Skillful negotiation is a great way to save money — if you do it right.
Unfortunately, I’m not very good at it. Confrontation and conflict make me uncomfortable, so my goal is usually to complete the deal as soon as possible. But that didn’t stop me from trying to at least teach the basics of negotiation to my son.
Having completely made the move to PC gaming, my son no longer wants his Xbox. Together, we assembled the console, accessories, and games for a photo to put on Craigslist. Based upon what other Xbox systems were selling for, we priced his package at $200.
We had our first potential buyer less than 24 hours later.
The gentleman offered us $150 cash for the system. I explained to my son that he was emphasizing a quick sale with cash, in hopes of appealing to our desire to unload the system quickly — as well as get the system in his hands before other buyers could respond.
It almost worked.
The Counter Offer
I barely got through my explanation before my son was telling me to accept it. I then asked him to think about what the chances were that someone else would offer him more than $150, or even full price. I suggested we counter with $175, to which he agreed.
The Deal Falls Through
The following morning, the gentleman responded that $150 cash was his final offer. After talking with my son, we decided to decline it.
It’s now been over a week, and we haven’t received any additional interest in the Xbox.
My son is getting frustrated, but I keep reminding him that he doesn’t need the money. He’s simply trying to sell the system since it is only going to decline in value. We can wait for a buyer to give us full price, or decrease the asking price in a week or two.
I’m not the best negotiator, but I do know that the key to getting what you want — whether you’re buying or selling — is patience. If the offer isn’t what you’re looking for, move on; another one will come along eventually.
Have you ever tried to teach someone the art of negotiation?