How often do you bargain for things?

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Caduceus
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How often do you bargain for things?

Post by Caduceus » Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:17 am

Over the years, I've been surprised at how willing people are to negotiate things. On Ebay and Amazon marketplace, before I buy things, I often send messages asking if discounts are available, or if they would be willing to sell for a particular price, etc. It's saved me a lot of money over time.

Of course, I get the occasional seller who's offended by the mere request. (I find that weird - you can just "No" and that's the end of the story, but some people get very offended.)

But over time, I've found that being able to negotiate things is very useful. Recently I needed a personal service that was going for $400. Seller would not budge on email. I gave a call about a week later, had a pleasant conversation, explained my thinking and offered to use him again for future needs - got a 40% discount on the spot.

Do you tend to bargain for purchases/services, like on Ebay (even if the listing is Buy It Now) or other areas of your life? Or do you feel embarassed doing that?

magicj
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by magicj » Tue Nov 19, 2019 6:34 am

It depends on where you are buying from. I sell quite a bit on eBay and feel like with eBay if it’s a higher priced item you have that ability. Let’s say it’s over $100 and you send a reasonable offer then I wouldnt be offended. If it’s some absurd offer then I will usually respond with an offer of exactly what I am selling for because I’m offended.
I rarely use offer up but I do have a couple larger items up there now. They have an option to list it as “firm”. I’m going to price it for a quick sale because at this point it’s larger and taking up valuable room in my house. If you offer me anything less than the firm listed price I’m going to respond with just: No. $xxx FIRM.

Planner01
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by Planner01 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 6:41 am

All the time!
This month alone I negotiated a tree at a nursery as I needed to replace it in my house. I negotiated the Uhaul truck to deliver the tree (less than $20, when the nursery wanted $65). I negotiated a training certification class for a new business I started. I negotiated free shipping for the business cards (already had a coupon for the product but my item wasn’t expensive enough to get the free offered shipping, so I called and asked for that extra free shipping). Even had dpt stores I asked for discounts and even when the coupon is not valid yet the clerk usually looks for additional deals for me.
I love to negotiate, whether it’s a large or small purchase.

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ClevrChico
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by ClevrChico » Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:32 am

I've done decent negotiating for a car, house, and roofing. (Nothing big, but fair deals.)

I'm hesitant to negotiate for skilled services, as I want an incentive for them to do good work. Think dentistry, carpentry, plumbing, etc.

I never get the opportunity for retail negotiating. Aldi and Walmart aren't going to negotiate with me.

Beyond that, I work at a Megacorp, so I have a large network of folks with side hobbies and businesses that will readily help each other out outside work just to be nice.

I've known a few people that considered themselves professional negotiators/deal makers. They were so greedy and made such ridiculous offers, all they were doing was burning bridges and making the company miss out on opportunities. In one case, it cost them their business. It's a slippery slope taken too far.

Mr. Rumples
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by Mr. Rumples » Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:48 am

I don't negotiate except at estate and yard sales. On the former they only are willing to do it on the last day in the last hours if its being done by a company. On the other hand, I'm pretty well known at some local nurseries and I now get the landscapers discount which they will reduce further for me sometimes. At Lowe's one saleslady frequently gives me a discount on clearance items in the nursery and gives me a head's up when they are going to be moving stock to the clearance section. She sold me gallon containers of striped zebra grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Super Stripe') for $1.50 each. I'll repot them up in the spring real nice and give some away.

sambb
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by sambb » Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:52 am

Consider to negotiate for salaries and promotions and additional job responsibilities and raise income far in excess of smaller savings in retail arenas. Or do both.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:55 am

Never. I hate bargaining.

Kagord
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by Kagord » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:31 am

I hate it too, I only bargain when buying a car.

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dm200
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by dm200 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:35 am

Kagord wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:31 am
I hate it too, I only bargain when buying a car.
Rarely - except for a car as well.

I just hate the whole idea of "bargaining" - from either side.

