How to be a bargaining master

November 20, 2011 

Dear Dave,

Can you share some tips on bargaining, whether for a used car or even a washer and dryer in the classifieds?

- Ray

Dear Ray,

This is a great question. Bargaining is one of my favorite things to do, but it's a little harder for me to get away with it these days.

There are three points to remember when it comes to getting a bargain. The first is that whoever has the most information wins. This means you need to shop around, do some online research and become an expert on the value of the item you want to buy.

Second, don't be afraid to flash the cash. Money, especially cash money in your hand, is an emotional thing. Lots of times, it will motivate someone to accept your offer-even if it's a little less than what they want for the item in question.

The third thing is patience. Don't get all hot and bothered about a certain item at a certain place. Calm down and be willing to wait for a deal. You lose your ability to negotiate a great deal - not to mention your walk-away power-if you get all worked up and married to something before you know what else is out there.

- Dave

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