Tips for the Introverted Negotiator

In my last article, I talked about saving money on the big things, like cars and houses.

Multiple readers contributed good reasons why we don't save as much money as we should on cars and houses. But one of my favorite comments was from Tracy:

See, it would never even occur to me to negotiate on a car, nor do I have any desire to. I realize this costs me extra money and it would do me good to do it. But I find dealing with people tiring and stressful (introvert), and apart from saying “I saw this vehicle priced for this much less” at this other dealer (which wasn't an option last time we bought a car, because it was the only Suburu dealer within 5 hours of our house), I don't really know HOW to haggle (I understand it is a skill that you can learn and get better at). And finally, haggling makes me feel trashy. I'd put off buying cars FOREVER if I had to do that.

Amen, Tracy. I don't think we're alone in disliking negotiation.

But as I said last time, saving money on the big things is…well, big. So even if I don't like negotiating, I need to improve my negotiating skills so I don't pay too much.

Knowing how to negotiate isn't enough, though. Especially if it makes you feel trashy. Same thing if you feel sorry for the person selling the car or house. Or if you hate conflict (so one round of “Sorry, I'll have to walk away” is enough to make your palms sweaty). Or maybe you just don't want to talk to salespeople.

Maybe introversion isn't the right word to describe these personality traits.

But no matter what, as with money, negotiating is more about the noggin than it is about the math.

But I'm not going to analyze your noggin. (And you definitely don't want to analyze mine.)

Instead, we're going to cover negotiation, introverted-style.

Tips for the introverted negotiator

1. Do your research. While this tip applies to all negotiators, I think introverted negotiators really shine here. We are quite comfortable researching online, reading articles, and comparing costs. We are fore-informed and, thus, fore-armed. We know what a good deal is; we're just not always prepared to get it.

2. Decide how much you can (or will) spend. Again, this tip should be easy(ish) for everyone. Many times, your ability to secure financing will determine how much you can spend. Or maybe you just want to cut your bill by a certain amount. If you do have some wiggle room, sticking to the limit will be more difficult when personal interaction is thrown into the mix.

3. Know what you want (but don't want it too much). Your research and spending limits will usually dictate what you want. However, decide ahead of time what is negotiable. If buying a home, is a certain school district a must? Is the number of miles from your workplace negotiable? Will you still keep your service with your company even if they don't cave to your requests? As I know from experience, don't get your heart set on a specific house, but do clarify what you really want or need.

4. Negotiate via email if possible. Although I haven't personally done this, it would be much easier for me to follow Nicole's plan to negotiate by email than to negotiate face to face or even by phone. If you can't negotiate by email, the next tip may help.

5. Use scripts. If you call any utility company to negotiate a service, they have scripts in front of them to benefit their company, but keep you as a customer. Creating your own scripts again helps you clarify what you're really looking for and also helps focus on your own needs. But here's where I start to get uncomfortable. Scripts might mean…confrontation. By focusing on #2 and #3, you can stay strong!

6. Be pleasant, but firm. Whether you're negotiating by email, phone, or in person, be pleasant. And smile. But don't be too nice. You can be kind while still focusing on what you need. If you can keep your eye on the goal, saying “No, thank you,” or “I really want to keep my business with you, but I really need a better price,” isn't as painful. On a related topic…

7. It's not (really) about you. When the steel shows underneath my “nice girl” exterior, it's usually because I sense unfairness or I'm fighting for someone else. When you're about to back down, think about why are you negotiating. Are you trying to cut your cable bill so you have enough money to send your daughter to music lessons? Or afford a house so your children get a better education? Eventually, though, you may need to walk away.

8. Know when to walk away. Sometimes you have to smile (see #6), but know that what you want (#3) is more than you should spend (#2). And you walk away, literally or figuratively. This is the hardest for me. I imagine scenarios (he needs the money more than I do; his pay will be docked if I ask for another discount; I'm cheap! I'm stingy! I'm greedy!). And I guess the answer to all those questions could be “yes.” But that brings me to my last tip…

9. Look for the win-win. I am most successful at negotiating when I keep this tip in mind. You're negotiating, because each of you has something the other one wants. You want to buy a car (or save money on your phone bill, etc.); they want to sell you a car (or keep you as a customer). The best situations are ones in which both parties get what they want.