My wife spends considerable time and effort finding good deals - but this usually is not bargaining down a set price.

finfire
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by finfire » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:37 am

Whenever I can.

Topic Author
Caduceus
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by Caduceus » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:45 am

For the folks who hate it, what do you hate about it? I'm genuinely curious because I've gotten the rare offended reaction to a perfectly polite inquiry that doesn't even consume 10 seconds of their time. It's fairly easy to say - "thanks for your interest but the price is fixed" - and that's it. For the seller, any buyer that expresses interest is a potential business opportunity. The worst he can lose is the sale, and nothing more.

Is it psychologically stressful? Or something else?

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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by bluebolt » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:22 am

In general, I don't mind bargaining or being bargained with, but I don't find many opportunities to do so. Autos, souvenirs when abroad, occasional Craigslist purchase. Couldn't really negotiate on home purchases much since we were buying in extremely competitive markets. At a small retailer, if I'm considering a large purchase, I'll ask for a discount and sometimes they'll give 10-15%.

From the other side, when I'm selling something on Craigslist or Facebook and I get barraged with "Would you take $x?" and x is some ridiculous lowball amount, it is annoying. I don't even respond to those folks, since it would be a waste of my time. I certainly would respond to a serious offer.

Goal33
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by Goal33 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:26 am

I do occasionally. I used to all the time, but now that I make more money it’s not worth my time.
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bertilak
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by bertilak » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:31 am

House, car, yard sales. I think those are situations where bargaining is expected and offering prices are set accordingly.

Perhaps I'll think of something else, but those are the obvious.

Oh, one other "concept." Sometimes a price is given for a service (yardwork, tree trimming, painting, gutters, etc.) and my bargaining consists of establishing exactly what work is included. It is hard to draw the line between clarification and bargaining.
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FlyAF
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by FlyAF » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:38 am

I negotiate on behalf of my company every day all day on 6 and 7 figure purchases. I'd consider myself pretty good at it, but I rarely do it in my personal life, the exception being cars, houses, big ticket stuff like that. If I find something I need on fleaBay for $40 and I find that reasonable, I'll pay it instead of trying to negotiate a $5 discount. I just don't find it worth my time.

I don't get offended when people try to negotiate with me as a seller, but the obvious low ball nonsense offers are annoying to say the least. I recently sold a collector car for quite a bit of money, let's say 75k. I can't tell you how many emails I got asking if I could accept 30k or some other such BS. Annoying.

Nowizard
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by Nowizard » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:41 am

Definitely with some things such as vehicles or a garage sale. Nothing professionally. It does require a willingness to maintain calm and respectful but also has resulted in significant savings on vehicles. Others ask me to accompany them when purchasing automobiles.

Tim

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dm200
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by dm200 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:43 am

Caduceus wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:45 am
For the folks who hate it, what do you hate about it? I'm genuinely curious because I've gotten the rare offended reaction to a perfectly polite inquiry that doesn't even consume 10 seconds of their time. It's fairly easy to say - "thanks for your interest but the price is fixed" - and that's it. For the seller, any buyer that expresses interest is a potential business opportunity. The worst he can lose is the sale, and nothing more.
Is it psychologically stressful? Or something else?
I suppose, mainly, it is not a part of my "culture" or what I saw, generally, in my family or community growing up.

For the most part (except for car shopping) - I tend to regard folks who want to question a listed price (or bargain) as an attempt to "cheat" (perhaps too strong a word) the seller.

Some aspects do not bother me, such as a potential buyer asking "Do you have anything with a lower price?"

Maybe it is "Psychologically stressful" to me!

Maybe I hate it because I am not good at it!

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Caduceus
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by Caduceus » Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:23 pm

dm200 wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:43 am

Maybe it is "Psychologically stressful" to me!

Maybe I hate it because I am not good at it!
It is an acquired skill. I learnd it from an ex. We were in Istanbul and I saw something I loved. He told me to keep quiet. Went up to the seller, and the conversation went something like this:

"How much?"

