Sunday, 5 November 2017

Have you ever walked into a store and felt completely bombarded by a pushy salesperson? Do you feel overwhelmed when it comes to negotiating a price on products and appliances you know very little about? What if  it was possible to learn how to negotiate the price you wanted by applying a few simple tips?
If anyone had told me a year ago that I could successfully negotiate, I probably would have laughed in disbelief.  Truth be told, I had always believed negotiation was a skill used and accepted primarily by confident men and aggressive women. At least, I had always believed women were perceived this way. Only the most confident and assertive person will skills in this field could possibly pull it off. But I was wrong! Negotiation is a skill anyone can learn. You don't need to have extensive knowledge in negotiation and you don't have to be a manipulative person. You can negotiate too. Follow the tips below and you will be amazed at just how easy it is to negotiate without even knowing you're doing it.
A few years back, I knew very little about negotiation, particularly when it came to asking for a lower price on a major appliance. I felt intimidated every time I walked into one of the major retail stores and was met with an overbearing, pushy salesperson who tried their many sales tactics on me.  I had been ripped off on more than one occasion and I detested the thought of it happening again.  I wanted to turn around and walk straight out the door.

But on this particular occasion, I wasn’t luxury browsing for a nice new camera or the latest iPhone I could take or leave. I needed to buy a fridge and freezer ASAP and I didn’t have a lot of cash to spare. I needed to find a way to conquer my fears and for the first time in my life, I was determined not to be fooled, intimidated or overwhelmed by hard sales tactics. I had a budget and my goal was to walk away with quality products, a decent warranty and a great discount off the retail price.

But the challenge was this: I am not an extroverted, tech savvy person with experience in negotiating, nor do I know anything about sales so I knew it was going to be a challenge to get the discount I wanted. But with limited funds, I didn’t have a choice. A salesperson could do all the hard selling they wanted, but if I didn’t have the money, there would be no sale and I would be walking away empty handed. I used this to my advantage. This is when I realised I had to be strong and stand up for what I wanted. I didn’t want to be sold a poor quality fridge with bad reviews. So I became determined to succeed at getting the best possible price and succeed is what I did. This is how I did it:

After doing a bit of research online I decided to utilize a few techniques I had read about online to get the best possible deal. Reading some ‘How to negotiate’ articles  helped somewhat, but it would never make up for my lack of negotiating skills or product knowledge.

I felt frustrated with the situation and began having imaginary arguments with myself the way you have those fake arguments in the shower and always win! I said to myself:
‘why should I have to pay huge amounts of my hard earned money on products I can’t expect to last longer than a few years at best (and that’s if all went well)'.
After all, we’ve all had at least one experience in our life where we bought an appliance such as a toaster with a 12 month warranty only for it to die shortly after the warranty expires. Products are no longer made to last a lifetime or even 10 years for that matter. Everything these days is made with cheaper parts, cheaper labour and put together quicker than ever before. Each model is replaced with a newer, fancier model but each is still made with cheap parts.

The argument in my mind continued:
‘If the product is as good as you claim it is, why do I need to pay for extended warranty? We all know it’s not worth the price tag it’s selling for. How much is the product marked up...20%? 40%?'.
My questions kept coming and I quickly realised my total lack of knowledge in the whitegoods department. I felt embarrassed, even to myself. So I decided to do some more research on whitegoods, sales commission, product mark-up and so on and so forth. I felt really empowered by the end of my mini Google search.

I knew things I had never known before and for the first time I was actually interested. I read blogs and forums written by salespersons and prospective buyers. Sure, some people might say I wasted an hour or two of my time but I came to see it as investing my time rather than wasting it. My brief Google research had given me the opportunity to learn invaluable knowledge I have used time and time again. Over years, I have saved huge amounts and I want to share these tips with you so you can save too.

For all women out there whether you are single or married, or you are a struggling mother trying to budget and save, you will be surprised at just how easy it is to negotiate a lower price. Having armed myself with some very basic knowledge, I realised, everyone has a hidden ability they can use to get exactly what they want. The key is knowing exactly what you want, but more importantly, knowing exactly what you can expect and not accepting anything other than this. I realised I didn’t have to be a skilled negotiator or a really outgoing person to get a great deal and save some dollars. Play your cards right and you’ll feel sorry for the salesperson.....almost.

Like many people, you are most likely time poor, so follow these simple tips and they will save you time as well as money.

Have a budget and stick to it

Everyone wants to save a dollar and every dollar counts especially when we have a budget. Know what you can afford, how much you want to spend and the maximum price you are willing to pay and stick to it.

