There are several ways to make any deal, yet for the most part, 99% of bargainers select the obvious path, which often leads to an impasse. Business negotiators should practice their skills 24/7, and especially when they have their consumer hats on. This enables them to try new tactics while matching wits with others, from whom they can learn in a low-threat environment.
Let's say you want a stylish pair of shoes that is ridiculously overpriced. Passing by the store, you notice a hopeful sign: "Clearance!"
You scavenge for the pair that you like and they're a perfect fit. But they aren't marked down. Having asked to speak to the manager, he comes by with an imperious expression and you wonder aloud why these aren't on sale. "These never go on sale," he smirks with impatience, chastising you for even asking.
Here are 15 options for getting that discount:
(1) You can attack, claiming his "clearance" sign is misleading advertising, fraudulently inducing passersby to come in. "Now, how much are you going to take off?"
(2) You can smile back and ask: "Is this price the best you can do?"
(3) You can make a specific offer of what you're willing to pay.
(4) You can bake a bigger cake: "What if I purchase two pairs?"
(5) You can start leaving the store. Some sellers will chase you down and reel you back in, especially if they have invested a lot of time with you (car dealers are famous for doing this).
(6) You can make a ceremony out of writing down the make and model number of the shoe and say you'll shop for a better price, especially on the Internet.
(7) You can ask: "Is the store closing? I can come back for the final sale."
(8) "My friend, Megan comes in all the time, and she gets discounts!"
(9) "What other stores around here carry Bally?"
(10) "Do you have an outlet store?"
(11) "Can you sell them to me for your employee discount?"
(12) "These are scratched. Are they SECONDS? They should be marked down!"
(13) "I'll find them for less, but I'd rather find them HERE for less and give you the business. What can you do for me?"
(14) "And what's the CASH price?"
(15) "If there's another markdown later, will you refund the difference?"
Typically, retailers look for a "keystone," which is two times the wholesale value they paid for inventory. So, if the shoes retail for $240, this means the store MAY have invested $120, and perhaps even less. This leaves them a lot of wiggle room to discount and to still make a profit.
And please note, if you are a retailer, there's no harm in rewarding your customers, especially if they're trying so hard to buy something from you. After all, isn't this why frequency marketing programs have been so successful in generating customer loyalty?
Practice bargaining 24/7, and you'll improve quickly.