Wednesday, March 22, 2023

7 Bargaining Tips to Use When Shopping

By Benson Bundi

In most Kenyan markets, bargaining has become the norm. In fact, sellers have come to expect it so much that they’ve factored in bargaining into pricing. Therefore, it’s a great way to save money.

Here’s how to bargain like a pro


Before buying anything, you’ve got to research and find out exactly how much the item costs. You can do this by comparing prices in different shops. You can also find out the price of items such as electronics and furniture simply by googling them.

This way, you’ll go into the shop with an exact idea of how much the item costs, and there will be a lesser chance of the seller overcharging you. You can then decide how much you are willing to pay for it.

Build rapport with the seller

Bargaining is a game of wits; you won’t win if you’re in a hurry. Once you walk into a shop, try to establish rapport with the seller. Smile a lot, ask them their name, and offer yours. Use their name as much as possible in the conversation. This simple gesture of friendliness can break down plenty of barriers.

Don’t be in a hurry

Ideally, don’t mention your price within the first five minutes. Also, don’t be quick on closing a deal. It’s best to let the seller sweat it out as you settle into the conversation. If possible, look the item over and point out its flaws to the seller.

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Look for scratches, signs of wear, etc., and point out how much it will cost you to repair them. Show disinterest in the item and pretend to look at other wares in the market. You can also say you saw the same product in another shop.

If they pressure you too much, tell them you are not done looking around in other shops, and this will not be your last stop. Above all, don’t show excitement about an item. Remember, you and the seller are battling for your wallet.

Stand your ground

In your conversation, try to find out the kind of salesperson you’re dealing with. If you feel like they are fast talkers trying to talk you into closing the deal as fast as possible, don’t let them get away with it. Ask questions to find out what they really know about the product.

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Don’t be discouraged when the seller says no to your offer. A pro tip is to go for two to three nos. If they still don’t agree, pretend to walk away. The seller will often call you back if they are desperate to close the deal. On that note, the longer an item has been on the shelves, the more eager the seller will be to close the deal.

Don’t state your maximum price

Make an offer lower than what you are willing to pay. The seller will probably say no and the negotiation will begin. At this point, the seller will try to come to terms close to your price since you have already stated your offer.

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If the seller states a very high price, counter with an unreasonably low price. For instance, Let’s say you wanted to purchase something that costs ksh 100, but the buyer has suggested 500.

In that case, make a counteroffer of Ksh 50 and look uninterested and ready to leave. The seller will offer ksh 400. Maintain a poker face and suggest ksh 60. Keep adding ksh 5 or Ksh 10 until you reach an ideal price. It’s a long, tiring process, but it’s your money on the line.

Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts

Nobody will kill you for asking for requesting for discounts, provided you do it respectfully. Be confident and ask for that price cut. After getting your ideal price, don’t give up. Try to go a little further. You’ve already established you can buy the item at that price, so you have nothing to lose

Sellers are often willing to concede when there are not many people around.

Time to leave

Be willing to walk away if the seller is unwilling to meet your maximum price. There will be other sellers and more products out there.

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