Negotiating. It’s the moment you either love or dread. For you newbies and dreaders, here are a few tips on how to negotiate while shopping thrift or visiting a yard sale.
The first rule is always be pleasant. It seems obvious, but if you’re kind and courteous to the sales associates at a thrift store, they’re more likely to remember you. After you’ve flashed that great smile and put on a little charm, it’s time to starting dealing. It’s important to note that every store has its own policy regarding discounts, so don’t expect the store to bend its policy just for you.
How to Find the Best Thrift Stores
Here’s a story. I was in a well-known chain thrift store. I saw 10 cups that were individually priced, but priced rather high. I asked the sales associate if the sticker price was the best price. She informed me that the prices were fixed and could not be changed. My next step was to ask for the manager.
When the manager came out I started talking about how amazing the product was. I slowly leaned in and made a proposition: “What is the best deal I can get if I buy all of them?” She gave them to me for half price. Which was great. Especially seeing that the associate had previously told me a deal could not be made.
If you are visiting a yard sale, I would encourage you to have a firm price in mind when looking at a piece. For example, if you know you won’t pay more than $500 for a bed, offer $300. Perhaps they will come in at $400. If that’s the case then you technically saved $100. The worst case scenario is that they say no.
Finally, bring an internet-ready device. Many times thrift store associates are not familiar with the value of an item and may often overprice it.
Use your mobile device to send pictures to friends and get their opinion if you aren’t sure what to pay. Visit auction sites like eBay to see what the going rate is. Typing in key words on major search engines may offer valuable information as well.
Keep in mind that all of these are just tips and are not fool-proof. You can be pleasant, speak with the manager and even start off with a great offer, and still get a plain-Jane no. Don’t fret. You tried. If you really want it, buy it. If it costs too much, leave it. Something else is bound to come along.