[This was merged in from its own thread. It was off topic when posted in isolation, but works as a reply here. There were only a couple of followups, they can be recognized by the post titles. - admin alex]
I was going to post this on another thread, but the topic was locked, so I decided to start a new thread because I think this subject is very valuable to people (Bogleheads) who want to save money. I would be interested in comments, suggestions or interesting stories from other posters regarding negotiating.
A long time ago a very wise person advised me to get a book on negotiating and read it. I ordered "Secrets of Power Negotiating", by Roger Dawson. Shortly after reading the book, my wife and I were in an antique store and there was an item I was interested in. I can't remember the exact numbers, so I will make them up. There were two ladies running the store. I asked one of them how much the item was. She said $50.00. I had just read the negotiating book and one of the strategies (called gambits in the book) was to just "Shut Up" after asking how much. After the lady told me the price was $50.00, I didn't say anything. There was a long silence, but finally she said she would take $30.00. The other lady was quite upset and asked her why she came down to $30.00. Her answer was, "well, he didn't say anything". I more than recovered the cost of the book right there. I would recommend getting a book on negotiating and reading it. Even if you don't use the strategies (gambits) on others, you will know when they are using them on you.
Slow and steady wins the race.