bargaining http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9210/all en-US Conversation Killers: What’s Holding You Back From Negotiating? http://www.wisebread.com/conversation-killers-what-s-holding-you-back-from-negotiating <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/conversation-killers-what-s-holding-you-back-from-negotiating" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/free_speech.jpg" alt="Taped-over mouth" title="Taped-over mouth" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="158" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A few months ago, I wrote an article for Wise Bread entitled <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-laws-of-negotiation">The 7 Laws of Negotiation</a>. In it, I covered some tried and true methods of negotiating deals on everything from used cars to hotel rooms. Since then, I&rsquo;ve come to realize that for some, just getting the conversation started can be a struggle. What good is a negotiation primer if we&rsquo;re held back from even broaching the topic out of fear or embarrassment? Maybe any discussion about negotiation strategy needs to be prefaced by an exploration of what I call Conversation Killers &mdash; those little roadblocks that hold us back from channeling our inner wheeler-dealer. Here are 4 points to consider as you prepare for what can be a rewarding money management skill.</p> <h2>Fear</h2> <p>Fear is the king of conversation-killers. It&rsquo;s born from lack of experience and feeds upon itself. People fear offending sellers, being overheard by other buyers, challenging convention, or asserting their legitimate power as consumers. The best way to overcome this roadblock is to first practice in lower-pressure situations. Start out over the phone &mdash; the next time you renew that cell phone contract or work to whittle down those texting overages from your trigger-finger teenager. Then, try face-to-face opportunities at yard sales or tag sales (a quarter saved here, a dollar there). Once you see that negotiation works 90% of the time, you&rsquo;ll start to get your sea legs and apply your new skills on the car lot, in the furniture store, and job market. On those occasions when you get a resounding &lsquo;no,&rsquo; be polite, but don&rsquo;t let it discourage your efforts next time.</p> <h2>Embarrassment</h2> <p>Negotiation can be a lonely sport. Culturally, it&rsquo;s sometimes frowned upon and those most likely to have been raised with haggling as the norm, are getting older and not passing along their skills. Once upon a time, a bit of price flexibility was expected in nearly all situations and consumers flexed their muscles more. Now, we assume prices are set in stone and shrink at the thought of being seen by our friends or co-workers trying to score a better deal. The implication of course, is that haggling suggests we can&rsquo;t afford the sticker price. But since when did being smart or assertive with money suggest poverty &mdash; shouldn&rsquo;t it suggest just the opposite? Like fear, embarrassment erodes with success. Look at the situation from new perspective: should it be an embarrassment to negotiate wisely? If someone overhears your haggling, is it an occasion for embarrassment or an opportunity to teach by example?</p> <h2>Lack of Experience or Information</h2> <p>Once you&rsquo;ve overcome roadblocks 1 and 2, the third will tumble easily. Experience is the ultimate educator and you&rsquo;ll soon be identifying negotiation opportunities around every corner. Experience doesn&rsquo;t take the place of information, however, so legwork is still important. Knowing how much that 1998 Honda is really worth can give you the confidence you need to start the discussion and haggle with less hesitation. Remember, do your research, own your past successes, and go!</p> <h2>Oblivious to the Option</h2> <p>I can&rsquo;t tell you how many times I&rsquo;ve seen people pay full price for an item even in the rare circumstance where negotiating is still fully expected. I can only guess at the reason &mdash; do these folks not realize haggling is even an option? Do they have an antagonistic relationship with their money and want to dispose of it expeditiously? Remember, the list of situations where bargaining does work is far longer than the list of where it doesn&rsquo;t. Granted, finding someone with the authority to make a decision on price may be more of challenge in national chain stores, but finding that person can be worth the trouble. I&rsquo;ve negotiated the price of new shoes, the prices of a half-dozen used cars, new tires, and more than a few health club memberships. To employ a tired adage: you won&rsquo;t know until you try.</p> <p>We live in a society that implies inflexibility and standardization at nearly every turn. Neighborhood stores have given way to big box warehouses, town squares have been lost to malls, and quirky local shops have been replaced with formulaic national chains. Let&rsquo;s defend at least some of our old consumer traditions and put the art of haggling back into what&rsquo;s become the science of selling.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/conversation-killers-what-s-holding-you-back-from-negotiating">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deal-killers-5-phrases-to-avoid-when-negotiating">Deal Killers: 5 Phrases to Avoid When Negotiating</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-thoughtful-and-frugal-personalized-gift-ideas">25 Thoughtful and Frugal Personalized Gift Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-dumbest-big-purchases-people-make">The 7 Dumbest Big Purchases People Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-gift-guide-gifts-that-save-money">25 Gifts That Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping bargaining haggling negotiating Mon, 07 Jun 2010 12:00:03 +0000 Kentin Waits 110544 at http://www.wisebread.com Should you try to reduce your rent? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-try-to-reduce-your-rent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-try-to-reduce-your-rent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/forrent.jpg" alt="for rent sign" title="For Rent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Lately it seems that rent prices have been dropping in many areas of the country.&nbsp; Here in San Mateo some residential apartments <a href="http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/San-Mateo-County-tenants-have-reason-to-smile-46866122.html">are dropping prices as much as 20%</a>.&nbsp;&nbsp; This seemed a bit unbelievable until I looked on Craigslist and found that a specific apartment my husband and I looked at around two years ago actually dropped its price by $300 a month from $1699 to $1399 a month.&nbsp; With our lease expiring soon, I wonder if we should move or try to negotiate a lower rent.</p> <p>My husband and I both do not like moving because it takes a lot of time&nbsp; to look for a new place.&nbsp; There is also the cost of renting transportation and the general headache of carrying everything. However, if the discounts are large enough it might be worth the cost. &nbsp;&nbsp; Although occupancy rates are still quite high in San Mateo county I am seeing many similar nearby units for rent on Craigslist for anywhere from $150 to $300 less than our condo.&nbsp; It definitely seems that we are paying too much for what we are getting.&nbsp; If we are able to sign a new lease for $300 less a month for a comparable rental then it might be worth the hassle of moving.</p> <p> Another option is to just ask our landlord for a discount. A few months ago <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/wallet/2009/02/09/how-to-reduce-your-rent/ ">a Wall Street Journal blog post</a> showed how a simple letter detailing the declining of the rental market in Manhattan allowed the author to reduce her rent by $300 a month.&nbsp; I think this would probably work well for any good renter&nbsp; in a declining rental market since it would hurt the landlord quite a bit to leave an unit empty for a couple months.&nbsp; For example, if my landlord gave us a discount of $100 a month then he would be losing $1200 in a year, but he would lose $1700 a month if we moved out.</p> <p>I think the important thing is to craft a letter that incorporates evidence that the rental market is declining.&nbsp; It also helps your case if you are consistent on your rent payments.&nbsp; This probably would not work in areas where rental markets are still quite active, but I think&nbsp; it is still possible to negotiate a lower rental rate for a longer term lease.&nbsp; In general month to month leases are the most expensive, and leases that are a year or longer could provide a discount.</p> <p>Anyway, right now my husband and I decided to just write a letter to our landlord requesting a discount.&nbsp; I will probably enclose some of the cheaper listings I have found recently.&nbsp; I do not expect that I would get a $300 a month discount, but I would definitely be happy with a discount of $50 to $150 a month.&nbsp; That discount would add up handsomely over a yearly lease.&nbsp;&nbsp; The largest expense in most of our lives is housing, so I think it makes sense to try to reduce that cost if possible.&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>Have any of you tried to ask for a rent reduction this year ? Have you moved recently due to large rent drops in your area?&nbsp; Feel free to share!</strong></em></p> <p>Update:&nbsp; I got $75 off per month on my rent after simply asking my landlord.&nbsp; We signed a new 1 year lease, and this would save us $900 over the year.&nbsp; <br /> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-try-to-reduce-your-rent">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free">5 Simple Ways to Live Rent-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seller-funded-down-payment-assistance-charities-scammers-or-saints">Seller Funded Down Payment Assistance Charities - Scammers or Saints?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-afford-to-live-in-your-dream-city">Can You Really Afford to Live in Your Dream City?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/welcome-to-container-city-how-shipping-containers-are-recycled-into-green-dwellings">Welcome to Container City - How Shipping Containers Are Recycled into Green Dwellings</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Real Estate and Housing bargaining housing rent Tue, 09 Jun 2009 00:22:38 +0000 Xin Lu 3242 at http://www.wisebread.com Sometimes I wish I had beautiful long blonde hair and ample cleavage. http://www.wisebread.com/sometimes-i-wish-i-had-beautiful-long-blonde-hair-and-ample-cleavage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sometimes-i-wish-i-had-beautiful-long-blonde-hair-and-ample-cleavage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/57771524_9da42a3c85.jpg" alt="Barbie" title="Barbie" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Not on my body of course; that would be freakish. And if you’re visualizing it right now, I’m really sorry…especially if you’re eating. No, I’m basically reacting to several incidentover the past few weeks/months/years which have forced me to come to the following conclusion: getting deals seems to be a whole lot easier if you’re easier on the eye.