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How to Negotiate?
Old 11-01-2013, 01:52 PM   #1
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How to Negotiate?

The question mark ? is because I'm terrible about negotiating, and almost always let DW do it... and even that's not always a good thing.

Here's a link that helps a little, but not enough to make me feel any more confident.
How to Negotiate: 14 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow
I think these are the (my) hang-ups:

Trusting the other person too much... When they say "no", I immediately think they mean it. How to make a comeback without calling him/her a liar? That's the walkaway point... so the deal gets left on the table.

Being too serious. Since it involves money, sure it's serious. Why not take a cue from "American Pickers" ... A smile and a handshake, and a bounce off the discussion to bring some levity to the pending deal. Dunno... seems as if it's the enemy camp, and ya go away a winner or a loser... Instead of just saying "Oh well"....

Works the other way, too. If I'm selling something, I have a price... Offer me something less, "I AM INSULT!!!. A yard sale when the customer asks
"Would you take....... ?? Gets the answer "No, Sorry"...and the item goes back into the closet! When asking myself why?... Me answers "Because it was a fair asking price..."

Nervous about car salesmen...
CS - How are you today, sir?
Me - Fine
CS - Where are you from?
Me - Illinois
CS - I have a buddy who lives near chicago
Me - I didn't come here to make friends... How much is that car?
... and all downhill from there.

Difficulty in not showing that I really WANT the item. How can I walk away from something I want or need... because I can't/won't wear down the seller. Thus, it's either pay the price or walk away...

So advice for a "Cowardly Lion"? Let's start off with, how do you negotiate for a new or used car? I can do my homework on the price, but how to make the deal?
How many times to walk away?
Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em.
How to ask for another concesssion after the "final offer".
How to get the final, final price...
How to get beyond the waiting/stalling/ "getting an appraisal on your trade in car..." ploy.
When to make a final offer?
Play Russian Roulette?

Am a logical person... negotiating goes beyond logic... how do ya fix that?

Not just cars... salaries... favors... responsibilities... finding volunteers... free advice etc.
Are you good at this stuff, or like me, a bit of a scairdy-cat?
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Old 11-01-2013, 02:30 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Am a logical person... negotiating goes beyond logic... how do ya fix that?
Generally the 8th decade of life is a little late to learn things like this. We all have our controlling attitudes; these are prior to behavior and often prior to thought. Acceptance of the status quo is likely best here.

As an aside, people who pride themselves on "being logical" are usually pretty certain that their way is best, thus not particularly interested in other approaches.

Ha
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Old 11-01-2013, 04:19 PM   #3
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I learned my negotiating skills on the job. Back in the day, I spent a year with Pan Am (For the younger members: that used to be a huge international airline).

My job was to come up with innovative ways to reduce their costs. Easy enough, but every change to "work rules" meant a negotiating session with the Teamsters union reps. Nobody is better at negotiating than the Teamsters, so I learned the ropes quickly and very well.

Years later, while pursuing my doctorate, I took a course in negotiating. The prof was so impressed that I wound up teaching about half the course and leading all the exercises. Great fun, but I contributed far more than I learned.

Bottom line: Know what you want, know what your adversary wants, and steer the process to a reasonable compromise. In some cases, that might mean wild swings, but in other cases it's just a gradual narrowing of differences. The difference is based only on the personalities involved. The heart of the matter is to listen well. Pay very close attention both to what your adversary is saying and to what his or her body language is saying.
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Old 11-01-2013, 04:33 PM   #4
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Here's a book I have read: Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by William L. Ury.

It is more about business dealings. Not sure if it would be much applicable to buying a car, where it's a one-time transaction and the lowest possible price is the only thing you as a buyer want.
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Old 11-01-2013, 04:34 PM   #5
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I never worried about negotiating. When I was young (poor) my m.o. was "if you need it, you pay whatever you have to anyway". If I had the wiggle room but didn't like the initial price I'd say "Too bad" and start to walk away. This actually worked on some occasions. Mr Moneychanger all of a sudden comes up with the lower price he couldn't give me 5 seconds ago.

As I got older and richer I shop for the best price but I don't bust either of our humps over what amounts to nickles and dimes. I want it....I pay for it. Everybody's happy. I mean, that' s what the money's for isn't it? I didn't eat crap and live like a pauper all those years so could keep living like a pauper.

I never understood the Al Bundys/Ralph Kramdens of the world who throw big money on some item like a car then brag to the world how they took the salesman for a g/d 10 dollar wooden gearshift knob
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Old 11-01-2013, 05:03 PM   #6
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I did a lot of negotiating at work, both internally with other departments, and externally with vendors. I was sent on the Chester L Karass 2 day course on negotiating back in 1986 and it was a fun course.

When negotiating with someone who you are going to have a long term relationship with then you want to try for a win-win outcome where both parties come away thinking they have a good deal.

If it is a one-off, like buying a car then you can go for a win-lose deal. Start really low, concede hardly at all, have plenty of patience, and be prepared to walk away. Have a target price that you will not exceed under any circumstances that day and walk away, even if you end up coming back another day.
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:10 PM   #7
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I found it much easier and was more effective negotiating on the job/for my employers than in personal situations, when we either accept the quoted price and conditions or decide not to buy. DD, although very quiet by nature, is supergood at it in both employment and personal--it must have been taught as part of a class.

It probably is important that both parties are doing the same dance for negotiation to be effective.
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:13 PM   #8
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I've found that the internet has changed the process of negotiating quite a bit. It's so easy to look up invoice pricing and get several bids on a new car within seconds, and usually you get a pretty good sense of where the price should be.

In cases where I'm not sure if I'm getting the best price, often I simply thank them for their time and say I'd like to think about it. If they are afraid of losing me they will keep trying and possibly lower the price. If they don't, you can shop around and still go back if you find out they were offering you a fair deal.

Negotiating doesn't have to be unpleasant or difficult. You just have to be willing to take your time, be polite and patient, and don't be afraid to say I'm going to keep looking around, and I'll call you back if I'm still interested.
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:26 PM   #9
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I think one should not trouble oneself too much about small stuff like a yard sale price.

The bigger ticket items are where the action is at, like car negotiation. As "Ready" said above, check out the internet on that. Much of this also has to do with how supply/demand is for the car you want. Not so easy to generalize. There are good general pointers on buying cars using web resources. Still unpleasant things can happen at dealerships like when you get the car price and then talk with the "finance guy" who tries to push an insurance package on you. It can still be unpleasant with the games they play. You are not alone.

Recently we had to return a bed we purchased from Macys to get another model. They wanted to do a 15% restocking fee. The lady was very firm on the phone (they force you to call "customer service" so as to separate the store salesperson from the transaction). When I asked to talk with a manager, she suddenly looked us up on the computer (so she said) and said "I see you are one of our best customers ... blah, blah". Suddenly the restocking fee was waived. In this case they were hoping we would not go the extra mile. Customer 1, Macys 0. DW was in awe of my toughness.

Just remember most contracts (verbal or whatever) can generally be negotiated again.
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:14 PM   #10
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People at yard sales expect to haggle, at least a little bit. When you hold a yard or garage sale, you are selling fun, as well as items. If you won't bargain, you take all the fun out of it for the other person. People are looking at Ebay and other market sites on their smart phones, and have a pretty good idea what similar items are going for. Accept that after several folks have looked at your item and not made an offer, it's time to realize that not everyone thinks your price is "fair."

That's not to say you need accept a truly insulting, lowball price. In a friendly voice, point out the many virtues of the item, which the customer, in his or her haste, may have overlooked, and make a counter-offer. (If you lack the patience to do this, you should not be in the yard sale business).

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Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
T
Works the other way, too. If I'm selling something, I have a price... Offer me something less, "I AM INSULT!!!. A yard sale when the customer asks
"Would you take....... ?? Gets the answer "No, Sorry"...and the item goes back into the closet! When asking myself why?... Me answers "Because it was a fair asking price..."
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:51 PM   #11
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It occurs to me that the yard sale is a salesman's job.

The car deal is a customer negotiation job. Quite different and generally an order of magnitude more money involved.

