1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Haggling: Tips for Newbees

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by deathbloomslife, Sep 6, 2005.

  1. Okay, so I read the entire Labor Day Sale thread, and am now possesed by the G.A.S. demon. I want a new bass, but can't afford one at this time. So, I was wandering if any of you experienced TalkBass members have any haggling tips for a newbee like me. I plan on taking my money and my sweet skills to the Guitar Center in Orlando on November 3rd (Day of the HIM concert) and trying to see how good of a haggler I am. Oh yeah, I'm looking for a Corvette, best offer I got before was $900 brand new, floor model, with gig bag and Warwick kit.

  2. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    Arm yourself with information from online sources. Sometimes even if they match the price you still have to pay taxes. So you have to figure that into your plans.

    What I normally do id ask the guy his best price then I make a counteroffer. A decent counteroffer because I keep in mind that he needs to make money too.

    If wer can't seem to find the happy middle then we can always talk about throwing accessories or extended warranties in.

    Note: My rule here is no haggling if the price is $100 or less.

    But for some reason the guy always throws something in for me (strings, picks and other minor stuff).
  3. Aj*


    Jun 14, 2005
    West Yorkshire, UK

    Remember always go in low, below the target price, that way it gives you something to negotiate on. If you get it for less, you win, if you get it for the target price then job well done. It's rare you'll get dragged over your target price. Don't be afraid to just walk out if you can't get the price, hit a different salesman the next time in a few weeks or so.
  4. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Best haggling tip: be prepared to walk away from the deal on offer if you're not satisfied. Best used in conjunction with a lot of previous research on prices and deals from other sources.
  5. +1

    I remember Brad Johnson's words of advice (or something along these lines):

    You woke up this morning without it; it probably won't kill you to go to bed without it.
  6. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    When I deal with GC, I decide on a price I'm willing to spend, and make that offer. I make sure the salesman knows that I'm in "no haggle mode" I always tell them, this is what I'm willing to spend. It's fine if you check with the manager, but I'm not playing the counter offer game. Either you can do this, or you can't. If he can, great, I got the gear at a good price, if he can't, tell him OK..thanks for your time, and walk.
  7. mattsk42

    mattsk42 Supporting Member

    Yeah that's a good tip. Know what you want to spend. Also, I always go as low as I can w/out being stupid. Like, a bass overpriced at 500, online at 400 or so, I would say to the guy "250-300 work?". Yes it's low, but then you can work up from there. As long as it's not too low, they won't get offended or anything. Plus, you never know what will happen. I've gotten a few things at those prices just by luck/someone doesn't care how much and they just want to sell it.

    Last tip, be friendly and firm w/what you want to do. :cool:
  8. Okay, so I did some research on the price, like this...
    (Warwick 5-string Active Bubinga Corvette)

    Musician's Friend: $1,359
    ZZounds: $1,349
    Music123: $1,359

    Then, I jump in my car, drive to GC, and make a deal with a salesman. So, should I start at say $1,000 and see if he can do that? I just don't have any clue as to what to say to the sales clerk. Something like "Well, I can make you an offer of $1,000, but that's as much as I'll pay for this."? Or am I not doing something? What happens if he says "No, I can't do that." Is that when I just walk away?

  9. Wesley R

    Wesley R Supporting Member

    "Best haggling tip: be prepared to walk away from the deal on offer if you're not satisfied. Best used in conjunction with a lot of previous research on prices and deals from other sources"

    Never, ever enter negotiations that you are not willing to walk away from! (Easier said then done sometimes, like when unemployed for way too long, sold way too many things and in danger of loosing house)

    1. Make sure the salesperson knows you are seriouse
    2. Have the money (remember credit cards cost them money)
    3. Don't get had on the add ons, include a case if needed.
    4. Know the value, be prepared to walk!

    Best of Luck,
    Wesley R.
  10. Aenema


    Apr 18, 2001
    be careful with showing interest because you never want them to think they have the upper hand in the sale. you want him to know that you have the cash but at the same time are not willing to pay top dollar. haggling is an art and takes time to master. these guys sound like theyve been at it for a while. :smug:
  11. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    my $.02

    1. Know as much as you can about what you are considering purchasing.

    2. If the sales person is on commission (and most are), make them spend a lot of time with you. Ask intelligent questions (don't appear like you just fell off the turnip truck), but make sure that you already know the answers. Anything to get the salesman to invest his time/effort in you. Then, when you lowball his offer, he is faced with the prospect of taking a smaller profit or wasting all that time he had invested in the sale.