As an example, we know a couple who wanted to sell their home on their own, so they called up their neighbors. Several neighbors expressed interest, but this couple asked the first one how much he was willing to pay. He named the exact price they needed. They didn't negotiate further. And both parties were happy.

Maybe it's not the best example of negotiating. After all, the buyer named a price, and the sellers took it.

But focusing on the needs of both parties is a style I'm comfortable with (and it would save me more than I'm saving now). And we should all do what works for us.

Now I'm off to practice negotiating with my husband…to see who gets to do the dishes.

More about...Psychology, Transportation

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William @ Drop Dead Money
William @ Drop Dead Money
8 years ago

There is one other key for us introverts: Don’t negotiate when you feel desperate. When buying a car, #8 (willing to walk away) is your biggest ace, because if there’s one thing any car salesman gets drilled into his head, it’s: NEVER let the customer walk away. When you’re not desperate, it shows in your body language. You can’t fake it (we’re not good at faking stuff anyway) so you have to be sure in your mind you’re not desperate. But #1 is also important – you need to know the limits of being reasonable. If you combine that with… Read more »

skeptic
skeptic
8 years ago

my cousin worked sales at a mattress store and told me his constraints. he was allowed to negotiate down to a certain level, but the very best deal wasn’t allowed to be offered until the customer broke off negotiations and physically left the premises and then came back in. They could leave for days or a minute, but they had to leave.

chacha1
chacha1
8 years ago

As long as you haven’t handed over any ID for their “credit check.” DH and I got held hostage by a Honda salesman for over an hour … he wouldn’t turn over my driver’s license.

So my advice to add is, if you are not to the point of putting an offer on something, do NOT hand the salesperson ANYTHING that you might not want to leave with him/her.

Juli
Juli
8 years ago
Reply to  chacha1

That’s horrible! Could you threaten to call the police if they don’t give it back immediately?

Greg@ClubThrifty
8 years ago

I am with you in this category. I really don’t like to negotiate. I never used to be good at it. However, I’ve had to learn the skill. It takes time, practice, and a little bit of guts. These are some great tips, especially using email to negotiate and to be willing to walk out. Using email is great if you are somebody who gets tounge tied. Being willing to walk away, and I mean really willing to walk, will get you a far better deal than any haggling ever will. Another thing that I found worked to our advantage… Read more »

Sam
Sam
8 years ago

Regarding car purchases, for those that prefer not to negotiate you should consider buying your car from the internet sales person, everything is done by email, the price is generally lower but less haggling. More than anything I haggle on art and antique purchases. First, I almost never buy art or antiques on first view. I’ll take a photo with my phone, get the artist information or the information on the piece I am interested in and then I go on my way. If its art that is located in a seasonal area, I’ll email the gallery in their off… Read more »

Sue
Sue
8 years ago
Reply to  Sam

Artists have to make a living, too. I hope those artists can get all their expenses at 50% off, since that’s how you value their creative efforts.

MamaMia
MamaMia
8 years ago
Reply to  Sue

As a onetime, sometime artist, I was thinking this, too. For the other artists out there, here are a few hints on how to negotiate with collectors: 1. Work from a price sheet. A price sheet calculates the costs of your artwork by its size, the cost of materials, your time, and your overhead. Having this information in one place helps you assess whether you are selling at a profit or a loss, or just coming up even. (At a 50% discount, most artists would be making a loss!) Too many artists don’t know the value of their own work,… Read more »

Anne
Anne
8 years ago
Reply to  MamaMia

I’m not even an artist, but this seems like incredibly intelligent advice for pricing your work.

