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Tips for negotiating a better deal

Tips for negotiating a better deal

One of the traditions the recent trend toward frugality has resurrected is negotiating. Whether you are negotiating for a car, or asking for a discount in a department store, knowing how to negotiate can save you quite a bit of money, especially if you employ negotiation techniques on various purchases over the course of a lifetime.

Here are a few tips you can use to help you get a good deal, no matter where you shop:

Know your stuff

First of all, it helps to know what something is worth. Do a little research so that you know what a good deal is. You want to be reasonable, not a bully. Comparison shop so that you can show the salesperson exactly what others are offering. Technology makes it even easier to do this. Your smartphone or iPad can provide you with price comparisons that you can use immediately.

Ask for what you want, and find out if the salesperson can maybe do a little better. If you have to, ask for a manager, or someone who has the ability to give you a discount.

Be polite

Politely ask for what you want. There’s no reason to get heated. Try to stay calm; avoid making a scene. You should also speak in a low voice, and avoid asking for a discount when others are around. A salesperson will be less willing to make a deal if he or she knows that the same deal is going to have to be made for everyone within earshot.

Use silence

You don’t have to talk the whole time. In fact, silence can be a great negotiating tool. Ask open-ended questions, and let the other party do a lot of the talking. You can find out what you need to know. Plus, many people are uncomfortable with silence. In some negotiations, simply remaining quiet, in an attitude of “thinking of it over”, can prompt the other person to become uncomfortable and maybe even lower the price.

Consider accessories and perks

Sometimes, it’s not about getting a lower price. Sometimes it’s about the accessories and perks. You might get a few freebies thrown in if you agree to a certain price. From free service for the item to extra perks and accessories, sometimes these non-money items can add quite a bit of value. This is especially true if you would normally buy those items later anyway.

Be ready to walk

Negotiation 101 requires that you be ready to walk away. While you do need to be reasonable, and occasionally budge on your request (start by asking too much so you have wiggle room), you do need to know what the deal breakers are. Be ready to walk if the most important aspects of the negotiation, or the price, aren’t met. It doesn’t hurt to keep looking for the deal you want.


Don’t forget to practice. You can start small, such as with a display item, or a damaged item, at the store. Practice until you are good at negotiation, and then you will be ready to move on to items with larger prices. In the long run, your ability and willingness to negotiate can save you big.


  1. Kathleen @ Frugal Portland

    Great suggestions! I think it’s crucial to remember that even in high pressure negotiations, the person with the money is the person who holds the power. I’ve been cowed into believing that wasn’t the case, but never again!

  2. Frugal Grugal Guy with Balance

    I have always negotiated for products and merchandise I have purchased. If you don’t ask for better a price you won’t be offered it.

    I find that a lot of folks are to shy or feel it’s in bad taste to ask or negotiate a discount. I don’t and if the seller is offended at my request that is his probleme not mine.

    Big items like a car, furniture etc I find the dealer cost and then work from there. I have saved thousands over the years frome negotiating. Lots of times I will offer cash seems to get there attention.

    I try to be fair but firm. I alwasy ask myself how long do I have to work to buy this item and if I can save some how much less time will I be working.

  3. CF

    Negotiating prices and deals is just something you get better at over time I think. I used to watch my dad haggle the sales guy at Future Shop into giving him extra toner or a free CD and I’ve tried to apply it to my own shopping! Sometimes, you just need to ask.

    I’ve gotten free leather protector while shoe shopping, free CDs and accessories when buying electronics, discounts on retail items, and even free beer at outdoor events.

    As someone who’s been IN retail, I’m always disappointed when people don’t ask for a discount when a book is slightly damaged or the last remaining toy is not the style you wanted. As a retail associate, I might not be able to do anything for the customer until they ask – so ask! 🙂

  4. Lance @ Money Life and More

    I couldn’t negotiate a higher salary for my job but I totally got an extra week of vacation. Totally worth it to me.

  5. SavingMentor

    I negotiated an increased salary and increased vacation at my latest job so I was pretty happy with that!

    I apply negotiation techniques on a regular basis in my everyday life and you can save a bundle. The rule I forget most often is being nice though and pushing too hard. Once you get people’s guard up they will do anything to make sure you don’t get a deal just for spite.

  6. Marie at FamilyMoneyValues

    Love to learn more about negotiating, I suck at it. However, I want to try to teach my grand kids how to do it so I guess I’d better get to practicing.

    Any tips on how to teach it to kids?

    • Aaron Hoos

      As someone who has been on both sides of the negotiating table, I can tell you from experience that it all comes down to sales skills. Each side is trying to “sell” the other side: The seller is trying to convince the buyer thaty they should pay a higher price and the buyer is trying to convince the seller that they should pay a lower price.

      Study basic sales skills and you will learn to become a skilled negotiator.

  7. Cost Segregation Report

    Apply negotiable technique on the daily basis can save lot of Burden. I like your last point practice, make practice until you good at negotiable. Thanks to share informative post with us!!

  8. Romeo Jeremiah

    Great list, Tom.

    I remember the day that I negotiated the price of my laptop at BestBuy. This was before they did price matching. Department stores, just like any other business has sales quotas to meet. One may never know until they ask.

  9. Alexis

    I’m always so nervous to negotiate anything with anyone. Especially when it comes to anything that has to do with cars since I know so little about them.

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