You can’t negotiate twice

Whether you’re buying a car, hiring movers, buying tires, or negotiating almost anything, remember that you can only negotiate once.  What I mean by this is that salesmen will take you less seriously the second or third time you approach them to reduce the price.

If a company or salesman goes to the trouble to bargain with you in a competitive bidding process and you don’t end up following through with a purchase, you lose credibility.

To salesman, time is money.  If they spend time with you competing on price, that means they are not spending time with someone else who could result in a sale.  The next time you reach out, they’ll likely be irritated and just quote you the retail price.  They’d rather spend their sales efforts or reduce their profit margin for a new prospect who might be more willing to pull the trigger quickly.

An example negotiating car price

Let’s say you get car quotes for a new Nissan Murano from several Nissan dealerships.  Over the course of a few emails and a competitive bidding process you’ve worked out a deal with Nissan John.  You’ve negotiated the price down several thousand dollars on a red Nissan Murano SV.  But instead of buying the car, you decide you want to think about it for a few more weeks.

Two months later you’re ready to pull the trigger.  You call back Nissan John and tell him you’re ready to buy.  Unfortunately for you, he says the red Murano SV is no longer available.  The only Murano he has left is a black SL that costs $2200 more.

So you have to start the negotiation process all over again.  But guess what? Now when you approach those same Nissan dealers, they’ll consider you a “tire-kicker”.  If you’re lucky, they might still have a previously quoted vehicle in stock and be willing to honor the original price quote.  But more than likely, they have new cars on the lot and will start the bidding at retail price.  But this time, they’ll be less flexible on the price.

The lesson to be learned is to make sure you are ready to buy when you start negotiating.