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New member today.

The thread on "what items to barter" got me thinking. Bartering and price negotiating is a skill, similar to hunting or woodworking. We've all seen and posted in threads about how a gun or bow is useless for hunting if you don't practice and know what a deer looks like or where it lives. Same goes for bartering, if you don't practice the skills and have some potential trading allies, then all you have is a bunch more stuff.

I barter skill services, scrap materials, and surplus perishable products when I can. I also like negotiating good deals on broken or damaged items, like torn bags of feed, mulch, and fertilizer. Garage sales and craigslist can also be a good place for experience.

Anybody else try to hone their bartering skills?
 

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That's a really good point! I haven't really bartered yet. You've inspired me I'm going to start doing that from now on!

Thanks!!!!
 

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i think this is a very very underestimated skill that people are going to soon need. if you dont have it your most likely gonna get taken advantage of. great job bringing this to light.
 

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Super Gassy Moderator
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I barter gun accessories for work on my vehicles all the time. Which is funny, because I sell at gun shows and have no tolerance for it there.
 

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Maximus
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Anybody else try to hone their bartering skills?
Bartering is part of my upbringing. I was raised in a place where "sticker price" was just the point to start negotiating.

Trading is a skill that is much more than "I need this, you need that". It is a negotiation and an art. Art of giving the least information while attaining the most you can.

So many times I have seen people say "I have 100$ to spend, What can I get for $100?". OF COURSE whatever you are going to see at this point costs $100!!! BUT if you ask to see an item you know is priced at 100$, spend 20 minutes asking about it, then another 5 inspecting it, ask the price... "Well I don't have 100$... will you do 75$?" Seller now knows you are interested, you have money, and already spent the time with your questions. More than likely at that point he will say 90$ and you saved 10$ right there. *Note that you did not lie and say "all I have is 75$"* If skilled, you can go another round.

My tips as a buyer:

  • Try never to give away what/how much you have to work with.
  • Try never to show how much you really want something.
  • Everything you want to buy is "damaged" or "you can get cheaper someplace else"
  • If possible, don't be scared to walk away if the price is not right.
  • Negotiate the deal THEN show the money. And carry small bills in various areas of your body instead of having it all in one fat stack. For example, 50 in your right pocket, 50 in your left, 50 in your coat etc etc. That way you can say you only want to spend $100 and not even mention the other money in your jacket.

My tips as a seller:

  • Try not to give the price you want right away. If you do, ask for 30% more than you want.
  • Measure how much the buyer needs an item.
  • Try to find out how much they have to spend and what they can spare.
  • Measure the buyer's true intent.
  • Always let the buyer think they "got the best of the bargain".

There are many other things also that can't be translated well in print. And as you can see a lot of the strategies are direct opposites from buyer to seller. That is why it is an art/skill/dance in addition to a negotiation.
 

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Maximus
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Bartering can be done even at "big box" stores.

I have got good deals on warped wood and busted bags of concrete and other items at Lowes.
I consistently get 5-10% off just by asking for it nicely. Get a supervisor though. Cashiers usually never have this ability. At least 1 in 10 times I get it. The other 9 times... ohh well at least I asked.
 

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Super Gassy Moderator
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[*]Everything you want to buy is "damaged" or "you can get cheaper someplace else"
A word of warning from the point of a seller. It depends on what you're negotiating over and with whom. But some tactics are offensive and will have a negative effect on a negotiation. For example, back before I ran firm prices and would negotiate. As soon as someone pulled the "I can get it cheaper elsewhere" they were told "feel free to do so" and I would walk off. Negotiations have ended.

Or if they pulled the "walk off," negotiations have ended. When they come back around to try again, we start over from the beginning, and the price will not come down that far this time around.

There's a balancing act on both sides. Either side can screw up the deal. This is why I strongly prefer firm pricing because I consider it the only ethical system for selling new merchandise. Whereas the gun show system of haggling is strongly in the dealer's favor. Because he's only going to come down as far as the price he would have put on a price tag anyway. And if that price tag was too high, competition from other dealers would have forced him to lower it. The customer gets the best prices that way and the dealers still make their money.

I still remember an example from the first show I ran firm pricing at. A customer was displeased that I wouldn't negotiate. I sent him down the aisle to negotiate a price on an identical spotting scope. He came back and proudly stated that he had managed to negotiate the price down $40. Which was still about $12 higher than my sticker price. My sticker prices were chosen because competing dealers had theirs priced in that range too.

Of course none of that applies to the barter system, where it's all negotiations. I actually enjoy barter, but I despise price haggling for cash.
 

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Maximus
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Very good points Mikek especially concerning the breaking/walkaway points. There is so much to the negotiating process including cultural expectations. And you are right, there is a difference between haggling and barter. Though they share an underlying premise. Read the information without giving away too much.

