Below are some very useful tips for negotiation. Mainly with the salesperson when buying big ticket items.
1) Play It Cool
Don't walk into the situation looking for a fight. The key thing is to approach the salesperson at any store in a friendly, cooperative, congenial manner with a low-key pose of calculated incompetence.
If you show up dressed for success, they get defensive. In negotiation, dumb is better than smart, and inarticulate is better than articulate. Act a little slow, make them feel superior to give them a sense of control. Say, 'I don't know, I don't understand' and they will help you with the transaction.
The longer you linger with a salesperson, he adds, the more invested he or she is in closing the sale -- and the greater the motivation to give you a deal.
2) Being Nice Pays Off
Negotiate with the decision-maker. Always ask for the manager when you get a no. Too often we consumers don't exercise our rights. Every price you're given has some padding in it, and you can still allow the merchant to get a very nice profit while also giving you a good deal.
3) Childlike Clarity
People who are uncomfortable going up the chain of command should take a lesson from kids. Children are wonderful negotiators; they are people without authority and power and yet they get what they want. If they ask their mother and she says 'No, you can't have that,' they go ask their father -- and if the two are united against them, they go over their heads to the grandparents. Kids are persistent, they wear you down. If an adult does those things they would also be very successful.
So, be crystal clear on the result you want when the deal is done.
4) Eager to Bargain
On one occasion, Don was entranced by a large pillar candle in a boutique window. "It was dynamite for my bedroom -- but I was stunned at the price; it was $200," he says. "When I was turning to walk out, the shop owner came up. I was apologetic, I said I came in because I thought I would pay $25 to $50 and told her how much I liked it. She said, 'I've had that darn thing for years and it won't sell.' I ended up buying it for under $100."
But don't limit your negotiating tactics to small boutiques. Always ask, 'Can you do better? Did you just have a sale, or are you having a sale in the future?' Department stores always have coupons around, but if you don't ask they don't tell you about it. If I ask, the staff will run around to cash registers on the other side of the store to get me coupons. Be polite -- use your charm.
Multiple purchases always represent a discount opportunity. For example, I got 10 percent off I received at a liquor store for buying several bottles at a time.
Meanwhile, if you can't reach your price goal, think about other ways to save -- whether it's free delivery or a bonus item (always ask for a free tie with the purchase of a new suit ;-))
5) It's a Game
Don't feel sorry for the vendor or seller -- if it's not a good deal for them, they are not going to allow you to buy. View it as a game -- you want to care, but not that much, because if you fall in love with something you're going to be manipulated. Fall in 'like' with material things -- save love for people.