"$1000"

"Beautiful piece, but $1000's too much. I can offer $100!" (At this point I'm thinking, that's totally nuts!)

Seller says - "No, $800"

Boyfriend says - "$250, final price, we pay cash not credit"

Seller says $700

He walks away. Like, literally walks away.

He sells it at $250.

That was such an eye opening moment for me. I would have been happy at half price. He got it for 25%. Later at dinner he said we got swindled, because if I wasn't so eager for the item, he'd have gotten it for 10% but I gave the game away with my expressions... lol

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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by MrBeaver » Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:03 pm

Caduceus wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:17 am
Do you tend to bargain for purchases/services, like on Ebay (even if the listing is Buy It Now) or other areas of your life? Or do you feel embarassed doing that?
No, I just don't like doing it.

However, I do wonder how it would be if markets were more price-standardized. I don't 'bargain' when I buy shares of an ETF, but I'm benefitting from all of the bargaining and decisions to buy or sell that others are doing. This doesn't work very well for most things I buy though, it requires things to be standardized contract items (ETF shares).

But I hate feeling like others are getting a better deal than me. That is the primary reason why I have purchased all my cars from individuals rather than dealerships.

Katietsu
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by Katietsu » Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:20 pm

If it is in an environment where it is customary like a car sale, then, sure I will.

If the product is in less than full price condition, like nursery products that are past season or looking bad, then maybe.

But otherwise I do not.

Maybe it is a bit emotionally uncomfortable. And it definitely was not part of my upbringing.

But, I am bothered by people asking for a discount in day to day life where it is not customary. I do not know whether or not I should be bothered but I am. I feel like they are asking for special treatment and it does not seem fair. I put it in the same category as people who ask to be bumped up when there is a long wait for an appointment or want an upgraded feature without paying for it.

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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by JediMisty » Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:26 pm

I'm in favor of finding the best value for anything I purchase. Sometimes that means buying on sale, with a coupon, or asking for a discount. I used to purchase souvenirs in the Caribbean before I had been there a zillion times. I once bragged about negotiating some price while on a scuba dive boat in Cozumel. The (local) dive master chortled, "It's cheaper in the Mega" (local grocery store). Lesson learned. When I was there in October, I noticed that the $10 bottles of vanilla sold in the marketplace was $3.25 in the Mega. And it was never in the hot sun of the store fronts. Also, sometimes the cheapest price is just cheaper. Like for handyman work. Generally, I am embarrassed to negotiate, but do it anyway! Nor do I get offended when offered a low ball price for something I'm selling. Like when I sold my house in 1999. The low ball cash offer 30% below asking didn't offend me. I just countered $500 below our nearly 200k asking price. Ultimately they were the ones that made the highest offer when it went into a bidding war a week later. And they were reasonable during the inspection and allowed me to rent if I would close on the day that matched their "lucky number" day. When someone bought the beautiful tufted leather couch I sold, they got a steal because I had no room for it after my SO moved in. Good for them. Of course, I had bought it used initially, so didn't lose that much.

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whodidntante
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by whodidntante » Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:26 pm

In China, India, Mexico, and Peru I bargained extensively. Speaking Spanish helped tremendously in 50% of those countries. :happy

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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by sport » Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:30 pm

ClevrChico wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:32 am
I never get the opportunity for retail negotiating. Aldi and Walmart aren't going to negotiate with me.
You never know unless you try. I once negotiated a lower price on a camera lens at Kmart.

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unclescrooge
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by unclescrooge » Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:47 pm

ClevrChico wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:32 am
I've done decent negotiating for a car, house, and roofing. (Nothing big, but fair deals.)

I'm hesitant to negotiate for skilled services, as I want an incentive for them to do good work. Think dentistry, carpentry, plumbing, etc.

I never get the opportunity for retail negotiating. Aldi and Walmart aren't going to negotiate with me.

