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Prices are often more negotiable than you think. I recently visited an REI to buy new hiking shoes in preparation for a trip to Croatia. I was kind of bummed that basically all the shoes I liked were selling for $120.00 or more, which seemed a bit rich. So I deployed one of my favorite negotiation strategies - the casual approach.
Negotiation Strategies - The Casual Approach Is Easy To Do And Often Often Leads To Surprising Results
Aware that REI had run a 20% off sale on shoes in prior weeks, I mentioned to the sales rep, “It’s a bummer I missed the sale.”
“Yep,” he said, “too bad. But that was over two weeks ago.”
No joy…. I needed the shoes so decided to purchase them anyway. While checking out, I made a point of praising the salesman who had helped me pick the shoes (which was a true statement, not just buttering up), then casually mentioned, “I’m sort of bummed I missed that 20% off sale.”
“Oh, you missed the sale!? No problem,” the checker responded. “We can hook you up. Just keep shopping with us.”
In an instant I saved $24 on the shoes. I turns out he was the store manager and had that kind of discretion.
Don't Overdo Casual Negotiation - Just Gently Ask
To be clear, I don’t encourage constantly, aggressively pushing for lower prices on everything as one of your negotiation strategies. That approach is stressful and makes life too much of a zero sum game. However, casually asking a salesperson if that is the best price he or she can offer often yields a nice little discount.