Some people are born negotiators. Maybe the art of the deal goes back to prehistoric days. Some scientists will tell you that it, like so many other things necessary for survival, came about from a need to cooperate. It was a lot easier for a group of humans to take down dinner than for a single guy to go after it with a rock. When you negotiate over the price of a used car, it goes back to haggling over the price of a horse. There are still open air markets all over the world where people negotiate before they buy a vegetable or a piece of cloth and it’s kind of interesting (and annoying) to watch the old guy at the Shop N’ Save argue with the 18 year-old-clerk about the price of bananas. Does he really need to save the fifteen cents, or is there a deeper principle at work here? The truth is that we all negotiate in one way or the other every day whether we realize it or not. Here are a few tips from the experts on how to negotiate the best deal:
Let’s start out with the two things that really test your negotiating skills and can also save you the most money: buying a house and purchasing a car.
In the real estate market, all prices are negotiable, but the two big driving factors are location and demand. One of the best things that you can do is to find out what other homes have been selling for in the area. This will give you some idea on how much you can argue the final price. There are now several good web sites available that list the previous selling price of house in the neighborhood as well as updates and amenities. Of course, a good real estate agent with negotiating skills of there own is essential, and never let on just how much you love the house and have to have it.
It’s probably happened to most everyone at one time or another: You spot a spiffy looking automobile on the corner lot, and considering that you’ve kinda been thinking of trading in the old one recently, you stop to JUST take a look. Thirty minutes later, you’re driving off the lot in a new car and it isn’t even the one that you were originally looking at. When you drive onto the lot, the first thing that the car salesman usually asks you about is price range. He’s trying to get information about how much you are willing to pay. The best thing to do is to keep your mouth shut about price. Do some research and have very specific information about the type of vehicle that you want in mind before you set foot on the lot. Don’t tell him what you’ll pay before you have a written price from him on the table.
Here’s something to keep in mind when negotiating with your parents: parents rarely think that anything is negotiable, while children think that everything is. Children shouldn’t challenge their parents by saying that everyone else is doing it, but rather ask their parent’s opinion and then remind them of how responsible you have been in the past.
Serious infractions with the law are not negotiable, but if you’re pulled over for something minor like a traffic ticket, attitude is everything. It’s best not to ask the officer why they pulled you over. Just apologize, produce your license, and then keep quiet. You may just get off with a warning.
And finally…. Remember that not everything is negotiable in a relationship. Sometimes couples have to “agree to disagree.” It’s best to avoid using words like “never” or “always.” It’s especially important if there is a “you” in front of them.