Beyond that, I work at a Megacorp, so I have a large network of folks with side hobbies and businesses that will readily help each other out outside work just to be nice.

I've known a few people that considered themselves professional negotiators/deal makers. They were so greedy and made such ridiculous offers, all they were doing was burning bridges and making the company miss out on opportunities. In one case, it cost them their business. It's a slippery slope taken too far.
You always want to leave something on the table for the other side. Yes, it's means you don't always get the best deal possible, but it prevents situations where you burn your bridges.

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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by Shallowpockets » Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:12 pm

You should not enter into bargaining from the buying side unless you are going to actually buy the item. This especially true in countries where bargaining is part of the culture. Unfortunately it becomes a game to people (the buyer) and the real reason for the bargaining is to see just how low you can get that price. No intention of buying, simply the game.
So, if Istanbul rug merchant goes from his initial price of $1000 down to your "last offer" of $250, don't be a buyer who now stands there thinking, well, he went to the $250, can I get it lower?

prairieman
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by prairieman » Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:26 pm

Only the big items: cars, house, landscaping. I tried bargaining at first in China and felt terrible - like the rich American being cheap with a poor person who could use the extra few dollars much more than me.

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Abe
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by Abe » Tue Nov 19, 2019 6:10 pm

Years ago I read a book titled "Secrets of Power Negotiating" by Roger Dawson. I learned how to use specific tactics, called gambits, that help achieve negotiation objectives. I also learned how to recognize when others were using the gambits on me. It doesn't hurt to ask. You never know what people will do. Here's an example: My wife and I go to a local dentist twice a year for cleanings. One day I called his office and asked the receptionist if they offered senior discounts. She said that she would have to ask the dentist and let me know. Later, she called me and asked if 10% discount would be okay. So now every time we go to the dentist we get 10% off. I wouldn't be getting that if I hadn't asked. By the way, when the receptionist said she would have to ask the dentist, she was using the higher authority gambit. When asking for a discount, don't say, "I'll give you X dollars for your item". That puts people off. I usually say something like this, "I know you are asking more, but would you be willing to accept X dollars for your item". You'll never know if you don't ask.
Slow and steady wins the race.

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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by Fallible » Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:03 pm

Here is a great thread on the subject referring to haggling to get that bargain.

viewtopic.php?t=101433

Re your bargaining to get that nice 40% discount: since he came down that far, I probably would not take it just yet. I'd first want to think a bit more about it because he did come down so much, which might say something about the original price, such as how far off it was, whether he had planned all along on coming down if that price were questioned enough. In other words, I would still wonder how close we were to the right price. But that's probably just me.

It's a bit ironic that the more a buyer haggles, the more some sellers will figure they've got the advantage because it means the customer really wants the product and is therefore more likely to give in and buy it. That's why a buyer's strongest bargaining position is often to be ready to walk away.
John Bogle on his often bumpy road to low-cost indexing: "When a door closes, if you look long enough and hard enough, if you're strong enough, you'll find a window that opens."

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jabberwockOG
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by jabberwockOG » Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:26 pm

While working, routinely negotiated complex fixed and variable cost large dollar (>$1M) consulting contracts with fortune 100 companies. Most of the negotiations were conducted with some pretty skilled folks on the other side, and almost always were professional and congenial, although some were the opposite.

In retirement, I see most products and services as negotiable. I don't hesitate to ask for a better price, or for cash discount, etc. But I do strive to keep the conversation/communication professional, polite and respectful. I want a great price in any significant transaction, but it also needs to be a fair price for both sides, and I think being mindful of that overarching concept makes it easier for me to enter into a negotiation.

Conversely I will pay full list or more, if it looks to me like the person isn't asking enough for their work/product, or clearly needs some help.

michaeljc70
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:14 pm

I am always looking for deals on things, sale flyers, etc. Direct bargaining is limited to cars, cable/internet (when deal ends) and larger household projects (remodel, etc.). Also out of the country where it is more common in everyday purchases.

audioaxes
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by audioaxes » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:00 pm

Im a bargain shopper but I hate trying to haggle for discounts just as I'd hate if someone tried to haggle me. If something is not the price I want to pay I just move on.
My wife on the other hand loves to offer below asking price.