Anne
Anne
8 years ago
Reply to  MamaMia

Different Anne here. I also really appreciated your advice — not as an artist, but as someone who would like to collect more art than I’ve already been lucky enough to acquire.

I don’t have real estate, but I do have some art. I’d also love to see a GRS article on art collection — a real investment or not? Are there different price thresholds that reflect differently on whether it’s an investment?

Jo-Pete
Jo-Pete
8 years ago
Reply to  Sue

If the artist can’t sell it at the price they listed, then they don’t make any money. If they can’t afford to sell it at the price that they’re offered, then they shouldn’t sell it. Things are only worth what people will pay for them. The other thing to consider is that the artist may have marked the price up for the psychological impact. My mother used to sell a lot of her craft work and found that she sold more units when she marked up the price significantly. Her best-selling items were made from scraps and took her about… Read more »

lmoot
lmoot
8 years ago
Reply to  Jo-Pete

Exactly what I was going to say. Things (especially things as subjective as art) are only worth what someone is willing to pay for it…supply and demand and whatnot.

While artists have to make a living, they don’t have to make a living selling their own art. They can work on comission as well. They may not always have the satisfaction of being able to do their own thing on their own terms, but C’est la vie…join the rest of us on this planet.

michael
michael
8 years ago

#4 is really the key for a true introvert (and it can also be quite effective for non-introverts). It not only keeps you out of the showroom, thereby avoiding your greatest weakness, but also allows you to play the market without running all over town.

MB @ 12 Year Career
MB @ 12 Year Career
8 years ago

With regard to numbers 8 and 9, just remember – the other party can always say no or walk away as well. So I never feel bad about at least trying to negotiate!

Mrs PoP @ Planting Our Pennies
Mrs PoP @ Planting Our Pennies
8 years ago

We’re pretty introverted, and I think Mr. PoP has turned that into a strength in terms of negotiating. He has no problem sitting there for a long time waiting for the other person to talk. And in negotiations, the first person to talk is the most likely to lose the process.

Greg
Greg
8 years ago

This is very true. As a sales person, half of my job involves shutting up and letting the customer fill an awkward silence – usually with a concession on their current offering price.

Sheryl
Sheryl
8 years ago

Somehow as an introvert I find that I’m more likely to be willing to negotiate the big purchases. I can’t bring myself to do it with smaller purchases, even when they’re from shops that would haggle, because a $25 savings just isn’t always worth the stress. When I know thousands of dollars are on the line? That tends to be enough motivation to push myself out of the comfort zone.

Josetann
Josetann
8 years ago

I’m very much an introvert, and just can’t haggle in person. I do use some of these tips, especially #4. I may get tongue-tied when speaking, but not so much when writing. The number one thing for me, is to be completely honest. That doesn’t mean I have to say “Yes, I really want that and I’m more than willing to pay that price if I have to.” Rather, I try to set myself up so that I can say what needs to be said, honestly. Ok, that’s not making much sense (hrm, maybe I’m not as good with the… Read more »

JT
JT
8 years ago

Studies have shown it’s also important to give the other party some kind of reason for why you want what you want. Saying “I can only pay $X” is not as effective as saying “I can only pay $X BECAUSE (insert reason here.)”

When you give people a reason for your position, they’re more likely to go along with it. Just don’t tell your life story – I’m not sure introverts would do that anyway.

Josetann
Josetann
8 years ago
Reply to  JT

Heh…yeah I use that trick too, though I usually involve my wife (sometimes without her knowledge). I.e. “Can you do $100? My wife requests prior approval for anything over $100, and I’d like this to fly under the radar.”

VT Moose
VT Moose
8 years ago
Reply to  Josetann

One of my best friends picked this tip up in law school (there is a whole class on negotiation, as you might imagine). Appealing to a higher authority can work in a lot of different ways. While planning his wedding he used this a lot by saying the price was high and he would have to walk away to check with his fiance. Anyone trying to make the sale is probably going to try to bring that price down such that the authority doesn’t come into play.

