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How to negotiate a better deal

Updated on February 27, 2013

A better deal for you

If you always wanted a better deal but were too afraid or hadn't the confidence to do it here are a few tips to help you.

If you follow these few tips then you are sure to come away feeling like you got a bargain but in the end how to negotiate is down to you.

Do your research.

For no matter what item you are looking to buy you need to do a bit of homework first before going into your negotiations.

Let's say for example purposes you are looking to buy a car and have found the one you prefer, just by doing a bit of research will give you the confidence to haggle. Below are a list of things to look for.

  1. Research the model and year and find out how much is the average price.
  2. Find out if that car has any known faults that could arise.
  3. Make it your business to know a little something about the person/company that is selling the car.
  4. Know what the lowest you want to get the car for and also the highest you want to pay.

These are just a few things you can do but they can be applied to anything from cars to computers, camera's, IT equipment, prams, the list is never ending.

These few tips can then again be used at the negotiating stage later on.


A study on Rapport by "I believe" Harvard said that Rapport is the most important detail when in the negotiating stages.

When meeting the person selling the "car" don't go straight into the figures, have a wee chat with him or her and find out a wee bit, be polite and open to them. Discuss the car a bit, if it has any history, why they are selling and other little details that in the end don't really matter but it will make both you and the seller feel comfortable, this will make the chances of the two of you reaching an agreement even more likely.

Never lose your temper, some people can be ignorant and if that is the case I would advise just to walk away. It is OK to go so far on topics like saying "isn't this the model that had a bit of trouble with the alternator?" but don't overstep the mark with comments like "sure this is the worst model that was made and are know to break down constantly". People can be touchy on someone saying their property is crap.

Both you and the seller are trying to get something out of the deal so why not make it pleasant.

Try to ask "open" questions rather than "closed" ones. These are questions that give more than one word answers, you will get more information instead of a simple yes or no.


Never, Never reveal what you want to pay.

The hardest part of negotiating is when all the banter stops and it comes down to the figures.

It is hard but try to get the seller to open the bidding, questions like "how much is it worth to you" or "what's your best on it" are good questions to start with but these can be turned back at you. I personally like to start this part of it by saying "Lets see if we can agree a deal on this" then put them under a wee bit of pressure by saying "whats the least you will take for it". There is no harm in this, you are being honest and trying to cut through the muddle.

If you are the first to reveal a figure then chances are you are going in too high and end up paying more than you wanted. Always go in low, you risk the small chance of offending the seller but it gives you plenty of room for movement.

Don't stick to the usual increments.

When in the middle of haggling, figures will be thrown back and forth, at this stage try coming away from the standard increments of £25, £50 and £100.

Try to throw them off by giving them a random figure like £3,468.

As well as throwing them off a bit, it will also give them the impression that you have done your homework and know exactly what your limit is to the last pound. They will then go on to think, well this sounds a bit like a final offer and consider it.

Add ons or extras

Don't just stick to the figure when negotiating, try to get other things in on the deal.

When car buying things you could ask for are:

  1. New tyres
  2. Road tax
  3. Full tank
  4. Wipers
  5. A service before purchase
  6. Car mats (a favourite of my father in law)
  7. Warranty (you will not get this if dealing privately)

Ask for as many things as you can, this will dilute the issue of the final figure and feel like you are getting more than just the car.

The final agreement

When it gets to this stage things can be a little heated but don't let that put you off, if the figure or deal is not to your liking then walk away if you have to.

Remember you are the buyer and it is down to you how much you are willing to pay not the seller.

If you are still not quite down to the price you are after, then one last thing to do and only if viable to you is throw in the point that you can pay now and take the car straight away. After all the haggling some people can be put off if you turn round and say "I will give you a deposit for X amount and will call back for the car in a few days".To seal the deal tell them you will take it now and pay cash, this can usually sway the sale towards you.

If you do come to an agreement, shake hands on it and just go over what has been agreed so no one is confused. It can often transpire that there was a misunderstanding and maybe you didn't agree "on a new set of tyres" so this is the ideal opportunity to review what has been agreed..


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    • profile image

      Romi 3 years ago

      I appreciate your kind and geenuors advice a lot!. I have been trying it hardly and did not get those amazing results!. It is nice to see that you got my comment in a good way!God bless you!VA:F [1.9.10_1130]please wait VA:F [1.9.10_1130](from 0 votes)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Great tips on buying a car at a good price. Negotiation takes skill and courage, you have made some valid points on how to do this well.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Very interesting read, Anthony. I'll try to keep these tips in mind for future negotiations.

      Voted up.