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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:16 pm

last time I "tried" bargaining I was in Mexico. Heard from everyone to haggle. So I went to a "market" sort of like a flea market (open stalls, etc). Saw a mexican blanket (they were everywhere). I heard what they wanted for them as I passed several stalls. So I got to one I saw that I liked and offered a low price, thinking I'd start low (lower than I knew was their starting price), he'd start high and we'd meet somewhere in the middle.

instead when I gave him my "opening offer" (low bid), he yelled at me, "Get Out of My Store!!"

So that didn't work out very well. In playing some weird haggling game in a culture I didn't understand I wound up almost creating an international incident. :oops:

Years later I talked with a coworker who went to Mexico and bought some jewelry that was hand made. The prices were cheap and my friend told the merchant the jewelry was worth much more and insisted on paying ABOVE the asking price. The merchant gave my friend a big hug.

Do you want a hug or do you want to be thrown out the store? Your choice.
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Sic Vis Pacem
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by Sic Vis Pacem » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:23 pm

Frequently, but not seriously unless it matters.

I almost reflexively pose the question is: "Is that the best you can do?" Amazed at how often that question has moved the price, often more than I expected.

Edited to add: Domestically. When abroad, it really depends on the standard of living and what my purchase might mean to the recipient. I'm perfectly willing to be a "sucker" when appropriate.
Last edited by Sic Vis Pacem on Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:24 pm

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:16 pm
last time I "tried" bargaining I was in Mexico. Heard from everyone to haggle. So I went to a "market" sort of like a flea market (open stalls, etc). Saw a mexican blanket (they were everywhere). I heard what they wanted for them as I passed several stalls. So I got to one I saw that I liked and offered a low price, thinking I'd start low (lower than I knew was their starting price), he'd start high and we'd meet somewhere in the middle.

instead when I gave him my "opening offer" (low bid), he yelled at me, "Get Out of My Store!!"

So that didn't work out very well. In playing some weird haggling game in a culture I didn't understand I wound up almost creating an international incident. :oops:

Years later I talked with a coworker who went to Mexico and bought some jewelry that was hand made. The prices were cheap and my friend told the merchant the jewelry was worth much more and insisted on paying ABOVE the asking price. The merchant gave my friend a big hug.

Do you want a hug or do you want to be thrown out the store? Your choice.
If they hug you, you probably paid too much. If they throw you out, you probably offered way too little. I'd prefer to be somewhere in the middle.

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MN-Investor
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by MN-Investor » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:44 pm

I get tense at just the thought of haggling. Yes, if I were buying a house, but, otherwise, no. It makes my stomach hurt.
The key to success - Save early, save often, invest well.

theplayer11
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by theplayer11 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:59 pm

interesting that so many think it's ok with cars and homes, but nothing else. Everything is negotiable in my book..if a seller doesn't want to play, no biggie. Most sellers want to sell and many if not most will take less. If they will take less and sell at a price I'm willing to buy at, it's a win, win.

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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:12 pm

theplayer11 wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:59 pm
interesting that so many think it's ok with cars and homes, but nothing else. Everything is negotiable in my book..if a seller doesn't want to play, no biggie. Most sellers want to sell and many if not most will take less. If they will take less and sell at a price I'm willing to buy at, it's a win, win.
I think most people just buy things from big box stores, chain grocery stores, etc. I don't think you will get far negotiating with Walmart, Target, Costco, Allstate, State Farm, McDonald's, Whole Foods, etc.

If I visit a small business it would typically be a restaurant or car wash or something and I'm not going to negotiate. If you buy antiques, go to estate/garage sales, buy on eBay, etc. then that is different.

