Most people find bargaining acceptable in places like flea markets or third world countries. These people will tend to pay more for things their entire lives. Bargaining is a great way of scoring a good deal and it takes very little effort.

Those who are scared of bargaining imagine an impassioned shouting match over prices concluding with one, or both, parties storming out insulted by the other’s pricing tactics. This, my friend, is not how most bargaining goes. It is simple and easy, and I will show you how.

To be a good bargainer, you need to:

  • Know your product. Be educated about what you are trying to purchase. This will help you know what is a good price and what is outlandish. It will also help you to know when to walk away from a bad product. If you are buying leather from a street vendor you should know the difference between Italian leather and cheap pleather before you start pulling out the cash.
  • Know your limit. You need to know before you start shopping what you are willing to spend. It is too easy to get sucked into a bad deal if you don’t have a notion of what you are willing to pay.
  • ┬áBe kind. People like to do things for nice people. A bully will not get a lower price, but someone the salesperson likes will.
  • Buy multiples. Buying one item is rarely going to warrant you a discount. However, the more items you purchase at once the more bargaining power you have.
  • Know when to walk away. If the price won’t budge and you are not happy with the product, kindly say ‘no thank you’ and leave with no hard feelings.

I recently held a work luncheon for 40 people at a local restaurant. After securing the reservation, I told the manager “The quoted price is out of my budget. I can spend x amount of dollars. Can you match that?” He immediately responded with, “Absolutely.” A simple question and I saved at least $100 off my total bill.

I was kind the entire interaction, had a big group (multiple items) and I started with a low offer that he matched. Simple as that.

Bargaining is becoming more and more appropriate throughout stores. Places like grocery stores are less likely to offer discounts, but you can snag some good deals at local flea markets, garage sales, furniture stores and more.

The first step is to simply ask for a discount. Flea markets and garage sales are meant for pushing high amounts of product in a little time. Most sellers are prepared to bargain, so don’t let them down. Tell the seller what you are willing to spend and start the negotiations.

That tactic might be inappropriate at a department store, but that shouldn’t stop you from asking for a discount. Ask the salesperson if there are any coupons or if they will match competitors sales.


First timers: don’t be scared. All you have to do is ask. Worst case scenario: they say no. Best case? You save some serious cash.


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