Joe
Joe
8 years ago

I bought and rehabbed a house at the beginning of 2012. I generally don’t like negotiating, it makes me nervous. But when I met with the first contractor to get his estimate, I nervously said “Can you do any better?” and he knocked $100 off without even batting an eye. This gave me confidence to ask each contractor and almost everyone reduced their price by something without any real haggling involved. If I were better at it, I could probably have done even better.

Cortney
Cortney
8 years ago
Reply to  Joe

I have a love/hate relationship with this. On the one hand, I feel great that it’s so easy to do (“wow, I saved $100 without even trying!”). However, I hate it because I worry that I was being ripped off initially and that I could have asked for $500 off and they would have said yes. In my last job change, I asked for a salary of $8k more than the initial offer, and I basically got it immediately. I was thrilled at first, but the excitement was quickly over-written by the thought that maybe I should have asked for… Read more »

Greg
Greg
8 years ago
Reply to  Cortney

Absolutely! Never accept the first offer on either side of the negotiation. If they’re willing to conceded X amount, and so quickly, what more might they move on?

It’s an awful feeling, buyer’s regret!

Tracy
Tracy
8 years ago

My 15 minutes of fame! LOL!

I don’t know why the heck I don’t use #4 more often…I could definitely do that. I have no problem doing the research and bombarding a sales person with counter-offers…it’s just the mental hurdle of dealing with it face to face. The very idea makes me want to lie down in a dark, quiet room.

Brilliant tips, people!

BTW: I’ve been posting under Tracy (the Other One) recently, but in response to this shoutout, though I better use the original.

Panda
Panda
8 years ago
Reply to  Tracy

The best thing about negotiating via email is that it’s very easy to pit offers against each other. Get a quote from the dealership 5 hours away, if it’s lower, make the local guy match it, etc.

Jane
Jane
8 years ago

We bought our last car at Enterprise, which has a no haggle policy. It made the experience much more pleasant. I would certainly haggle on a new car, but I find bargaining for a used car really difficult. Plus those used car salesmen are soooo sneaky. They almost always find a way to make up the money they took off at the beginning. I just had a girl on Craigslist haggle with me over a $5 item. Especially when you are dealing with people on e-mail, you have to be prepared that the seller will ignore you altogether. For instance,… Read more »

Anne
Anne
8 years ago
Reply to  Jane

I agree with this! My last two Craigslist purchases were a $20 solid wood TV stand and two CD storage towers for $10 total. The prices were already very fair so I didn’t try to talk the sellers down any further. Same for garage sales when stuff is selling for $3 or something. Why give the seller a hard time when stuff is already fairly priced? (I realize though that some of this is culturally ingrained.) On the other hand, I talked a Craigslist seller down from $150 for a pair of dressers to $120. I rented a van and… Read more »

HKR
HKR
8 years ago
Reply to  Jane

If you don’t practice on negotiating the little things, how can you expect to get better at negotiating the big things? Especially when most people only buy new furniture or cars every few years, it’d be hard to improve. Craigslist and garage sales are basically designed for haggling, so its a great low-pressure atmosphere to learn some negotiating skills in. As for people wasting your time, like you said, just don’t respond to stupid offers, or maybe bump your prices up a couple bucks so someone else can “haggle” it back down to your real price.

Anne
Anne
8 years ago
Reply to  HKR

When I am advertising on Craigs List I list certain items as PRICE FIRM to prevent people trying to haggle when they arrive at my house.

You need to be prepared for the fact that haggling can really irritate sellers, especially on very low cost items.

Jane
Jane
8 years ago
Reply to  HKR

You can certainly practice haggling on the little things, but I wouldn’t if it is an item that you really want. It is likely I or other sellers won’t respond to you at all via e-mail. You’re really not getting much experience AND you don’t get the item you wanted.

