Holiday Shopping : Let’s Make a Deal

holidayshoppingIt seems that many people feel that most prices are non-negotiable. We look around, compare the price of one retailer to the next and allow planned sales marketing to entice us to make a purchase. Waiting for a sale is very much like haggling, the only difference is that the retailer is in complete control and you have no say other than to walk away.

With these planned marketing schemes, retailers are able to easily balance the see-saw between consumer demand and competitor pricing. The act of planning the marketing schemes gives them time to research what other competitors are doing, run numbers on how well certain products are selling, and choose the best plan for how to market their product and get the best results. Generally speaking, when you go for these deals, you are over spending because most of the retailers’ competitors are going to have similar deals. Not only that, but these deals allow the retailer to stay well above their cost and keep their profit margin high or reasonable. Not that making money is bad, but you want to save money as much as they want to make money, don’t you? After all, a penny saved is a penny earned.

The fact of the matter is, nearly every price you see is negotiable. The trick is to make sure you are you talking to the person who can negotiate with you and then executing the negotiation with a good amount of courage. Think of price tags as merely suggestions. Even some large retailers allow their employees to negotiate the sale price, especially if the employee earns commission from their sales. Either way, someone will be able to negotiate with you.

If you find yourself in a large corporate retailer store, ask to see the manager. It may feel weird at first, but you don’t have to be dealing with a customer service problem or having issues with employees to ask to see a manager. Bring the manager over to the product you’re wanting and ask HIM the questions you would otherwise ask sales people. This will do several things. First, it takes the manager away from the important task of running their store while they are taking the time to help you. Secondly, many managers will feel down played when you unexpectedly put them in the position of what their lower level employees are supposed to do. Either way, the manager will most likely be in a hurry to get back to business as usual and this is exactly why you should take your time.

Regardless of who you’re dealing with, there are some simple things you can do to work the negotiation in your favor. Here are some quick tips on how to work the negotiation in your favor:

Ask question, and then ask more questions. When you have run out of all of the questions that are relevant to you, ask questions that would be relevant to someone else. Take your time to formulate each question and ask it concisely and with interest. This does two things. First, it shows you are reluctantly interested in the product. Secondly, it forces the manager or sales person to have an immediate time investment which makes them AND THE PRICE much more pliable.

2. Overcome Your Natural Aversion to Silence
Most people have a natural aversion to silence in social settings. That’s why the best talkers usually have the most friends. You can use this to your advantage when haggling with someone. Allowing a long period of silence can sometimes cause a sales person to give you a really good deal just to get out of the uncomfortable silence you’re causing.

3. Understand the Business Model of the Seller
Understanding the business model of the seller can you a very large advantage. If you go to buy a used car, understanding that dealerships have already bought and paid for the car their selling can be useful just as understanding that a private seller may have an outstanding note they are trying to get out from under. These pieces of information are vital to rallying good successes from haggling.

4. Be Courteous and Nice
People are more receptive to those who are courteous and nice. This is a general rule for all people. If you are courteous and nice, you may find that the sales person is more willing to work with you than if you down them or the product they’re selling. Sales people want to earn their commissions, but they are still human are going to want to do this the easiest way possible. Sometimes, its not only beneficial to play the “easy sell”, it can also be fun.

Use these hints and, hopefully, save lots of money this holiday season. Your family and your budget will thank you for it.

Posted in Saving Money