The Art of the Deal – Part II
Last issue, I provided several tips for sellers to improve their negotiating skills. This time, we’ll focus on suggestions for buyers.
Tips for Buyers
- Do your homework, too. Not every seller is always aware of the condition, value, or authenticity of an item they may have for sale. And occasionally, the seller may not be completely truthful about an item, either. This is why it’s important for buyers to take the time to educate themselves on an item before making a decision to purchase it, especially if it is expensive.
Be sure to purchase authentic items from a reputable source and ask if there is a return policy incase you have an issue with your item later. If the item is used, you should research comparable quality items that are for sale or that have sold recently to have a better idea of what you should be paying. This information can be used as leverage for the next step.
- Start low, then work your way high. As the buyer, one of your main objectives is to get the lowest purchase price for your item. If you’ve done your homework and have a sense of the market for a particular item, you can better negotiate to get an item at or below the market price. It is always easier for a buyer to negotiate an acceptable price by making a lower offer and gradually negotiating upward, versus the other way around (just don’t start too low, or else you risk insulting the seller.) When in doubt of what is considered reasonable, simply ask the seller what they’re best price is for a particular item.
- Buy in bulk for the greatest value. If you’re buying for re-sale, then purchasing items in large quantities or as a lot typically results in the best price per piece. Additionally, you may find the occasional valuable item in a mixed lot, which may pay for the entire lot (such as finding a piece of fine jewelry mixed in with a bunch of cheap costume jewelry.)
- Stick to your budget. It’s hard to walk away from things we really like or want, but sometimes its necessary when an item is priced too high or doesn’t meet our expectations. Unless an item is one-of-a-kind or extremely rare, then the buyer will typically have the upper hand when negotiating a price. Sometimes, however, sellers are unwilling to budge on their asking price and you may need to walk away if you don’t consider it a good value for the money.
- Build a network. If you frequently collect or purchase for resale, it’s a good idea to build relationships with the people that you purchase from the most. Showing an interest and appreciation for your sellers may result in first choice of new merchandise, preferred buyer’s rates, and introductions to other sellers.