Do your Homework

I have never walked into a store and bought an item without doing a bit of homework first. Don’t be hasty. Browse first! Get some ideas. Taking a day or two to shop around won't hurt. Decide exactly what you need and what you want. Don’t get talked into making a decision before you have time to think about it. If you are purchasing a fridge for example, you will, to some extent be guided and limited by price. While we all love the look of the expensive $6,000 French Door fridge with the ice machine and fancy LCD screen incorporated into the door and hidden drink compartments, our budget will most likely stipulate a budget of only a quarter of that amount if we’re lucky.

You will be drawn to a few you like based on price and dimensions. Ask questions! Check the energy rating. Don’t be shy to ask important questions about the brand. Ask if they have had any returns, replacements or any issues from customers. Get the Product code yourself. This will come in handy later if you need to phone around and get a quote for the best possible fridge. You will almost always be asked for the product code. Be sure to look at the product reviews yourself. In Australia is very informative. It is a website designed for consumers from our community to review the products they have bought. It helps to read from customers the pros and cons of their purchase and whether they would recommend the product to others. Reviews are invaluable. They make purchasing so much easier.

Shop around and Price Match

This might sound time consuming and tiring especially if you are time poor. However, a few quick phone calls to any whitegoods, appliance and department stores is quicker than you think. Take Harvey Norman for example. If you are looking to buy a washing machine and you like a particular brand and model, I suggest phoning a few of their stores to get a quote for the best deal. Let’s just say you did your homework on the latest model of the Samsung washing machine and it has great reviews. It is selling in Harvey Norman for $800 with product care. 

My suggestion is this: phone various Harvey Norman stores and ask if they can beat that price. If your budget is $650, let them know what they are working with. Tell them you have done your homework and you like this particular washing machine; can they lower the price for you? They offer it to you for $740 with delivery. Now you have a quote to work with. From here, you can continue phoning different stores asking them to beat that price until you know you have been offered the lowest price. You can either take their offer or go into your nearest store and ask for a better quote with extras added.

Many stores offer a Price Match Guarantee and if they don’t, ask them to match a competitor’s price. I have not met any store unwilling to price match. Do a quick search online and you will be sure to find a lower price. The Price Match Guarantee doesn’t just apply to large appliances; you can do this for just about anything from Liquor to Flights and Hotels. Home Improvement stores like Bunnings will beat any price by 10% so don’t be afraid to ask any store about their price match guarantee if you are not sure. Over time, every dollar adds up especially on big ticket prices.

Use cash, and ask for a package deal

Retailers love cash and some will offer a discount for cash payers. If you are buying multiple appliances, ask for a discount for buying several items at once.

Be strong and be prepared to walk away

Be confident and be willing to walk away. It is a powerful tool. Know your budget and know when to walk away from a deal. If you’re not happy, try another store. Don’t be shy to say the price it too high or that you want to shop around for the best possible price.

Never accept full price

Even if the product is brand new, in perfect working condition, it never hurts to ask for a discount. Even if you are not skilled in negotiating, you don’t need haggling skills to ask for the best price they can offer. If you are buying a product with any marks, dents or damage, ask for a discount. My rule is this: If in doubt, ask for a discount. They can only say no and they rarely do. If buying multiple items, ask for discounts off every item.

Express shock at the price tag

We are conditioned to accept store price tags for products and appliances. We all know appliances can be expensive, but we rarely, if ever, question it. If a product is too expensive, we simply walk on until we find a product within our price range. Expressing shock at a price tag can influence the way a salesperson approaches the sale and they are more likely to offer you a discount. Note, this same aghast reaction works wonders when servicing your car. Mechanics may throw at you, the most expensive quotes for a simple repair but if they know you can’t afford it, they are less likely to overcharge. Question everything!

Ask for extras

Don’t be afraid to ask for any extras such as free delivery, discounted extended warranties or 20% of accessories. Large retailers such as Harvey Norman and The Good Guys are really flexible with throwing in extras.

Choose your time

Stores such as Harvey Norman, The Good Guys, Bing Lee and Domayne get the majority of their customers come in on the weekend. Choose a time when the store is quiet and they are not making many sales. I usually phone up my preferred store and ask them when their quiet days are. In addition, have a read of the following article which discusses the perfect time to buy products.

Negotiating to get the lowest possible price is a skill anyone can use by just following a few practical steps. You don’t have to talk tough or be manipulative to get what you want and what you deserve. Negotiation is about looking for an increased advantage. And in a world where everything is overpriced, the last thing we want to get is a raw deal. I would love to hear your experiences so please, write in and share your thoughts. I love hearing a great success story.


(If you want to read more on the art of negotiation, Amazon, Booktopia and The Book Depository has some really informative books which provide practical tools to help women learn the art of negotiation. The Negotiation Book by Steve Gates shows you how to understand the psychology, tactics and behaviours of negotiation and teaches you how to conduct successful win-win negotiations).





  Have you ever walked into a store and felt completely bombarded by a pushy salesperson? Do you feel overwhelmed when it comes to ne...