ARoseByAnyOtherName
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:26 pm

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:16 pm
last time I "tried" bargaining I was in Mexico. Heard from everyone to haggle. So I went to a "market" sort of like a flea market (open stalls, etc). Saw a mexican blanket (they were everywhere). I heard what they wanted for them as I passed several stalls. So I got to one I saw that I liked and offered a low price, thinking I'd start low (lower than I knew was their starting price), he'd start high and we'd meet somewhere in the middle.

instead when I gave him my "opening offer" (low bid), he yelled at me, "Get Out of My Store!!"

So that didn't work out very well. In playing some weird haggling game in a culture I didn't understand I wound up almost creating an international incident. :oops:

Years later I talked with a coworker who went to Mexico and bought some jewelry that was hand made. The prices were cheap and my friend told the merchant the jewelry was worth much more and insisted on paying ABOVE the asking price. The merchant gave my friend a big hug.

Do you want a hug or do you want to be thrown out the store? Your choice.
Do you think that because you were thrown out of a store once when you tried to bargain, that everyone else will be thrown out of every single place they try to bargain at?

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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:33 pm

I only bargain on the lasr day of an estate sale.

DesertDiva
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by DesertDiva » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:36 pm

My DH does it for me! :happy :moneybag

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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by IMO » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:41 pm

I really don't feel comfortable bargaining much for things. However, with the advent of the internet (thank you Al Gore), one can quickly and easily determine if the product one is buying is a good value or not. I know a few people that can/do use that internet price as a reason to ask for a price match. Personally I feel like I am insulting the person if I push them to match the price because everyone's overhead is different. So if I don't think the price is reasonable locally (and it doesn't have to be the absolute lowest price available), then I'll just order the item on line. Unfortunate because I prefer to support local merchants.

The other tool I use when looking at different services is that I don't go in looking like I'm not loaded with money (which by this site, I am not). It seems to me that when determining a price, someone will size you up based on your attire/car your driving. If you live in a nice neighborhood or have a nice house, I think service people do tend to price gouge if they feel they can. Additionally, I always make it seem like I've already gotten an estimate(s) even if i haven't, so that the person has a sense that they better come in with a reasonable amount for the service. Another thing I do is research things well so that I come off as having some decent knowledge of what to expect, including what things should cost for the service/product.

As far as being the person on the receiving end of bargaining, I can't stand that process. If I list something on sale on Craigslist, it is the price I am looking for, unless I specifically say OBO or reasonable offer. Actually, when someone puts "reasonable offer" then I actually might put a 'reasonable offer" for the product (such as via ebay) but I'm not one to put in what I feel is unreasonably low offer.

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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:21 am

ARoseByAnyOtherName wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:26 pm
arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:16 pm
last time I "tried" bargaining I was in Mexico. Heard from everyone to haggle. So I went to a "market" sort of like a flea market (open stalls, etc). Saw a mexican blanket (they were everywhere). I heard what they wanted for them as I passed several stalls. So I got to one I saw that I liked and offered a low price, thinking I'd start low (lower than I knew was their starting price), he'd start high and we'd meet somewhere in the middle.

instead when I gave him my "opening offer" (low bid), he yelled at me, "Get Out of My Store!!"

So that didn't work out very well. In playing some weird haggling game in a culture I didn't understand I wound up almost creating an international incident. :oops:

Years later I talked with a coworker who went to Mexico and bought some jewelry that was hand made. The prices were cheap and my friend told the merchant the jewelry was worth much more and insisted on paying ABOVE the asking price. The merchant gave my friend a big hug.

