Sometimes I genuinely want to help local merchants out. So I buy stuff from them that I could have got a cheaper online. But it doesn’t always need to be this way. You can get some amazing deals with good old fashioned bartering.
You see, shops can sell cheaper, but they don’t because some people will pay the prices for convenience sake. Or they just don’t know how much cheaper they can get it for.
They will still make money if they give a discount. Just not as much. Why sell a TV for $500 when you can sell it for $600? The main competitor of these shops isn’t an online store, but one located close to it. If their local competitors lower their price so will they.
However if you make it clear that you won’t buy for the price they’re selling at, only a lower price, you may be able to get a great deal. Or at least some extra gear thrown in. They want sales, it doesn’t matter if they don’t make as much as they could have. You’ve got the perfect argument – if they don’t go lower you’ll just buy online.
Try doing something like this – go into a shop and look at the product you want to buy. Any shop will do, but independent shops, not big brands work the best. Experiment and see where you get the most success. Someone should come over and ask if you want any help. When they do explain how much cheaper it is online. Say you really want to help a local business – really make it clear you want to help them. Make it look like you’re attempting to do them a favour. (Oh and if you can, try and find someone who looks like they can offer you a big discount – like the shop owner or manager!)
At this point you should get a discount or at least something else thrown into the deal. Depending on how good you are, you may be able to go lower. Don’t have the “oh you can’t barter with shops” attitude. That’s setting yourself up to fail.
Try your luck with a number of shops. Sometimes you may get nothing. You may hear “we don’t give discounts”. Don’t give up too soon, negotiate a bit longer, but if they still don’t budge try somewhere else. You’re not taking advantage of these shops! You’re helping them. Always remember that.
What have you got to lose? If they say no, go home and buy off Amazon. It’s that simple. It’s also a great skill to learn – bartering. You won’t get taken advantage of as much when you next go on holiday! I don’t know about you, but before I started doing this, I never bartered. For some reason we see it as unacceptable. I don’t know why.
It may get annoying for store owners if everyone was doing this, but that’s the point. They’re not!
Can you get cheaper than online? Well sometimes, if you’re good enough. It depends. With enough practice your changes of getting stuff cheaper should improve.
So there’s a little experiment for you to try. One last reason you should try this – you feel great afterwards! You get a real buzz from being able to negotiate the price down. You think “I’ve just done something that 99% of people don’t”.
Have you tried this? Let us know how well it worked. Have any tips or tricks to share? Leave a comment!