    3. If possible, try to work with the same salesman over and over again. They'll usually be willing to cut you a better deal if they know that you'll probably be spending more in the future (ie: future commissions).

    4. If there are multiple stores carrying the same product in the area, play them off each other.

    5. +1 on the be prepared to walk advice
  12. Time Divider

    Time Divider Guest

    Apr 7, 2005
    Just like buying a car, it never hurts (in fact, it's required in my book) to know how much the dealer paid for it! This can be more difficult to ascertain than it is with a car, so work as hard as you can via the internet to determine exactly how much the dealer is charged by the manufacturer.

    Then you can say, "I'm a reasonable man, and I know you have to make a profit. You tell ME how much profit you need to make." Then, if possible, go to his competitor and ask the same question. Get them working against each other (instead of you against each of them), and don't forget to include internet sources (BassCentral, BassNW, etc.). Again, easier to do when shopping for a car. It's worth a try, though.
  13. +1

    Always be prepared to walk away. The sales guy will usually see that and give you a better deal too. Also, the more items that you are buying at one time, the better deal you will get. You will get a better deal on 4 $500 items that you will get on 1 $2000 item. So it might benefit you to wait till you have the cash to buy more of the things you need all at once.
  14. whoapower


    Jul 14, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Very good advice.

    It works this way and has for me in the past. I just say "bottom line out the door?" He checks, comes back, "what do you want to spend." I provide a dollar amount for out the door/after taxes purchase and that's it.
  15. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    I bought a bunch of stuff yesterday at GC (about $480 worth). The same guy had been helping me for about an hour and a half, and he had helped me for about an hour earlier in the week. So finally, when we were checking out, I just asked if he could cut me a deal. His response: "How much are you thinking?"

    What a great response, huh?

    I replied that I wanted it as low as possible, obviously, but I also didn't want him to be out of his commission (he and I had chatted about commission earlier in the week). With that info, he offered to make it $400 even (before tax). It was way more than I expected (I was aiming for $450), so I took it.

    The time before that, I got $95 worth of stuff for $30. Not bad. I almost feel bad sometimes, but the salesmen know what they can and cannot do.

    I worry that GC will put the local music stores out of business... more volume makes profit margin a little more negotiable. But as a musician, if I'm going to save $100 on gear, why should I go to another store? Just to support the local businesses? Hmmm...
  16. Juniorkimbrough


    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    I try and buy a lot of my smaller ticket items at the local shops, but in all honesty these smaller shops need to realize that selling more gear for less is better than selling less gear for more..... I work at a tractor dealership and we have everyone in our area beat on prices, therefore we have sold about 30-40 tractors over the past 3 months, I guarantee you we've made a lot more than any other dealer in our area. The faster you can move it the better, the longer you keep it the less people want to pay for it.....especially when they've been in several times and see the same item in the store everytime.
  17. Well everytim I go to G.C. Warwick Corvette STD's are cheap I just saw one (not on a sale day) for 839 new

    and a 829.00 clearance stingray
  18. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    I just wanted to add that when you approach a negotiating situation, always try to adopt the everybody wins attitude. You save money, he gets a commission. This will ensure more deals in the future.

    Unless of course you were just passing through.
  19. Juniorkimbrough


    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    Also let me tell you from someone that works in sales, acting like a jackass will get you nowhere.......you will get ZERO deals.....everyone appreciates nice customers, and that appreciation will be passed on with the price and service you get.
  20. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    What I mean to say is that while GC can afford to only make a dollar on something as long as they're moving a MILLION of them... the local music stores are operating with 4 or 5 units that they need to move and make money from.

    I mean, Musician's Friend is already hurting the local music stores, and most of the stores in town have already brought their prices down to match (or throw in things like cases, free setups, etc, etc). But now that GC shows up, and can "wiggle" down 10-20 percent or more LESS than MF? When your store sells 10 million dollars a year, you can afford to make only 1 percent of that in profit. But what if your store only sells 100 thousand a year? What about 20 thousand? Those guys can't possibly match up. They used to have MF beat because of service, but now GC is incorporating that, too. Couple that with the most accepting return policy I've ever seen (I've seen it referred to as the "free rental policy" elsewhere on TB), and employees who can afford to throw in a ton of extras...

    Like I said, I'm worried about the music stores that I've depended on for years (and still do when I'm not keen on driving 20 miles across town to GC).