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Looking to save money? More expenses are negotiable than you might have thought. That’s right, the age of haggling is upon us! You might think haggling is only appropriate for middle eastern bazaars or antique stores, but you can get prices down in a lot of places, so long as you do it correctly. Here are 8 tips for how to get the most out of your haggling.

Tip 1: Humanize yourself when haggling

The first tip for getting the most out of your haggling is to “Humanize yourself.” Make sure the person you’re negotiating with sees you as a person. Give them a reason to want to give you a discount. Human beings are biologically wired to help each other out, and you can encourage this instinct if you help the other person to see you as a person too. 

Tip 2: Be strategic about timing when haggling

The ancient Roman army was so successful because they only fought a battle when they had the advantage. Tip number 2 for getting the most out of haggling: Be strategic about timing. If you’re buying a car, a dealership might want to clear out “last year’s models” right before the new ones come in. At the end of the month, the salesperson might need to meet quota. At the end of the day, people may just want to go home. Make sure that the time you are negotiating gives you the advantage. 

Tip 3: Be respectful to whom your haggling with

Nobody likes to be bullied. Tip number three for getting the most out of your haggling is Be respectful. You might get the best deal by berating the person you’re negotiating against, but it’s just as likely that they will dig in their heels. They might resent how much you are pushing and just decide to punish your behavior. Remember that you are helping them make a sale and you are trying to get the best deal: this should be a win-win situation. Treat them with respect and they are less likely to fight you for every penny. They might even root for you. 

Tip 4: Haggle with the right person, the ultimate decision maker

Tip number 4 for getting the best results from your haggling. Haggle with the right person. You can haggle with the checkout clerk at a grocery store all you want, but you won’t get a discount because they don’t have the authority to give you one. Make sure that the person you are working with has the authority to adjust pricing. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time. That means you might need to ask blunt questions: Are you authorized to adjust this price? Who do I need to talk to about adjusting this price?

Tip 5: Use a partner

Tip number 5 for getting the most out of your haggling: Use a partner. If you’re haggling by yourself, you have to simultaneously get the person you’re negotiating with to believe that you really want the item AND that you are willing to walk away from it. That can be done, of course, but if you have a partner who will play the “bad cop,” you can be the one who really, really, pretty-please wants it. And they can be the one who decides it’s too expensive. If it’s believable that your partner has a veto over the transaction, they can be the one who is only willing to budge if the price goes down. 

Tip 6: Be willing to walk away because not all people are willing to haggle

Tip number 6 for getting the most out of your haggling: Be willing to walk away. Being willing to walk away from a transaction can only be done if you don’t absolutely need what you’re buying. This can be hard to do if you really want the item, but it’s just as good to PRETEND you can easily walk away from the transaction. If the seller honestly believes that they could lose the sale, they are more likely to be willing to sell it for less. 

Tip 7: Offer creative solutions when haggling

Tip number 7 for getting the most out of your haggling: Offer creative solutions. Sometimes the best way to get a good deal is to see if the seller will throw in the extras, pay for the sales tax, or upgrade for the same price. Maybe a landlord will give you a deal if you increase your deposit. Maybe you can barter with something. Thinking outside the dollars-and-cents box could help you score a better deal than you otherwise would. 

Tip 8: Be the first to make an offer

Tip number 8 for negotiating and haggling: Be the first to make an offer. Why? Well, if you make the first offer, you anchor the rest of the negotiation on the number you established first. It allows you to set the terms of future negotiation right up front. 

While not every transaction can be haggled, making the most of the opportunities you have can save you a lot of money!  Use these 8 tips next time you’re haggling to help you get the best deal possible. 

More tips

If you’re still looking for more tips, check out this article by consumer reports.

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Jonathan Walker