BTW, I could never be a salesman. Don't have the social skills I guess.
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Old 11-01-2013, 11:01 PM   #12
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For cars, I usually do my research first so I know what a good price is and what a fair price is. I'm always wiling to walk away, and frequently do. I usually prefer to trade than to buy and then sell my car privately, so I usually go in with a good idea of either a fair trade deal or a fair outright buy deal. If I can't get a fair trade deal then I'll see if I can get to a good buy and sell my trade myself. I usually prefer to trade because I had one time where my trade's transmission failed after I had bought my new ride but before I sold the trade and I got stuck with the cost of the problem.

On one deal we had haggled for a while and were ~$500 apart and they wouldn't budge so I went home. That was on a Saturday. On my way to work on Monday, I stopped by the dealership on my way to work and left the salesman with a check for $150 more than my last offer ($350 less than their last offer) and told him that if they wanted to sell me the car for that amount then we had a deal, otherwise just tear up the check and sent it back to me. I hadn't been at my desk for 10 minutes and he called wanting to know when I wanted to pick up the car. Pretty much the same thing on my current ride - I gave the salesman an unsigned check for the amount I was willling to pay and told him it was my final offer and if it wasn't sufficient then I was going home. They really hate watching cash walk away from the lot. I did have one time though where I got a torn up check in the mail a couple days later.

I love it when a car salesman asks what I an expecting for my trade. Let's say I'm looking to buy a $25k car and my trade is worth $10k so I expect to pay $15k trade difference. They ask me and I'll say I'd like to get $100k for my trade. They look at me like I'm crazy and I let them blab for a bit and then tell them that it is really the trade difference that is important to me - not what I am paying for the new car or what they are giving me for the trade. IOW, if they price the new car at $115k and give me $100k for the trade then we would have a deal.

When I was younger, I used to enjoy "the game". I have found as I've gotten older that I don't enjoy the game as much anymore, I just want to get to a deal (or not) and get on with life.
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Old 11-01-2013, 11:56 PM   #13
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With my last two cars I researched and test drove and knew what I wanted. I then emailed multiple dealers in the 50 or so mile radius around here and dealt with the INTERNET SALES person. I told them:
1) I was ready to buy within days of their offer
2)This is exactly what I want
3)I can wait for you to order the car
4)Tell me your DRIVE OFF THE LOT PRICE
5)I am shopping around and the best price gets my business

This worked well the first time. Went in, handed a check drove away. easy.
The second time my wife and I expected the same. Instead subjected to a sales pitch on extended warranty that was so insulting it still brings bile up the back of my throat. They start by offering you a ridiculous priced extended warranty on your NEW car which you reject. Immediately the price is lowered a lot. Okay, that does not tell me you will make deal with me. That tells me the price is meaningless and you will just try to take me for as much a I am dumb enough to part with. Talk about destroying trust immediately. And then to have to sit there thru the interminable efforts to deal this turd of a warranty somehow, someway, I wish we would have walked out but we had bought the car an at th time did not realize how long I was getting dragged out. Next time that will no happen. My ad if is never go in a back room. Do all business out in the showroom or over the Internet.
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Old 11-02-2013, 08:29 AM   #14
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Since the late 90s we've always bought our cars online. We got exactly what we wanted for less than we expected to pay, and never had to talk to the car salesman face to face until after the deal was done.

One time we didn't even have to go to the dealership! The car was delivered to our house and deal signed there.
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Old 11-02-2013, 08:47 AM   #15
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Ditto on the internet approach - with so much information freely available about what you should be paying for a car, I see little value in tolerating face-to-face pitches from car dealers. I have purchased four cars for myself and other family members in the last 10 years this way. Virtually all car dealers have an 'internet sales' department now. I write all the dealers in the region, tell them all we are ready to buy immediately and you want their best price for the model you specify. They have all come back with very straightforward prices, very quickly.

My family members have preferred dealing with their geographically closest dealers, so when the lowest offer comes in, we have shared that quote with the nearby dealer, saying we'll buy from them if they can match that price. They always have agreed, although sometimes begrudgingly.

If there is a potential trade-in involved, I only bring up this possibility after the price has been agreed upon in writing via email, and decide based on their offer whether it's better to sell privately or not (again, easy to see what the value of my car on the private market with some simple research).

