How to Negotiate a Deal
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How to Negotiate a Deal

Posted on Saturday, July 30th, 2011 at 4:12 pm
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Knowing how to negotiate a deal can save you loads of money and help you become an even better bargain hunter. While couponing can save a lot of money, especially in the grocery store, negotiating can increase your savings even further. Before you start negotiating, there are a few preliminary questions you need to ask:

  1. First, you have to know yourself. What are you willing to spend? What would you like to spend? What is your budget? What is the item or service you are negotiating over worth to you? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you to communicate your intentions more clearly.
  2. Second, you have to know the other party (aka the person you are negotiating with). What is their asking price? What is their minimum price? What is their budget like?


Once you have gathered the answers to these questions, you are ready to begin negotiating a deal. You could be anywhere – a garage sale, a car lot, a doctor’s office, a hotel, an auto service station, a utility company, a rental agency, a flea market. I’ve had the best luck negotiating with service providers, but you never know where you might be able to negotiate a deal – it could even be at a restaurant or clothing store. However, you probably won’t have any luck negotiating at chain restaurants or stores, as these prices are set by upper management and not the clerks who you have contact with. Before you try to negotiate, be sure the person you are talking to actually has the power to offer a deal. Here are a few more tips to get you through the negotiating process:

  • Ask questions! This is the #1 rule of negotiating. You’ll be surprised how much money you can save by asking just a few simple questions. A lot of people are afraid to ask questions, which is why they are unable to negotiate, which brings me to my next tip…
  • Act comfortable and natural. Asking questions will be a breeze if you just be yourself. True, it can be uncomfortable to probe a seller with questions, but if you don’t let on, I promise no one will know if you’re uncomfortable.
  • Establish a common ground with the other party. That is, find something you both have in common (by asking questions, of course!) and return to it often. By creating a bond with the other party, they will be more comfortable and willing to negotiate with you. Do this before you start negotiating, and the other party will feel more invested in the situation.
  • Don’t ramble. Once you’ve asked for a deal, keep quiet until the other party returns with an answer. Continuing to ramble may kill your chances of scoring the deal.
  • Assume a discount. Instead of asking if they other party can offer a discount, ask what the discount is.
  • Always stay positive, friendly, and smile! If you are likable, people will be more willing to negotiate with you.
  • If you do manage to negotiate a deal, be sure the get the offer in writing (where it applies, such as in a rental contract).
  • If all else fails, be able to walk away. If you are unable to negotiate the deal you desire, it is okay to walk away. Think of negotiating as a business transaction, not a personal investment.


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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.