How to haggle?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Microbass, Oct 28, 2002.

  1. Hi all, one of things that I have learnt here is that to get a good deal on something is to haggle.. But I want to know.. How do you do it?

    I read that I should try and get about 35% off of the bass, becuase that's what it is really worth.

    How could I go baout getting that hard case put in? or a stand? etc..

    Feed back welcome :D
  2. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    This is something I need to get better at also... :oops:
  3. cheeseman


    Feb 3, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Sometimes you can mention that you only have so much to spend, and it'll be a while before you can get more, but you really want that bass. I've been in this situation and sales guy was pretty helpful, but you won't be getting extras like a case or strings.

    Or you could say you aren't from that area (if it takes a while to get there) and you can't make it there easily. But then again, some people just won't budge for anything.
  4. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    When I was living in China haggling was a way of life. Almost every day I haggled over things...even in dept. stores! Anyway...while this ain't China, some of the principles still apply. Here are some of DigMe's tips for successful haggling:

    1. Always be willing to walk away from the deal if you don't get the price you want.

    2. ALWAYS be willing to walk away from the deal if you don't get the price you want.

    3. When considering rules 1 and 2 also consider that the salesperson AND the store have to make some money too.

    4. Good attitude and friendly demeanor will get you farther than a standoffish manner.

    5. If you are ridiculed for your offer you can either say "Well, what would YOU consider a good price?" or if it were me though I'd just walk off right then and there as the salesperson is probably an a-hole and I don't like dealing with a-holes.

    6. One of them Motowners said it best "You better shop arouuuuund." Seriously. I shop around for just about everything - cars, bass gear, CD's, etc...

    7. Be an informed consumer. What's the retail price on this? What does it sell for from Musician's Fiend or GC or other competitive stores? I think I've heard that the big places usually pay about 55% of retail price. I'm sure that varies some between stores and such but that might be something good to keep in mind when you are haggling. Don't forget #3 though!!

    8. Contact Gard first! :)

    Remember that most of these things won't apply if the instrument is a custom job or something unique that you absolutely have your heart set on. IN that case you often just have to pay a premium.

    Also be patient and don't give much credence to what a salesperson says (if you don't know him) outside of hard specs. Don't be offended if you're a salesperson, what I mean is ignore such comments as "You better buy now, this'll be gone tomorrow!" or "That price is good for today only!" (if they can give you that price today they can darn sure give it to you tomorrow).

    That's my two cents,
    brad cook
  5. bentem


    Oct 18, 2002
    Rockville, MD
    I know this works at big retail stores like guitar center or mars music, but i dont know about smaller stores. If you find the same thing on the internet for a discounted price, or with a free case, or strings, cable, strap, etc, and print off the page or bring in the catalog, show them, and they'll probably match or beat whatever the deal you found was. I got a free case this way.

    Again, some salespeople asolutley wont budge.
  6. Rent "The Life of Brian" there is a good scene about how to haggle.
  7. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Mars can be fickle based on location I think. I once tried to haggle something at Mars and the guy said something like "We don't haggle, our prices are the lowest. If you find one lower we'll beat it." I told him about a lower price on the internet and he rudely told me that the price beating thing doesn't include internet...only local. I have haggled there before though, without asking them to match an internet price. I haggled for my Eden 4x10 and they came down.

    brad cook
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    The first thing I say is, "Y'know, I always get it at below your cost." I say it like I mean it. When they protest, I say, "Well, OK, but you've got to be close, though." The main thing is to know what list price is, know what 65 percent of that is, and pay that price. When they come back at 65%, grudgingly agree to it. Also, always try to get the same salesperson, a manager if possible. Eventually, they'll figure out that you're good at 65%, and they'll hit your price point just to avoid the stupid "below your cost" remarks (which I actually do use). It's about relationships.

    Once you've got the 65% price, there's not much chance that you're going to get freebies. But if they come back at 70%, then a little whining might get you a strap (that cost them $3) or some strings (that they get at less than 50% of list). If they give you a free cord, it will suck more than it's worth.
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    "This bloke won't haggle!! " :eek:
  10. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    The thing is, if you really want the bass/amp/whatever, have it, it's only money and the bass will bring you infinitley more enjoyment than a healthy bank balance.

    Last amp I bought (Euphonic Audio iAMP600) I knocked about £100 of the asking price second hand.
    Last bass I bought I paid the full asking price of £1100 - it's a deluxe Fender P 5 string. Personally I was happy to spend that and I think it's worth every penny.

