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How to Negotiate

Negotiating has become a lost art. And I feel EVERYTHING is negotiable!

One of the most common places for the conversation is around salary negotiations. But you can negotiate with the purchase of a car, house, services, Facebook marketplace, and my favorite...fruit and veg markets.

I have even had success when buying clothes!


Many people feel a bit of anxiety when it comes to negotiation. Especially if it's their salary for their dream job.

Here's the thing: just because someone offers you a salary doesn't mean you can't ask for something different - in fact, you should. But if you're negotiating a salary offer, you must be prepared.



Negotiating Salary

1. Research what you're worth.

If you're asking for a higher salary, then you need cold, hard facts to make your case. Here are some good ways to do the research.

Find similar salary ranges in the job market or ask recruiters in your field.

Start by doing some research on websites like Monster, CareerBuilder, and Glassdoor. These sites will usually let you narrow down your search to some specific criteria. You’re looking for the salary range in today’s job market for:
- Your position in your specific city and state
- Someone with your level of experience
- Someone with your training or educational background

Another great research method is to just ask people. Do you have any friends or friends of friends who do similar work and have similar experience in the field? Are there any recruiters or other HR professionals in your community who would be willing to share salary ranges for your position and industry?

I know it might feel awkward to ask for this information, but it’s worth it. No one will be able to give you a clearer understanding of a reasonable salary range than someone who’s in the industry today. And from experience, people are more open with this information than you think!

Whatever method you choose, gather up as much research as you can. The only way to sound like you know what you’re talking about is to take the time to do your homework!


2. Land on a salary number.

Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to land on a number. Notice I didn’t say land on a range. That’s because when you’re negotiating, you’re not going to ask for a salary range – you’re going to ask for a specific number. Now, if salary comes up in your very first interview and you don’t want to pigeonhole yourself until you have more details, you don’t have to be this specific. But once you’re more informed on what the job would entail and it’s time to actually negotiate, being specific will only help you.

For example, if you find in your research that your position can range from $60,000 - $75,000. Based on your experience, you need to decide what number you’re going to shoot for within that range. Once you pick that number, aim a little higher when you negotiate. That way the hiring manager may feel like they’re getting a deal if they go a bit lower.

*I recommend once you pick your number add an additional 10%!*

Before you speak with the hiring manager, there are three numbers you need to have in mind:

  1. Identify your salary. This is the specific number you just came up with that’s within the salary range you found in your research. From the example above, let’s assume you want to negotiate a salary offer of $67,000 (yes, be that specific!). If the hiring manager is able to offer you this number (or higher), you know you can immediately accept the offer without regrets.
  2. Decide on the lowest salary you’d accept. This number is the lowest salary you can accept based on your budget and your family’s needs. Let’s call it $60,000 in this case. This number might mean you need to adjust your budget and make some sacrifices, but you’re willing to do that because you really want this job.
    Here’s what I want you to keep in mind with this particular number: If you and the hiring manager get to your lowest ideal salary, before you accept the offer, I highly recommend you ask them for a financial growth plan!
    It’s a simple conversation where you can say something like “I’m really excited to work with your team, and I’m eager to accept your offer of $60,000 if we can come up with a plan for financial growth in this position. I’d love to know what I can do to be in a higher salary in 12 to 18 months.”
  3. Set your deal-breaker salary. Make sure you know what number will cause you to walk away from the job offer. This number could simply be anything under your lowest ideal salary. Think of the deal-breaker number as the salary you’re simply not able to live on, no matter how great the opportunity might be.
    To continue our example, let’s say that – if push comes to shove – you’d be willing to consider $58,000 if there are other benefits and perks involved. Your deal-breaker number could then be $57,000, meaning you wouldn’t accept that salary or anything lower.

Once you’ve done your research and landed on your ideal salary, lowest acceptable salary, and deal-breaker salary, you’re ready to step out and ask boldly!


3. Make the ask.

I know negotiating a salary offer can be intimidating, but it might feel less scary if you think about negotiation as simply asking questions and presenting information. Here are some things to keep in mind when you ask:

  1. Watch your body language. Even if you’re not looking forward to the money conversation, walk into the room with confidence and a smile. Make eye contact (without staring) and don’t fidget, slump, or shift your gaze around. Keep breathing and remember that you’re worthy of being paid well!
  2. Get into your power pose! Practice this in the mirror or with your friends/family.
  3. Ask questions. You can and should be bold when making your case but adding a question or two into your “pitch” can help this feel more like a dialogue than a demand.
    Here’s a sample script:
    “I’m really excited about the opportunity to join your team. After doing some research, I found that based on my level of experience, the market rate for this position is about $70,000. I feel that number reflects the value I’ll bring to your organization. What can we do to bring my compensation closer to $70,000?”

