Dont Haggle Just Walk

[Part of the NegotiatingPatternLanguage]

In some countries, haggling is the way to decide a price. Not so in America. Here, haggling makes you seem petty. Worse, haggling forces you to name a firm figure (NeverStateYourNumber), and that limits what you get offered.


Don't haggle. Just thank 'em for their offer and tell them you'll run it past the AbsentProxy and consider it in the light of your MoreThanOneOffer. After you consider it this way you may even try to AlterTheOffer.

And always BeReadyToWalk.

But in a way this could be subtle haggling.

Unless you're buying a car <big frown>. Or a house, or other real estate. Or bargaining with a prospective employer over salary.

Actually that's a great opportunity to use this. We did when buying our last car, a new 1998 F-150 bi-fuel bought in 1999 just before the 2000 model year came out (ScheduleTheDeal). Sticker price was $23K and all we did was say, "yes, this is a nice truck ... we'll just go look at the Sierra (a competing truck from GM) and come back tomorrow". Every time we tried to walk they knocked another $1K off the price. We ended up buying when they got down to $16.5K - they actually let us out of the showroom. Then of course there was a $1500 rebate for buying an alternative fuel vehicle in California, plus a $2K federal tax credit ... the dealers were plainly confused and distressed by our behavior, so I can only think most car buyers in CA don't have DontHaggleJustWalk. -- PeterMerel

For a car, know what you want, use the fax to collect competing offers, say it's a cash offer (any financing should be arranged separately in advance and your chosen bank or financing company will fedex you a certified/cashier's check anyway), make it clear that any follow-up questions should be asked by fax only, and don't give them your phone number. This technique works and it's well documented on,, and there is an example of it in "The Millionaire Next Door" (the book). -- StephanBranczyk

I used part of this on my truck a decade ago - we had a check from the credit union already in hand, for about $400 over the expected price of the truck. We haggled over price, got a good enough deal, and went into the finance manager's office, where the dealer was expecting to get some of his money back on a sucker deal in financing. I pulled out the check and told him that I wasn't going to finance the truck, and his expression soured. It was the most satisfying moment of my car-buying life, knowing that.

Also, if you have a trade-in; consider selling that separately. If they can't screw you on the price, they'll try to get you on the trade-in or financing; if there is no trade-in or financing then you win. But remember, you don't need the extended warranty, the undercoating, or the etch-a-glass "security system" either.

Consider AcceptOrRefuse.


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