Three ways to help you land a better bargain on your next car or home.
We all enjoy a good deal, but few of us want to haggle to get it. This can be an especially complex issue for women, who are often seen as “bossy” when negotiating. That’s why “Lean In” author Sheryl Sandberg describes it as “like trying to cross a minefield backward in high heels.”
The domino effect is that when women lose at the negotiation table, it impacts their ability to save for their financial goals. Consider a 2019 study of 50 million home sales by Yale researchers. It showed single women paid 2% more for the same house as a single man and sold for 2% less, and negotiated smaller discounts relative to the listing price.
To counteract this, arm yourself with knowledge and use tech as a workaround. If you’re one of the financially fortunate in today’s economy, we offer three keys to land a bargain on a big purchase.
Do your homework
There is no substitute for doing the research. Thankfully, you can do most of it via the web. When you know exactly what you want, you can use Google or Kelley Blue Book to determine a fair market price.
Net a deal over the internet
Don’t want to haggle at the car dealership? There is a better way – namely, using an email to create a bidding war, with several dealers’ names visible in the CC line. Write that you’ve done research on the exact car and options, and mention any dealer incentives you found. Give them 24 hours to offer their best price.
There are also platforms like Trim and Truebill that can negotiate lower bills on your behalf while taking a percentage of savings. For furniture, sites like PriceWaiter allow you to make an online offer on items the retailer is willing to negotiate on.
Time it right
To be a savvy bargainer, you must be genuinely interested in what motivates the person on the other side of the table, says Chris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator. In the case of a car or new home, that could be a month-end or quarter-end sales quota the other party is trying to meet, so make your timing impeccable. Your goal is to make an authentic connection to get to an optimal outcome. And if you can’t, walk away.
To prepare for a negotiation on a big purchase:
- Consult with your advisor on your budget to boost your confidence.
- Calculate a target price – and at what price you’ll walk away from the table.
- If buying a home, ask for a referral to a real estate professional you can trust.
Sources: The New Yorker; The Gender Gap in Housing Returns study by Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham and Kelly Shue; Real Simple; MasterClass