Tips to Remember

  • Be prepared.
  • Silence can be powerful!
  • Don’t sign anything that is not a win-win situation.
  • Agree with your spouse or partner on your numbers. Communication at home is even more important than the conversation at work.




How to Negotiate on Purchases in 10 Easy Steps

After you read through these "rules" of negotiating, you’ll become a pro in no time!

1. Always tell the truth.

Keep your integrity and tell the truth. Always. Don’t compromise here for an extra 10% off. Your character and integrity are worth way more than that.

2. Time it right.

The end of the day is a great time to get your negotiating skills on point. The business is getting ready to close up shop for the day, there are fewer customers, and the seller would love to make a sale—even if it’s at a discounted price.

Attempt to go as close to the end of the month as you can. This is when a lot of car dealerships, furniture stores, and nearly everyone working on commission is trying to hit their targets.

3. Ask for a discount.

You know the old saying, “You never know if you don’t ask.” Well, it’s true! If you don’t ask for a discount, the answer is always no. So use your voice and speak up! Don’t leave any money on the table here.

4. Use the power of cash.

Cash is king is a very popular saying and for good reason. There’s just something about waving money around that really gets people’s attention. If you want to learn how to negotiate like a pro, always use cash. It’s emotional and it’s visual, so use it to your advantage. It tells the seller you’re serious and that this can be a done deal in only a matter of minutes.

5. Use your walk-away power.

Be ready to walk away if you need to. Don’t let the seller think you’re absolutely in love with their product and that you can’t live without it . . . because you probably won’t get a deal if you do that.

Try saying something like, “You know, I feel like you could give me a better deal here.” The worst thing they can do is say no. And if they do, well, then I'm almost certain you can find that item online such as Amazon, Facebook Market Place, etc. Walk away and be patient waiting for a good deal somewhere else.

Remember, you need to be patient when you’re hunting for a good bargain. Never have your heart set on an item you’re negotiating over. If that happens, your chances of getting a good deal go down. The seller will be able to sniff you out a mile away. Know when to exercise walk-away power and use it when you need to. If you can show that you have the ability to say no, then you hold the upper hand in the bargain. And you never know—they may reach out to you later.

6. Know when to be quiet.

Silence is an amazing skill to have in life and especially in negotiations. Use that awkward silence to your advantage! Let’s say you’re trying to get a great deal on a used car. Give out your offer to the owner or sales-person. And when they tell you all the reasons why the price can’t go lower, sit there and don’t say anything. Yes, it may be weird, but it might just do the trick to get you a discount.

Don’t be rude or mean here. Just let the seller do all the talking for you and see where it goes. Sometimes silence can give you a better deal than you were expecting.

7. Say, “That’s not good enough.”

When the seller gives you a price you’re not thrilled about, try saying, “You know . . . that’s not good enough.” Again, don’t be a jerk, but be firm and direct.

8. Let them know your budget.

You’d be surprised how willing people are to negotiate when they know you’re on a budget. (I personally love rewarding someone that tells me they are on a budget!) Be up front and tell them straight out, “Hey, the most I’m able to spend on this antique chair is $125, and that’s the best I can do.”

9. Beware of the “good guy/bad guy” technique.

This isn’t something you can do. Instead, it’s a selling tactic you need to beware of. You’ll know they’re playing the game if you see something like this: The seller tells you, “Hey, I’d love to give you a lower price, I really would. I’m on your side here. But my manager . . . she just won’t go for it.” And then they might even disappear for a while to pretend like they are talking to their manager, but in reality, they’re not. This is a huge reason why I would rather deal with an individual instead of a business.

10. Master the “if I take away” technique.

If you know the seller is firm on their price, try shaking things up. Say something like, “Well, if you throw in that washing machine too, then we’ll have a deal.” Odds are, the seller isn’t going to add this new item to the deal. So when he says “nope,” then you fire back by saying, “All right, if you can’t throw in the washing machine, then you’ll need to throw something else in . . . or you have to come down on the price.”

