Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I’ve actually used these in the last few days with pretty good results so I thought I’d share them. These days with the economy as it is, every buck counts, and sometimes the savings can be significant.

1) Buy used. Not only is it obviously cheaper, it also allows more haggling opportunities to being with. Check Craiglist but be careful, check out the neighborhood and don’t take any chances. If it looks like a set up don’t risk it, its just not worth it. What I do is look up the address and find it in Google maps, then drag the little yellow guy next to the zoom buttons and drop him in the map for the street view. This is an outstanding tool that shows you the pedestrian view of the street, as if you were standing there yourself.

2) Actual haggling tip number one. I was buying a second hand desk at already a very good price from one of these second hand websites. While I was arranging the meeting I asked  that since I was coming from so far away, if they could drop the price 30 bucks because that would be my fuel expenses just getting there. The seller simply replied that it seemed fair and accepted right away. I already saved 30 bucks without even being there looking at the item.

3) Magic words to live by right before saying “yes, I´ll take it: “I like it and  want to take it. Closing the deal right now, cash in hand, whats the best price you can give me?”. The first time I tried it the person said the price was already very good. A while later after driving around the car a bit more I repeated the exact same question, this time it got me a 100 buck price reduction. Cash generally appeals to people a lot, hard cash usually feels much nicer than credit card payments or transfers that may take days. You should always ask  for an attention or discount of some sort when haggling with cash in hand.

Haggling is an art, it improves with practice. Never be shy about it. If you save even 10 bucks you’ll feel good about it, and as for the seller if you don’t haggle some he will feel he could have gotten more for his product and that he sold for too cheap. Finally, remember to inspect whatever it is you are buying carefully. When it’s a car look for dents, scratches, make sure absolutely everything works, from opening and closing the glove compartment (a car I was considering had a glove compartment that didn’t shut closed after I opened it to check) to the window openers and windshield sweepers and water jets. Check the engine for oil leaks, use and rust. Everything. And every little detail you find should be mentioned. When finalizing the negotiation, note that this or that will require a certain amount of money to get fixed and ask for a discount because of it.
Take care,
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