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Negotiating big ticket purchases without creating an enemy
Old 01-12-2015, 07:56 AM   #1
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Negotiating big ticket purchases without creating an enemy

Probably no way to guarantee this, but thought I'd see if someone here has a helpful insight.

I almost always negotiate on big ticket items, not just cars but boats, home remodel, etc. I am well aware that a fair price depends on supply-demand at the moment of sale. I know a buyer won't pay more and a seller won't accept less than they can live with. And most important I've also learned that being firm but polite, avoiding confrontation always works best - you don't get the best deal being adversarial.

Despite that, it seems I miffed a seller recently, and I really didn't want that to happen. Negotiations were cordial, the transaction went smoothly, but the seller gives me the distinct impression he got the short end of the stick. [I wonder how many buyers accept "list prices" or token discounts on big ticket items?]

It takes two to tango, and I assume some sellers may be offended if any discount/negotiations come in, so it may well be inevitable that he'd be disappointed in the sale. IOW nothing I could have done differently short of paying (near) list.

Still I wish we could have been on better terms after the sale...
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:18 AM   #2
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It just sounds to me like he was a bit unprofessional, so I wouldn't worry about it. I'm sure he still made money, maybe just not as much as he's used to. He didn't have to sell to you, yet he did.


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Old 01-12-2015, 08:27 AM   #3
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He may have thought his item was worth more than it really was.

I know in dealing with even small ticket items on craigslist, people are often grossly deluded as to what something is worth. Like the used girls 16" bicycle with worn tires on CL where the guy was asking $80. I didn't want to pay more than $40 (brand new ones are $60-80). The guy just didn't want to sell it for less than $80, so it's probably still sitting in his garage.

Midpack, do you actually know the guy outside of the transaction? If not, I'd write it off as unimportant. You can't please everyone. At least you offered him the best deal available since he sold it to you. You did him a favor, if you want to think of it that way.
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:37 AM   #4
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In reality the seller could be dancing in delight. The seller has to act disappointed to make the buyer think the price is rock bottom, to keep you from driving a harder bargain some day in the future. You should also act as if the deal could have been better for you.
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:45 AM   #5
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The seller was not unprofessional in any way, I may have gotten too good a deal.

And the seller and I knew each other before as acquaintances, and he's still professional and courteous - he's a great guy IMO. That's why I am disappointed there was any damage at all as a result of the transaction, but if nay have been unavoidable. As I mentioned, maybe most buyers just accept list or whatever (smaller) discount he offers.

I expect to see him Fri at a trade show.

I guess I was asking if there are "tells" in negotiating that I've missed that would help both parties agree on a price AND remain as amicable or better than before the transaction. I am sure it's not always possible.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:32 AM   #6
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Time heals all wounds. He'll get over it. He was not compelled to sell the item to you at that price.... he could have said no and hoped you came back later.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:39 AM   #7
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It matters whether you are negotiating with someone you will maintain a long term relationship with or just buying something in a one off negotiation. In the former Getting to Yes May be the proper guide while in the later Negotiating to Win May be better.
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Old 01-12-2015, 12:00 PM   #8
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You did not mention what you bought and how much off list you bought it for... that makes a difference...

Also, do you put appliances in big ticket items I have read that some do negotiate prices on these items.... but I usually buy at a discounter which already has a low price so there is no negotiation.... they say take it or leave it... places like Conn's where there is a commission has higher prices and they have room to take something off the price....


Also, no salesman will sell you anything that is not a good deal for them... usually they have a boss who will not allow it.... and there might be something else besides money that is involved.... I got a good price on my last car purchase because it had been sitting on the dealer's lot for a couple of months.... they wanted to move it.... so they lowered the price to a point where I was willing to buy.... they still made lots of money....
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Old 01-12-2015, 02:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
You did not mention what you bought and how much off list you bought it for... that makes a difference...

Also, do you put appliances in big ticket items I have read that some do negotiate prices on these items.... but I usually buy at a discounter which already has a low price so there is no negotiation.... they say take it or leave it... places like Conn's where there is a commission has higher prices and they have room to take something off the price....
I used to think that you couldn't negotiate on things that had prices in regular stores. It just didn't occur to me to even ask. Then about 20 years ago, I went with a friend (who had way more money then me) to Saks Fifth Avenue. We were looking at clothes and she basically just asked for a discount (using the excuse the item was likely to go on sale soon). The clerk went away and asked and gave her a nice discount. Another time we went to a store selling an expensive purse. She looked at it and found a tiny, minute flaw in the stitching (didn't affect function and was not in a place where anyone would ever notice it). She asked for and got a nice discount. She told me about asking for and receiving discounts at Tiffany's.

I would not have really thought to ask for a discount for any of these things, but she said she did it all the time. There was no reason not to ask....
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Old 01-12-2015, 02:33 PM   #10
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Midpack. The guy agreed to sell it to you for your price... right? What is the issue? Does he regret that agreement? That's his issue, not yours. Now... if you had a gun pointed at his head - that's another issue. LOL.
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Old 01-12-2015, 02:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
I used to think that you couldn't negotiate on things that had prices in regular stores. It just didn't occur to me to even ask. Then about 20 years ago, I went with a friend (who had way more money then me) to Saks Fifth Avenue. We were looking at clothes and she basically just asked for a discount (using the excuse the item was likely to go on sale soon). The clerk went away and asked and gave her a nice discount. Another time we went to a store selling an expensive purse. She looked at it and found a tiny, minute flaw in the stitching (didn't affect function and was not in a place where anyone would ever notice it). She asked for and got a nice discount. She told me about asking for and receiving discounts at Tiffany's.

I would not have really thought to ask for a discount for any of these things, but she said she did it all the time. There was no reason not to ask....
I often ask too, but I really push the issue on smaller items. I usually just ask when the item will be on sale again, and sometimes it results in inside info or a discount on the spot. I may buy it regardless, even if there's no discount at all. I put it in the 'doesn't hurt to ask' category, or as my Dad would say 'the worst thing they can do is say NO.'
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Old 01-12-2015, 02:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
I used to think that you couldn't negotiate on things that had prices in regular stores. It just didn't occur to me to even ask. Then about 20 years ago, I went with a friend (who had way more money then me) to Saks Fifth Avenue. We were looking at clothes and she basically just asked for a discount (using the excuse the item was likely to go on sale soon). The clerk went away and asked and gave her a nice discount. Another time we went to a store selling an expensive purse. She looked at it and found a tiny, minute flaw in the stitching (didn't affect function and was not in a place where anyone would ever notice it). She asked for and got a nice discount. She told me about asking for and receiving discounts at Tiffany's.

I would not have really thought to ask for a discount for any of these things, but she said she did it all the time. There was no reason not to ask....
+1 I do this pretty often if there is something wrong with the merchandise but it still works for my purposes. Last time I did it was at Staples when I bought a new computer. It was brand new, but open box. They took 5 or 10% off without any negotiation.

It never hurts to ask, and I figure it helps them move inventory that would otherwise sit on the shelf costing them money and eventually be remaindered for next to nothing.
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