By using something as leverage that wasn’t even in the deal to begin with could give you the upper hand! Try this next time you’re haggling for a good bargain and see what happens.



How to Negotiate When Buying a Car

1. Know your budget.

This is a must! You can't go looking for a car if you don't have a budget. Sit down and work out all your numbers before you even start looking. Remember, if you can't pay cash for the car then you can NOT afford it! (This money is to not come from your emergency fund either.)

2. Do your research.

So you’ve got your eyes set on a 2013 Honda Accord. Do your research on sites like Kelley Blue Book ( or to know the value of the vehicle on the front end. This will help you to know if the car you are looking to buy is too overpriced or right on target.

If you find a vehicle you’re interested in, get the vehicle identification number (VIN) from the seller. Then you can do some digging on sites like or to learn more about that specific car. Knowing if it was wrecked before and the owner tells you no, then you will wonder what else are they lying about?

Now that you’ve figured out your budget and done your research, go ahead and use the 10  tips you just learned when buying a car.

“We saved up around $7,500 to pay cash for a car and found a car in this price range. We lowballed and made an offer of $5,500 in cash. The owner of the car came back with a counter. After a couple more back and forth, we got a deal of $6,600 including 6 months of registration. BOOM.”



How to Negotiate Online

Buying online has really revved up over the years. Not only do we have eBay and Amazon, now we have person-to-person purchasing on apps like Facebook Marketplace.

1. Make an offer.

When people are just trying to get rid of something (especially online), they might be more likely to let you have it for less than the asking price. Is someone on Facebook Marketplace asking $15 for that Himalayan salt lamp? Tell them you’ll give them $12 and see what they do. They might counter, and then you can accept or counter again.

2. Speak up about the condition.

If you’re buying a used item, pay attention to the wear and tear of it. If there are scuff marks on those shoes, cat claw marks on the arm of the couch, or some worn-out knees on those blue jeans—point it out. Tell them, “I’ll give you this amount because of the flaws of the item.” See if they’ll bite.

You can definitely put our 10 solid tips for negotiating for a good bargain to use here too, but you’ll probably find that some just won’t work the same online as they do in person. It’s pretty difficult to use the silent treatment when you’re typing at a keyboard, you know? Just go with the flow and see what tips work for you.

And with anything online, remember to tread carefully, be on the lookout for anything that seems shady, and never give out any personal information if it makes you uncomfortable.



How to Haggle With a Trade

Here’s a haggling secret you might not know about: You can trade. Yep, that’s right. You don’t always have to buy the item you’re haggling for with money. Sometimes the seller will accept a trade instead.

Now, the seller probably won’t want to trade you a car for the newest crypto currency—we’re talking about trading things of value here, not just perceived value.

You can trade something you own or barter your services in exchange for a good bargain. Babysitting, running errands, and mowing a lawn are great options. Trading services is a lot easier when you buy from your next-door neighbor at their garage sale than from the guy at the car lot.

"What Kind of Things Can I Save Money On by Haggling?"

Great question. It’s not just items on Facebook Marketplace or counter offers on buying a new home. You can haggle for a ton of different things. Everything’s for sale, right? Then everything has the opportunity for a bargain! My favourite is by far the food markets!

Here are some things you can try your hand at haggling for:

  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Perishable food
  • Cars
  • Shipping
  • Electronics
  • Cable
  • Gym memberships
  • Accommodations (Hotel or Airbnb)
  • Car rentals
  • Phone plans
  • Internet
  • Insurance

How to Find the Deals

Now that you know how to haggle the right way, are you ready to give it a shot? Great! But sometimes it’s hard to find a place to put it into practice. The final key to getting a bargain is to know where to find deals. Here are some of the most common places you might have some luck:

  • Garage sales
  • Public/online auctions
  • eBay
  • Thrift stores (opportunity shops)
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Craigslist/Gumtree
  • Estate sales


Possibly the most important:
How to Budget for a Good Deal

When you’re negotiating for a bargain, always remember to ask yourself, Is this a need or a want? Am I actually going to use this? Even if you have the cash for it, if it’s something you don’t need or can’t use, it’s never a good deal. That’s how well-meaning people end up on Hoarders. Only buy what you need and can use—it doesn’t matter how great of a deal it seems.

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