Sunday, September 22, 2013

Its All About Negotiation

Yesterdays post got me thinking about negotiating for things.

A very strong memory from my childhood was my weekly trip with my family on a Thursday night to  Macquarie Shopping Centre.  It is on the North Shore of Sydney for those that do not live in Sydney.  Every week we would eat dinner out and our trip was not complete without dad visiting a store called 'Discount Inn'. They sold electrical and computer items.  One week it was a new toaster, the next week something for the computer.   I would walk around with Dad while he decided what he wanted and then he would walk to the counter.  This is the part when I used to cringe and hope the floor would swallow me up.   Dad would start to negotiate on price.  I couldnt understand why he was doing it.   I was so embarrassed and used to joke with friends that he would negotiate on his groceries if he could.  

Fast forward a few years and I have found myself doing the same thing.  OK, I am not as bad as my dad, but when I am making large purchases it is a must.

Take the fridge that we purchased.

It was listed at $2,499.00.  It was on sale at $1,899.00 as it was floor stock.  We were looking at the fridge and I asked the sales person - what was the best price he could do.  He explained it was floor stock already discounted.  He then went onto to say that we could purchase the replacement warranty and that was $275.00.  Delivery was an additional $75.00.  Total cost of this if we paid full price $2,249.00.    I said that we did not want to spend that much  and our budget was $2,000.  A bit of backwards and forwards banter and we got it for $2,000 with delivery and the extended warranty.  Total saving $249.00 - but an $849.00 saving if we had paid full retail with the warranty and delivery.

As we still had the TV's to purchase, we got further discounts.   We bought three 50"plasmas.  They were listed at $900.00 for two of them and $600.00 for the third one.  We ended up getting them for $2,180.00 including replacement warranty and a digital set top box thrown in for another one of our TV's for free. Again a decent saving.

So my rules are;

1. Don't be afraid to bargain. Your money is power whether you a paying cash, credit or interest free

2.  Be prepared to walk away.

3.  Check out other retailers - use the phone it will save you hundreds and it saves negotiating face-to-         face. I will give you an example.

My boss wanted a Westinghouse dishwasher.  The model he wanted was listed on the internet for $800.00 on one site, but then listed at $697 on another site.   I rung Winning Appliances and they said that they were the cheapest and they could do it for $679.00.  So I rung the Good Guys - one said that they were not making anything on that price and couldn't do anything cheaper.   So I rung another Good Guys store to be told that they could do it for $626.00.   Back to Winning Appliances to be told they would do it for $597.00 - how cheap is that!!!!!   I didn't have to go anywhere. Cost me a couple of phone calls and 20 mins of my time and saved $200.00 from the retail price.

5. The more you are spending, the more you can expect to get off the listed price.

6. Don't bargain in the supermarket.  It is just plain embarrassing.


  1. love it ! my husband is a great bargainer and my dad was too, im learning , my husbands favourite phrase is "im going to screw them to the ground" lol Im not so ruthless, still a bit nervous but learning.
    Oh and yes love the one about the supermarket !!!

  2. hahah. I love this post. In my country(Peru) people prefer to bargain in little things like groceries and they feel to embarrass to negotiate in things like white goods.
    I did something similar with my fridge but as my English is not very good I took pictures with my iphone and went from store to store showing the price and what they can give me ... I saved like 500 it was incredible!!..

  3. Negotiating on common new items is mostly about comparison shopping and pitting one seller against another. Negotiating on one of a kind items, such as a used car, is different. You must not show too much interest and you must convey the idea that you will not buy unless your offer is met. Of course the same goes for the seller.

  4. I used to go shopping with my family at Macquarie Centre on Thursday nights. We lived in Carlingford.