when I see a woman who can rock the art of deal making, I take notice!
Why are Introverted women notoriously bad at making deals?
We are too nice.
We tend to think that we will hurt the other person’s feelings if we say no. Women are driven by emotion more than men and so we feel bad for turning away someone’s offer.
We don’t like to argue.
Not only do we not to like to argue, but we really don’t want to make a scene. We tend to give into things so we can avoid a potential conflict or uncomfortable situation.
We tend to think it’s ‘good enough.’
Sure, we can shop around all day searching for the best price online, but when it comes to negotiating the price with someone in person, we want to get it over with as fast as possible and will usually cut a deal that is ‘okay’ instead of landing an exceptional one.
How to Make a Deal
So here are the tips I picked up from watching Susan. I was able to bring these tips home with me and now I am more confident in my haggling skills!
Get to know the product you want, who has it, and see who is willing to negotiate the price with you.
A practical example would be if you’re going to buy a car. Research sites like Blue Book to see what the suggested price point is for the make, year, and model you want.
You won’t get a better price unless you ask. And let’s face it – the worst they can say is ‘no.’
I’ll never forget the time I took son, who was 6 years old at the time, garage selling. He really wanted a stuffed penguin, but he had to pay for it with his own money.
It cost $5, but all he had was $2. He, very politely, walked up to the woman and asked if he could have it for $2. And she said Yes! (4 years later, he STILL sleeps with that stuffed penguin – now named Fluffy).
3. Show Cash
Never under estimate the power of ‘showing’ someone the amount of money you are willing to give them. For example, if you want to buy a car that’s listed for $8,000 from someone – start counting out your money in front of the seller.
But only bring $7,000 with you. You can show them that you are willing to pay $7,000 right now if they’ll drop the price. It’s really hard to say ‘no’ to $7,000 when someone is trying to hand it to you.
4. Negotiation is a Two-Way Street
Remember that sellers want to make money. If you low ball them too much, they’ll not want to negotiate with you and you might be out of a product you really want.
Know what price you want to pay beforehand and stick to your guns! Offer them a lower price at first but be willing to have an open window for them to negotiate too.
5. Be Prepared to Walk
Never be afraid to walk away from a deal that isn’t worth your time! This is why your research is so important. If you can truly find it cheaper – do it!
Where to Haggle
In China, locals never expect to pay full price on anything! (That was for tourists like me!)
Let’s face it – haggling is not generally a western mindset and so it can be hard to think of places where the prices are not fixed.
The obvious places that come to mind are garage sells, used car lots, thrift stores – or anything that is not overseen by a larger corporation.
But it’s perfectly okay to haggle with your cable provider or your phone provider (I do it!), and see what deals they can give you.
I signed up with our internet provider during a special they were running. I received a discount for 12 months – and at the end of that 12 months, I asked to be placed back into that deal. I’ve been with them for over 5 years now and have kept my discounted price the whole time – BECAUSE I ASKED! I also make sure they know I’ll switch in a heartbeat if they don’t. It’s not personal – it’s business!
I even haggle with hotels. You might not be able to get a cheaper room, but most of them can offer deals for local attractions – all you have to is ASK!
Bonus Ninja Tips
No one wants to negotiate with someone who comes off as a jerk.
Be willing to go back and forth on the price.
Know your price, but start by offering a lower amount. Be willing to negotiate until the seller will agree on your top dollar amount.
Dress for success to have the right mindset. When you look confident, you feel confident, and others will know you are force not to be reckoned with!
Maybe you have some coupons lying around. You could offer them cash plus your coupons or other valuable item.
Do you have awesome negotiation skills? What are your tips on how to make a deal? Drop me a comment below.
Or maybe you’re like me and haggling makes you feel uncomfortable to the extreme! Come on ladies, let me know! I’m sure you’re out there – don’t make me feel alone in this! Tell me your worst haggling fear in the comments below!
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