HKR
HKR
8 years ago
Reply to  Jane

If it’s something I really want or if it’s marked firm, I don’t haggle over it, but so often the little things are stuff you just happened to stumble across and don’t really need. In that case, I make a “deal” with myself; if they seller will take $X, I’m allowed to have it. If not, it wasn’t meant to be. And absolutely once a price is agreed to you don’t try to dicker it down again when you go to pick it up- that’s completely underhanded.

MamaMia
MamaMia
8 years ago
Reply to  HKR

I don’t tolerate people so cheap that they will haggle on an item even when I’ve priced it fairly (even generously) and listed it on Craigslist as “PRICE FIRM.” Those people go straight on my blocked email address & caller lists. I’ve even had people answer these ads and agree to the price, only to show up at our meeting place later and try to haggle with me. I just walk away. (Congratulations! You’ve just spent more in gas money and time than you would have in one dollar bills!) It’s one thing to be frugal, quite another to be… Read more »

Josetann
Josetann
8 years ago
Reply to  MamaMia

About a year ago I sold a 2005 Aprilia Scarabeo 500 scooter (500cc class, lots of storage…really nice). Put an ad on Craigslist for $500 (as I had to sell QUICK, I was flying out in two days). Believe it or not…I had someone ask if I’d take less!

If it’s a really awesome deal…I might not worry about negotiating, cause the first person to say “sure, I’ll pay the asking price” gets it.

betsy22
betsy22
8 years ago

I like this article. I’m horrible at negotiating, so the step-by-step tips are very helpful. Luckily, I keep my cars forever, so don’t have to deal with car salesman very frequently….but at some point, I’m going to buy a house, and that’s an even bigger deal.

Carol
Carol
8 years ago

Another introvert who hates haggling; just bought a new car for $200 under invoice after 2 hours negotiating the price. My advice is to take someone with you; my grown sons (a) argued my case in a way that I wouldn’t find comfortable and (b) kept reminding me that I could walk away at any time. Made me love them all the more 🙂

Kathryn
Kathryn
8 years ago

On car buying, I hate it too but agree with the advice on dealing with the internet sales manager and also getting prices quotes via e-mail from competing dealers. But I’ve found even when I did that and had an agreed upon price, when I came to the dealership, they really pushed numerous add-ons. I recently bought a used Ford F-150 and had a really hard time arguing them out an extended warranty plan, which tacked on almost $2,000 on the price. I ended up just doing it to get out of there, but then canceled it within the 30-day… Read more »

Samantha
Samantha
8 years ago

Actually, my husband is an extreme introvert and he is better at negotiating than I am! He says little, and the salesperson doesn’t know what he is thinking. He also is not uncomfortable with no one talking, and I think that is a huge strength in negotiating. Dave Ramsey says its one of the rules, to just SHUT UP. I get very antsy in these situations and feel the need to fill up the silences, but he can sit there all day while they drop the price.

Sarah
Sarah
8 years ago
Reply to  Samantha

This is soooo me. I can’t help but fill in silent moments when I’m uncomfortable!! Silence is definitely king in negotiating.

Ely
Ely
8 years ago

re: scripts, they are out there and many find them useful. Ramit (I will teach you to be rich) is the king of scripts, he has them for everything. I think there’s one here on GRS for negotiating with comcast.
I haven’t tried them yet but if I had to negotiate something I would certainly want one!

Mal
Mal
8 years ago
Reply to  Ely

This is only semi-haggling related, but I love scripts. I ran a book raffle for a non-profit group one year. In order to get some books, I contacted the publishers. I had a script to use at the opening and everything else was ad-lib based on the responses. If I ever made a call without the script, I wasn’t great at communicating what I needed from them or how it would benefit the donors. It never sounded like I was reading from a script, I tried to make it sound conversational, but it ensured I got everything out in minimal… Read more »

Elaine
Elaine
8 years ago

Pay in cash. Have that cash with you. You’ll be amazed at how accommodating car sales people will be with a stack of bills in their face.

