Self-editing is overrated. Or is it?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Deal or no deal?

I don't actually know anybody who reads that crazy Redeye Magazine that the Chicago Tribune puts out, but boy, they got me with their recent articles on how to haggle!

First, there's the article that explains the whole concept behind haggling. The main thing you need to know is "I learned that you can always ask. They have the right to say no," according to Goodwin Heil, professional haggler.

But who to ask? This article explains who's open to haggling and how open they might be.

But the most important article is the tips you need for successful haggling, as defined by Herb Cohen, author of the new book "You Can Negotiate Anything".

His tips are:

Virtually everything is negotiable
Cohen says besides ethical, moral and religious principles, everything is negotiable. Everything. But it's also important to realize when it makes sense to not negotiate.

"Can you negotiate a quarter pound of butter?" he says. "Probably you could. You get three cents off at a store but you spend an hour of your time doing it so it's clearly not worth your while."

Treat salespeople well
Instead of being cynical toward salespeople, Cohen suggests treating them as you would want to be treated.

"Your style should be amiable and friendly," he said. "Don't try to know more about the [product] than the salesperson. Don't be an expert. Ask them for help. If you do that, it will work."

Find the decision-maker
There's no point in talking to a salesperson who can't give you the deal you're looking for.

"Get someone who knows that the store has some give," Cohen says. "Go to the manager, go to the owner of the store. Say to the person you're dealing with, 'Can I talk to the owner?'"

Be able to walk away
Never get emotionally attached to material items, Cohen says, and understand the benefit of a salesperson watching you-and your money-walk out the door.

"Say to them, 'Look, take my card. You give me a call.'" Cohen says. "And I guarantee you within 48 hours, within 72 hours, you'll hear from them and the price will be lower."

"The idea is not to try and score the best price or walk out of there paying less than anybody has ever paid before but to find a common middle ground between you and the merchant so that everybody walks away happy," said Quincy Fleming, a seasoned haggler. "That's the true haggling experience."

Ultimately, Fleming said, good hagglers know never to get too emotional about what they're trying to buy.

"You fall in love with a rug, then you'll always pay too much."

But how does this work in practice? Well, check it out with our old pals from Tinley Park, The Monkey Boys! Click below to watch the 5 minute movie on how to really hit garage sales or go here for the full 35 minute version of the film!


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