Author Topic: Never take the first offer  (Read 2858 times)

JLee

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Never take the first offer
« on: December 15, 2020, 05:58:46 AM »
I've been receiving recruiter calls mostly for contract work in the IT field - I'm already employed and am only looking in case something better exists. This has led to many conversations with recruiters trying to get me to go for contract jobs that go something like this, numbers for example purposes:

"Offer of $36/hr"
"I don't think this is a good fit, thank you though"
"What's your target rate?"
"$50/hr minimum to consider"
"We can do $39/hr"
"Yeah that's not enough, I need at least $50/hr"
"Our client can do $42/hr"
"I make more that that right now with my full time position with benefits"
"I'll see what we can do and call you back"
(...)
"We can do $47/hr"

And then a few days later, the next one happens. They're incredibly consistent at presenting an initial number 10%+ below what they're willing to do just by saying "nah I need more than that."

Fast forward to yesterday - I bought a fridge from Best Buy (holiday sale, $1800 fridge on sale for $1400). It gets delivered, I'm finishing peeling the plastic off the inside, and I find some small scratches and a small dent at the top corner of one of the doors.  I had been improperly charged a delivery fee, so I had to call Best Buy anyway - I called them, got the delivery fee fixed, and then told them about the scratch on the door.

They offered me a $30 gift card to keep the fridge, and after my unimpressed response immediately went to $60. I asked for a replacement fridge and was then asked how much I'd need to be willing to keep it.  I gave them a number, and a few minutes later I was advised that my $200 gift card would be in the mail soon. 14% off for a couple scratches! :D

So I guess the moral of the story is..always negotiate!

Chrissy

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Re: Never take the first offer
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2020, 03:43:01 PM »
Awesome!  Well done.

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

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Re: Never take the first offer
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2020, 12:00:14 AM »
Well done.

I negotiate for a living. These are my tips for any negotiation:

1. Assess your bargaining position independently, and use that to form a bottom line.

2. Always volunteer to put the first figure out there. The disadvantage (of offering up "free information") is far outweighed by the advantage of anchoring the conversation.

3. Put your first offer comfortably high, to give yourself room to come down to a bottom line.

4. Never say something is your bottom line unless you mean it. If you're in a grey zone, give yourself a get-out clause ("Unless circumstances change I can't see myself moving from my present offer") that affords you flexibility to either hold out or move a little. Situations change so don't box yourself in unnecessarily.

5. Don't negotiate unless you have the ability to walk away. If you can't walk away, you are not negotiating. You are begging.

6. Usually the party that gets to its bottom line "first" (and holds it) has more success in a negotiation. You want the last step to be the other party coming up a small amount to your figure, rather than the opposite.

7. Where possible, only negotiate where you have something or someone to "blame" (i.e. a competing offer, an alternative strategy or someone else involved - e.g. your partner). That allows you to put the blame, or rationale, for your position on the "external blame sponge", therefore defusing the present conflict.

8. Listen to what the other party says when making/receiving offers. He, she, it or they will usually give you some indication of the relative strength of his, her, its or their position.

billy

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Re: Never take the first offer
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2020, 09:57:38 AM »
All outstanding info, thank you. The takeaway message from the book, the millionaire mind, "Is that the best you can do."

Dave1442397

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Re: Never take the first offer
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2020, 06:04:08 AM »
All outstanding info, thank you. The takeaway message from the book, the millionaire mind, "Is that the best you can do."

All great points up above, and the simple line "Is that the best you can do?" saved me a bundle when shopping for cell phones back in 2016. My wife and I were at the Verizon store looking at the iPhone 6S, which was on sale with some special offer at the time.

Every time the salesperson gave us a price, whether phone, contract, insurance, screen protectors, etc, I said "Is that the best you can do?", and every time we got at least another 15% off.

My wife was dying! We left the store, and she said "How did you do that??? What just happened in there??".

BlueHouse

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Re: Never take the first offer
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2020, 06:54:03 AM »
I'm a terrible negotiator, but it turns out most people are very bad at it and I've used that fact to help me negotiate some extremely good positions.