Josetann
Josetann
8 years ago
Reply to  Elaine

Maybe. If it were me, and I had really good credit, I’d probably let them assume I was going to have it financed. They get a kickback from the financing company, so it’s possible they may sell the car to you under cost, because they know they’ll end up making a profit on the financing. I bet it depends on the dealership, but I’d go in, say I don’t have a trade, let them figure in financing…then once they take you to the finance office tell them you’re paying in cash. Of course, you should make sure you have the… Read more »

Good Guy Robert
Good Guy Robert
8 years ago

All very good advice! Especially if you can find a way to negotiate by email! Introverts communicate SO much better in writing!

And you’ll always be in the driver’s seat and come away with the best deal if you’re fully prepared to walk away!

Allyson
Allyson
8 years ago

Excellent article!

chacha1
chacha1
8 years ago

Good tips here. I very rarely have felt the need to negotiate a price, but there are a couple of occasions when I *should* have. Introvert, yep.

We have successfully resisted several attempts to raise our rents in various apartments. Usually by pointing out improvements we’ve made, or improvements the landlords have failed to make!

Mom of five
Mom of five
8 years ago

I cannot agree more with the negotiating by email tactic. I detest dealing with car salesmen so I bought our last two cars completely via email. I didn’t speak with anyone until I got to the dealership to complete the transaction. I brought my email printout with the OTD (out the door) price and they honored it both times no problem.

Our oldest is getting her license soon and we’re currently in the market for another car. I’m waiting until the 2013’s are really on the lots before I start contacting dealers about leftover 2012’s.

LeRainDrop
LeRainDrop
8 years ago
Reply to  Mom of five

Ditto. E-mail negotiations with car dealership interntet managers worked like a dream for me. In December 2011, I bought my car for $4,907 below MSRP, $2,848 below what TrueCar said is invoice, and $148 below the lowest “point” on the bell curve of what TrueCar said was a “great price,” plus a 10 year extended warranty thrown in. It was a pleasure to do business with that dealer.

Nina
Nina
8 years ago

I have no desire to haggle over a car, either. It’s almost like I’ll pay the extra cost just not to do that. The most I would do is what the commenter said; mention another dealership that’s offering it for less, so that the current dealership can throw in a deal. But for things like utilities where I know I have a good chance of “winning,” I usually step up my game. For instance, I had to ask the pharmacy to re-check a price they gave me based on a secondary insurance. It was a hassle, but I felt like… Read more »

Marsha
Marsha
8 years ago

I think instead of introversion the problem is more related to extreme self-consciousness, caring too much what strangers may think of you. Care more about what you think about yourself. If I paid more for a car because I didn’t want to appear cheap, greedy, or trashy to the salesperson, I would feel bad about myself every time I drove that car. I want to have a higher opinion of myself, so I force myself to negotiate even when it’s uncomfortable. And realistically, the salesman probably isn’t thinking those things about you if you negotiate. But if you don’t negotiate,… Read more »

Tracy (the other one)
Tracy (the other one)
8 years ago
Reply to  Lisa Aberle

Self consciousness is actually quite different than introversion, as I commented below. But both would potentially be a hindrance in negotiation.

Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager
Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager
8 years ago

Great tips. I ran through the numbers with putting an offer in on my house by my parents and other trusted people in my life. Super helpful and gave me the confidence that I was making the right offer.

Chris
Chris
8 years ago

I love my Mom’s technique. She does her research and decides what kind of car she’d like with what extras (required and might be nice). She then goes to multiple dealerships on the same day and tells them all, “I’m going to buy a car today. This is what I want. Tell me the best price for what you’ve got. Then I’ll come back and buy the car from whoever gave me the best deal.” If they try to play games with her by changing the price or otherwise not being straightforward, she just says thank you and goes to… Read more »

Julie
Julie
8 years ago
Reply to  Chris

This was our approach when we bought our last car in July, although we said we were going to buy the car by the end of the weekend and we started our shopping on Saturday morning. Most will tell you if they can match your lowest price over the phone. I ended up signing the paperwork at 8:00 PM on a Sunday evening, after the dealership had officially closed. However we do live in Southern California and we could drive to approximately 12 different dealers (for the same make of auto) within one hour. We have never paid more than… Read more »