<br /> <p class="MsoNormal">I’m no oil painting: shaved head; average features; I could certainly lose a few pounds. But I do have an English accent. An ace up my sleeve which has, on occasion, helped me sway a few people here and there. Not by much, but enough to get an additional 10% off or a freebie thrown into a purchase. It’s peanuts to what I’ve witnessed with my own four eyes (I wear glasses, often another setback) when a pretty lady uses her charms on the average guy. I’m sure I’ll hear cries of sexism, but this has nothing to do with the intelligence of the girls…rather, the lack of intelligence of the people sucking up to them. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">I’ve chatted with girls at work who have escaped speeding tickets not once, but on three or four occasions. I have had two tickets from two violations. I put my hands on the wheel each time, used very polite language and was extremely courteous. It got me nowhere. But some of the girls at the office, and their friends, told me how easy it was for them to get away with no ticket at all – just bat your eyelids, hike up your cleavage and play ‘the little girl lost’ routine. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">If there are any male police officers out there, I’d like to ask a question; what do you really think is going to happen when you let a sassy blonde get away without a ticket? Do you really think she’ll give you her phone number? Seriously, why let her break the law and let others pay for it? </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><img src="http://healthcarehacks.com/files/fruganomics/u17/134701415_bbbc8e879b.jpg" alt="Ogle Street" title="Ogle Street" width="400" height="300" /> </p> <p class="MsoNormal">Just the other day I saw three guys in Circuit City crowding around a pretty blonde who was looking at Blu-Ray players. I was annoyed because I couldn’t find anyone to help me find the DVD I wanted for my wife’s Mother’s Day present. But of course, I didn’t quite stand out in the same way as this part-time Playboy model did. In the end, I had to go to the in-store computer terminal and find the thing myself. <span> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">I have been in bars where the waiters have literally shouted past three rows of people to ask a scantily-clad blonde what she was drinking. We all look, shouting “Hey, what about us? Waiter! Over here?!”</p> <p class="MsoNormal">You name the situation, I guarantee I’ve been shunned in favor of the beauty queen who graces the establishment with her presence. It’s almost like some girls expect special treatment. Indeed, a very cocky girl I know says that her looks have got her everything from free cab rides to free landscaping. And all because she’s a dead ringer for one of those “Girls Next Door.” </p> <p class="MsoNormal">It’s not always blondes of course, pretty ladies in general seem to have an advantage over those of us with more down to earth looks. Some guys have the edge, too. I’ve often felt like the Hunchback Of Notre Dame when a 6ft chiseled guy with abs of steel has stood next to me at the bar and waved to the bar staff. The girls rush to his aid, the guys want to be his best bud. This may have something to do with <a href="http://www.overcomingbias.com/2007/11/halo-effect.html">The Halo Effect</a> , a common term used in business. You can read more about it, but many people out there associate positive (or becoming) looks with other positive traits, like kindness or intelligence.  </p> <p class="MsoNormal">Why, as a society, do we feel the need to give an extra helping hand to people who clearly have already been given an advantage? Why do we suck up to the pretty people? What do we think we’ll gain by it? And what can folks like me, the ordinaries, do to compete with them? I’d love to hear your own stories on the matter. If you’re one of the blondes with ample cleavage for instance, how often have you noticed special treatment? Conversely, did you get the opposite treatment because of your looks?<span>  </span>And if you’re more of a ‘blend in with the crowd’ person, how did you get one-up on the person blessed with a rather nice outer shell?</p> <p class="MsoNormal">It’s strange to think that just the way we look can alter the kind of deals we can get. Online, it rarely makes a difference. I find most of my deals that way. But put me up against someone with the looks of Jessica Simpson and my entire negotiating skills pale in comparison. Fair? Hey, considering the way people react it seems natural to use what you’ve got. (And if I had it, you can bet I’d flaunt it.)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sometimes-i-wish-i-had-beautiful-long-blonde-hair-and-ample-cleavage">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-stuff-i-try-never-to-buy-new">The stuff I try never to buy new</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-the-nasty-secret-of-the-craigslist-free-section">Beware, The Nasty Secret Of The Craigslist Free Section</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily">Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate and Reduce Your Phone Bill, Immediately and Easily</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/in-times-like-these-separate-the-want-from-the-need">In times like these, separate the want from the need.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-buy-and-avoid-buying-in-march">What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in March</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Consumer Affairs Shopping bargaining beauty blonde deals looks Tue, 13 May 2008 04:01:38 +0000 Paul Michael 2088 at http://www.wisebread.com