Thursday, June 08, 2006

Do you haggle?

Negotiating over prices is one of those things I genuinely intend to do yet never seems to actually happen.

There was an article in yesterday's RedEye/Chicago Tribune about haggling. It includes some tips like:

  • Negotiate with the person who has the power to make the deal.
  • Take your time.
  • Make reasonable and respectful offers.
  • Build a rapport and appeal to the seller's better nature: "Can you help me out?"
  • And of course: if you don't ask, you won't receieve!
There's no good reason that I rarely haggle; I guess it's just self-consciousness on my part. Whenever I think about doing it, I get very nervous. I worry about people being insulted and thinking poorly of me-- even when it's just a random salesperson I'll never see again! But I ought to try to get over it. As one person in the article says, "Yes, it's a scary thing, and sometimes it's intimidating, but it's one of those things that after a few times it's worth it to you."

I'm hopefully going to be doing more shopping than usual at farmer's markets this summer, so maybe I can work on my haggling there. I'm encouraged by reading another story from the article about a seller at a farmer's market who builds room for negotiation into the prices she sets-- so if I don't bargain the price down, I'm just one of those suckers giving her bonus money! Besides, I usually show up at farmer's markets at the end of the day anyway, so if I buy something for a lower price that otherwise the seller'd have to throw away, then we both win. Wish me luck on this, and maybe I can work my way up from here...

How about you? Do you haggle, and for what kinds of things? Do you have any tips for how to do it well? Or how to convince yourself to do it at all?

No comments: