We're big fans of negotiating and always asking for a lower price. Not everyone is comfortable negotiating and some of us didn't grow up around hagglers. In that case it can pay big to employ a friend as a negotiation agent.
Photo by neerijus.
Not everyone is great at negotiation or comfortable doing it. While it's a skill worth practising you might not want to practice on big purchases like a car. A reader over at The Simple Dollar wrote in to share her method for saving money on a car purchase in a zero-stress way. She researched how much a car of the make and model she wanted was worth but skipped going to the dealership herself since she didn't trust her negotiation skills and figured she'd get pushed into paying the full amount. Her ingenious solution to working around her lack of negotiating power:
I have two friends (a couple) who are very outgoing and are quite willing to negotiate and play hardball. So I called them up and made them an offer. I told them what I wanted to pay for the car and I said I would pay them the difference if they came up with a car like I wanted that had been checked out by a mechanic and had a good Carfax report. They ended up getting exactly what I wanted for about $US1,200 less than what I asked, so they got to keep the $US1,200 instead of the dealer. All I did was show up at the dealership, sign a paper, write a check, and walk out with the keys. Even better, they took me out to dinner at a nice restaurant to celebrate the new car.
We'd have taken her out to dinner too! It's a great solution, she got the car she wanted for the price she wanted, her friends had incentive to negotiate — they got the difference between her price and the final price — and most important she was able to skip a very stressful situation and still get exactly what she wanted out of it.
Have a negotiation tip or trick to share? A story about using the negotiation skills of your friends or family to your advantage? Let's hear about it in the comments.