How To Bargain And Get A Good Deal

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Bargaining is somewhat of a lost art in America. Because of this, we thought it would be helpful to pull together a quick list of tips for how to bargain.

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  1. Why is Knowing How to bargain So Important?
  2. How to Bargain: 10 Tips

Where Can I Bargain?

You can bargain more often than you think. Most people think flea markets and garage sales are the only places where Bargaining is even on the table. Still, you can often bargain at the electronics shop, at the doctor’s office, or at many other locations where you spend more than a few dollars.

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Sometimes, you’ll get a flat out “no negotiation” when you ask if you can get a lower price on something, but you’ll be surprised by how often you get another response. In fact, the offer of a bargain is often exciting for a seller or practitioner to hear.

People are especially receptive to Bargaining at the end of the day, the end of the month, or the end of the year. This is because the location wants to up its sales numbers as much as possible before their day-end/month-end/year-end performance is tallied.

How to Bargain: 10 Tips

a garage sale with vases | How To Bargain And Get A Good Deal

Decide on a Maximum Beforehand

Before you even engage a seller in Bargaining, decide in your head on a maximum you’re willing to pay. Start your haggling significantly lower than your max, but keep in mind never to go over your maximum price.

Draw Out an Offer

Before stating a starting price yourself, ask the seller how much the item is. When they quote you a price, you need to look torn as to whether it’s a good buy and give a “hmmm…” Keep contemplating silently until the seller breaks the silence by either saying the price is final or offering you a lower price. If you hear the latter, it’s time to start Bargaining.

Always Haggle

Do not give a price and refuse to haggle with the seller if they are trying to compromise. It makes you seem disrespectful and unreasonable. Always start low and raise your price at least once during the negotiation to signal respect.

Be Nice

Maintain a smile and an optimistic attitude during the bargaining process, whether it’s genuine or not. Anyone would rather be generous to a nice person than an aggressive and disrespectful one.

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Imply Future Business

If you can slip into your interaction, something about how you plan to buy a lot of the product being sold or that you just moved into the neighborhood — whether it’s true or not. If the seller thinks he or she can snag future business by making a good impression, they’ll be much more likely to offer a deal.

Use Discretion

Do the Bargaining away from the eyes and ears of other shoppers. The seller knows they will have to reduce the price for everyone if they are caught reducing it for you, so it’s very unlikely you’ll get in any good bartering in front of third parties.

State Your Offers

a garage sale with vases | How To Bargain And Get A Good Deal

State your offers instead of asking. Bargaining is mostly about confidence, and striking a definitive tone is key.

For example:


“I’ll give you 200 dollars for it.”

“That’s in the right ballpark, but let’s do 350.”


“Would you do $200?”

“That sounds okay, but can we do 350?”

Ask for Cash Discount

Ask if you can get a discount if you pay with cash. Sellers need to pay added fees when they accept cards for payment, so a cash discount is a very reasonable way to get the ball rolling. Once the price has been lowered a little, it’s easier to lower it further.

Of course, this tip assumes you have cash on you. So make sure to carry some around, especially when you’re on your way to buy a big-ticket item.

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Flash Your Cash

Speaking of cash, there’s no greater incentive for a seller to make a sale than actually seeing the money they can receive just by saying “yes.” As long as you are in a relatively private space where it is safe to freely display your money, try to pull out your wallet and prepare the cash to hand over.

Walk Away

Show the seller you’re on the verge of walking away from the sale altogether. This is a seller’s greatest fear, as they usually want to move products even if they are selling it at a significant discount. Taking a step back while saying “I don’t know…” either literally or figuratively will make the seller get desperate about making the sale, which is just where you want them.

Learning how to bargain will make your shopping less expensive and more exhilarating. Use these tips to get started!


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