Cheryl
Cheryl
8 years ago

You can use a tag team method! My sister wanted a new car so she took me to play the “bad cop.” We had a code word so I would know when she wasn’t happy with the offer. Each time the sales guy came back with a number- I would tell him the new car price needed to come down and the trade in needed to be higher. You can mention another dealership has a lower price- AND never mention which one by name. It’s none of their business and always come back to the issue at hand- the final… Read more »

Danielle
Danielle
8 years ago

I am not an introvert, and I do enjoy and am good at negotiating.
That said, I have one tip for introverts and extroverts alike.
State what you want specifically, clearly, and nicely…
AND THEN JUST STAND THERE TILL YOU GET IT!
Unless you get an absolute flat out “no” from the highest up person you could possibly speak with.
Just remaining in their presence will be a catalyst to give you what you want and get you out of there!

Kristen
Kristen
8 years ago

I have to add one more tip. Don’t bring your mother to the dealer where your family friend is the manager. While I was discussing the price, my mom told our family friend that she wanted to make sure that he was getting something out of the deal and that we weren’t taking advantage of him. I gave her a hard time over that one and remembered it each time I saw my monthly payment. I just have to laugh.

Jane
Jane
8 years ago

This article makes me have second thoughts about our addition. We did not bargain with our general contractor on anything. He presented the bid and we were happy with the price and his credentials, so we went ahead. Certainly over the course of the project we have mentioned when there were price discrepancies or if he dropped the ball and charged us for something he said he would throw in. But I can’t imagine haggling that much with a general contractor on a massive project. To me that would seem like I was nickel and diming them. You might save… Read more »

Anne
Anne
8 years ago
Reply to  Jane

With all due respect I think there is a certain strain of contractors that come from another planet. I can’t tell you have many have started a job and never finished, have given me a quote and then never returned our calls when we accepted it.

I know there are lots of responsible honest ones out there, but there sure are a lot of nutters, also.

Jane
Jane
8 years ago
Reply to  Anne

Anne, I completely agree. We have had our fair share of duds as well. In my experience, heating and cooling seems to be the worst. That’s why if you get a good one who has been in business for decades, I think it’s important not to nickel and dime them. With contractors, sometimes you certainly DO get what you pay for. Plus with bids, it’s often not fair to come back and haggle with an experienced contractor and say, “Well, so and so company bid me this, so that’s what I expect you to work for.” Oftentimes the shady ones… Read more »

Cortney
Cortney
8 years ago

I like a lot of the comments here. One other thought to add is that there are programs (Costco comes to mind) that do negotiating on your behalf. I have no idea how good these deals are, as I’ve never used them, but they might be worth looking into.

Frances
Frances
7 years ago
Reply to  Cortney

We are planning to use Costco for our next purchase. Friends that have used it were very happy, and our experience so far has been great.

Tim Murphy
Tim Murphy
8 years ago

Great tips – especially the win-win part at the end. So often we get distracted by just trying to win, that we forget about the other side. And I don’t even mean this in an altruistic sense, I mean that strategically we end up in a better position if we approach the negotiation trying to please both sides. That discourages adversarial or hostile negotiations, which is key to getting anywhere. Once someone gets fired up, your chances of closing a deal fall dramatically.

Thanks for the pointers 🙂

Tim

thethriftyspendthrift
thethriftyspendthrift
8 years ago

My husband and I sort of have a team effort thing when it comes to negotiating. I do the research and thinking; he does the talking, only because he doesn’t care. (Though I wouldn’t say he’s the best at it.) I really just hate talking to people.

Julie
Julie
8 years ago

It is one thing to feel uncomfortable while negotiating for a new car. This is normal. It is an entirely different thing to say that it makes you feel “trashy.” I think this commenter needs to get over herself.

