The Art of Haggling - How to Haggle to Get Those Great Bargains
By John Romaine
Thursday, 9 July 2009
Viewed : 18342 time(s)

Put simply, the goal of haggling is to come out of your purchases, knowing that you have bagged an absolute bargain, and walked away with a big smile on your face. If you have ever made a great deal on something you’ve been interested in, and saved a few dollars, you’ll know just how great this feeling can be. 

However, whilst this may be great feeling for thrifty bargain hunters, far too many people don't even realise the amount of money they are losing by simply not haggling, especially at local garage sales. 

And it’s not just the money. Think about how many bargains you’ve missed, out on just because you may have too been afraid to ask or had concerns about being offensive. Sure, it may feel a little rude trying to negotiate down a price, especially if it’s a low priced item already, but unless you at least ask, how would you ever know if they’re at all flexible on price? 

The bottom line here is, don’t be afraid to make offers! It’s all about negotiating or “haggling” with the seller to find a happy medium.

When it comes to haggling you need to pick the battles you want to fight. Know what items you can and can't bargain on. For example, you may be able to haggle the price on a $300 chest of drawers and save yourself a couple of bucks, but it’s not likely that you’re going to have much success, trying to haggle down the price of a $5 pot plant. 

Timing is another essential consideration when it comes to haggling at garage sales. A person is much more likely to say, “yes” if its towards the end of the day and they simply want to be done with everything as opposed to first thing in the morning, when they’ve just set out. The overall goal is to settle on a fair price for everyone involved and of course having an advantage for yourself as the buyer.

So why should you haggle? It probably won't make you popular, and it definitely won't make you any friends if you take it too far. Remember, there’s a fine line between making an offer and being impolite. A successful haggle ends with you snapping up a great bargain and the seller happy with what they’ve made. It should always be a win win for both involved.

To get down to it, here are some basic rules of haggling. Use them with vigilance and fairness in mind. When you are ready to haggle don't get a big head and stay grounded. Remember if you keep your cool; it will only increase your chances of landing a better deal.

  • Before you begin haggling, set a price for yourself - if this price is exceeded in the negotiation, simply say 'thanks’ and walk away. Most times the seller will come after you and agree on your price. A quick tip is to leave your number and have them call if you they change their mind. This way, you can go about your day without having to worry about it.

  • Keep level headed at all times. The second you become angry or frustrated, you are no longer haggling, you’re arguing. This isn't going to do anyone any favours.

  • Point out any imperfections in the item - it will give more strength to your negotiation and most likely get you a lower price.

  • Never say you cant afford the item. If you can't afford it; you shouldn't be trying to buy it in the first place.

  • Money talks - if you cannot agree on a price, take out cash, take the item and place the cash in the sellers hand - 99% of the time you will walk away for the item at the price you originally wanted.

  • If you want a really good deal, go to a garage sale where they are about to finish up, chances are they will agree just to get rid of stuff.

  • Be polite when haggling. Remember, the seller is out to make a few bucks, he’s not there to be insulted or offended!

  • If you are having trouble agreeing on a price, tell the person that you are going to go to few other garage sales and may come back - this may persuade them into making a quick deal with you.

  • Once you start haggling on an item, it is expected that you purchase it once you hit an agreement. Don’t change your mind at the last minute, especially if you’ve just spent 20 minutes haggling!

  • Don't attach yourself to an item, always be prepared to leave empty handed.

Remember, in the end its all about being polite and the opportunity to land a great bargain. If you don't get a deal on something you want today go for it again at the next garage sale.