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Negotiating Skills for Beginners

Updated on July 25, 2012

Seven magic words

If you never learn anything else about negotiating, learn these seven words and use them often. Point at the price tag and ask," Can you do any better than that?".

Some people negotiate for everything and some people pay retail for everything. If you have always wanted to be a super negotiator but just don't have the personality for it, try those seven magic words. It is almost like magic. You can do it with almost anything. Just try it the next time you buy something.

Here is something that you never know. You never know how skilled your opponent is. If the other guy is a highly skilled negotiator, he will know he needs to get a commitment from you. You ask,"Can you do any better on that price?". He replies with,"Are you paying cash today?" If you opponent is not a highly skilled negotiator, he might just knock ten per cent off the price with no commitment from you. Remember that when you are on the other side of the negotiating table. When someone asks you,"Can you do better on that price?". Don't say, "Sure. I will take ten cent off the price.". Instead ask them,"What will you pay today?" Questions are always better than statements. If you tell them you will take less, that does not get you closer to a sale. If you ask them what will you offer today, that does get you to the sale.

If you start asking everyone you buy from, "Is that the best you can do on that price?", you will amaze yourself.

Don't forget this is an article for beginners. Here is another basic rule of negoiating. Don't tell the other party how to win. Let's say you have an antique 1963 Chevrolet Impala. You have three 1963 Impala SS hubcaps. You are looking for a fourth. You are at a swap meet or flea market and you find a vendor that has one for fifty dollars. You want that hubcap but you certainly don't like the price. Don't tell the other guy that you have three hubcaps and you are elated to find this. This is just what you need . Hallelojah. Eureka. No, No, No, Instead, comment something like no one would want one hubcap but I will give you ten bucks just to hang it on my wall in my garage. Don't tell them how wonderful their stuff is. The less you tell them and the more questions you ask, the better it is for you.

Don't be afraid to make an offer. If the seller wants $100,000 and you like it for $50,000, make an offer. Don't worry about offending anyone. Make an offer.

Lastly for beginners, you can always buy it later.If you offer fifty and the seller says ninety is his lowest price, you can always say good bye. Here is another tip. I always give people I am trying to buy from a business card when I first meet them. Through the years,I have had several people call me back a fews days later and ask me if I am still interested. They have mellowed out with time. It is funny how that works. Don't be afraid to walk away and not buy. It is better to leave it alone if it is overpriced than to pay too much.

Start with the next thing you buy. Ask the seller, "Can you do better on that price?". You will surprise and delight yourself.


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    • monicamelendez profile image


      6 years ago from Salt Lake City

      It's definitely smart to just make an offer! People worry way too much about offending other people. MAKE AN OFFER! hahaha thanks for some good advice.

    • Ronclimer profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from First Real Estate School in Hendersonville, North Carolina

      Pandy , You are so right about people packing up. That is the perfect time for a bargain. Thanks for you comment

    • pandy2323 profile image


      6 years ago from Cali

      Nice hub! I'm a pretty experienced negotiator, too. And you should see my mom at the Taiwan Night Markets: it's crazy what she could get for such little prices. The lack of interest is one key point. If you act indifferent to the product, the sellers will be much more likely to push the sale to you at the price you prefer. If they KNOW you are desperate for their product, they will not conform, because they understand that there is a large chance you will pay their price (since you want it so much). Many of times, when you leave and say something like "Oh, it's too expensive. Maybe another day," (obviously meaning you have no interest anymore), the sellers would, knowing this is their last chance to push the sale, let you pay the price you want just as you are about to leave. Also, if you go to a fleamarket (or the like), checking up when the booths are about to pack up and leave is a great idea, because sellers often want to just get rid of their products, especially if they're selling food or plants.

    • seanorjohn profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi, welcome to Hubpages. I will try those magic words at my local secondhand market today. Voted up and useful.


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