How to Negotiate the Best Retail Price: Baylor Expert Shares 11 Tips | Media and public relations

Confidence in retail negotiations can also lead to confidence in salary negotiations, says management expert

Media contact: Eric M. Eckert, 254-710-1964
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WACO, Texas (May 10, 2018) – In today’s retail climate, where stores struggle to keep up with competition online and customers can compare prices with the ease of their smartphones, the The price tag is just a starting point for negotiations, said an expert negotiator at Baylor University.

“You no longer have to pay the sticker price for everything you buy. The customer now has the power to have a say in pricing, and even hourly retail workers are often allowed to give price discounts, ”said Emily Hunter, Ph.D., associate professor of management at the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University, and a expert in negotiation and conflict management.

Hunter said negotiations – whether in a retail setting or in the workplace – require trust.

“A lot of people are hesitant to negotiate because they don’t know how or are worried about the other person’s reaction (Will they think I’m greedy?),” She said. “But practice can increase your confidence in your negotiating ability. Rejection is less common than you might expect, and retail stores in particular are often willing to work with you.

She offered the following tips to increase the chances of better deals at the checkout counter.

Be nice.

First and foremost, always be kind and polite when asking for discounts in stores, Hunter said. You are much more likely to be successful if someone wants to help you, rather than demanding a discount or raising your voice to inflate your sense of power. It is not a power game. Instead, negotiation is about give and take.

Find flaws.

It’s easier to negotiate an item if you can find something wrong. Most stores have a policy in place that allows cashiers and salespeople to offer a moderate discount (usually 10-15%), but when they do offer it, be persistent and politely try to push them into it. ask for more.

“I negotiated a rug because it was in the sales area and had frayed edges, a metal cabinet with a dent on the back (Who will see that someday? back!), and lightly stained clothes. Hunter said. “Show the fault to the person you’re negotiating with and ask for half the discount.” “

Look for markdowns.

If an item is marked or “open box,” then ask for additional discounts, Hunter advised. Keep in mind that the store has already recognized that the item is worth less than the original price and is probably desperate to get rid of it quickly.

“Borrow” a coupon upon payment.

When making a purchase, Hunter said he is often asked the question, “Do you have a coupon? Instead of saying no, she said it might save money to consider another response.

“Whenever I am asked this question when checking out, I say, ‘No, do you have one that I could use? It works more often than you might think and can lead to big savings. No clipping required, ”she said.

Prepare – quickly.

When you see one item that could be a good bargaining opportunity, Hunter said it’s best to prepare quickly in three steps. First, set a strong goal, usually in the form of a big discount that you’ll ask for. Second, set a “red line” price, the highest price you are willing to pay. Third, consider your best alternative – which might be to buy the same item online for less – if negotiations fail.

Find a BATNA.

“In negotiating parlance, we call your best alternative your BATNA – Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement,” Hunter said. “In retail it is extremely important to shop both in other stores and online to see if the same or a similar item is available elsewhere for less. This can be your bargaining chip to request a discount.

She explained that most big box stores now have a price match policy, but it’s worth trying to go beyond the price match and ask for an additional 10% discount. , especially if you agree to buy at that time.

“Think about it from a store perspective,” she said. “They want to stop you from buying from major online retailers, so they might take a discount.”

Ask for a higher discount than what you are looking for.

Say you are looking for $ 200 off the price of a refrigerator. Hunter said it is not wise to start your negotiation asking for $ 200 off because you are almost guaranteed to get less than that.

“In the negotiations, both sides expect give and take, and the retailer is unlikely to accept your first offer,” she said. “Start by asking for $ 500 on the fridge and see what they say. Better yet, back up your offer by reporting a defect, a cheaper price online for the same product, or proof of a sale in the same store that just ended.

Imagine you own the business.

Think from the seller’s perspective, Hunter advised. Consider what the salesperson expects from you, the customer.

Besides the obvious response of higher sales and profits, the simple act of offering to write a review online could be very helpful, especially for small businesses.

“I got a good deal once on a tool cabinet because I offered to write a positive review on the Customer Experience Survey (you know, the one you get on your receipt and what little people fill?). The manager said it would be wonderful because his store’s performance is assessed in part based on these customer surveys and he really needed a good review this quarter, ”said Hunter.

Always negotiate furniture.

Hunter said the margin on furniture is often extremely high, up to 80%, which makes furniture a target for trading.

“I always negotiate when I buy everything from mattresses and sofas to end tables,” she said. “Ask for big discounts first, because you never know how desperate they are to run their stock. And try asking for bigger discounts if you buy multiple pieces, or buy a sofa set and get the table. bass for free.

Choose your opponent wisely.

When choosing to negotiate, be sure to deal with the people who can make the decisions, Hunter said. Sometimes floor clerks may not be the best option, so go straight to the cashier or manager to work with someone who has the power to make a decision on pricing.

Remember the ultimate goal.

Bargaining isn’t just about saving a few bucks, Hunter said. Instead, it’s about developing negotiation skills.

“Negotiating in retail can be a useful practice in building your confidence to negotiate more important things like salary and work plans,” she said. “While negotiating wages and other relationship issues at work is quite different from the strategies outlined here, the first step is to have the confidence to ask. “


Emily Hunter, Ph.D., associate professor of management at the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University, teaches negotiation and conflict management. His research on employee work and family issues, breaks from the work day, and deviant behavior has been published in academic journals such as Journal of Applied Psychology, Management journal and Journal of Organizational Behavior. She is also co-author of “Organized Innovation: A Blueprint for Renewing America’s Prosperity”.


Baylor University is a private Christian university and nationally classified research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community to over 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Accredited in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and over 80 countries to study a wide range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business offers a rigorous academic experience, consisting of classroom and hands-on learning, guided by Christian commitment and a global perspective. Nationally recognized for several programs, including entrepreneurship and accounting, the school offers 24 fields of undergraduate study and 13 fields of graduate study. Visit and follow us on Twitter at

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