    If the bass I want is more than I have, I would haggle to get it and I would always ask for at least 10% off, but in generaly I would say you should always be prepared to pay the asking price for the bass you want! :)

    Haggling: try the old 10% off for cash, number then the throw in hard case, strap, cable etc one. Other than that I dunno?!
  11. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    True, if you don't have any outstanding expenses such as rent and credit card balances to worry about. I've backed out of buying gear for a great price because it would require some major financial acrobatics and I already had a similar neglected piece of equipment that would do the job just as well if I experimented enough.

    Anyway, there are three types of haggling situations:

    Used gear from a private party:

    Good private sellers are aware that there might be some haggling involved so they adjust the price accordingly. It helps to know what the local music store would buy it for and offer more than that, but still less than what the store would charge. If any repairs need to be done, try to guesstimate the repair cost and shave that off the buying price. Many times, a person is selling the gear to help finance another piece of gear, so they'll be more likely to spring for a lowball offer. It's the only situation in which a person can actually charge more for having made an upgrade, especially if they throw in the original parts.

    Used gear from a store:

    In general, the rule of thumb is that the store is making a 100% profit on the gear, at least. My understanding is that Pawn shops give pawners 25% of whatever the merchandise brought in is worth. If the Pawner doesn't return the money by a given date (I don't know if they have to pay interest, I never pawned anything), the store has a right to put the merchandise up for sale. You can try to talk them down by offering to pay for the merchandise in cash, in which case the shop doesn't have to pay some tax, I'm not sure how this works either, all I know is they'll play ball. It's up to you to feel your way around. Actually, it's helpful to be a familiar face to the store owners; Make a few small purchases, chat, learn people's names. They're more likely to give a deal to a regular than to a complete stranger off the street.

    New gear from a music store

    Pretty much the same as new gear, except that smaller mom and pop stores have to charge more because they have a lower overall sales volume. Guitar Center and other stores can afford to slash prices because they basically chucking those things out the door. A small store owner might be willing to match a big store price for your business if they have bills coming and business is slow, but sometimes keeping that super deluxe bass unsold means that the manufacturer isn't going to force the seller to buy another one, so there it will stay. I think that's basically what happens to "new old stock" instruments.

    Big chain stores are another mattr altogether. Since volume is where they make their money, they won't mind giving you some slack on the price if you're getting, say, a package. If you're getting a full setup, bass amp and all the other stuff that goes with it, you might try to have them give you a case for free or something like that be careful, though, if you have a salesman doting on you for too long an you walk away, you might be up for a cold welcome the next time you enter that store. Again, knowing people by name and having a familiar face is a helpful thing. Good luck.
  12. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Well I did say that it didn't apply if you're buying something unique that you really want. If it's something that is easily had somewhere else though then I can see no reason NOT to haggle. If they won't then you can go down the street or onto the internet where they will haggle.

    brad cook
  13. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    You do in fact pay an ENOURMOUS interest rate when you get a loan on pawn. Probably higher than any interest rate you will ever pay on anything else in your life (you hope!). I've never pawned anything but I became friends with a pawnshop owner here and he explained it to me at length.

    I do a lot of pawn shop shopping and they are normally VERY flexible on price. If something's in the 50 to 100 dollar range I'll usually offer them 60 to 70 percent of that and they'll often take it without further haggling. YMMV. That's not ALWAYS the case but very often it is. Maybe you can go lower, I don't know.

    It's not just that they are selling more so they can give a lower price (Although that has something to do with it) but the main issue here is that because GC sells more the manufacturer actually charges them less for there products than they do the mom and pops.

    brad cook
  14. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Almost all of what DigMe and Munji said really hit home with me, IF, I chose to deal in-state any longer. Being willing to walk away but still realizing those guys have to make some money, too, are great points.

    For me, the web is damn tough to beat when dealing out-of-state since there's no state sales tax, (at least where I've dealt out-of-state).

    If you're dealing face-to-face, one thing that gets some salespeople salivating is if you drop the question;

    - "Which credit cards do you accept?" or "Do you take personal checks?"

    Window shoppers don't typically ask about payment terms. Even if you aren't intent on buying that day, those questions can get you a rock bottom price since they figure you're not there to play games.
  15. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Two ways to do it based on whether you want to experience the pain before or after. Either way, be prepared to walk away if the price is not what you want.

    1. The hard way - more painful before due to research and putting your balls on the line at purchase time (you're more likely to be shot down here). Less painful after when writing that check.

    Do your homework, research dealer cost pricing, visit the store and make an offer based on, say, a 20-30% margin for the dealer. I have done this through a written "tender" for car purchases and it has saved me 1000's of dollars off of retail (mind you, good margin for the car dealer is in the 3-5% range).

    2. Less painful during the process, but possibly more painful when writing the check:

    Simply ask: "What's the best price you can give me on this today? I'm paying cash.". My favorite reply is: "For you, today only...." ;)

    I've gotten good deals using both methods. Thank god music shop sales staff don't even compare to car salesmen.