The Negotiator Magazine

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4. Tell a Sob Story. "I like your sofa, but I don't have enough money in my budget. I didn't plan to spend so much." This is not a lie. You have a right to set your own budget. It is the seller's choice either to meet that budget or to test your resolve by holding firm on price. The Sob Story is your way of testing how much they want to make a sale.

5. Execute the Squeeze. "I like your hotel, but I can get a better room rate elsewhere." This is also called the power of competition. Many sellers will do somersaults in order to match or beat competitive offers. Simply mentioning the competition will often lower the seller's expectations.

6. Nibble a little. "If I buy this dress, will you throw in a pair of shoes?" The seller may not be able to discount the dress, but they can sweeten the deal by throwing in other items for free or at a reduced cost.

7. Buy in quantity. "What discount will you give me if I buy three suits instead of just one?" Most sellers are accustomed to giving quantity discounts. If you can, get your friend to buy a couple of suits at the same time.

8. Don't limit your bargaining to price. Deals can also be made for non-price items such as better terms (a discount for paying cash; postponed billing), waiving the delivery charge, and warranty (including the extended warranty in the purchase price).

9. Be patient and persistent. If they say no, don't give up. Sometimes the best deal will come only after you have devoted some time to the quest, which convinces the buyer that you are serious. A friend of mine spends four hours or more when he buys a new car. He wears them down.

10. Be prepared to walk away. I call this Brodow's Law: Your willingness to walk out and either buy somewhere else or buy an alternative product is your greatest asset in any bargaining situation. You must behave as though you don't need to buy it. Many great deals occur when you return the second or third time.

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