After I realize the salesperson isn’t coming to me, (he’s watching a basketball game) I go to him. I launch into my spiel about being on a budget, living in a small apartment, and my affinity for Sony products. I tell him about the TV I want and how it’s out of my price range. “I really have to stick to my budget, which is $1600,” I say, emphasizing the all-important budget. This time, I quote the number right up front, which I didn’t do in the first store.
He nods knowingly, and says, “That’s not all, you have to buy a bunch of other stuff.” Here we go, again. He starts ticking off things. First, I need a Monster HDMI cable. He tells me I can get away with the short one, and it would cost $100. (I think this price is wrong, but let him keep going.) Next, I need a surge protector (Monster brand, of course) and that would set me back another $80. Solemnly, he explains the very real threat of surges on my TV, pointing to the recent onslaught of thunderstorms we had. Am I interested in Blu-ray? “No, not yet,” I tell him. One thing at a time. Back to the list: Delivery with set up is $100, which seems suspiciously cheap. Also, a 4-year warranty would cost $220, which would cover the TV if it was fried in a surge, eliminating the need to spend $80 on the surge protector. Huh?
We finally walk over to the Sony V-series TV I’m interested in. He says the one I like is a great TV and a good deal. He then points to the lower end $1599 Sony S-series TV, which is exactly one dollar under my proclaimed budget. Luckily I researched this TV, too, and I’m ready. “It’s okay but not great; there are not enough HDMI ports, and the contrast ratio isn’t very good.” I sound confident and knowledgeable; he nods his head and goes back to the V-series TV.
Silence isn’t Always Golden
The salesman changes gears at this point and surprises me. He says the TV is on sale for $1709 for the next three days, and is normally $2300 (note, I think he made this price up). “That is a good deal, but it’s still too much,” I say, as I nod my head and mull it over. Here, I’m Embracing the Silence, a haggling tip that I think will seal the deal. We both stare at the wall of TVs watching 35 Eric Claptons perform in concert. As the song ends, I give in. “Do you offer the same deals in store as you do online?” This tip isn’t for me.
I go on to tell him about the sweet deal his store is offering online that includes the 25% off Monster cables, 15% off surge protectors, and free shipping. “Will you honor that?” He kind of stutters at first, caught off guard, and then says yes, he just needs proof. (Again with the printed page). That helps, but I’m still over the $1600 budget. He stammers a little more, and I throw in that his competitor is selling the TV for less (I never say it’s only ten dollars less). This brings him over to my side. He tells me he’ll work with me to help me get what I want. Cha-ching! I ask his name, he gives me his card and the days he works.
First, preparing is invaluable. The more information you have the more bargaining chips you hold. Second, print out any proof you might use to bargain with. Third, the more you bargain the better you’ll get. I learned valuable lessons from my first experience that led me to a better outcome in my second. You have nothing to lose, and money to save on your next electronics purchase.
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