We all start out as kids knowing how to haggle.
With parents: “If I do my homework, can I stay up late?”
With friends: “I’ll give you two of these for one of those”.
We still negotiate all the time without thinking about it, but when we’re conscious of doing it, we tend to forget everything we know.
‘Haggle’ used to be a dirty word to me. I’d avoid it at all costs because it made me so uncomfortable, but that wasn’t working for me as a resale addict. I studied how to haggle, and today I’m not only comfortable with it, I find it fun.
Below are the 18 best tips I ever found on how to haggle like a pro. You’ll discover they apply to any negotiating situation as well.
- Don’t wander from reality land. Your life, your career, and the safety of your loved ones aren’t at stake. Stay calm and stay in control.
- Listen more than you talk. Listening shows respect and tells the other person you consider them important.
- Know your margins. Don’t start haggling without knowing what you want, and the lowest price that you’ll be comfortable accepting.
- Be confident. Haggle from a position of strength, not weakness.
- Be flexible. Leave yourself wiggle room, and never start with your lowest acceptable offer.
- Be patient. Being in a hurry puts pressure on you, and gives the other person leverage.
- Find something you both have in common, and let it work for you. When you build rapport, it’s hard for the other guy to be confrontational.
- Look at it from the other point of view. What is the other person really after, and how can you help them achieve it without sacrificing your own needs?
- Don’t be afraid to share your needs. Let it be known there’s reasoning behind your position, and you aren’t just being stubborn or unreasonable.
Body Language Can Haggle Louder Than Words
- The eyes have it. Keep eye contact without staring because it conveys honesty and friendliness, which is what you want to project.
- Until you can haggle without having to be conscious of your technique, be aware of your facial expressions. Don’t allow all your thoughts and feeling to be reflected on your face. You can put on your best poker face and look friendly at the same time.
- Keep your hands open in a comfortable position to show you’re open to offers. Most of all, don’t touch your face unless you have to sneeze! It’s an indication of anxiety if you rub your forehead, covering your mouth says you’re hiding something.
- Always go for the win-win. Offer ways to satisfy the needs of the other person without sacrificing your own needs. Be creative.
- Don’t take it personally. Haggling has nothing to do with your value as a human being, even if the person on the other side makes it sound that way. That’s also a tip off they have poor haggling skills and puts you ahead.
- Never make the first offer. When you do, you lose the chance the other party will make an offer better than one you had in mind.
- Silence is golden. Once you’ve thrown an offer out there, don’t say anything until you hear a counter offer. It puts pressure on the other guy.
- Don’t make it a fight to the death. If a deal can’t be reached where both parties get some satisfaction, let it go and live to haggle another day. Agree to disagree, and end on a positive note.
If this is new to you, you probably aren’t going to be ready for the big time right away. For haggling to be comfortable and come naturally, it takes practice. When it does, you’ll be surprised how rewarding, and fun, it really is.
Have any more tips you’ve found helpful? Send them in!