One thing to remind people of:  EVERYTHING is negotiable.  even severance pay.  I was laid off once and didn't accept the company's severance package.  I didn't realize at the time how desperate they were to just make all the laid off people go away "quietly".  The package required that I sign away any rights to sue the company for anything, which is pretty standard language I think.  But they get to actually "close the books" on all the people they just riffed.  So I guess it was worth it to them to give me a few more months salary and healthcare paid through those months.  I was entry-level at the time, so to me that was a HUGE jump start on my savings.

Nutty

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Re: Never take the first offer
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2020, 07:03:03 PM »
Pawn shops can have treasures in them.  You have to be patient and know what you are looking at.  Newish power tools can be treasures.  Specialty items may wait long enough for the price to drop.  The longer they look at it, the cheaper it becomes.  Yeti coolers are a big thing right now.  Be prepared to sift through the chaff and walk away.

Everything is negotiable.  The 2 kitchenaid lift bowl mixers for $100 out the door.  One motor replacement later and 2 good kitchenaids.  They aren't that hard to fix.  They sat on the shelf for 6 months before they were marked down.  These really depend on the management guidance and location.  Different shops specialize in different items.  Goodwill and thrift shops are another place to negotiate.  Ask for a manager and explain how much you will spend.  They want to move merchandise.  A willing customer is a treasure. 

clarkfan1979

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Re: Never take the first offer
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2021, 03:05:36 PM »
Well done.

I negotiate for a living. These are my tips for any negotiation:

1. Assess your bargaining position independently, and use that to form a bottom line.

2. Always volunteer to put the first figure out there. The disadvantage (of offering up "free information") is far outweighed by the advantage of anchoring the conversation.

3. Put your first offer comfortably high, to give yourself room to come down to a bottom line.

4. Never say something is your bottom line unless you mean it. If you're in a grey zone, give yourself a get-out clause ("Unless circumstances change I can't see myself moving from my present offer") that affords you flexibility to either hold out or move a little. Situations change so don't box yourself in unnecessarily.

5. Don't negotiate unless you have the ability to walk away. If you can't walk away, you are not negotiating. You are begging.

6. Usually the party that gets to its bottom line "first" (and holds it) has more success in a negotiation. You want the last step to be the other party coming up a small amount to your figure, rather than the opposite.

7. Where possible, only negotiate where you have something or someone to "blame" (i.e. a competing offer, an alternative strategy or someone else involved - e.g. your partner). That allows you to put the blame, or rationale, for your position on the "external blame sponge", therefore defusing the present conflict.

8. Listen to what the other party says when making/receiving offers. He, she, it or they will usually give you some indication of the relative strength of his, her, its or their position.

I love #5.

I was offered a job at $67,500/year in November 2010 and turned it down. They were upset that I didn't accept, but the offer wasn't competitive because the location was Washington D.C. (very expensive). Maybe they thought they had more leverage with a slow economy? They struggled to fill the position for next 3-4 years. People would accept the job and leave within 6 months. It wasn't enough pay.

A head hunter called me in April 2015 to tell me they were looking to fill the position again and wanted to know if I would be willing to apply again. I'm pretty sure I was still their first choice. I was told starting pay was "a little over 100K" but that was for someone with less education and less experience. I probably could have negotiated 125K pretty easily. However, I turned it down.

JAYSLOL

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Re: Never take the first offer
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2021, 04:01:11 PM »
Iíve sold lots of stuff on Facebook marketplace and the equivalent to Craigslist here, and one thing Iíve found is that if I ask a bit too much for something I get a much easier sale.  For example, I found myself selling an old entertainment unit, it wasnít high end and wasnít in great shape so I put it up for $30, but nobody even wanted to have a look at it, then I reduced it to $20, still nothing.  I jacked the price up to $95, and I had like 6 responses of offers between $40 and $50.  It sold in like 2 hours.  I used that experience when I just sold a vehicle I fixed up, I priced it about 20% over every other model that was similar, mind you it showed well and I took great photos of it, and it ended up selling for about what most of the car dealers had as their list price for similar vehicles, so Iím pretty sure I got top dollar for it.