"Make them say 'No'."
It means that when you are trying to buy an item or service (car, house, household repair, renovations, something at a garage sale) where there is negotiation involved, you should always bid low, low, low. The object is to get the other person to say "No." Because if the sales person says "Yes" to your bid, you COULD have bid lower.
Your goal is to figure out the lowest possible price.
I have a relative who uses this tactic on just about every purchase he makes. He offers about 75% of the asking price. He's pretty sure this bid will be safely below the "No Line." For example, if a car is listed at $15,000 then he offers about $11,000.
Sure enough -- "No!" (Bidding lower than 75% can often be offensive, but if you have a thick skin and can handle a cool, steely glare, give it a try!)
Now he has a bottom price to work from and he can negotiate up from there. He almost always gets a killer deal this way.
There are many strategies that can be used when negotiating on a item, but these three simple rules seem to work in almost every case -- even for those of us who don't enjoy confrontation.
1. Make them say "no," then work to a price you can both be happy with
2. Remain pleasant
3. Be willing to not buy this item.
Please share your negotiation success stories! What has worked for you?