Do you want a hug or do you want to be thrown out the store? Your choice.
Do you think that because you were thrown out of a store once when you tried to bargain, that everyone else will be thrown out of every single place they try to bargain at?
no, but my point was negotiating is a skill and is subject to some cultural norms. there's a learning curve and it may be different in different places. i prefer honest pricing if possible to avoid these time wasters. and the problem wasn't negotiating, it was starting too low and offending.

to run the risk of offending someone because you want the best price, in my mind, isn't a very efficient way of determining prices and is subject to hurt feelings on either side. i don't see the justification for that.

and with negotiating you don't know if you got the "right" price. you just got a "better" price than inital offer. when you negotiate you obviously can still pay too much if you don't negotiate low enough. how do you know how low to go? You know what the right price is or should be. why waste this time when you can just offer/be offered the right price and be done with it?
"May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live" -- Irish Blessing | "Invest we must" -- Jack Bogle

ARoseByAnyOtherName
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName » Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:47 am

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:21 am
ARoseByAnyOtherName wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:26 pm
arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:16 pm
last time I "tried" bargaining I was in Mexico. Heard from everyone to haggle. So I went to a "market" sort of like a flea market (open stalls, etc). Saw a mexican blanket (they were everywhere). I heard what they wanted for them as I passed several stalls. So I got to one I saw that I liked and offered a low price, thinking I'd start low (lower than I knew was their starting price), he'd start high and we'd meet somewhere in the middle.

instead when I gave him my "opening offer" (low bid), he yelled at me, "Get Out of My Store!!"

So that didn't work out very well. In playing some weird haggling game in a culture I didn't understand I wound up almost creating an international incident. :oops:

Years later I talked with a coworker who went to Mexico and bought some jewelry that was hand made. The prices were cheap and my friend told the merchant the jewelry was worth much more and insisted on paying ABOVE the asking price. The merchant gave my friend a big hug.

Do you want a hug or do you want to be thrown out the store? Your choice.
Do you think that because you were thrown out of a store once when you tried to bargain, that everyone else will be thrown out of every single place they try to bargain at?
no, but my point was negotiating is a skill and is subject to some cultural norms. there's a learning curve and it may be different in different places. i prefer honest pricing if possible to avoid these time wasters. and the problem wasn't negotiating, it was starting too low and offending.

to run the risk of offending someone because you want the best price, in my mind, isn't a very efficient way of determining prices and is subject to hurt feelings on either side. i don't see the justification for that.

and with negotiating you don't know if you got the "right" price. you just got a "better" price than inital offer. when you negotiate you obviously can still pay too much if you don't negotiate low enough. how do you know how low to go? You know what the right price is or should be. why waste this time when you can just offer/be offered the right price and be done with it?
I certainly agree that negotiating is subject to cultural norms. It's also very context dependent, in my experience. That said I don't see too much of a downside in trying if you think it's appropriate. So you got thrown out of a store... that's doesn't seem like a big deal to me. Negotiating is like anything else in life. It needs to be learned, and during the process of learning you make mistakes (almost by definition).

The price discovery aspect is interesting. With a smaller purchase who cares what the "right" price is as long as you're willing to pay and it provides that amount of value to you. By "smaller" I'm thinking things like a $20 blanket, $5 coffee, etc.

With larger purchases you'll naturally want to do more discovery to understand things like the seller's cost of what you're buying, their markup, what a reasonable market value is, etc. This certainly applies to the largest purchases like buying a house, for example.

Of course the ends of the spectrum are pretty easy to reason about, all the territory in between is where it gets more interesting.

Thank you for a reasonable and thought provoking answer! :happy

theplayer11
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by theplayer11 » Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:33 am

many times smaller items have the same or more of a mark up than big ticket items.

ARoseByAnyOtherName
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName » Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:04 pm

theplayer11 wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:33 am
many times smaller items have the same or more of a mark up than big ticket items.
Sure. But if I’m paying $3 or whatever for a coffee I don’t give a hoot what the markup is. All is care about is “do I want a coffee for $3 or not.” If the answer is yes, why do I care what the markup is?

If the cost of the coffee is $0.50, and the markup is 6x, is it worth my time to find a place selling coffee for only a 2x markup? For me the answer is absolutely not.

