How to Haggle for the Right Price

Anyone who has visited Canal St. in New York City knows that half the fun of scoring cheap baubles is haggling on the price. If I can get the pashmina for $3 instead of $5, it is that much more beautiful to me. But on the flip side, I am typically extremely disappointed if someone turns down my offers to bargain and really sticks with their original sticker value. My usual technique is to name a price a bit below what I want to pay, have my high number in mind of what I’ll actually pay to own it, and gradually come up from the low number until we’ve reached a deal. Sometimes they bite on the low number, and sometimes we meet in the middle. Now research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology (that I read about on The Scoop) has some handy tips on how to get the deal you want.

Studies completed by the Columbia Business School found that when hagglers gave a specific figure (think $4.35 instead of $5), they were more likely to receive a price closer to the number they wanted. The exact figure shows the seller you know what you’re talking about, and are sure about what you should pay, while rounding off to a $5 figure implies uncertainty. That being said, whenever you’re negotiating for a price, make sure you’ve done the research, and know it’s real worth. The seller knows its value, and picking a price near that will guarantee you more success.

What’s the best deal you’ve ever gotten after bargaining for the right price?

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