Negotiating is a valuable skill that can save you an enormous amount of money throughout your lifetime. Once you become an experienced negotiator, you can get the things you want and still have money to pay off debt and achieve your financial goals. However, negotiating is an art – an art that takes practice. Successful negotiating requires market research, confidence, and strong communication skills.
If you’re wondering “how to pay my debt off faster,” negotiation is the answer. You’ll save money on large purchases (i.e., cars, appliances) and be able to repay debt quicker using our credit card management app.
Ready to become a master negotiator? Here are nine ways to negotiate and save money:
1. Research Beforehand
Don’t attempt to negotiate before doing your homework. This typically means understanding how much an item is selling for and the current level of market demand. Throwing out a ridiculously low price will get you nowhere when you’re negotiating. Not only that but knowing something’s value gives you more leverage when you negotiate. For example, imagine that you’re in the market for a new car. You could use Edmunds True Market Value (TMV) tool to determine how much a car is worth. If the calculator says a car is worth $4,000, you could use that number as your upper limit. Then multiply the value by an arbitrary number (i.e., 90%) to determine a lower limit.
2. Know Your Price Range
Calculating an upper and lower limit helps you identify the maximum you’re willing to pay. The lower limit acts as a starting point – the first amount you’re ready to offer. However, you should ensure that your lower limit isn’t too farfetched. An initial offer that’s too low could hurt your chances of negotiating a deal. Your research should indicate that the lower value is within a reasonable range of the average market price. No matter what price you throw out first, make sure you’re prepared to support it with research.
3. Build a Relationship
Whether you’re buying a piano or a boat, it’s essential to build a relationship with the seller. Building a relationship could mean acting friendly or making a good first impression. A seller is unlikely to give you a deal if you come off too aggressive or standoffish. You don’t need to go overboard, either. Keep it professional and do what you can to make it convenient for the buyer to seal the ideal (i.e., picking up the item instead of having the seller deliver it to you).
4. Ask Questions
Asking questions allows you to gauge what a buyer’s willing to accept for an item. For instance, you could ask how long the seller has been trying to sell the item. If the item has been sitting on the market for a while, the seller might be willing to take a lower price. You could also ask, “how low are you willing to go?” Even if they say the price is firm, there might still be some negotiation room. Also, be sure to ask specific questions about the item. If the buyer notes any flaws, you have more leverage to haggle down the price.
5. Leave Your Nerves at the Door
It’s easy to get nervous when negotiating, especially since you can’t predict the outcome. You also don’t know how a seller will react when you throw out a price. Although it’s easier said than done, you can’t take rejection personally. Rejection is always a part of the negotiation, and there’s no reward without risk. Fortunately, there are a few ways to ease your nerves. Many people find that thorough research helps them with their negotiations. Bringing a friend or significant other may make the negotiation process less nerve-wracking. And even if you do get nervous, you should do your best to hide the nerves. Being confident can make it easier to negotiate and get the best price.
6. Stay Confident
As they say, “confidence is key.” Becoming too emotionally invested in a deal can make you lose confidence if it doesn’t go your way. Remember that you will recover if the seller isn’t willing to budge. If you take the “I have nothing to lose” mindset, you’ll remain confident, calm, and collected. Another way to stay confident is to consider your blind spots before negotiating. Blind spots are areas that give the seller an advantage over you. For instance, letting your nerves take over is an obvious blind spot that makes getting the price you want more challenging.
7. Don’t Rush
You don’t want to rush when you’re negotiating, but you also don’t want to drag your feet. To begin, running into negotiation may make you seem desperate. If the seller perceives you as desperate, they may think you really need the item they’re selling. Consequently, it will be more challenging to get them to lower the price. Taking your time also helps to ensure you’re making an educated purchase – not one based on emotions. Why try to negotiate for something you don’t need in the first place? Let the deal run its course, and start negotiating when it feels most natural.
8. Avoid Lowballing
Lowball offers can offend sellers, leaving them with no desire to do business with you. A lowball offer is defined as “significantly” below market price. For example, offering someone $5,000 for a car worth $12,000. Therefore, it’s crucial to determine the lower end of the price range based on market data. If you can only afford an item at a lowball price, you’re probably not in the best position to buy.
9. Know When It’s Time to Walk
Depending on the deal, negotiating can take a couple of minutes to a couple of weeks. However, you have to know when to walk away from the deal and pursue other options. A telltale sign is when the seller is unwilling to budge, and you don’t believe they are asking a fair price based on comparable items. Abandoning an item isn’t giving up – it’s an opportunity to save money and stay within your price range.
You’ll be surprised how much money you can save through negotiation. Once you start saving, try out our debt repayment apps to find the best way to pay down loans and achieve financial freedom.