Thursday, February 18, 2010

Haggling & Negotiating Tips for Collectors

You find your alpha - the building replica you've always wanted and searched for. A quick check of the price and are stopped in your tracks. Wow, That's too high. However, you can't walk away and really want this piece for your collection. What can you do? Negotiate, haggle, barter, bargain, beg - different terms for a possible solution, but just how do you start? Here is a story in the Washington Post about one haggler and his adventures. I have a few strategies I employ to negotiate a lower price. My theory is, you want the seller to give a starting price - either via the price tag or verbally. This establishes the base price, but usually does not represent the final price. From here, you can ask "Is this your best price?" You always want to be polite and respectful. Get the dealer mad with a low-ball offer and the price may not move. "Can you do any better on this price," is also a good opening question. Then you have to see where the bargaining goes and be flexible. The back and forth suggesting of prices can go on and on depending on how much the seller is willing to play the game. Gage whether the seller is in the mood to reduce the price or not. They may have paid a price close to the base price and not have room to go too low. Bottom line is, how much do you want that building and what price are you willing to pay to add it to your collection? Do you have additional bartering tips or methods? How about a successful negotiating story to share? Let us know via the 'Comments' link below. (Update: Be sure to click on the comments link below to read a great story personal negotiating story from a reader)


Anonymous said...

About fourteen or fifteen years ago I stopped at a flea market on the way home from a vacation in South Carolina. As i wandered up and down the aisle snatching up buildings here and there I came into a booth full of junk. In the midst of the junk sat the Egyptian Style Peoples Bank of St. Louis. My jaw dropped as I had never seen it outside of a still bank auction for sale let alone sitting at a Flea market. I picked up the bank and gave it a once over to assess it's condition. The dealer strolls over and gives me the "this is rare" speech and goes on to tell me how he found this in a house clean out in the attic . He went on with how one sold for $2000 at a recent bank auction and his was a steal at $1000. I put the bank down on the table and said what is your best price, the dealer quickly replied $1000. I gave the piece one more admiring look and prepared to walk away defeated. The dealer blurts out "well how much are you willing to pay?" I turned and gave the piece one last last adoring look. I replied I wouldn't want to insult you and headed up the aisle. I stopped pulled out my wallet and realized I had two crisp 100 dollar bills left over from my trip I turned went back to the booth with the bank and said to the dealer I have two crisp hundreds in my hand take it or leave it. He grabbed the building snatched up my money and said thank you. I got lucky, those were the days.

David said...

wow ! Great story. Thanks for adding it to this discussion.

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