Ditto on financing -- if there's any desire to finance all or part due to very low rates, I'll generally do the research (e.g., bankrate.com) and even pre-qualify for a low-interest loan before I walk in. When they (inevitably) bring up financing, I ask about their rates, and compare with what I already have. Financing is never brought up while negotiating for price, however - it's presumed to be an all cash deal when I request and confirm quotes.

As for all the other extended warranty, maintenance, and other add-ons, once you 'just say no' in the showroom, I have had good fortune that they don't push. Careful scrutiny of the purchase agreement has been necessary, however, since 'mystery' charges seem to appear sometimes that I insist on getting removed.

All in all, it's so quick and non-stressful, I will NEVER go back to face-to-face car purchases!

Meanwhile, I see that Costco, PenFed, AAA, and GEICO all have 'auto-purchasing programs' where they have relationships with specific dealers and get you a pre-negotiated price. I know Costco's program doesn't cost anything to use, but not sure about the others. Has anyone had experience using these? How are the prices?
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:43 AM   #16
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Imoldernu asked specifically about negotiating. While it's certainly fair to point out the various ways to buy cars without negotiating with an actual human, I seem to detect a faint odor of "Hmph! Negotiating is for salesmen, and I'm above such things! Let's talk about how to avoid negotiating entirely!" Sorry if I'm off base, but that is how I am reading the trend.

Negotiation skills are useful for many activities other than buying stuff. I wish I had better skills to negotiate with neighbors, for example. With neighbors, and in the absence of a HOA, you are never in a position of strength. It's a struggle to find something they want, as much as you want/don't want something else that they are either trying to force you to do, or avoid doing themselves.

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Old 11-02-2013, 10:05 AM   #17
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The OP specifically asked about negotiating for purchase of a car (and also gave other examples of buying and selling) -- which is somewhat different than interpersonal negotiations such as neighbor disputes.

The numerous examples folks have provided of internet-purchased vehicles demonstrate legitimate marketplace 'negotiation' tactics such as (a) equipping yourself with information (thereby shifting 'power' in the negotiation to yourself), and (b) neutralizing face-to-face pressure tactics by conducting the negotiation via the distancing technique of internet communication. Since cars are among the largest purchases one ever makes, worthwhile advice I think for that specific area. But the principles behind this approach are potentially useful for other arenas of 'negotiation' as well, both within and outside the 'marketplace'.
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:19 AM   #18
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I've found that for purchases the more I am willing to walk away from the deal, the easier it is to negotiate. I don't get hung up on "I MUST have a particular make/model/style", if it is not at the price I want, I politely say "no thanks". With the internet it is much easier to research what people are actually paying for an item and use that as a basis of knowledge.

For cars what bothers me is not the negotiation but all the "additions" they try to add on afterwards. I tell the dealer give me "a price with taxes and registration, that's it". If they start suggesting other things after that price I smile, get up, and say "thank you, but I don't have the time, I'm going to head over to another dealer now". That tends to stop them.

For other items a lot depends on one's personality. I tend to be laid back and don't get hung up on "small stuff", I'm happy to be direct and not fight over price but stick with what I think is fair. I am sensitive to businesses so I try to figure out if the person will still make a fair profit - if someone is good I want them to stay in business.
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:22 AM   #19
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I do not negotiate in person. My last car I called 4 or 5 local dealers and told them the exact price including tax and license for the the car and options. They all said no. The next day one of them called and said they would do the deal.

I got a cashier check made out and showed up. They then tried to add on other fees, warranties, etc but I politely declined all and got the car for the amount on the cashier check.
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Old 11-02-2013, 12:44 PM   #20
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Meanwhile, I see that Costco, PenFed, AAA, and GEICO all have 'auto-purchasing programs' where they have relationships with specific dealers and get you a pre-negotiated price. I know Costco's program doesn't cost anything to use, but not sure about the others. Has anyone had experience using these? How are the prices?
Can't speak to these providers, Megacorp had a similiar program with a couple of manufacturers.

Buddy of mine went to use the program on a 3/4 ton truck. He showed him the documentation, all was well. Then they talked what his pre - negotiated price would be on the pickup he wanted. That price was several hundred more than a 'special price' the dealership was offering on the same truck. He asked for the lower price, was first refused, when he went to leave suddenly the dealership found a way to make it work.

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