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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by theplayer11 » Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:55 pm

ARoseByAnyOtherName wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:04 pm
theplayer11 wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:33 am
many times smaller items have the same or more of a mark up than big ticket items.
Sure. But if I’m paying $3 or whatever for a coffee I don’t give a hoot what the markup is. All is care about is “do I want a coffee for $3 or not.” If the answer is yes, why do I care what the markup is?

If the cost of the coffee is $0.50, and the markup is 6x, is it worth my time to find a place selling coffee for only a 2x markup? For me the answer is absolutely not.
not talking a $3 item..many services for example are very negotiable.

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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by 2tall4economy » Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:41 pm

I never really bargained when growing up in the us.

When I lived overseas I’d bargain all the time on everything.

Thinking back I think it’s something like - when I was overseas I experienced many occasions when the color of my skin (blazing white) or my look was clearly foreign and prices weren’t listed and would go up between myself and a local shopper. So I wanted to “screw them” since they were trying to take advantage of me.

When prices are listed or people come across as honest I negotiate less or none, except on cars and houses (because that’s expected).

In the past few years another area has come up - if I get personal services and they won’t quote me over the phone / email “we need to see the job first sir” I negotiate hard because I’ve seen time and time again that I get the “wealthy neighborhood” markup once they see where I live.

To summarize it all comes down to trust and perceived fairness with me.
You can do anything you want in life. The rub is that there are consequences.

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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by dm200 » Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:56 pm

2tall4economy wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:41 pm
I never really bargained when growing up in the us.
When I lived overseas I’d bargain all the time on everything.
Thinking back I think it’s something like - when I was overseas I experienced many occasions when the color of my skin (blazing white) or my look was clearly foreign and prices weren’t listed and would go up between myself and a local shopper. So I wanted to “screw them” since they were trying to take advantage of me.
When prices are listed or people come across as honest I negotiate less or none, except on cars and houses (because that’s expected).
In the past few years another area has come up - if I get personal services and they won’t quote me over the phone / email “we need to see the job first sir” I negotiate hard because I’ve seen time and time again that I get the “wealthy neighborhood” markup once they see where I live.
To summarize it all comes down to trust and perceived fairness with me.
Thanks - I never knew or, knowingly, experienced that. We live in a wealthy area.

Another example (thanks) of something I learn almost every day here!

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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by TheOscarGuy » Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:58 pm

Caduceus wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:17 am
Over the years, I've been surprised at how willing people are to negotiate things. On Ebay and Amazon marketplace, before I buy things, I often send messages asking if discounts are available, or if they would be willing to sell for a particular price, etc. It's saved me a lot of money over time.

Of course, I get the occasional seller who's offended by the mere request. (I find that weird - you can just "No" and that's the end of the story, but some people get very offended.)

But over time, I've found that being able to negotiate things is very useful. Recently I needed a personal service that was going for $400. Seller would not budge on email. I gave a call about a week later, had a pleasant conversation, explained my thinking and offered to use him again for future needs - got a 40% discount on the spot.

Do you tend to bargain for purchases/services, like on Ebay (even if the listing is Buy It Now) or other areas of your life? Or do you feel embarassed doing that?
yes generally I do.
Occasionally it is impossible to do (restaurants!)

spae
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Re: How often do you bargain for things?

Post by spae » Wed Nov 20, 2019 5:45 pm

Only for large items. If I have to negotiate to get an acceptable deal for something that's not a significant expense, I'd rather buy from someone who isn't going to waste my time.

On my last two job offers, negotiating was worth mid five figures annually on one, low six figures on the other. Raises are, very stupidly, based off of past compensation, so these pay off at least until the next job change.

I negotiate on rent. That sometimes works. I got a mid-low four figure annual discount once. The discount lasted until I moved five years later, total discount over that time period must've been low five figures.

I negotiated my last car down by low four figures. It took weeks to get that deal and then I kept the car for fifteen years. Next time I buy a used car, I'm going to a no-haggle dealership like CarMax instead. I'll keep negotiating on rent and compensation.

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