At a very young age I was exposed to this activity as my aunt Isabel would always tagged me along to bring the basket for her while she carried on her buying routine. During the process, I vividly remember how she politely persuaded each vendor on the stuff she wanted to buy. And from here I learned my early lessons on how one can effectively bargain without leaving an arrogant impression to the seller. In fact, Tita Isabel would always tell me that in haggling, for as long as you do it right, one can even win respect and that this translates to good business relationship with the seller in the long run. In the local Filipino dialect, this relationship is termed “suki”. It means a regular customer, a frequent buyer or a loyal shopper. She also pointed out that one who does not haggle leaves a rude impression to the vendor. It is a sign of economic arrogance, she added.
From this simple yet remarkable lesson I learned from her, I am sharing with you the tricks she handed on to me.
- Never negotiate the price of an item you do not intend to buy. Bear in mind that this is unfair to the seller and to other buyers who are interested on the same item you like.
- Be rational and not selfish. In order to stay in business the seller must make profit, so do not make offensive discount demands. It will be easier to work with if the seller believes that your intentions are genuine and not just trying to cheat him or her.
- Be calm and polite at all times. Keep in mind that your goal is to get the best possible deal you can. Be cautious enough with your actions so that the seller will be convinced that you really are interested on the item you are negotiating.
- Do not forget to say THANK YOU. You are completely aware that not all attempts will be successful. It is very important to thank the merchant even if a desirable negotiation is not triumphantly reached. Most sellers will appreciate this approach more than an abrupt exit. This attitude will create an outstanding impact that a vendor will always seek ways to help you close a good deal the next time you come around.
There you have it folks. I hope this lesson has somehow convinced you that there is really a fine way to haggle.
Best of luck in the future as you practice haggling using these simple tips.
By the way, I have repeatedly used these tricks. Trust me! They do really work.
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Photo Credit: Haggling