What I find fascinating today is the amount of information that people have at their fingertips in regards to prices and values. It has changed the whole landscape. Some for the good but also sometimes bad.
 

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17 Oaks Ranch Tx
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I see some folks on here have some skills, but I also see some advice given that is just plain EPIC FAIL! Maybe they think they meet some of your later on!!

I am good at barter and haggling or just plain dealing and winning. I was the Number 1 sales guy to two companies I worked for and I was NOT in sales. So let me pass on some advice from someone who does not leave anything on the table when I walk away.

1) WIN-WIN: Don't care if its barter or cash fact is it MUST be a WIN WIN or someone if not both lose. to do this you have to be thinking about the guy across the table from you. What does he want and what does he need. If you can acquire at his need price you got a fantastic deal, but there is a chance that he did not walk away happy.

2) Want price Vs need price: As a general rule you don't want to screw the other guy, but there are many times I have found myself holding the Ace cards and have had to make a choice of screwing the guy or making him a bit happy. Sometimes they are out to screw you, if they are and you are holding the Ace's then do as you see fit. But always ask yourself if you plan on ever buying there again. Especially at a car dealer...who usually want to screw you. They want window sticker plus for a car, but they can sell much lower, but they NEED to break even, someone in there you can meet.

3) Creative dealing: Look for creative and 'out of the box' opportunities to work the deal if you cannot comes to terms otherwise. I could not work a deal with car dealer one time. Then he said I can work you a much better deal if you will finance it with a company I use. I said show me the paper. What we sorted out was a 'dealer DEAD cost' and I financed it for 72 months at 27% interest :eek::eek::eek:

BUT, I READ the finance contract, then faxed a copy to my lawyer who reviewed it for this clause: "Early pay off penalty: NONE" I drove out in the car, called my financial institution the next day, gave the the VIN and PO contract # and asked them to finance it for me, they said no prob, we will take care of it from here. They did, gave me 4.9% for 35 mo and the rest is history.

4) Walk out price: Does you no good to get a great deal on a car and then have to pay sky-high finance charges, but there are times you can use that to your advantage.

Look for win-win, identify need vs want price, get creative and ALWAYS talk in terms of "my total walk out price".

Now go practice because that is the ONLY way you will ever become a winner.
 

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Really?
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Folks, we've been bartering for years and years....in this context, bartering is trading something someone wants for something the owner wants and it's simply whatever they agree on......it's not rocket science and it's not hokus pokus and it's not Aces and eights........it's simply a matter of two folks trading and usually it's friends, family or neighbors.......it is NOT haggling and it WILL be win-win, or it won't happen.......last year, we( the wife and I) worked for a couple, we cleaned out their barn for 2 registered dairy goats. We talked about it and both agreed, they got what they wanted, we got what we wanted... had either one of us not agreed, it woudn't have happened......it's that simple. IF I barter for something, I get what I want or it's no deal..I think that's how it works for most folks.
 

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I barter gun accessories for work on my vehicles all the time. Which is funny, because I sell at gun shows and have no tolerance for it there.
Do you barter only when it is advantageous for you to do so? Do you only bet on a sure thing? That's the definition of a hustler you know, one who only bets on a sure thing.
 

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What I find fascinating today is the amount of information that people have at their fingertips in regards to prices and values. It has changed the whole landscape. Some for the good but also sometimes bad.
Anybody who buys a big ticket item today w/out doing some research is very foolish indeed.;)
 

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Super Gassy Moderator
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That's what I like about barter. It's win/win.

I have an arrangement with a shop owner for mechanical work on my vehicles. We barter parts and service for gun accessories at straight retail prices. So when he gets $100 worth of accessories, he only paid $60-65 for it and he's happy. And I get $100 worth of parts and labor and I only paid $60-65 for it, so I'm happy. Plus I always make a bunch of side sales to his mechanics, and he always gets recommendations from me. So it has been beneficial to both of us for several years now.
 

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Super Gassy Moderator
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Do you barter only when it is advantageous for you to do so? Do you only bet on a sure thing? That's the definition of a hustler you know, one who only bets on a sure thing.
Only when it's mutually beneficial to do so. It would not be beneficial to screw over someone I barter regularly with. Or anyone else for that matter. Word would get around quick and I have a reputation to uphold.

I have no tolerance for it at the shows, because it's always someone trying to beat me down on prices. Despite the fact that I set my sticker prices at the lowest price I would have haggled down to anyway. This is why fixed pricing favors the customer. Plus, I only sell new merchandise, so I'm not very tempted to do any trading and such.
 

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Really?
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IMO, you can't screw someone over in bartering...trade is based on need or want and has to be agreed upon.....if they absolutely need an ax and you have one and they have a generator and are willing to trade, then who's getting screwed? You both are getting what you want....value is in the eye of the beholder.......
 
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