No Celery Please – NYC Edition!

Good to Know

Posted in Uncategorized by noceleryplease on April 21, 2008

So last week, Thursday and Friday, I spent at a seminar on negotiating.

I am not what you might call a “negotiator”.  I am more of a “look at the price tag and buy it if I think it’s cheap enough -er”.

I learned a great deal at this seminar.

Thing one on the list… my company would be wise to NEVER let me buy anything on my own.

I, it would appear, am a pushover.  I want to have a good outcome for everyone involved. 

This is not – EVEN WHEN THEY SAY WE ARE PRACTICING COOPERATIVE NEGOTIATING – how other people feel about striking deals.

This led me, in the practice “games” we did at this thing, to naively take the other people at their word when they said things like… “now, that’s just impossible – I would literally be making zero profit if I accepted that price”. And I would say to myself… well, now everyone has a right to a reasonable profit.  I guess I could go all the way up to that bottom limit I set.”

So I would.

Then, at the end of the game, I find out that the other person was a BIG FAT LYING LIAR!  And they were totally screwing me, even though I had prepared for the game and set what I thought was a fair price and not gone above what I thought was fair… apparently, I am way too fair.

Anyway… So this is why I do not work in procurement.

But I did learn a couple of good tips…  like, you can almost always get free delivery on things – even if they purport to have a delivery charge.  And… markup on jewelry is, like, 800%, so if you are in a jewelry store, looking at something, and the salesperson tells you how much it is… do not stand there and try to act like you hear prices like that every day and are not completely shocked by their outrageous demands… no… go ahead and make a face and laugh at them.  That laugh will take the price down almost immediately.

You do not even want to know how much the person who sent me to this seminar paid for me to learn that:

A) I am the world’s suckiest negotiator
B) Jewlery (which I hardly ever buy, by the way, and then only on the internet, where prices are normal) is not firmly priced.

Next time I buy something big, I am going to ask for free delivery, and then they will say no, and I will say “OK” (see item “A”)



11 Responses to 'Good to Know'

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  1. Deborah said,

    Freight is almost always marked up too. 99.9 % (if not all) companies are charged discounted freight costs. Many of those not only charge the consumer rate but pad that as well, sometimes calling it a “handling” charge.

  2. renn said,

    I should send you my co-worker, nicknamed the “Polly Pocket Pit Bull”.

    SHE should be your negotiator. (*She’s certainly MINE!)

  3. Roo said,

    but at least you’re not a big fat lying liar

  4. You may suck at negotiating, but you’re excellent at blogging and sharing your knowledge. Thanks for the tips!

  5. Ron said,

    I hate negotiating and if someone spouts out a super high price I will get up and start leaving. I’ve gotten some pretty good deals that way not even trying. My natural instinct is to say your too high I’m leaving to shop around.

  6. Al said,

    I love to haggle. My Ex would get all pissed off at the sales guy when we were looking for a good used car, that she would have to leave. She didn’t understand that it was a game. A very real game mind you, but still a game where dollars are counters.

  7. db grin said,

    I am made of the same mamby-pamby linguine spined stuff when it comes to negotiating. I’m a giver, which is fine among friends, but not so much when it comes to business.

    I went to a similar seminar a few years back, and all of us participants changed the rules so we could all share. The host did a facepalm and called us all losers.

    You’ve inspired me – I’m fixin’ to write the clearest example of my negotiating ‘skillz’ ever.

  8. tiff said,

    Negotiate? Is that something people DO rather than fume under their breath about how they’re getting ripped off?


    The ex was a negotiator. He once bargained so hard with a car salesman that at the end of the transaction the guy said “Don’t ever come back here to buy another car.” Yeah, we got a great price, but it gave me an acid stomach for DAYS over the negotiating. Me? I’d have paid the extra two thou and called it a day.

  9. utenzi said,

    Hmmm. I’d love to go to a yardsale at your place!

  10. […] Uncategorized   I was inspired to write about my worst deal ever from NCP’s post about a negotiating class. But whilst rinsing drywall dust from my many crevasses, it occurred to me that I have many, many […]

  11. Judith Millman said,

    We were once in business with a guy who, in his other job, was a salesman. When my husband was negotiating the buying, he would squirm in his seat, and when he was negotiating the sale, my husband would squirm in his seat. It was a partnership that worked well for us.

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