Haggling isn’t just about being a smooth negotiator, it’s about not shooting yourself in the foot. Avoiding hard numbers gives a sales associate more wiggle room and increases your chances of getting a deal.
Being too blunt with a salesperson will kill the conversation fast. In the book You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get, author Janet F. Williams recommends you stay away from specifics when you’re trying to squeeze more out of your purchase:
As soon as you ask for a specific deal—10 percent off, $50 off—you set a limit… If you make it clear you’re looking to save but don’t say anything specific, it allows the salesperson the space to come up with their own creative way to help you.
They might give you a discount, especially if there’s an obvious defect, but they might not be able to. Still, there’s a possibility they’ll give you savings in other ways, like offering free delivery or telling you about an upcoming sale that will save you more on the product. You may not get what you wanted originally, but you’ll get something—and something is better than nothing.
Photo by Barney Moss.