Tracy (the other one)
Tracy (the other one)
8 years ago

I can’t believe what a great discussion such an off-the-cuff comment of mine generated. One point worth clarifying: Some people are confusing introversion with shyness or lack of self-confidence. They aren’t the same (although any of those traits might play a role in not wanting to negotiate), and these tips are helpful in all of these cases. Personally, I don’t avoid negotiation because I’m shy (I’m not at ALL) or because I’m insecure (I’d only be insecure if I had no price info, didn’t know the process, or didn’t know what I wanted), or because I care what the salesperson… Read more »

Julie
Julie
8 years ago

Thanks for not taking offense to my comment Tracy. I am glad you understood my point. We have always negotiated for cars, and I have never considered myself to be “trashy.”

Susan
Susan
8 years ago

As a introvert myself, thank you for clearing that up for readers. We’re mis-understood enough by some people. 🙂

Sarah @ 60kproject
Sarah @ 60kproject
8 years ago

One tip I have noticed that seems to work really well is to state very clearly what you want and how much you are willing to pay – and then just go completely silent. Don’t say a word especially if they just start babbling. I often seem to “overstate” my case and chatter on too much. My better half is a pro at the silent treatment. He has even used this technique over the phone and endured 15 minutes of complete silence. And then got what he wanted.

Tracy (the other one)
Tracy (the other one)
8 years ago

:sniff: That’s so beautiful! :wipes tear:

Verhanika
Verhanika
8 years ago

As an introvert, my favorite way to negotiate is behind someone else. I ask my partner to negotiate for me since it’s in his best interest as well to get a great price. He negotiates on behalf of his union in frequent labor negotiations and has no problem with the language and behavior.

Sometimes you just gotta outsource.

Cherleen @ My Personal Finance Journey
Cherleen @ My Personal Finance Journey
8 years ago

In every negotiation, I do my own research first before making any transaction. I have been seen many instances that sellers offer items at exorbitant prices. Hence, it is important to know how much you should be paying for.

Jason Clayton | frugal habits
Jason Clayton | frugal habits
8 years ago

The best way to negotiate for a car is simple, always walk away. Salesmen are trained to never let interested customers walk away unless they have given them the best deal.

In my last purchase, I went through the whole negotiation process to see how low they would go, then when I got to the lowest I thought they were will to bend. I left to go eat lunch, and told them I think about it. If they let you leave, you got the best deal. Plain and simple.

Aaron
Aaron
8 years ago

I actually take some pride in my ability to haggle at car dealerships. Dealing with the internet sales people is a great tip: you do all your negotiating from home and they tend to be high volume sales people at the dealer so they’re more interested in keeping that volume high and cutting deals to do so. As many have stated, there are basically 4 things you need to do: 1) Do your research. Find out the invoice pricing (what the dealers pay for the car) or blue book value on the car you’re looking for. You can find this… Read more »

Jeep
Jeep
8 years ago

Yes, that’s my name. A couple of comments on the original post: there’s two kinds of psychological material that runs through…one is the “trashy” part, which I think, although it may reflect family ethos or personal taste about the vulgarity of buying and selling, is more likely a displacement of anxiety about the whole process, as an introvert. That’s a therapy issue, although, as many commenters have said, you can get over much of it with study and practice. The second kind can be more easily put aside: when you are buying something that sells for a living, please don’t… Read more »

Daisy@Everything Finance
8 years ago

I am what some people would consider an introvert, but negotiating and essentially asking for more makes me extremely uncomfortable. I think these tips are super helpful even for people who aren’t necessarily introverted. I read an article once that said that there are studies that prove that negotiating over email shows much better results.

CDeFfromVT
CDeFfromVT
8 years ago

Silence is golden.

Tamara
Tamara
7 years ago

Although some of these tips require me to uncomfortably fight through my fears of negotiating, I find it very comforting that my concerns are not just my own because it seems there are a lot of others like me. This gives me the reassurance I need to go to that dealership or haggle at a garage sale without a complete feeling of being trashy.

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